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NAMASTE!

India, a place teeming with riot noise and colors, where you dodge a perpetual stream of honking tuktuks just to cross the street and the rapid motion of the busy crowd are kept alive by both tourists and locals. Over a billion people live here, from a backward but beautiful colonial possession to a now developing economic super power, over a billion in population and continues to grow rapidly, but no matter how much India have changed economically over the years, India is still breathtakingly beautiful with its distinctly colorful culture. The land of the kings, fierce warriors and feudal kingdoms where streets are painted with lashes of bright colorful saris. Its one of the most beautiful countries in the world, a story book land of ancient tales of kings, kingdoms and fortresses. To be in India is to be enchanted until your senses shut down, theres no place like it anywhere else.


India, 2014

Nicole and Nora mother and daughter portrait session

I have known Nicole Waszak for a couple of years now, a San Diego based artist and mother whose work is deeply rooted to her motherhood. Her main subject, Nicole, is her daughter who has served as her main muse for years now and plans to paint her throughout her life. She paints Nora against bright colored patterns depicting imaginary place children create for themselves, a playful approach that echoes a strong connection between a mother and daughter. 

We dedicate this day to Nicole Waszak a truly wonderful woman,  a great artist and an outstanding mother who dedicates her life to her passion in art and to her daughter at the same time.

All the love for you Nicole and Nora. 

DEAR ABBY

i could paint these pictures

with colors of adjectives of you

but one thing i know is very true,

you're beyond colors, beyond adjectives...

beyond any words

 

you bear a certain grace

that make people look at you

like you're everything they see

 

frame...

by frame.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TORY + DAWN

to the moon and back

 

I first met Dawn a couple of years back at a video shoot for her song “All of your days” for the Matt Wadleigh LOVE foundation, it was a very intimate night in a studio dimly lit with candles with few chosen guests and the fragrant scent of incense built up the vibe as Dawn and her band serenaded us with her captivating voice. That was the first time I met and heard Dawn sing and she struck me, she made me loose focus, I usually tend to tunnel vision and focus on shooting every time I have a camera on hand, but her music had me sit down and listen, it was a very lovely night to remember.

Years went by and a couple of portrait sessions after, I received the news from Dawn that she is getting married to Tory. I’ve never met Tory until our engagement shoot and I found out how amazing of a guy Tory is when Dawn told me about their love story, He was friend zoned for a couple of years leaving Dawn oblivious about his feelings for her, so just by being there for Dawn for years, he waited for the right moment, years went by until Tory finally gathered all the guts and told Dawn how he feels… well, it obviously went well.

Their story is a living example of a love story that we only see in the movies, from strangers to friends, to being friend zoned, going against all the odds, then finally, they become lovers, as cliché as it sounds… it’s real, it’s beautiful.

One thing I learned from Dawn and Tory is that no matter what, keep loving, regardless of the odds, whether you’ll live happily ever after or not, never hesitate, embrace it,  LOVE is a beautiful thing, it’s pure… don’t be afraid of it.

Associate photographer – Anastasya Korol

Videographer – Sharisse Coulter

Coordination – Dawn Steel

Flowers – Gaslamp Floral

Make up: Van Nguyen

DJ – Gabe Lehner

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cuba Libre!!!

Havana welcomed me with its golden sunset beaming thru the narrow alleyways pillared by crumbling Beaux art architectures, its gorgeously peeling paints appear to convey charm rather than age, the street resonates to roaring ancient Plymouths, Cadillacs and Buicks... i was told that it is a time capsule of the 50's... it is true and  it is beautiful.

I met Alfredo in the alleys of Plaza Revolucion, a history teacher with an interesting enthusiasm about American culture, we exchanged ideas about socialist Cuba and capitalist America over a bottle of  Bucanero and a plate of rice, beans and lobster, he eagerly asked about what America is like - specifically snow,  i had the impression that his curiosity comes as a result of a more than 50 year economic isolation brought by the US embargo, but nevertheless, he has given me more than what needed to know about Cuba, where to eat, get cigars, what cuban nightlife is like and most importantly, how their socio-political structure has molded a generation based on socialist ideals, Alfredo strikes me as a realistic version of what is called the "New Man" - free from the corrupt moral ideas of capitalism.

Cuba is neither rich nor poor, such concept does not exist in the beautiful country, everyone has a house to live in, they have free and quality education, free healthcare and free food. They don't have high speed internet - they probably have the worse connection in the world and you wont see Maseratis nor Ferraris in the streets - you wont see any form of excess wealth, and most of us, for that reason, would describe Cuba as a poor country... i beg to disagree... i think were just used to live excessively.

 

Happy international women's day everyone!

Apo Fang-Od, at the age of 95, she is the known as the oldest of among the very few remaining practitioner of "Batok" tattoo ritual of the Butbut tribe.

Buscalan Village, Tinglayan, Kalinga, Philippines 2014

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