I literally went on a day trip to Mammoth. After graduation I went home to San Diego, and my dad asked if I wanted to drive up to Mammoth where he had to do some measurements on a cabin and other general contractory stuff. I was in a car for a total of 14 hours to spend half a day there. Was it worth it? Of course. Got to spend some quality time with the pops, and I was able snap the most delightful picture of a chipmunk stuffing his fat little cheeks. I was no kidding, 2 and a half-ish fee away from him. Obviously he knew he was cute, and knew I was there to capture his cuteness (I would have actually captured him and taken him home if it wasn’t, you know, against the law…). Aside from the chipmunk shot, which was easily the highlight of my day, the rest of Mammoth was gorgeous. Everything looked so crisp. The place was just begging for snow, and I can only imagine how beautiful it is with a white blanket. The air was still and sounds were seldom. I felt small in such a vast landscape. It’s strange how nature develops, where everything, the rocks, the trees, the mountains, are perfectly placed.
After a bit of adventuring with my good high school friend, Ian, and his Grandma (my dad was working on their cabin), we set out for lunch at the Yodler Restaurant. Boy do I appreciate a pretzel larger than the size of my face paired with a cold beer, especially after a bit of walking. The place was right next to the ski lifts, which looked weird hanging above a grassy slope. But I hardly paid attention to my surroundings as I was too busy stuffing my face. Did I mention my friends call me chip (short for chipmunk…) Thanks Tara.
Lastly, we arrived at the cabin, and I was greeted by a fat dog named George, and a wiggly little guy named Bob. I fell in love with both. Just look at George’s underbite. Can you handle it? I can’t. If it were up to me, I would have happily left Mammoth with two dogs and a chipmunk. But all I have are these pictures…sigh. Maybe one day…
I mean, I do enjoy film. It’s that day before Christmas feeling when you finally get your film developed in the dark room, and you are just about to unroll the spool. After an hour or so of technical agitation with the various darkroom mixtures in your canister of film, you pull off the negatives and hold them to the light. You pray they come out. In those few seconds of unspooling you think, “Shootshootshoot…did I use the right ISO on my phone light meter?! Damn you ISO 400 film!” You realize that digital cameras have spoiled you. As the light shines through the strip, you breathe a sigh of relief. YESSS! They are perfect (at least you tell yourself that because developing that one roll of film took forever).
And then comes the printing. There is really something magical about seeing your image come to life as you let the developer wash over the now exposed print. Then awe turns into a wee bit of frustration when you print that same print over and over to fine tune those dark room edits. But you power through and find the perfect time of exposure and contrast, and you define what areas to doge and burn. You print a few more of that perfect image. YES, IM SUCH A PHOTOGRAPHER. Fist pump.
One down. A million more to go. Yay.
Thank God for scanners. Having all of my negatives in one organized file on my harddrive? Yes please.
You can follow these beautiful models on instagram at adreamdiffered and kayhawks13.
Nicole (the one with the crazy stick bra) is a great friend and fellow photographer. Her photographs are gorgeous! You can check out her site here http://nicolecanegata.com/
If you want to see how film is really done, please make your way to
I want to capture confidence. There is no other feeling like knowing where your feet stand and in what direction you look towards. We are humans, and we have moments where we have no idea what path we are on, or even if we are on a path at all. I have been there and so have you. But you can keep venturing on until you figure it out. During your journey, through it’s ups and downs, you may discover something about yourself. I found that if I clean my whole office (organizing, redecorating and clorox wiping EVERYTHING) I get into this creative zone where I feel like I can tackle any idea. I keep learning things about myself and finding different sources of inspiration. When I finally decide I have found a path to follow, the things I learned when I was struggling a bit made me more confident to take on this new journey.
When I left San Diego for school, I left a best friend. She is a beautiful soul who found a passion for photography before I did. In sharing that love for seeing the world composed behind a lens, she sparked inspiration in me to follow this artistic path. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for her. She was the matchmaker of the camera and I.
I had the chance to come home and photograph her for a change. We took a trip down to a local winery on a beautiful overcast day (yes! I love that overcast!). I don’t even know how many times I made her jump in between those rows of grapevines. I can tell you it was a lot. Of course, she was willing. She understands the persistance that has to be behind every shot, just so you can get that perfect one. She also knew I was lying every time I said, “Okay, okay. Last jump. I promise. Alright step back a tad, make sure your arm is more at your side…okay onetwothree jump!” She is the best.
I bet you haven’t heard of Hayfork. Its in Northern California, an hour into the mountains from Redding. You drive on this crazy winding, barf inducing road, but other than that the drive was beautiful. There were trees upon trees, and the endless green was a nice change from our Santa Barbara environment. I went with my boyfriend and we stayed at his Grandma’s house, which was a lovely cabin-like place. She must have thought I was crazy, because I had my camera up to my face the whole stay, capturing the random sights around her house. A bathtub in the yard. Come on, why would you not want to shoot that?? So bizarre, so cool. I also have a whole memory card just filled with images of her dogs, Charlie (the small one) and Mable. A few days in the mountains was incredibly refreshing, just adventuring with a camera in hand. No rules and guidelines, only capturing life because I love to.
I go through phases where I really miss home. There are moments where I’m like, “What are you doing Lex?! Don’t you miss snuggling with your dog and being with your awesome (and insane) family?…BANANA BREAD LEX GO HOMEEE!” And so I pick up the phone, call my mom, and go “yo, I’m coming home.”
Every time I come home I feel like my siblings grow up SO MUCH! What is this?? WHY DO YOU HAVE FACIAL HAIR?! Aren’t you supposed to be 13? No, Zeno is 16, and my younger sister Oni is 15. I hardly have to pack clothes to go home because we are the same size. Time flies when you are off at school chasing a dream, and you forget that the life you left at home doesn’t wait for you. So last weekend was a catch-up period. I needed to make time stop for a moment, so what did I do? I made Oni and Zeno model for me. Not that they needed much convincing, seeing as they are obviously comfortable in their own skin. A couple of handsome buggers. I love em so much 🙂