Tokyo Police Club at CMJ, Rough Trade, Brooklyn 10/14/15

i’ll be honest—i had no idea what cmj was two years ago when i moved to new york. i found out pretty quickly though when i was hurled into the giant music marathon madness with a shit ton of shows, industry talks and new bands packed into one week.

though i hadn’t planned on going this year or shooting (i’ve turned into a hermit, you guyz), when my friend amanda told me tokyo police club was playing a free show at rough trade, i kinda had to. i brought my camera along for fun and took some snaps from the crowd last night since i didn’t have to turn the photos in anywhere. :]
tokyo police club

c’mon, who didn’t love these guys during college? i must’ve listened “your english is good” a bagillion times while pretending to study for some mesoamerican archaeology exam (i majored in anthro. lol, right?). every time i’ve tried to catch their live show though, i failed. i missed them when they played at my college and i tried to catch them when they played the free culture collide block party a few years back in echo park (literally down the street from my apartment) but got there late. so when i heard they were playing a show in brooklyn, i resolved to break my idiotic streak.

though i had RSVP’d, the show was sold the fuck out and at capacity. there was a long line even after the show started but maybe half an hour before the end of the show, everyone got in.

i think a lot of people write tokyo police club off as a throwback band past their prime—but those people are misinformed and the the long ass line shows that the band is still relevant. there were plenty of other free shows going on during cmj that night yet people still stood in line hoping to get in even after their set was halfway over. these guys came out with their new album, forcefield, last year and it’s pretty damn good. i like a band that evolves with you through the years and i find myself listening to this new album on loop. the last two songs, “feel the effect” and “through the wire” are probably my favorites.

okay, the show was incredible. they played two encores because the crowd kept chanting “ONE MORE SONG! ONE MORE SONG!” they closed out the night with a cover of “since u been gone” by kelly clarkson. i was halfway startled that so many brooklyn hipsters were smiling and singing along but i guess everyone has guilty pleasures. speaking of guilty pleasures, the show was presented by pandora and taco bell so everyone got taco bell gift cards. mmm…nacho cheese gorditas, come to me.

anyway, stellar show and i’d edit more photos to include in this post but it’s 3:49am and i probably need to sleep maybe. instead, check out this lovely music video.

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Ryn Weaver at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn 7/25/15

shot and wrote this one for consequence of sound. man, can she belt it out.

ryn weaver

i mean, c’mon.

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big freedia popped my new york cherry

yikes, alright. nearly two years of silence and neglect on ye olde blog. i have to admit that the more time passes, the more intimidated i get about updating this thing. so why don’t we get straight into it with the first show i shot after moving to new york? really, there can’t have been a better show. big freedia performed in herald square right by macy’s with a huge crowd of people twerking in hopes of setting a guinness world record (for the largest group of people twerking at once, of course). :] mission accomplished.

well, i still can’t twerk for the life of me but here are some pictures of some butt jiggling pros. shot this one for brooklynvegan.

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big freedia

big freedia

big freedia

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Moving to NYC: What I’ll Miss Most About LA

the girl that never sleeps is finally moving to the city that never sleeps. certainly reminds me of one of my favorite songs by the wombats.

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how do i sum up 6 years of my life in los angeles? understandably, i’ve been putting off writing this blog by sheer intimidation but it’s probably time. in less than 3 weeks, i’ll be packing up my life in the land of palm trees and saying hello to new york city. if there’s anything i should add to my LA bucket list before i leave, let me know!

i moved to LA initially to study at UCLA and lingered afterwards for career reasons. since then, i’ve had many adventures — from interning at universal pictures and focus features, to working at UCLA’s film/tv rental office checking out equipment, to shooting hundreds of editorial projects and concerts. for some time i even gave the acting thing a shot with a commercial agent i was referred to by the makeup artist on a music video shoot. i eventually became involved with a wonderful non-profit photo organization and loved connecting with others on events and exhibits to bring photography to life. i liked working behind the scenes so much that i found myself on the project management side of a digital media agency– producing apps/games/websites for brands like l’oreal, bravo and several movie studios.

though it’s been an amazing adventure, i know this city just doesn’t suit me. the sprawled geography, the incessant traffic, lack of public transportation and seasons. it was just a ball of stress.

it’s a bit strange now because i’ve established a pretty good life here. i have a wonderful network of friends, a stable job as a producer, regular photo clients, etc. i absolutely adore my apartment and echo park– the neighborhood i live in.

echo park at sunset

however, i know that i won’t ever truly be happy with this city. i mean, you better have a pretty good reason to stay somewhere you don’t like and i’ve been fortunate enough to have accomplished most of my reasons within the past few years.

i’m a firm believer in taking action if you’re unhappy. you can come up with a slew of excuses or even legitimate barriers between going after what you want but in the end, you’re only cheating yourself. don’t stand in your own way because there will sure as hell be plenty of other obstacles to deal with. i try to tell myself that if you want something, it’s not that hard. just take actionable steps and make a plan. honestly, life is precious and you shouldn’t waste time delaying pursuit of the things that make you happy. take the time to stop and ask yourself if you’re doing what you want in life. if you’re not and don’t have a good reason why, you better get it together. one thing i’ve learned through loss is to never take anything for granted– to charge forward with purpose before it’s too late. regret never does down easy.

so with that said, i’m going after one of my life goals of living in new york. as a high school freshman, i visited new york on an orchestra trip (shh…don’t judge). even though i was only there for a week, i completely fell in love with the city and promised myself that when i “grew up,” i would live there. this is a pretty scary leap considering i’m leaving everything behind and i don’t have a job or place lined up. that’s fine though. i like a good challenge and sometimes you just have to shake things up a bit. plus, i believe i’ve outgrown LA now that i’ve accomplished my initial goals for moving here in the first place. thankfully, i do have a roommate to look for apartments with in brooklyn. my old co-worker from lucie foundation, dylan, recently moved there so we’ll hopefully find a quaint apartment together– preferably with good lighting. :]

after leaving LA, i’m driving up to the bay area where my family lives and going on a two week vacation to europe before flying out of san francisco to new york. plane tickets have been purchased and it’s a done deal. i haven’t been back in the uk since i lived in london so i’m pretty ecstatic. i’ve got a bit of wanderlust. so far, london, paris, venice, and amsterdam are on the list but perhaps i’ll squeeze in more. i’m looking at this vacation and move as an opportunity for new adventures and re-evaluation.

now that my moving plans are concrete and the countdown has commenced, i’m starting to realize there are a lot of things i’ll miss about LA. shooting FYF will probably be my last hurrah in LA and it’s strange to think that this will be my 4th year in a row shooting it. i gave notice to work and almost got a bit choked up because i really do like the company i work for and i’m so grateful for the opportunities i’ve had to learn and grow. i gave my roommates notice to find a replacement and realized how much i loved my apartment — which is why i’ve lived in the same one for the past 4 years. i mean, look at dat lightttttttt!

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i’ll miss the walks around the neighborhood, the gorgeous lake that just reopened, and weekends spent in my favorite cafes making idiot faces.

the faint @ music box, los angeles 11/18/12

i’ll miss the music venues and the many music photographers that have become like a second family to me these past years while shooting countless shows. they’ve touched me with their kindness, fervor for life and incredible creativity.

really what i’ll miss the most about LA are the friends i’ve met. i can’t fully explain how grateful and lucky i feel to share laughs and struggles with you fucking amazing people. GAWD DAMN, ALL THE FEELZ RUSHING AT ME. having you in my life at all is a sort of love and gratitude that i can’t fully articulate.

so thank you. you’ve made LA home for me these past 6 years and knowing you is truly the best thing that’s happened to me here.

as for new york, here’s to hoping it’s every bit as rowdy and full of life.

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Weekend Daydream: Angeles National Forest

weekends are for unplugging and working on real tans instead of catching fluorescent office rays and the glow of computer monitors. that’s why last weekend, i went on a hike to a waterfall.

 

it was friday night– my friend, karin, and i just got turned away from the wait list for a musical improv show at upright citizens brigade so we sped down sunset boulevard blasting the “guilt mix” on my ipod. basically we were screaming a bit of this and a lot of this at midnight. we stopped at brite spot and each ordered an irresponsible amount of dessert. maybe it was the sugar rush or the disappointment of the sold out show but the urge to go on a spontaneous adventure took over. we started researching our options and it turns out, hey– there are a lot around LA.

fields, waterfalls, and forests were on the top of the list. after karin left, i passed out fully clothed googling waterfalls and wildflower fields at 2am.

first choice was antelope valley’s poppy reserve because holy crap those photos are gorgeous. however, we let out a whimper when we saw a current photo of the field. basically, it looks like a barren desert when not in season.

all good though. we ended up hiking to sturtevant falls at angeles national forest on sunday. knowing that there was water and climbing involved, i knew better than to challenge my…uh…sub-par motor skills by carrying an SLR. thus, hello average iphone photos.

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the drive only took about 20 minutes from east LA. you’d think you escaped the infuriating traffic once you’re up in the mountains but we circled the parking lot for half an hour before giving up and parking perilously on the side of the road further down on the mountain. guess it’s crowded on weekends. the park only charged $5 for a parking pass and there was no entry fee. make sure you still grab a pass though even if you park on the side of the road– we saw a lot of people with parking tickets.

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there were these cute antique cabins tucked away on the hike. apparently they were built between 1907 and 1936. interestingly, they’re now private property and available for residential sale.

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in retrospect, going on a hike mid-afternoon in the sweltering heat probably wasn’t the brightest idea but we were pleasantly surprised. with very minimal exceptions, ample trees surrounded the trail which provided much appreciated shade. once we got to the waterfall, there was even a very cooling breeze.

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the good thing about going on a hike with another photographer is that you feel less guilty when you pause to take a bunch of photos since you’re both doing it. i caught karin taking photos of the waterfall. i also tried making a video on instagram but hooray it crashed once i got back with network signal and it deleted the video.

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by the end of the hike, the trail was nearly straight uphill. i transitioned into full whine mode but i just thought about the cake i was going to reward myself with and kept going. my legs and glutes are still sore from the hike!

anyway, if you’re in southern california, you should definitely venture over to angeles national forest. i know there’s no wifi or cell phone signal in nature but the beauty of an occasional getaway is worth prying ourselves away from our social media addictions.

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Overheard Conversation: The Hedgehog Cafe

GIRL: you like, don’t listen to me ever.

GUY: that’s not true. i listen to you half the time.

i think i’ve made a mistake. i forgot this was a vegan cafe and i’m wearing my mcdonald’s “i’m lovin’ it” t-shirt. it’s also across the street from peta.

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City by the Sea

someone take me back to brighton, already.

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Creative Productivity Tips: Pop a Gat on Procrastination

heat wave has settled in LA. as i’m typing in at this cafe in echo park, i can barely concentrate despite the a/c. something about the summer just inspires daydreaming. or maybe blaming the weather is a convenient excuse for productivity.

speaking of productivity, it seems as though i’ve neglected you, blog. sure, i’ve been busy shooting, work and eating but let’s be real — i’ve also been very busy procrastinating. ;] that hopefully should change. i stumbled across this book called “manage your day to day: build your routine, find your focus & sharpen your creative mind.” i’m not too far into it but it’s already been very helpful. i like that it’s comprised of essays from multiple creative professionals.

manage your day to day

woopz, i got some grease on my copy thanks to a delicious brie/fig sandwich. anyway, with the producer day job, regular editorial photo gigs, concert shoots, and personal projects, i end up feeling really overwhelmed and exhausted at the end of the day.

i’m trying to do the below. maybe they’ll help you optimize your time too:

  1. set aside time for creative endeavors or personal priorities at the start of your day – wake up early. complete the tasks important to you early in the day because by the end of the day, you’ve already expended your best mental energy on other tasks. this leads to more procrastination a la “i’m too tired” or “i already worked all day.”
  2. practice routine and frequency – it’s easier to keep going than it is to stop and start cold. also, when you do something often, it takes the pressure off for each task result to be the most amazing thing ever. this blog for example, the longer i put it off the more anxiety i feel about making a post that’s incredible since i haven’t blogged in a while. you start to overanalyze and that just gets in the way of actually doing anything at all. same with photography too– the more  you develop a habit of shooting, editing, and posting often– the more likely you’ll get an incredible shot. wtf, you think you’ll capture a masterpiece each time you click the shutter? c’mon. whatever you do, it doesn’t have to be perfect– just do it until you get there. anyway, i’ve been applying routine and frequency to exercising lately too– more on that in another post.
  3. break down big goals into manageable, executable tasks – figure out what you want and then list out actionable steps to get closer to the goal. it can get really intimidating when you just focus on the big picture. it makes starting an endeavor hard and procrastination becomes an excusable option. instead, take it day by day and one task at a time. those days will add up and as long as you practice routine (#2!) you’ll get there. don’t obsess over the end goal– always have it in the back of your mind but instead concentrate on the smaller tasks getting there. the project management strategies from my producer job should be applied towards the way i tackle my personal goals. on the projects i manage, there’s always a scope and defined deliverables. you don’t just charge into a project without structure– you take it piece by piece. i make a schedule that breaks down the project into clear design iterations, development rounds and then QA. breaking down steps makes the end goal achievable otherwise you don’t know where to start.
  4. don’t download the simpsons tapped out mobile game – you will spend embarrassing amounts of money on donut currency and premium items. just don’t do it.
  5. don’t procrastinate by googling “how to stop procrastinating.” you’ll just end up looking at cat memes online.

kay, maybe some of those tips are less helpful than others. i might add more later. go ahead and leave your own tips in the comments section.

on that note, gonna leave now. been at this cafe too long and my buddy has already left! we had a brunch/work hang out. i’ll leave you with a photo of our coincidental cat wallpapers.

cat friends

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Raucous Fun with Born Ruffians

if ever there was a doubt about the joys music brings people, just attend a born ruffians show. fans packed my favorite LA venue, the troubadour, at maximum capacity on monday as they sang along. i couldn’t stop smiling as i moved through the crowd.

born ruffians @ troubadour, LA 5/6/13

i was really looking forward to hearing some classics since i’ve never seen them live before but their latest album, birthmarks, is pretty damn good.

born ruffians @ troubadour, LA 5/6/13

luke’s voice in particular sounded even better live– it just rang with such clarity and an unique, soothing twang. you could tell the band enjoyed themselves that night. there’s something inherently whimsical about their music that makes me daydream for days.

after the show, i stepped out on santa monica blvd and walked to my car under the light rain and twinkling streetlights. i live for these magical moments.

born ruffians @ troubadour, LA 5/6/13

check out more photos i shot of the show up on prefix. supporting bands include moon king and avid dancer.

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stab at design: header & watermark

look, i’m a design noob.

if you were to sit me down in illustrator, i would probably glare at you with confusion and ask for a custard donut instead. i’m a photoshop/lightroom kinda gal.

with that said, mad respect for designers. i’ve just spent the past few hours scouring custom fonts and messing around in illustrator. working with designers for over a year at my agency job inspired me though so i figured i’d give designing a new website header and watermark a stab. i ended up going with #2 below for the header. originally, i just had plain italic text which is the iteration shown in the bottom window. i can’t believe the time that goes into design even for the simplest item.

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also played around with watermarks. i’ve developed an affinity towards brackets. i guess that’s fitting since i bracket almost way too much when shooting. here’s a photo of janelle monae at coachella last weekend with the new watermark.

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besides the novice design frenzy, there’s a lot to catch up on this blog. since my last post, i’ve shot both phoenix and postal service in pomona (separate dates). also covered coachella weekend two for brooklynvegan.

since getting back on monday from coachella, i’ve been really sick with a fever and respiratory infection. thankfully, the fever is gone now but i’m still feeling pretty rough. the doc took swabs of my throat but since it’s viral, basically it was like, “sorry girl, deal with it. antibiotics won’t do anything unless it’s a bacterial infection.” okay, maybe my doctor didn’t say that exactly but i was feeling pretty desperate to speed up the recovery process considering the mounds of work to be done. let’s just say that the recipe for being miserable would probably contain working on multiple deadlines with a fever. i was also annoyed with wasting 2 hours at urgent care to find out my body is stupid and will just have to tough it out. whatever, virus. you’re the worst. no, actually — whoever played that obnoxious game on their phone with the sound on in the hospital waiting room is probably the worst. seriously, are you that clueless? put that shit on mute, man.

on that note, going to grab some sleep before a full day tomorrow. my inbox terrifies me.

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