Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Falling in Love

Falling in Love by Ar'alani
Falling in Love, a photo by Ar'alani on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
This weekend, Jenna and I made a trip to Southern California to shoot a wedding. We had some time on Saturday to visit one of my favorite places in the whole world, La Jolla (just north of San Diego). What a night it was.

I even got to meet Aradan (Patrick), a splendid fellow who was one of my very first Flickr contacts. He's such an inspiration to me, and has always helped me see the world in a new and poetic way. Spending time with him was wonderful!

This is one of those places on my list for photography where I don't cut myself any slack. You must realize that I haven't been here since I had an SLR camera (last visit was with a point-and-shoot). Determined, I took on the fairly flat sky with a small internal battle cry. I wasn't walking away before I had something I could hang on my wall that summed up at least a bit of the fantastic memories I have of this place.

When I first visited San Diego, I was broke and barely out of college. My co-worker took me all over the town, showing me everything he loved. I loved it too. His second job at the time was as a valet at La Valencia, one of the oldest and most beautiful hotels in the area. He got me an $800/night room for a pittance, and I spent an evening I will never forget in a room with a balcony overlooking what's in this picture. The room had geranium pots, french doors and a beautiful bathtub, and I went downstairs to the parlor and talked to multi-millionaire horse barons for a couple of hours. I slept with the windows open, wakening in the morning to the sound of sea gulls. It was totally surreal. It changed the way I looked at the world.

This is the sincerest truth I have about photography: It allows me to re-live my life and all those precious moments in technicolor, as vivid as the day I stood there. I have regretted for years that I didn't have a picture from this spot. Now that I'm able to bring places back with me, checking these off is important. I want to hear the waves and feel the warm breeze on my cheek. Feel the lights of La Valencia sparkling next to me, welcoming me to a place I'd readily call home. Remember the night Nathan and I took a long walk along these shores, when we still weren't together but were head-over-heels in love, and the distance between Portland and San Francisco seemed insurmountable.

Shooting the wedding this weekend was a joy, and it falls into what I said above. These memories are sacred, whether mine or yours, his or hers... so precious. Ever more and more, I feel so lucky to be a photographer.

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