Kristie

Last November, Kristie reached out to me to snap some senior portraits as she was just about to graduate at the end of fall quarter. Didn’t seem like too big of a scheduling dilemma huh? Mhm, that’s what we thought.

But as fate would have it, our schedules didn’t line up and I found out that I had a surprise torn ACL that dated back since Freshman year (another story for another time). Post-surgery had me in crutches for a couple of weeks, which isn’t ideal for all the crouching and weird bending that photographers go through, so we waited a couple of weeks to see how I’d do. Turns out that torn ACLs don’t heal in 5 weeks, so we postponed to March.

Fast forward to March – I’m bending a little better- but the weather hasn’t swayed in our favor yet.

Finally, last week, all the elements came together. The weather. That beautiful, long awaited golden hour. My awkward leg crouching. And best yet, Kristie’s mom got to tag along!

A big shout out to Kristie and her Mom for catching the ferry all the way from Bremerton to finally shoot this session! Very damn glad we waited, and grateful to work with such great folks 🙂

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Sheen & Co.

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I met Sheen last year in a Honors class that, to lightly put, we both weren’t huge fans of. And as it usually goes with the quarter system, we got to know each briefly, but quickly went our separate ways once the 10 weeks were done. Alas, she was looking for a photographer for her graduation party, and voila, we were reunited! With that, I was lucky enough to meet a great handful of her closest friends and relatives, who made me feel more like an old friend than a standard photographer.

Thank you to the Dudwadkar family and friends for feeding me the entire night, expanding my taste in Bollywood music, and for being all around the best party crew. Not to forget, a big thanks to Woodinville Lavender Farms for maintaining such a beautiful space.

Congrats once again Sheen! You’re going to make big moves in San Fran 🙂

-JM

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Pamela & Alan

 

Wow! Crazy to think that it’s already been over 6 months since I second shot my first wedding!

Although it was a while back, I still remember that my favorite part was stepping into such an intimate and profound moment, and realizing that the memories cherished that day could be forever remembered through my photos. While I didn’t know Pamela or Alan before the wedding, spending the whole day with them and witnessing the amount of love that swelled into every room that they walked into, gave me insight into their lives – even if only for the day.

I’m hoping to photograph more weddings this upcoming summer when the weather finally clears up and can’t wait to see where they’ll take me.

…in the meanwhile… if you do know someone getting hitched or who needs a second hand photographing, do let me know! ;)w

-JM

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Kristina & Ian

Here’s to more adventurous photography!

About a month or so ago, Noah’s brother, Ian, and his lovely wife Kristina approached me to help them photograph their soon-to-be-family of 4 (including the puper!) – I couldn’t have been more honored!

With the rest of the family tagging along, we set out to Titlow Beach in Tacoma, which was just a couple of minutes from their house. Thankfully, we weren’t dumped on by the looming clouds in the distance and even got a bit of sun (!!).

Enjoy!

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Noah the honorary puppy wrangler/wind breaker assistant.

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LUZIA – Cirque Du Soleil

First and foremost, I am forever grateful to have been able to pick up this shoot for the Daily, UW’s student newspaper. We, Daily photographers, pick up shifts by racing to be the first to ‘reply all’ to mass emails sent by our photo editor and I happened to be on my phone at the right time. I credit good karma.

Having never been to the circus as a kid, I had only the highest of expectations for this show and WOW I truly left the big top feeling more inspired than I had in months. For two hours, I was transported to a magical Mexican dreamland where butterflies, mythical cats and Luchadores came alive and hung from vines and traversed the Mexican countryside.

My dad also happened to be visiting from Houston, so my childhood dreams of going to the circus with my family (in this case, one of the bunch) came true!

Excited to be creating for myself again. Enjoy!

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5 hours and a Sunburn Later – Motorcycling to Trang An

trang an.jpgRising early, I donned the brightest pineapple yellow helmet I’ve ever seen and set off the road to Trang An. Rather than taking the normal 3 hour route that charges straight down Highway 1, I opted to take the longer, more scenic route down the classic Ho Chi Minh Highway, hoping to make decent time and also see more than just the rear ends of other cars.

A spot on sunglasses tan, multiple layers of grime and 5 hours later, I finally rolled up to the Hoalu Eco Backpacker Hostel – slightly fuming over my decision.

While there were roadside peeks of buffaloes and limestone peaks, my cramped legs and sore butt were beat and my nerves shot from the insolent honking of rubble bus drivers. I had completely underestimated what 5 hours on a motorcycle in blazing heat could do to ones’ body.
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Alas, a quick shower and power nap later, and my spirits were up again. Stepping out of the hostel – a new (cleaner) person, I was finally able to fully appreciate where I was. Set in the middle of rice patties, the hostel was wedged neatly in between peaks of limestone that jutted up from the ground and soared overhead. Testaments to the immovable force of nature, they have carved their way through the valley and stretched all the way to my horizon where their peaks seemed to touch the clouds.

A uneven rocky road, the one that I had putted down earlier, was the only one that led to the hostel’s doorsteps. Had it not been for the beautiful advent of technology, 3G and Google Maps, there was no way I would have found my way here.

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Played motorcycle driver for 20 minutes or so.

I had stopped on the side of the road for a couple seconds to check my map when I felt a tap on my shoulder and these ladies (left photo) appeared. While there was an obvious language barrier, I could tell that they wanted a lift from their hand gestures and cheeky laughter. So off we went down the road for a mile or two until a large supermarket appeared and they clambered off, waving to me as they disappeared through the doors.

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With their motorcycles parked directly in the way of the path, this enthusiastic group of bikers wouldn’t let me pass until I joined my bike with theirs, added one of them on Facebook and left with a packet of shredded meat rice crackers – Ninh Bing’s specialty snack.

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^^ got a tad annoying after the 30th one

(perhaps I shouldn’t complain as I took one myself hehue)

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She then gave me food and we became bffs

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BICH DONG PAGODA

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Nicknamed him ‘Grandpa Mountain Goat’ due to his ability to clamber up rocks like no ones business – in thin sandals
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Cambodia (I)

After a week in Cambodia and a few days catching up in BKK, I’m back in Chiang Mai!

I’ve split up my travels into two blog posts as there’s too much content to put into one. This one documents my first 4 days in Cambodia in Siem Reap (Angor Wat,  visiting the markets, etc.) and the next will be of the second half of the trip (in the village).

Buffalo Tours graciously flew me to Siem Reap 2 days before the school group arrived so I was able to explore the city with staff from the Cambodian office who kindly acted as my personal tour guides. One of these wonderful people was Vet or ‘Rock’ to his closest friends. Vet was the first person to greet me the moment I touched down at Siem Reap International Airport and was by my side for the entirety of my stay. He took me to the best local eateries, invited me along on a biking trip with his friends and even laughed at my jokes – basically, he was the perfect host.
Huge thank you to Buffalo Tours and American Pacific International School – the students, teachers and tour guides!

Here are some snippets of my Siem Reap. Video to come soon!
– JM

COUNTDOWN TO EURO TRIP: ONE MONTH (just booked our first hostel eeekkkk!)

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Several hours after I touched down, Vet sped me off to the annual Giant Puppet Parade that snaked through the heart of Siem Reap. This annual local children’s community arts project works with a number of NGOs throughout Cambodia to provide a creative platform for disadvantaged children to foster and promote self expression and confidence through art. It was awesome seeing how excited all the kids (and the adults) were to have the chance to parade around the town with their artwork.
To read more about the project: http://www.giantpuppetproject.com/

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Interesting to taste the similarities between Thai and Khmer food – local eats omnomnom

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Also! If you’re looking to help out a unique organisation and also see an incredible showcase of talent, be sure to watch the Phare Circus the next time you visit Siem Reap. 100% worth your time and money. These amazing flame-torch-blowing athletes/actors/dancers  (yes, they do it all) not only transform the lives of young disadvantaged Cambodians but will also make you want to fulfil your childhood dream of hitching a runaway train and joining a circus ahem Water For Elephants.

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Bike ride to the ‘mountain’ with the gang.

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Also, selfies with DSLRs are a lot harder than I always expect.

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Angkor wat

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