adventure

Best of 2016

I know everyone always says this, but I'm going to say it anyway. I can't believe a year has already gone by! This year in particular seemed to go by in the blink of an eye and, looking back, I can see why. (Sorry for the unintentional rhyming). On New Year's Eve last year, I sat down and created a list of intentions for 2016...something I haven't done in years past. I have to say that I feel like I had a completely new experience after doing this. It was amazing to see things I put on my "2016 Bucket List" come to life. Lay in a hammock in Bali...check. Take a calligraphy class...check. See Northern Lights...check check. Set your intentions people! There was one thing on my list, "Fall in love." I looked at it a few days ago and thought to myself, "Well, that didn't happen." But then I thought about it again. I actually did "fall in love." Looking back on 2016, I realized this year was huge for me in personal growth and working on self love. For the first time in a long time, I feel much more clear on how to love myself, how to set boundaries in personal relationships and stand by how I want to be treated, and, most importantly, having a clearer understanding of my self worth. I think this is an ongoing process for sure, but learning to fall in love with myself and treat myself with kindness has been one of the best relationships I've ever been in.

I played, I worked my ass off, I met amazing people and cultivated very precious friendships. My theme for 2016 was "Service." I asked myself, "How can I serve others?"  I think giving is one of the most important things a person can do in their lives. I gave all of myself to my clients and my business. Which leads me to my theme for next year, "Balance" AND "Letting go of limiting self beliefs." Next year I will be working on maintaining a better balance of work and personal relationships...making it a priority to make time for friends and "personal" time. I will also be working hard on letting go of playing small and releasing the fearful beliefs that hold me back from dreaming BIG. I'm excited to see where that takes me!


 

I started off 2016 in Fairbanks, Alaska with my besties Mark and Christine. We played in the snow and went dog sledding. We were even able to check "See Northern Lights" off our Bucket Lists on New Years Eve. What an amazing way to start the year! You can check out more images from our trip here. Photos by Christine Chang, Mark Groves, and/or myself. taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_alaska_northern_lights_travel_photography_0050taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_alaska_northern_lights_travel_photography_0051taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_alaska_northern_lights_travel_photography_0047taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_alaska_northern_lights_travel_photography_0049taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_alaska_northern_lights_travel_photography_0048

 

I rented a bright orange jeep with some friends and went on an epic road trip adventure up the Central Coast. Whenever I'm feeling uninspired I plan a trip and it makes me feel totally refreshed both mentally and creatively. Photos by Christine Chang, Katrina Jayne, and/or myself.

taylor_kinzie_photography_central_coast_road_trip_0062taylor_kinzie_photography_central_coast_road_trip_0063taylor_kinzie_photography_central_coast_road_trip_0064The biggest highlight of my year was planning a trip to Bali. I had felt called to travel there for a long time and the trip was absolutely life changing...I even got my first tattoo! (sorry mom) Bali is such a magical place and I would recommend it to anyone who thinks they can brave the 23 hour flight time. Check out more images from our trip here. Photos by Shaina Weiss, Anthony Weiss, Brandon Haws, and/or myself.

taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_bali_travel_photography_0055taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_bali_travel_photography_0054I was lucky enough to shoot a wedding in New York in July 2016. I hadn't been to New York since college so it was a really different experience the 2nd time around. New York is such an amazing city but I don't think I could live there. I'm an open spaces kinda girl. Photos by Sarah Zimmer and/or myself.

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taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_joshua_tree_travel_0052taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_joshua_tree_travel_0053One of the highlights of my career thus far was getting to shoot at Taft Point in Yosemite. I didn't know I was afraid of heights until this moment. It was SO terrifying but such a rush at the same time. I could hear the echo of my voice as I directed my couple to move closer to the edge of a cliff. Crazy! Photos by Kylie Nicholson and/or myself.

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Thanks to all for your love and support. Can't wait to get started on 2017 with you! Cheers to making new memories!

 

Julie and Kyle | Engaged {Mammoth, CA}

Julie and Kyle both love adventure and the outdoors and will be getting married in Yosemite this October. It seemed like the most obvious choice to shoot their Engagement Session in the gorgeous mountains near Mammoth, California. We planned for everything from wardrobe to various locations. When we saw rain in the forecast, we decided to plan to shoot as scheduled and hope for the best. When I met them at our first planned location at Convict Lake, it was literally pouring rain. I pulled up to their car, rolled down my window, and said, "Well, it's raining." The look on their faces was full of worry and disappointment. I knew I had to come up with a plan, fast.

Luckily, I had come from an area where it hadn't been raining so we decided to drive in that direction and chase the light. You can see that our first stop was still a bit drizzly. If you look closely you can see the raindrops falling on Julie and Kyle. They were so great and just went with the flow, laughing it off and continuing to smile.

As we continued to our next location, I could see the clouds start to part and the sun started shining. Off in the distance, I saw an open field with a beam of radiant light shining down on it. I have driven by this area probably 100's of times (I've been to Mammoth a lot in my lifetime) and I've never thought to explore there. So, in photographer's fashion, I pulled off onto a random road and started driving towards that light. What we discovered was so much better than any location we could have planned for. Roadways with epic trees arching over them, fields of irises, a rope swing...a rope swing for crying out loud! When I met with the couple at our consultation, Julie had mentioned to me that she and Kyle had been working on their "frolicing" skills in preparation for their Engagement Session. I'm so glad we found the perfect grassy field for you two to frolic in.

This experience was such a reflection of life for me. Sometimes you can plan for things, but, ultimately, you just have to let go and let the Universe deliver gifts that are so much better than you could have ever imagined.

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Adventures in Bali

How strange it is to be stagnant in stillness for 18 hours all the while watching the world fall behind. You peer through a tiny window as you punch through the sky, forward in time, anticipating memories you’ve yet to make. I’ve always been one to look forward. Always sitting still, but never being here. I do not travel seeking stillness, but rather to satiate the sweet addiction to finally feeling that the daydreams in my mind are in alignment with reality. I had been dreaming of Bali. There is a line from a movie called Hector and the Search for Happiness that says, “There is a big difference between being here, and being here to be photographed being here.” On the second day of our trip, my camera wouldn’t turn on. I had spent months planning the kinds of images I hoped to get on this trip. In all honesty, I had initially planned this trip for the sole purpose of taking pictures. After trying everything I could think of to bring my baby back to life, I eventually came to the realization that I may need to continue the rest of the trip without being able to take photos. Although I tried to hide it, my heart was completely broken. Little did I know I would learn a very important lessons from this.

The day went on without my camera by my side and I continued to endure the torture of letting moments slip away. It seemed that, unless captured in my camera, they were moments wasted. I don’t know when it happened, but at some point I took a deep breath and let it go. I wish I could remember what it was, but something cool was happening outside the car window as we were driving and I missed the shot because my camera wasn’t working. I contently smiled and said, “Some moments aren’t meant to be captured.”

My camera started working again the next day, but for the rest of the trip I didn’t feel as dependent on it. In fact, there were a lot of moments that escaped my viewfinder. Instead of being sad I “missed the shot”, I simply reveled in knowing that particular moment was a gift just for me…not to be shared with anyone else’s eyes. Because sometimes capturing a feeling with your heart is more important than having the photo of it.

There are so many moments from this trip you will not see captured in my photographs. How do you capture the introduction to the feeling of driving in a country with no stop lights? The responsibility of allowing someone to trust you with their deepest secrets? The freedom in napping on a lounge chair under the stars in the middle of a crowded room? The thick, sticky air and how alive I felt to be swimming in it? The way your heart races when a wild animal allows you to see into its soul? The warmth of watching the reflection of the moonlight on a rice field? The gratitude you feel for people you don't even know? The connection you build with friends you spontaneously got your first tattoo with? I can do my best to try, but no matter how great my camera is, a photograph can never compare to being there. In it. Present in the deliciousness of feeling the energy of life's magic.

We went to Bali searching for answers to questions we could not find within ourselves. Hoping for some strange enlightenment that can only be discovered somewhere between the depths of a stranger’s smile and roads leading to deep, dark jungles. We ventured to the island of love, hoping to purify our bleeding hearts in the holy waters but were met with an uninvited truth. Our pain is not something that is meant to be cleansed. No, our pain is what makes us divine…beautifully broken masterpieces. We went to Bali to find direction and were met with the path towards the courage to keep our hearts open to love. We went to Bali in search of ourselves, but ended up finding each other.

Uluwatu:

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It was so humid in Uluwatu it was nearly impossible to wear clothes without sweating through them. Here I am sitting at Kelly's Warung, a cute little cafe with a beach view that served the best Pitaya Bowls. 

Seminyak:

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One of my favorite parts of Bali was the beautiful alley ways leading to mysterious places.            Ketut posing by the art in our AirBnB in Seminyak.

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Ubud:

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Ketut: Thank you for showing me what a truly pure heart looks like. I have never in my life met a more kind and gentle soul than yours. You truly made this trip better for us than we could have ever imagined and we will be forever grateful that you were part of it.

Brandon: I so admire your courage, your sense of honor, and the way you constantly strive to be a better version of yourself. Thank you for teaching me how to receive help from others without feeling weak, or proud, or underserving.

Shaina: I love the way your heart light shines. Your inner strength and the depth to which you love is so inspiring to me. I'm so excited to witness the evolution of your purpose.

Anthony: I'm so proud of you. I am in awe of the way you set your mind to achieving the intentions you create for yourself and how you want to live your life. I can always count on some good belly laughs whenever we are together and I am so grateful for our years of friendship. Thank you for inspiring me to live with passion.

Watch until the end for bloopers.

https://youtu.be/RsYNNdzfhNk

2015 {A Year in Pictures}

This year, what a year. 2015. You started off pretty rocky and showed me again and again the power of surrendering to what will be. You taught me that surrendering control of what I thought my life would be can only lead me to places I never had the courage to imagine for myself. You taught me that sometimes, even when things don't make sense, they always seem to come together in the beautiful tapestry of life's mystery. My 2015 was the year of "surrender." Over and over again, I surrendered. In that letting go, I was found. Looking back on the flurry of the last 12 months, I am filled with unbelievable gratitude for the gifts I've been given. I've had the opportunity to see the world doing what I love while also establishing some very cherished friendships along the way. This year has proven to me, more than anything, that the most important things in this life are the memories you create and the people you choose to surround yourself with. That, given a little time, everything works out the way it's supposed to. That this life is as grand, as wild, and as filled with wander as you can imagine. You are the architect of your own life. Build it big.

In March, I had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica to second shoot a wedding with my dear friend, Christine. Intimate Destination Weddings are my favorite. Check out the blog post here.

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I met some awesome adventure buddies. I was lucky enough to travel to Maui to shoot a wedding in April. I still dream of the crystal waters and can't wait to return. I worked with some pretty cool people and hopefully got them excited about my passion, too. I was lucky enough to travel to Yosemite for a beautiful wedding nestled in the trees. Click here to see all the pretty.  Here I am in Joshua Tree shooting Scott and Hayley's wedding.

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Probably one of the most significant parts of my year was becoming a dog mom. This small furry creature is the love of my life. I can't image my life without her. 

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Finishing the year off with an Alaskan adventure. Life is magic.                                                                                                                                                                 Where to next 2016?

Things You Can Learn About Love at the Bottom of the Ocean

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There are many things I have come to believe about love throughout my experiences with dating. Things I have learned from the hurt that can accompany love and things I have learned from the exquisite deliciousness of falling in love. Despite having gone through heartache, I have come to one shining and undeniable truth within myself...I believe in love and the power it has to connect us.


Several years ago, I was in the height of a new relationship and very much in love. The connection I felt for my then boyfriend was unlike any I had ever felt before. We started to finish each other's sentences, he would call me just as I reached for the phone to call him, and we could guess what the other was thinking more often than not. It seemed as if, amidst the static, we had each been searching all our lives through radio stations in our heads and had finally tuned into each other's. Something I refer to as "being on the same brain wave."

At one point in our relationship, we took a vacation together and decided to spend a day snorkeling while we were there. We pulled up to the desolate beach in our little rental car and headed toward the sand...no cell reception and in the middle of nowhere. He went in the water first with his goggles, snorkel, and flippers, resembling a giant sea creature, while I lazily napped on the sand. I laughed to myself as I watched him off in the distance, popping his head in and out of the water and exploring the depths of the ocean floor.

Eventually, I grew tired of napping (which is so unlike me) and threw on the snorkel gear I had been so adamant about packing in my tiny suitcase. I put my flippers on and awkwardly waddled my way into the ocean, the sound of my giggles muffled by the mouthpiece attached to my snorkel. He was pretty far away in the distance now so I figured I'd explore on my own for awhile.

I dunked my head under the surface of the water hoping to see some little "Nemo fish." My eyes slowly spanned the surface of the ocean floor and I watched the way the sand twisted gently amidst the rocking of the waves. Then suddenly a flare of something shiny off in the distance caught my eye.

"What is that?" I thought. "Maybe it's buried treasure!"

I steadily made my way  over to the object only to discover that it was just a set of keys. I thought how terrible it must have been for the person who lost them and how lucky they'd feel when I found them to return their recovered keys.

"HEY!" I yelled to him across the water. "Someone lost their keys! Can you believe that?!"

And then I saw the look of panic on his face as he frantically patted down his swim short pockets.

"Oh my God!" he said. "Those are OUR keys!"

We drove away that day unscathed and laughed the entire way back to our hotel about how screwed we would have been without the car keys.


I often think back to that story and wonder if it was just a coincidence that I found our tiny set of keys at the bottom of the ocean or if something had led me to them. Either way, the experience taught me a lot about love.

I believe love is a rarity to find and the connection we share with those we love is limitless. I believe this world is a really big place and the search for our "other" may take a bit longer than I'd hoped. I believe the miracle of finding love can be a lot like finding your keys at the bottom of the ocean.