Category Archives: Photography

Millstatt Am See, AUSTRIA

I spent the week at the Schloss Heroldeck castle for my first time in Austria. 

 

It was rainy most of the time, but I was glad for the escape from humidity. And rainy days are perfect for cappuccinos and shoots anyway. I’d been wanting to try my friend Gioele’s cappuccinos here forever, so the rain provided the perfect atmosphere.

  

 

I tend to shoot in harsh sunny weather in Arizona, so the rain and diffused light was fun to shoot a different mood. And a good excuse to be in the rain while everyone sought cover and umbrella. Spent one for the first afternoons shootig with an old friend I was reconnecting with, Tyler. 

 

The time at the castle was a great opportunity to make new friends. Like Michal and Annie who I connected with so well for our similar life stages. 

  

I often spent a meal with Michal and Annie, and one of my favorite conversations with them was just prior to this candid in which Michal was dancing. 

 

While here I got to reconnect with some old friends like Jake and Sharon who I also spent a meal or coffee with, and an afternoon at the lake with. 

  

  

  

A few days in, me and Michal walked 20 minutes into town. 

 

It was a dark and rainy day. We picked a bouquet of flowers along the way.

  

  

Michal knew the tiny town well as she’s been coming every summer for the last 17 years, so she took me around and we walked down to the park and lake.

 

 

In the center of town there was a walled in beautiful courtyard and cathedral that we wandered around and shot in. 

  

  

  

 

She then took me to her favorite ice cream spot. Ice cream on rainy days is my favorite, so I was glad for it, and to return a couple days later through the pouring rain with Jake and Sharon. 

 

  

On our last day, I got a snap chat invite from Tyler to go shooting with him and Dany around the castle. It was fun to have one last creative shoot in Austria before leaving. 

  

  

 

Tucson AZ

Spent my Sunday day tripping to Tucson with Cadence. It was a great way to weekend.

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Cadence had been craving prep & pastry so that was the excuse for the trip, which I was glad for as I’ve heard so much about this spot and have been wanting to try it. So upon arriving in Tucson, it was our first stop. As with most popular spots on the weekend, we were put on a 45 minute waiting list. Absolutely fine with us: we spent the time well exploring the area on foot and by camera.

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We arrived back to prep & pastry ready to brunch. I got the breakfast poutine based off seeing it on another table. It was a great choice: house made fries topped with pork belly, duck fat gravy, cheese and two over easy eggs. This spot does rich well. They have not so heavy fare as well: my friend got a sweet potato hash that she had drove all the way from Phoenix to get, so I assume that means phenomenal. And the rest of the menu looked like must try’s so I’m sure that’s more excuse to come back once again.

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After brunch we grabbed Cadence’s friend London. I always go by the rule “always always hang with a local” when traveling. London was one of those people you become friends with instantly. No awkward. And really, Traveling is all about the new friends you make, plus, the local knows all the spots and can give you perspective on the city. I learned the draw for locals to the grunge of the appropriately named “Dirty T.” I had never understood this before so it was absolutely fascinating to learn the Tucson culture.

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Our first stop was coffee, so we went to Cartel, which I was glad for as this was the last Cartel I had never been to. And now my new favorite from the wood, exposed brick, deer heads, succulents and lots of natural light.

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We grabbed our coffee to go and walked Downtown Tucson’s Congress Street for a photo adventure. If it hadn’t already been a favorite from the food and pretty spots, it now would be for the abandoned alleys and stumble upons.

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Afterward we went to Time Market. Another spot I heard a lot about and needed to visit. It was a neighborhood market grocer. Included in the building was a restaurant serving brick oven pizza, a coffee bar serving Verve espresso, and selling retail coffee greats such as Intelligentsia, Verve, Stumptown and Heart. We headed back to Congress Street for Diablo Burger. My favorite item here is the SeƱor Smoke: ancho grilled onions, grilled avocado, bacon, cilantro and Sriracha mayo. Definitely a must try.

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We sat at the window with a view of Congress Hotel. (Another great spot for eating by the way.)

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We headed to the other Tucson Cartel location for more caffeine to energize our late night adventuring in Tucson with London and his friend Ian, and our drive home later that night.

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Queen Creek, AZ – Olive Mill and Nursery

Queen Creek is a small city on the southeast edge of the Phoenix Metro area. A lot of families will move out to Queen Creek for the affordability of large nice housing, and then commute for work, and even culture. But there is one spot I’ve been hearing about for years that is in Queen Creek, and draws a lot of people to commute out there: The Queen Creek Olive Mill.

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The Queen Creek Olive Mill is a local olive grove where olives are locally harvested and sold in jars of stuffed olives, flavored olive oils and vinegars, tapenades. They also have a restaurant and coffee bar.

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I’ve been wanting to visit this place for years, and on seeing that a new friend of mine frequented here, I found the perfect opportunity to finally visit this place and grow a new friendship with Kaeli.

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We met inside at the coffee bar. When you first walk in you pass through the grocery part of the store and the spot to order at the restaurant on the right, and then the coffee bar is on the left.

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It’s been hot here in Arizona so we both got iced coffees. I got a caramel iced latte and really liked that they used Ghirardelli sauce. Their espresso was smooth and light, with an enjoyable hint of acidity. We sat at a large community table with stools and talked for hours of who we were and where we had come from. It was a depth to our new friendship.

We continued in realizing we have similar life situations that others don’t often understand us for, as we drove to the Queen Creek Nursery to photograph and look at plants.

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I don’t remember the last time I have been to a nursery,  but I had been craving it, especially with the recent trend of portraits of people and succulents in nurseries.  Definitely loved photographing here.

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We returned back to the Olive Mill where I bought a sandwhich for lunch.

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I then browsed through the store while I waited for them to make it. Everything in the store is gift worthy since it is all local, packaged well, and unique. By unique, I mean there is wide selection to buy something you can’t get anywhere else. The selection of tapenades, for example, ranged from Sweet Red Pepper Olive Tapenade, Caramelized Onion and Fig Tapenade, Artichoke and Roasted Garlic Tapenade, to Green Olive Pate, and more. Everything can be sampled. The Carmelized Onion and Fig was definitely my favorite as it was a bit on the sweeter side.

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The jarred olives also had plenty of variety being stuffed with jalapenos and cheeses and citrus. I came the week before Father’s Day and had been thinking for weeks what to get my dad, and while browing through, I found the perfect gift of jarred olives.

I only waited a few minutes before I was buzzed to pick up my sandwhich. I ordered the Kalamata which is Olive Mill Kalamata salami, Genoa salami, capicola, herb roasted tomatoes, seasonal greens, provolone, red onion with White Balsammic & Herb Cream on grilled baguette. The ingredients were very straight forward, but the overall flavors were rich, much like the food I found in Italy made with quality ingredients. They had plenty of things to try on their menu, so I would like to return and try their other sandwhiches and bruschetta, and try their breakfast menu which uses the tapenades and sauces that they sell in their store.

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I feel like this is such a great place to support local economy. Apparently in the winter they are packed with business from tourism and those who migrate to Arizona for the winter. I think that as a local, it’s nice to be a tourist in your own back yard. To find what can only be found here, and then enjoy that. The Queen Creek Olive Mill is definitely one of those places.