drive-by shooting | houston, tx

When I left Houston in the ’90′s, I never thought I’d return. I wanted to see the world…and I did. After nearly a decade in New York City, I left for good in 2009. I thought I’d settle in Austin, but the job opportunities in Houston made life here rather compelling.

The Business Insider considers Houston the “Best City in America” because of its job creation, diversity, and good-ass food. I’ll co-sign that last paraphrased sentiment, but Houston is also HOT AS HELL during the suffocating summers (hello, swamp ass!), prone to horrendous hurricanes, and don’t get me started about the hellacious traffic. >_<

Still, though, it’s where I call “home” until I can scoot on over to Austin–the city I originally intended to move to when I decided to mosey on back to the Lone Star State. Until then, I’m going to gobble up the goodies, keep working and spend as much time with the fam as possible. Home is where you make it, anyway. Everybody knows that.

(semi) retirement announcement

I am retiring from photography.

There, I said it. And it feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders–though an explanation is clearly in order.

As you know, I’ve worked as a licensed New York attorney for years now. I wanted to litigate cases in Texas, so I took the TX bar exam in February. It was BRUTAL. I dedicated my life this winter to learn Texas law from scratch and suffered the entire way through it. It was not cute–and neither was the two-month waiting period to discover whether we passed or failed.

The moment I saw my name on the Pass List on May 2nd, I knew it was time to say goodbye to photography. I simply don’t have the time anymore as litigation deadlines are aggressive, and the workload is demanding. I started to feel overwhelmed as my days grew from 10-hour to 15-hour workdays. I lost my weekends and holidays–the time I usually reserved for photography. And it’s telling when I enjoy sitting in my office drafting petitions and discovery requests until 1:30 a.m. more than color-correcting and burning pictures onto discs.

Furthermore, I kept snapping photos and memories for others that I completely neglected my own. I captured a vision for others so frequently that I no longer had a “voice” in my photography. I don’t even recognize my own work anymore.

I will still be available for limited engagements. Photography’s been a huge part of my life, and I’m still passionate about the process and meeting new people. I only plan on shooting once or twice a year “for others” and then sticking with the big projects that make me smile.

Last week, I gathered all of my closest friends, family & colleagues (pictured below) to celebrate my admission to the Texas bar and to thank each one of them for their loyalty and support over the years. It was amazing to see people I have known since elementary/grade school right there by side. My life has come full circle, and I haven’t been this happy in years. These are the moments I want to document.

behind the scenes | bridal shoot

Here’s me doing what I do. On a swampy day in Houston, my friend–the fabulous and talented Jason Melgar and gorgeous bride, Hannah–decided to shoot outside. We trekked through mud, ruined beautiful crystal-studded shoes (mine, at least), and had our hair sticking to our faces at the end of the shoot–and it was worth it. Photos coming soon…

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Join me on Instagram

Okay, so I’m way late to the party, but I’m finally on Instagram. When I first joined in 2011, I did not see the allure of it, but now? Holy wow! There are so many brilliant square-format photographers out there sharing their stunning work! I don’t love the IG filters–or at least I have not yet learned how to master them–but I do love me some square-format photos. It challenges a photographer to think “inside” the box, so to speak, for genius composition.

In law school, I fell in love with the Holga. For the uninitiated, the Holga is a plastic toy camera, made in China. You used medium format film, and because you had to develop the images in a photo lab, the anticipation of seeing your work in square-format with unexpected effects was exhilarating. The Holga camera sometimes created these gorgeous light leaks if you did not bind the back of it with opaque tape. It was a real piece of cheap, plastic crap, but the images it produced…amazing. I used to walk around New York City taking pictures of the Statue of Liberty, graffiti (especially the ubiquitous “Neck Face” spottings), and of course, people. Every Holga camera created different results. Mine produced creamy colors and dreamy vignettes. The photos were drool-worthy, but I never really had a place to share such work–until now. Hello, Instagram!

On Instagram, I have already posted some of my old square snapshots in the digital format from 2011-2012 and some reflections from this year. Life is a lil’ more colorful now. I will post some behind-the-scenes pics from my photo shoots and share some selects on Instagram. I want to share with you the beauty that I see in the world and all the shenanigans that take place in my world. It will serve as an honest yet whimsical reflection of my life. Care to join me?

Click on photo link below and “follow.”