Monday, April 21, 2014

#EmbraceYourJoy



· the smell of vintage books · half-pigeon at the end of hot yoga · red wine at sunset · the very last second you're not kissing someone, right before you kiss them · glitter nail polish · Friday Fireworks at Angels Stadium · the quiet of my apartment when i first come home at the end of the day · "Walking Dead" Sundays with my younger brother · cappuccino foam art · lazy rivers · handwritten letters · tulips and daffodils · trimming a story to the perfect line count on the very first hack · black-rimmed glasses on a scruffy man · Kurt Vonnegut quotes · llamas · the way newborns curl up and fall asleep on your chest · long car drives in the middle of nowhere · Joe Purdy and Josh Ritter live on stage · chimes on a windy day · booze out of copper mugs · smells of turpentine and oil paints · the "Cupid Shuffle" at wedding receptions · crawling into bed after a 12-hour photo shoot · writing poetry drunk · the way Andy Dwyer makes eye contact with the camera in "Parks and Recreation" · puns · Robert Creeley's words · lying on the beach at 2 a.m. · Instagram filters · when Bukowski is an optimist · scary movies in the dark · hugs from my dog · spooning · distressed wood · awkward humor · lavender bath salts · waterfalls ·


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

the moon turned red, and it was awesome.


Twenty-four hours ago, I was so buried in work and intent on wearing my grumpy pants all week, I didn't even know what a blood moon was. Luckily for me, I have some adventurous, sleep-defying coworkers who thought it'd be fun to trespass on the beach after curfew and watch the lunar eclipse very, very early this morning. I brought along my camera and made a few shots of the eclipse's succession, seen above; I had never attempted to shoot the moon before, so it was a fun endeavor. I put away my equipment and just laid on the sand, enjoying the moment, when the moon hit its "blood red" peak about 12:45 a.m. (I'll give that a go the next round come Oct. 8, for anyone else who is interested). There was something really refreshing I didn't even know I was craving till it happened about all of us laughing (and freezing) our asses off for hours, camped out near the waves, watching the moon change colors right in front of our eyes. Saying I was unhappy this time last year is a grand understatement; last night, I think I laughed more in one chunk of hours than I did all of 2013. Blood Moon 2014 is officially going down as one of my favorites nights of the year so far. Isn't that usually how the unexpected evenings out go, though?

For anyone interested in seeing some fantastic shots of the moon when it did go red, Leonard Ortiz -- an exceptionally talented photographer at the Orange County Register whose work I love and skills I covet and admire to no end -- made some gorgeous photos himself, seen below (all copyright © 2014 Leonard Ortiz).


If you didn't stay up to watch this morning's lunar eclipse, I highly recommend next time you down a cup (or two) of coffee and make the trek somewhere to see if for yourself. It is absolutely worth every sleep-deprived second.

ian+kaitlyn {engagements}

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It brings me great happiness to share these lovely engagement photos of Kaitlyn and Ian. The two met while working on a cruise ship, traveling the world and seeing some of the most beautiful sights it has to offer -- so why not throw falling in love into that adventure as the perfect topper? I met Kaitlyn years ago when we both were just working plain old office jobs on land, and it's been a joy to see her find an intelligent, sweet handsome man to go on even more adventures with. I can't wait for their wedding at the end of this year!

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

holy llama in a batman suit, kids.

When I'm fighting sleep in only the way an insomniac can, awake at 2 a.m. with no end in sight, chances are I'm either writing self-deprecating poetry about how my insides are maybe a cold, heartless robot now (see: early Friday morning), or I'm finding the weirdest shit (that is not porn) that the Internet has to offer.

Case in point.



BATMAN IS LLAMA. LLAMA IS BATMAN.
The world is doing great.

Friday, April 11, 2014

the wedding. {a poem}

the wedding.

while drenched in vices and vows
amid those of my youth,
ones who knew me when love was just a game of spin the bottle
in a parked van along the coast,
you were in the woods
with the part of me that is still warm.
often,
i picture your smirk across the table,
as i skirt around sure things,
cold and inane,
waiting for a guarantee to
burn down this silhouette of a stranger

who moves without her feet
ever sinking into the floor,
who laughs without listening to the punchline,
who sleeps without ever unclenching her fists.

i am heaviest in silence,
but lightest on my own,
connecting constellations among the freckles down my arm,
the way the sky must look
when you head up north.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

30 for 30 (and Maybe the 30th Counts) List

Last weekend, I went to the first 30th birthday party of anyone in my close inner circle. My friend's husband hit the big milestone before the rest of us; she tricked him into thinking they were going to dinner, we instead hid in a clubhouse and yelled "surprise!" when they walked into the room, and it was a really great night.

It was a different type of night though, and I think we all felt it.

Everyone went home about 10 p.m. I stopped drinking at a certain point because safely holding the 6-month-old baby making an appearance later in the night was more important than being drunk. There was no after party at the bar. There was no hangover the next morning. It was a first for this group of people who at times seems to be my own flesh and blood; these beautiful, energetic and lovable friends I have known for a decade now. We're getting older, but I think we're also getting better.

I've had a 30 for 30 list going on in my head since graduating college and maybe even years before that -- to the point where I've even been able to check a few off -- but I've never sat down to tangibly write it out. The past six or so months have seen more growth for me than almost all my 20s in their entirety, and that's inspired me to finally lay some goals out in print. Some are silly but poignant in their own right; the most monumental are the ones I'm worried about ever accomplishing; and a few are insignificant but worth including for no other reason than they seem fun. I've got just about a year and a half to go; so here's to somehow getting really rich, quitting my job and spending all my free time doing these things instead.

Jackie's 30 Before 30 (and Maybe the 30th Year Counts to get it all Done) List

1. Indulge in a shamefully expensive glass of fine whiskey.
I'm talking single-malt, aged for years, I-don't-know-what-else-to-ramble-on-about-that-makes-me-sound-smart-but-I'll-pay-for-it whiskey. We're going to need a glass sans ice, preferably enjoyed outside on a front porch during a crisp fall night, and a pour that costs more than my whole dinner to check this one off the list. And the more involved (friends, not whiskey -- though on second thought, how about both?), the better.
2. Go on a true first "first date."
Every relationship I've found myself in, I've simply stumbled into by chance. At 28 years now old, it's always been dinners and movies because we're already together, never that moment of "we don't really know each other but let's go get a drink because we both think the other is hot." Except I think I get to strike a line through this one come Wednesday night. How's that for efficiency?
3. Travel to Ireland.
4. Skydive.
In 2012, my now-20-year-old brother and the only person in the world who'd do this with me graduated high school. My self-centered graduation gift included dragging him 10,000 feet into the sky and shoving him out an airplane with me.  At least he never can say his big sister is boring.
5. Visit a working llama farm up close and in person.
I. Love. Llamas. So. Much. They come off like assholes, but they are actually very affectionate and want to cuddle all the time as long as you let them approach you first. Basically, they are the animal version of me. You'll never see me happier than in this moment:

6. Do a juice cleanse.
Because 30 is as good a time as any to finally be healthy.
7. Stop biting my nails.
This has been a work in progress since childhood. This horrendous habit was the only thing my grandfather -- my favorite man in the whole world -- ever criticized me for. I'm happy to say I'm now going on two months of having nails I can actually get a manicure on, and every time they catch my eye, I think about my Papa and feel a little tug of happiness on my heart for him.
8. Run a half marathon.
I've never been a runner, never really been much of an athlete at all. It's for that very reason I want to at least say I've done this once. But just a half; I'm not batshit insane.
9. Self-publish a book of poetry.
It's shameful how many times I've started this and never seen it through.
10. Self-publish a photography project.
It's more shameful how many of these I have stored away in my mind and never even tried to see if they'd work in real life.
11. Karaoke once in front of an audience of strangers.
Check this bitch off the list, times two now. Thank you, tequila, for convincing me I somehow was skilled enough to rock out TLC's "No Scrubs" and Destiny's Child "Say my Name" on an actual stage in front of real people. (I so, so was not.)
12. Take part in a live poetry reading.
Nothing terrifies me more than this. Nothing.
13. Spend a weekend in Portland with nothing but my camera.
14. Fall in true, healthy, happy love.
15. Go on a trip somewhere with just me and my mom.
Anything that is good in me, is from her. As I get older, I find myself wanting to spend more and more time just soaking up her ability to unconditionally love, her wisdom, her strength. Even better if I soak all that up while also soaking up some wine in Napa Valley with her, right?
16. Get a tattoo.
I know where'd it go and just how inconspicuous it would be. But I have never been decisive enough to know just what exactly it would be.
17. Have a midnight kiss on New Year's Eve that knocks me on my ass it's so good.
18. Find a volunteer opportunity/charity to get involved with long term.
19. Become really good at cooking one fancy meal.
Because I can't eat string cheese and pretzels or spaghetti for dinner for the rest of my life.
20. Make a piece of furniture from scratch by hand.
This is currently a work in progress while I craft together a new headboard for my bed that is saving me from spending $500 on something I saw on Etsy. I get to use power tools. We're all doomed.
21. Start writing a book. At least start it, damnit.
22. Live on my own with no roommates at least once before getting married and settling down. 
If I have a daughter, this is one I want to pass on to her. You learn to not be a wimp, even if you still can only kill spiders by sucking them up through your vacuum's nozzle.
23. Ride a mechanical bull.
There's photographic proof of this happening during an afternoon of too many beers on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, but hell if I'm posting it here.
24. Get over my weird fear of touching eyeballs and just use contacts already.
25. Attend a live taping of Conan O'Brien's.
Shout out to Celeste the Best for indulging in my irresponsible impulsiveness and calling in sick to work for the weekend, spontaneously jumping in a car for a drive to San Francisco without a plan in place for food or shelter, and waiting in line all day to make this one happen.
26. Successfully pull off crow pose in yoga.
THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE.
27. Ride a motorcycle.
This moment, from 2008, presented with no further comment. (Sorry, Mom.)

28. Learn to play one song from start to finish on a guitar.
29. See the Grand Canyon in person.
30. Fill an entire bookshelf full of vintage copies of "The Odyssey."
I'm working on it. 

Does anyone out there have their own 30 Before (and/or During) 30 List? Or even the start of one? I'd love to hear what makes the cut and draw inspiration from others' journeys. Leave a comment here or shoot me an email at jacquelynrachel@gmail.com. Let's keep one another accountable to our adventures and make life that much more fun. :)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

michael+lydia {wedding}

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Some of my very favorite weddings to shoot of late have reconnected me with old friends from high school or earlier, so photographing Michael -- who I hadn't seen in nearly 10 years -- and Lydia's big day was the perfect way to end last year's wedding season. The two are now the second couple I've photographed who met at In-N-Out (anyone looking for love, you know where to go), and their admiration for each other was apparent throughout the entire gorgeous October evening at Black Gold Golf Club in Yorba Linda. These two have already had a great few months as newlyweds, and I know even better adventures are awaiting them in their future as husband and wife.
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