iPhonegraphy: LA Marathon Edition

I FINALLY DID IT!  I ran a my first full marathon!

I’ve trained 4 times before.  And I’ve failed 4 times.  I had every excuse under the sun:  knee injury, deadlines, new puppy, you name it. Once even I gave up training because I wanted to sit on my butt and eat chicken wings.

But it finally happened at the Asics LA Marathon on Sunday March 9th.

I take that back.  It didn’t just happen. This time around I worked my butt off for it.

After months of long runs and carb loading (pasta diet is the best diet ever btw) I lined up with 21,828 runners to begin a 26.2 mile trek.  From the start I channeled my marathon spirit animal: the tortoise.  It didn’t matter how long it took, my only goal was to finish.

Taking it slow and steady I was able to soak much of the LA scenery as the course winded from Dodger Stadium down to the Pacific Ocean.  Even with all the awesome neighborhoods, the best sights were the people.  A few other characters along the way:

  • Runner in a Aztec warrior costume.  Wearing sandals too.
  • The pro speed walker who was passing up runners left and right (me included.)
  • Group of grandmas, wearing too much makeup and neon fanny packs, supporting each other to the finish line.
  • Little kids holding up signs way too big for them to cheer runners on.
  • Firefighters using fire hoses to cool off runners in the 81 degree weather.
  • Teen wearing a shirt that said: “I run this race for someone who can’t.”

As the hours passed I lost all interest in the surroundings as switched my attention to convincing my feet to move forward. Miles 20-24 were hard. My feet were saying, ‘ouch what the hell.’  My brain was thinking, ‘it would be wise to stop now.’  My heart shouted, ‘don’t listen to those other two and keep going.’

When I finally saw the ocean around the 25 mile mark, I don’t what came over me but I cried. And I cried hard.

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to put down in words the crazy emotional wave that came over me upon realizing that this crazy life goal of mine was about to be checked off my bucket list.  The feeling that I could do anything I set my mind to.  Believing I was unstoppable.  Yeah it was a beautiful feeling.

Still crying, I picked up my pace to cross the finish line. My time was an hour and a half more than I anticipated but I didn’t care. I finished. I could now call myself a marathon runner. =)

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left to right, top to bottom:

  1. A stranger salutes during the singing of the Star Spangled banner at Dodger Stadium
  2. Palm trees: The view above me for much of the race.
  3. Running by the beautiful Disney Building
  4. I’m in Hollywood baby!
  5. Getting some motivation from local cheerleaders in front of Mann’s Chinese theatre.
  6. Running on the Walk of Fame
  7. Lots of great street art everywhere
  8. My shiny medal
  9. Relaxing at the beach post marathon. Can’t feel my feet anymore at this point.

Not pictured: My post marathon meal, a bacon wrapped hot dog.

Barrett Family Welcomes Baby Max

Confession. I talk to myself when editing photos. “Gotta adjust the exposure, add a vignette here…”   Mumbo jumbo like that.  While editing this session the only phrases coming out of my mouth were:

‘Sooooooooo friggin cute.’

“What a squishy butt!”

“Wook at those wittle feet.”

My husband gave me the strangest looks as I baby talked to my computer monitor.  It was full blown cutegasm mode. This may have been my first newborn session (and to be honest my first family session ever) but based on my reaction it certainly won’t be the last.

Thank you John and Sarah for welcoming me into your home to capture these beautiful tender moments between parents and baby.  It was an honor to photograph these early memories of the Barrett couple transforming into the Barrett family.  From my short time hanging out with you guys it was obvious that little baby Max is going to be surrounded by so much love on his journey to becoming tall and mighty Max.

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Welcome to the world baby Max!

Cherish and Laxman Japanese Garden Engagement

She went to his birthday party.

He got the best present of all…

Her phone number.

The rest is history.

The title reads engagement pictures, but they should really read ‘my camera can predict the future’ pictures. Haha. No really, even though they were not yet engaged during the time of this shoot, it was easy to see by the way that Laxman’s fingers lovingly brushed the curls out of Cherish’s eyes that this relationship was headed into forever territory.  They were so easy to photograph because not only were they gorgeous (and kind) human beings, their PDA was the perfect balance between intensity and tenderness. I just loved photographing these two.

And I’m so happy to hear about the recent engagement news! Best wishes for the both of you!  =)

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After the Tea Party

Mina absolutely mesmerized me with her eyes during our Tea Party photoshoot.  As we wrapped up, her guy joined us for a sip of tea and an impromptu couple shoot.  These two were so goofy and fun, quickly our zen little tea drinking session turned into a all out pillow fight battle. Loved it!

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Ives and Twan Stern Grove Engagement

 “Driftin’ on a mem­ory
Ain’t no place I’d rather be
Then with you.”
–Isley Broth­ers

We each have a place where love lives. Where our thoughts drift to when we need to get back to our happy place. In Ives and Twan’s case, it’s the place where love began.  For their engagement shoot, they revisited their green sanctuary in the middle of the city, Stern Grove park.  It was here, way back when their smartphones were Nokias, that they were head over heels in love high school sweethearts who proudly carved names into public property for each other during after school adventures.

The years have passed and the original name carvings have long faded away, but other than that not much else has changed because these two are just as smitten with each other as ever before.   From my short time hanging out with these two, it was clear that their daily life must be filled with melody, laughter, and chemistry.  I just loved the way they were effortlessly affectionate with one another.   Can you say meant to be?

Speak­ing of meant to be. Those base­ball shots at the end were completely unplanned.  It was purely coincidental that while wear­ing head to toe Giants gear (they are huge fans that bleed black and orange) they spotted this random ball half tucked into the brush.  What luck!  I don’t know how that ball got there, but I have no doubt that it was meant to be found by them and them only.

Ives and Twan, I truly enjoyed photographing your adventure at the grove.  Best wishes for your 2014 wedding and beyond.  =)

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