Chiquila // Hands Offering Hope

Back in August (yes, that’s about how long it takes me to get something blogged) I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Chiquila, Mexico with the organization Hands Offering Hope, to teach  photography to a group of very eager young people.  Armed with a small arsenal of cameras (thanks, Lens Rentals!), I dove out of my comfort zone and straight into the lives of the people in this beautiful community.

HOH aims to help these brilliant students overcome their circumstances and gives them the tools they need to achieve their goals, and ultimately, give back to the communities they come from.

Leaving this small village was heartbreaking at the end of an intense week, and I’m already looking forward to joining the incredible team again this summer.

For now, here are a few of my images from my time in Chiquila – but check back soon to see the phenomenal artwork my students created!

Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico Hands Offering Hope Chiquila Mexico

 

You can donate to Hands Offering Hope and be a part of their incredible mission to help the young people of this community here: http://handsofferinghope.org/donate/

Eíre mo bhaile

This year I decided to stop waiting and start doing.  I stopped waiting to find someone to travel with, and I booked a flight for one.  I stopped waiting to feel like it was the perfect time, or the perfect place, and I jumped in without reservation.  I would be lying if I said it was easy right off the bat.  I definitely sat in my (super sweet AirBNB) room and wondered if I had made a huge mistake.  I wondered if I would spend the next 20 days feeling more and more alone.  And I did – for about 36 hours or so.  And then I took a deep breath, put on my raincoat, and stepped out into the cool sea air of Dublin City…and I lived.  I found the courage to sit in a pub by myself for dinner – a personal nightmare of mine – and something incredible happened.  About 10 minutes into savoring the first gulp of Guinness, I realized I wasn’t alone.  To my right was a woman, also traveling by herself, regaling me with the many stories of her life that had brought her to the Emerald Isle.

Day after day as I explored more of my beloved country, I found myself meeting other souls along the way – kindred spirits.  Explorers and adventurers and lost and found and searching.  I don’t know if it was the fact that I was in my favorite place on earth, or if it was the fact that it was my first solo adventure, but I have never felt more alive.  While I miss this place – and this time – more and more every day, I know that it is not my last solo adventure.  And it is not the last time I will feel like I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

(film developed and scanned by Richard Photo Lab)

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

Ireland travel

 

Mermaid Sighting // Ocean City Maryland

Throwing it back to the beginning of summer, when I was somehow persuasive enough to convince my best friend to put on a gown and traipse around in the sand and waves at sunrise.  If every sunrise could guarantee a mermaid sighting like this one, I’d haul myself out of bed early much more often!

HUGE thanks to the Bleached Butterfly for her incredible floral wreath!

Ocean City Maryland Portrait

Ocean City Maryland Portrait

Ocean City Maryland Portrait

Ocean City Maryland Portrait

Ocean City Maryland Portrait

Ocean City Maryland Portrait

Ocean City Maryland Portrait

Ocean City Maryland Portrait

 

Film Dump :: an assortment of lost and found gems

maybe I’m alone here, but I have a bad habit of shooting film, stashing the rolls somewhere I THINK I’m going to remember, and then discovering them a year later.  terrible, I know.

so, tonight, you get a mix of old and new, travels and home – all of them favorites.

warning: there is no rhyme or reason to these.  whatsoever.

 

summer camping with the littles:

summer film

summer film

summer film

 

 

philly winter walkabouts:

philadelphia film

philadelphia film

philadelphia film

 

 

winter hikes:

winter film

winter film

winter film

winter film

winter film

 

 

museum of natural history: 

museum of natural history

museum of natural history

museum of natural history

museum of natural history

museum of natural history

museum of natural history

 

 

salem massachusetts, fall 2014:

salem massachusetts film

salem massachusetts film

salem massachusetts film

salem massachusetts film

salem massachusetts film

salem massachusetts film

salem massachusetts film

salem massachusetts film

salem massachusetts film

salem massachusetts film

salem massachusetts film

salem massachusetts film

salem massachusetts film

 

 

brooklyn, NY, fall 2014:

brooklyn film

brooklyn film

brooklyn film

 

Marfa Workshop 2014 : aka the most magical 5 days of my life // Marfa Texas

It all started back in July.  I was enjoying a lovely week off at the beach – toes in the sand, sunburn on my shoulders, salt air tangling my ginger locks.  I got a phone call from my friend Emily of Emily Millay Photography, frantically and hilariously explaining that she had just “done something crazy”.  On a whim, and with only weeks to prepare, she had purchased a spot in Clayton Austin‘s Marfa Workshop, and wanted to know if I wanted to join her for 4.5 days in the Texas desert, sharing an airstream trailer.  Obviously my answer was short and sweet.  “Yes.”

I’m a total “fly by the seat of my pants” type, and as I am sure is evident in everything I do, I’m a travel junkie.  Combine only a few weeks notice with a photography workshop and travel to a state I hadn’t yet been to and I’m 100% on board.

Smack in the middle of wedding season, it wasn’t easy to pack a suitcase intelligently without forgetting essentials, but it got done.  I threw a few boxes of film in my bag, grabbed my cameras, and schlepped to the airport at 2AM to catch my first flight into Atlanta.  Most people hate this part of travel.  No one I know enjoys the long lines at security checkpoints, the shuffle through terminals, the hangry customers at the coffee spots… But secretly I love it.  I don’t love having to remove my shoes to go into the X-Ray machine, but I love the hustle and bustle of travel days.  It means I’m going somewhere.  It means adventure lies ahead.  And traveling to Marfa was no exception.

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

 

The drive to this amazing middle-of-nowhere town was one of the most beautiful 3 hour drives I’ve ever been on.  Also, the speed limit was 80.  So my foot was very happy.

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

 

I did expect to learn about how to make my images better.  I did expect to learn marketing, blogging and workflow tips to make my business run smoother.  I did not expect to fall in love with this town.  Nor did I expect to fall in love with each and every one of the girls and guys who made this workshop worth every cactus barb in my foot, every extra freckle that popped up in the 100 degree sun, every early morning and late night, every roll of film.  I didn’t expect to find so much magic in just four short days.  But I did.  And as I look through these images, I’m brought right back to every laugh, every memory made in itty bitty Marfa, Texas.

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

Marfa Workshop Marfa Texas

 

I cannot even begin to express how much this adventure meant to me for so, so many reasons.  So.  Who’s in for next year?