These late nights.

I am up at 2:30am EST and have an abundance of things racing through my mind. It's during these moments that I feel most enthralled by the journey I've experienced that's led me where I am now. Over the past couple of years (almost 22 months exactly) since I was laid off from my architecture job, bits and pieces of fate, luck and God's guidance have created what I've come to appreciate as a real amazing life.

Consider these things... Here I am editing for a photographer, who just happened to need an editor around the same time I was laid off, be an old roommate of one of my old friends and be a photographer I was familiar with even though he was fairly new and I followed very few photographers. Amazing! Also, I'm sitting here in Atlanta in the living room of a girl who was so perfectly paired up with me while on a trip to Thailand/Cambodia that I impulsively decided to go on with a photographer whose blog I randomly found through reading another random blog of a photographer who happen to know my friend.  Amazing!

Through my little detour of being laid off, I rediscovered of my joy of capturing life's simple moments through a lens and the thrilling adventure of traveling.   I think about all the people I've photographed over the years, reliving their stories in my imagination.  My life since architecture replays in my mind...the 25+ destinations I've visited in the past two years; how much I've grown in my craft; the amazing people I've met--all because I was laid off two years ago. That's when I realize I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be right now, and I couldn't be happier.

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Life is good.

. p.s. the picture above is at the Oakland's A's coliseum parking lot. love the color of the setting sun.

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Vote for Me!

Bobby Earle is having a contest on his blog. Vote for my picture and I can get free web-hosting from Show-it Sites. If you leave a comment on his blog, you're entered to win Smugmug Pro and get unlimited file storage for a year!!!!! All you need to do is leave a comment on his blog that my picture (below) is your favorite!!! Help a girl out!

Giveaway one: This is for the attendants of the recent RPTE that we took to Thailand and Cambodia. The winner gets a free year of Showit Sites compliments of David Jay :) All they need is YOUR vote!

Showit is probably the most integral part of my business. I would be hard-pressed to think of a company that has benefited me more. If you can think it, you can do it with Showit (without needing to know html/flash/css code). I have a hard time figuring out why someone would use the other website options, to be honest...

Giveaway two: The next giveaway is for all of you who vote with a comment below (only on the blog -- not facebook or twitter). One commenter, chosen at random, will get a free year of Smugmug Pro! Compliments of Markham at Smugmug ;)

I've been using Smugmug for about 3 or 4 years now -- and I can't say a bad thing about them. In fact, I can only say great things about them! Their customer service is out of this world. I remember having some question at like 3am one time a few years ago -- within the hour I had an answer from a top Smugmug guy (Andy) on the Dgrin forum. I've met personally with the people who run Smugmug and I can tell you that they care about one thing: Doing what they do to the best of their abilities so that photographers who use them can have more success. They're amazing people.

Now, for those of you that don't know, here's a few quick reasons that I love Smugmug... Store (literally) UNLIMITED photos. Backed up by Amazon. Upload and display stunning Hi-Definition video clips. Powerful image protection including custom watermarking. Set your own prices for prints & gifts and earn profit from sales.

RPTE 43: Bangkok Boogy.

Raddest Photo Trip Ever Day 18: Bangkok

When we finally reached Bangkok, we took the subway to the Chatuchak Weekend Market and I grabbed this picture of some of the RPTE people. Dane was giving me the finger, but for the sake of innocent, virgin blog eyes, I photoshopped it out. :) But if you click the picture for a larger view and look real closely at the reflection in the background you can see Dane giving the finger. ha!

I think we were talking about the silk pocket incident. :)

Something green an pretty at the market.

Last but not least, Amy! Love ya!

To see other pictures from other photographers on this trip check these out..... Bobby Earle // Richelle Dante // Erika Lindroth Amy Martin // Katie Lewis

RPTE 41: Wowzas!

Raddest Photo Trip Ever Day 16: Siem Reap, Cambodia

Boy. It's been more than a month, and I haven't finished posting pictures of my Thailand/Cambodia trip. I'm on day 16 and there were a total of 19 days! On this particular day in Camodia, our tuk-tuk drivers took us to two interesting spots they chose for us. The first was a waterfall and some underwater ruins. The second was another temple, but pretty different from the ones we had been seeing.

*Make sure you click on the pictures for a larger view.

One of the best parts of this day was the relaxing and scenic drive.

This one of my favorite pictures. I had to hang off the side of the tuk-tuk to this picture...

Here's the waterfall.

Here's more of that beautiful drive.

Here's the temple we went to. Gorgeous.

A young girl trying to sell us scarves

Here are some cute children trying to make a living.

Look how red the sun is! I didn't process this one.

I got these shots by the night time market.

To see other pictures from other photographers on this trip check these out..... Bobby Earle // Richelle Dante // Erika Lindroth Amy Martin // Katie Lewis

RPTE 40: Angkor WHAT?!

Raddest Photo Trip Ever Day 15: Siem Reap, Cambodia

(click on the images below for a larger view!)

We woke up at the butt-crack of dawn to get this picture of Angkor Wat and it was completely worth it.. considering I only had two hours of sleep!

I loved that Erin was wearing pink in at Angkor Wat

Can you tell I like the same things? I just love little pictures like this.

Stunning. I love architecture.

I love the sun + architecture.

Wall carvings + collumnade reminds me of an italian piazza!

I spy an Erin!

What's wrong, Bobby? I was going to leave the temple early, but Erin convinced me stay (thank goodness!) because I'm so glad I saw this moment. Priceless. A bit sad, a part funy, but very memorable!

a cutee little boy who was trying to solicit us.

Another cute local

After our morning at THE Angkor Wat, we spent the day relaxing, shopping and hanging out. Cambodia is really a great place to explore. Not to mention, riding around in a tuk-tuk is the best way to really view the country quickly.

That night we headed out to visit an orphanage. Our tuk-tuk drivers drove us while the sun set. We got to an area that seemed like our destination until our driver started to duck into some sketchy looking alleys. Finally, I could hear children! Our tuk-tuks were rushed by kids laughing and greeting us. I felt like a superstar.

The kids put on an amazing dance show for us, then we spent the rest of the night getting to know them and dancing!

This one little girl was the sweetest. She kept telling everyone I was her sister. After this experience, I definitely felt touched and felt like I would totally love to adopt a child when I got a family.

Here's a shot of one of the girls dancing during the show. I couldn't decide if I liked it monochrome or in full-color. What do you think?

To see other pictures from other photographers on this trip check these out..... Bobby Earle // Richelle Dante // Erika Lindroth Amy Martin // Katie Lewis