My Favorite Time to Travel

My Favorite Time to Travel

My favorite time to travel is the fall. The crowds are gone, the weather is still fantastic. The leaves are so many beautiful colors, and the air is crisp. It’s perfection. Unlike the last 2 times we’ve been to Germany, which it’s been January and freezing. This time, I’m going when the leaves are turning. The grapes are being picked, and the air is full of promise. And I’m so excited to say that I’ll be spending 2 weeks traveling through Europe this fall. Visiting Paris, traveling all over Germany and the Czech Republic to visit family. So far, my plans involve lots of cake and train travel. They involve wandering down cobblestone streets and packing light. I’m excited for my first solo trip to Europe in six years. I plan to catch up on the magic, and shoot it all on film. And I can’t wait to share it all with you sometime after I return. For now, a few photos from the last time I was in Europe in the fall.

img_3016 copyimg_3485 copyimg_2945 copy

Top & bottom – Berlin, middle – Vienna.

PS – I still wear that scarf. I picked it up the last time I was in Paris — in 2006.

Driving to Portland

Driving to Portland

Lately, it’s been hard for me to take personal photos. I find myself not wanting to take my camera along with me because then I go into “work” mode. So I snap dozens of photos on my phone and call it good. But as great as my phone is, it’s not the same. So I’m trying to shoot more film. That doesn’t mean I’m not using my digital, in fact, these photos from the drive are from my digital camera. But I shot only film in Portland, and so you’ll have to wait for those to be developed. [Side note: any good places to get film developed??]

We had a big truck (especially compared to our little cars) because H was going to a work conference. It was hilarious, you guys. I had to jump to get in and out of the truck. On the other hand, I had plenty of room for my new Ona bags Chelsea (seen with a beautiful screenprinted bag from Jen Hewett below), and the mirrors worked great for a car selfie. I’ll be blogging about both of the bags soon, once I’ve taken them for a good spin.

Visiting Portland OR // Emily Wenzel PhotographyVisiting Portland OR // Emily Wenzel PhotographyVisiting Portland OR // Emily Wenzel PhotographyVisiting Portland OR // Emily Wenzel PhotographyVisiting Portland OR // Emily Wenzel PhotographyVisiting Portland OR // Emily Wenzel Photography

I’ve talked about this a couple times before, but I use VSCO to edit all my images. I have LOVED using VSCO Film (I have pack #1), and over the past year, I’ve worked on a few presets that I really truly love. When they came out with their classic films pack (#5), I couldn’t resist. These are the first images I’ve used pack #5 on, and I’m really loving it.

Visiting the Windy City

Visiting the Windy City

Oh Chicago. You toyed with my affections.

First, it wasn’t easy to travel to your fair city. Although, I suppose I can’t blame you for that lightening storm in the Cascades, and the subsequent flights that were cancelled between Spokane & Seattle. All in all, we missed 6 flights (although I think there were only 3 flights that were cancelled/missed that we were actually booked on) the day we left for Chicago. Details.

Chicago, you seem like an interesting city. The University of Chicago campus was stunning. I was in love with Rockefeller Chapel & the ivy covered walls. There was that great little Greek place we at brunch at. Your deep dish pizza. But I could have done without the humidity. I guess I’m just too much of a West Coast kid. Humidity kills me.

Before we left, a few of us took an architectural boat tour of the city. That was pretty cool. If I was to live in Chicago, I’d want to live in one of those old brick warehouses that were converted to loft apartments.

All these photos are from the tour. Because of the craziness with travel, we spent more time catching up with friends than touring the city. And I’m okay with that. Half of these photos were taken by H, so I can’t take credit for all of them. Actually, I shoved a camera in his hand and told him to have fun with it.

Chicago Architectural Tour // Emily Wenzel PhotographyChicago Architectural Tour // Emily Wenzel PhotographyChicago Architectural Tour // Emily Wenzel PhotographyChicago Architectural Tour // Emily Wenzel PhotographyChicago Architectural Tour // Emily Wenzel PhotographyChicago Architectural Tour // Emily Wenzel PhotographyChicago Architectural Tour // Emily Wenzel PhotographyChicago Architectural Tour // Emily Wenzel PhotographyChicago Architectural Tour // Emily Wenzel PhotographyChicago Architectural Tour // Emily Wenzel PhotographyChicago Architectural Tour // Emily Wenzel PhotographyChicago Architectural Tour // Emily Wenzel PhotographyChicago Architectural Tour // Emily Wenzel PhotographyChicago Architectural Tour // Emily Wenzel PhotographyChicago Architectural Tour // Emily Wenzel PhotographyChicago Architectural Tour // Emily Wenzel PhotographyChicago Architectural Tour // Emily Wenzel PhotographyChicago Architectural Tour // Emily Wenzel PhotographyChicago Architectural Tour // Emily Wenzel Photography

H took the photo of me. At first, I wasn’t going to include it, but I had to point out that you can see my freckles!

And that black & white photo three images up? H took that as well. I’m in love with it.

Rafting the Deschutes — Maupin, OR

Rafting the Deschutes — Maupin, OR

In August, we escaped for a weekend away with my family to Eastern Oregon. We drove down to Maupin, and spent a couple days in the area, rafting the Deschutes River and visiting Hood River. We ate lots of good food and soaked up the sunshine. The trip was far too short, and I’m already scheming about when we’ll fit it in next year. On our way home, we swung by the Columbia Gorge Discovery Museum just outside the Dalles. The first two photos are from our raft trip, taken with the little waterproof camera. The rest are from the museum, which I’d totally visit again. The museum caught my eye when we drove down to Maupin,so we stopped on our way back. They have some great displays of early native American work, along with a cool interactive exhibit hall depicting early life on the Columbia.

Side note(s): we rafted the Deschutes with Imperial Rafting Company. It’s the second time we’ve rafted the Deschutes (the first time was in 2006), and both times, I’ve loved the service and people at IRC. We also stayed at their hotel and the location can’t be beat. Also, if you’re in Hood River at breakfast time, I highly recommend Egg River Cafe. It’s busy, but good. Neither company has any idea I’m saying nice things about them, but I had to say them all the same.

Rafting the DeschutesRafting the DeschutesColumbia Gorge MuseumColumbia Gorge MuseumColumbia Gorge MuseumColumbia Gorge MuseumColumbia Gorge MuseumColumbia Gorge Museum

WDS 2013: Letting Go

WDS 2013: Letting Go

Champagne Toast WDS 2013

(c) Armosa Studios

Earlier this month, I watched Tess Vigeland get up on stage and say that she left her dream job at NPR because she had “too much self respect to stay.” And I choked up, because I understood. I saw Chase Jarvis expound on the importance of creativity, of artistry, and how there is a lack of it in our culture. And my heart ached, because I know that school system too well. I watch Steve Schalchlin played the piano, singing songs he wrote after almost dying of AIDS. And I cried. Because life is about living every moment to the fullest.

Last year, WDS made me realize that I wanted to be a photographer. Full time. Not as a hobby. And I knew I wanted to do it in Spokane. So, here I was a year later, working at a photographer and moving to Spokane. Check and check. And I watched Tess say that she quit her job. That people asked her “what’s next?” and she didn’t know. Because when you’ve accomplished those goals, what’s left? And I felt her words echo in my heart. Saying things I couldn’t have verbalized.

Last year, WDS sparked something in me. And I took that something and ran with it, straight into my business. This year, I was expecting the same, but it never came. I thought, what if I have no other business goals? I do, and I know that I do. Because I want to do more with my business. And I know that. But those are little goals. What is my next big goal?  What if I don’t have any more goals? Obviously, the lack of sleep was turning me into a drama queen. So I asked myself, what did I learn this year?

Moments matter.

When I think back on WDS 2013, the difference is that it’s more about the people, and less about the message. Last year, I met so many wonderful people, but didn’t really keep in touch. And even though those people sparked so much change in my life, I didn’t feel like was holding myself to those goals because no one in my everyday life knew about them. This year, my goal is to keep in touch. To create and grow those relationships. To be fully present in my life, living every moment. Not holding back.

As I danced Bollywood with 3,000 people and sang along to Journey with 1,000 others, I realized that my life is beautiful and wonderful. It is remarkable. And I can’t keep wishing for something else, I need to live the life I have. Don’t wish for a different life, find a way to make your own life amazing.

PS – You can read the transcript of Tess Vigeland’s talk here.

Here, There, & Everywhere

Here, There, & Everywhere

The last few weeks have been a little quiet around here. And it’s not because I have nothing to share. It’s really the opposite. I have so much to share that my mine flutters all over. I’m here, there, and everywhere right now. Dying to spill my guts about awesome projects and plans, but wanting to wait until they’re real. So this might be all over the place, but here’s what I have to say today.

In the past month, I’ve traveled all over this great state of Washington (and a little bit of Oregon). Really. I’ve been in Vancouver, Portland, Mattawa, Moses Lake, Spokane, Bellingham and all over in the Seattle area. I’m at the point where I think I’ve become part of my car (his name is Otto, by the way, and I love him). And beside a few phone shots, I haven’t used my camera that much when we’ve traveled. I even went to a wedding as a guest and it really made me think. It’s the first time I’ve been a wedding guest in over 3 years.

There’s more travel to come. I’ll be in Portland for WDS in July. July 4th-8th, to be exact. And not only am I attending the conference that sparked me to quit my job, but I’m doing a little work there too. So if you’re in Portland and in need of photos, let me know. I’m in the Portland area every couple months now and I’d love to head there even more often. I’ll also be in Chicago in September with time for one session. I could use some tips on what to see and where to eat. Since I’ve never done anything but madly dash through O’Hare to catch a connection.

What I’ve learned in the last few months is to let go. I’ve been trying to make plans, but time and time again, they’re changed. Life has been in constant flux, which has been hard for me. I’ve struggled to accept that, but I’m realizing that I need to let go. I don’t need to plan everything, because it’ll work out. Eventually. And life will take me where I need to go. Like going out to dinner with friends without a watch or my phone. And just letting go. Or going to the park and snapping a few photos on a Monday.

I’ve been doing more of my work on paper lately. Writing out my ideas and sketching out plans. I find it helps me think better. I’m also working on slowing down. An editing tweak that I spent a few hours working on yesterday. A new font that I haven’t yet fulling decided I want. Slow down, my heart is telling me, and find what you really want. Do not be swayed by those around you. Don’t let the noise distract you from the music. Follow your heart. And then…let go. Just be.