9 Photos from 2015


I did the “my best 9” thing on the website that assembles a grid of any Instagrammer’s most liked photos, but the ones I picked on my own mean a little more to me than just the number of likes; sharing moments spent with family, clicking the shutter button at the right time, and meeting friends along the way.

Thanks to all of you who have connected with me over the years including 2015. I am looking forward to share more stories with you in 2016.

California Winter

 Winters along the coast of Southern California can get mildly cold (it was freezing this morning though) and a little more than barely wet (especially during this drought.) The winter swells keep the surfers and photographers fully engaged.

That is part of my perspective on Winter because I spend time in the water trying to catch waves and take pictures whenever I’m close to sand, rocks, and ocean.  Although this part of the world only gets two seasons: warm-and-dry and cool-and-not-as-dry, I still appreciate the latter as much as the warmer one. Looking to stay engaged with winter all winter long.

Taking Pictures at the Beach

  This is a spot in Newport Beach, California. I surfed the little beach break they call Blackies earlier in the week, but this one afternoon I brought my family to walk around. When the kids saw the rocks it was inevitable that they would end up climbing on them.

As the kids were playing, I observed people taking turns taking pictures at the edge of the rocks. As I got closer, I saw one young lady walk cautiously further out towards the edge of the rocks before noticing her 2 friends. She posed and waited patiently for her friends to take the postcard picture, but they were preoccupied taking pictures of themselves. Blame it on the selfie stick.

Check out the visual essay on Steller

The Paths We Take


“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own,
and you know what you know.
And you are the only one who’ll decide where you’ll go.”~Dr. Seuss

How could you not love Dr. Seuss? I found this picture as I cleaned out my photo library on my phone. When I saw it, I went into “deep thoughts” mode.  Here are a few of my thoughts on the paths we choose in life:

  • Regardless of your theology, you are never alone. Why even try to do life by yourself? It is way more interesting to walk this journey with others.
  • Have a destination, even though many of you know it really is about the journey and not the destination.
  • With a destination in mind, walk with purpose in every step. They count whether they were wasted or not and you can’t take them back.
  • There is no shame in changing course at any of point of the journey if you realize you are going the wrong way.
  • Don’t avoid paths just because they are too challenging or risk pain. No pain. No gain.
  • Enjoy it.

I am sure that is just a fraction of the list, but my attention span is limited at the moment. What would you add to the list?

Behind the Scenes

A few months back I wrote about observing my wife, Shelley from Here Come The Blooms and other wedding and event professionals as they worked behind the scenes to do a styled photo shoot that was published in Strictly Weddings. I couldn’t resist doing a photo essay on Steller.

Surfer John


I met this surfer man at dawn
who introduced himself as John.
Hoping for waves but most were gone,
so he kept chatting looking to bond.

I studied where he parked his old ride.
His car was filled with older things inside.
I wondered if his belongings could share their pride.
What tales they’d tell and secrets they’d confide.

John said that he lived down the street
I gather he’s says that to all those he meets.
He’s really a millionaire being discreet.
Looking for someone to sit in his passenger seat.

To take on adventures up and down the coast
Taking surf safaris that only few can boast
My theory is that he’s got pockets deeper than most
searching for someone he could trust and host.

Then again, he could be this guy named John who wanted to surf, and I let my imagination get away to share on this post.

Walking Together


I see this lovely elderly couple almost every time I’m down here at the beach. A few months ago at this spot, I slipped into my wetsuit to surf, but my zipper in the back got stuck. I wasn’t flexible enough to reach my arms behind me to fix it, and the water was too cold to leave my wetsuit open. I walked towards the water looking for someone to help.

By the time I walked from the parking lot to the water, my friends were already surfing, so I saw the man you see in the picture walking along the beach with his wife.

I approached him and asked him to zip up my wetsuit. He quietly nodded with a hidden smile and zipped the suit up to the base of my neck. In his thick Asian accent he told me, “You need-a wife!” We all laughed at that moment, and his wife continued to giggle as they walked away. I watched them for a minute thinking about these kind strangers doing their daily walk together.

It was good to see them walking together this morning, and isn’t that the point of being married? Walking through life together? What does that look like for you?

p.s. Shelley, when you are reading this, I want you to know that I thoroughly enjoy walking this life together with you.

Notes: Shot with iPhone 6+ iOS camera and edited with VSCO E3. The pictorial version is on Steller https://steller.co/s/4k6typ7AVzS 

Thoughts on Throwback Thursday #tbt


I posted this picture on Instagram and FaceBook on Throwback Thursday. Who switched it anyways? I thought it was Flashback Friday.

My son and I walked through Venice Beach back in 2009 with a Canon Rebel. We were armed with a 2GB card for pics and $25 for lunch.

We had a fun time that day people watching and taking pics. He’s an adult now, so the question is, “Did I provide a lot of memories for future Throwback Thursdays?” Am I providing enough for my wife and daughters?

I think most of us agree that the things we attain and our accomplishments mean very little when we have no one to share them with. Our greatest investments will be time spent with those who are closest to us.

What are you doing to deposit memories in the bank for future Throwback Thursdays?