Valio Con Personal Recap

Longtime no see, blog world! I’ve sincerely missed blogging and I’m striving to carve time out for it in my life again moving forward.

Now with the formal “Sorry for not posting in forever” intros out of the way, I want to pop in with an awesome update!

As those of you who follow me on Instagram and Facebook may have seen, I was recently honored with the opportunity to speak at Valio Con, a designer conference here in San Diego. It was my first speaking gig and such an exhilarating, inspiring experience. I met so many awesome people, listened in on talks from some incredibly talented creatives, and all-in-all spent 4 days soaking up a wealth of knowledge I can’t even begin to encapsulate in this one post.

Coming off the high of this past weekend, I’m super inspired to keep the momentum going and continue sharing my insights, experiences, and learned knowledge as a designer/photographer/creative of many talents.

While I impatiently wait for the recap videos to come out, I wanted to share a few points from some of my favorite talks.

Ash Huang closed us out on Thursday and her talk was by far my favorite of the first day. Even though this was a designer conference, Ash spoke on her experience writing and publishing her first fantasy novel – something that totally spoke to my long-lost writers heart. I absolutely loved her “why not?” attitude and her statement, “Don’t wait to be chosen.” So if there’s something you want to be doing, go out there and make shit happen. Even if it means scrapping everything and starting over, keep going for it.

The second talk I loved was the last talk of the conference from Alex Medina. He talked about his journey through music and design in the hip-hop scene. Coming from a migrant family living in New York, he didn’t let limits be his limitations. His mother challenged him, saying if she could finish school with her broken english, what was his excuse? I loved Alex’s pure passion for his work. One particular example really spoke to me. He designed the cover for Lecrae’s book Unashamed, and after designing several iterations, the publishers chose his least favorite option (as clients are notoriously wont to do). But that didn’t sit right with him and he knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if that was the cover that went out into the world. So he fought for a second chance to make something better, and mocked it up like crazy to prove it was the better option. He challenged all of us with the notion that we, as designers, are hired for a reason. We need to trust our instincts and be willing to stand up for them. Our ideas are valuable.

Anyways, make sure to check out these designers and the rest of the talented people listed on the Valio Con website. Their work is all so incredible and I’m still beaming from the opportunity be among them.

Janice & Victor’s Wedding

Janice and Victor, after over 2 years of being legally married, finally got to have the celebration of their dreams against the stunning backdrop of the San Bernardino Mountains. And the wait was well worth it. Every detail at their Serendipity Garden wedding was gorgeously styled, the sunset was on point, and the couple could not have looked more radiant. Photographing this eye-candy of a wedding was such a treat.

As always, couldn’t have done it without my second shooter, Paige Nelson.

Click to see full photo set ▶

Casey & Carly’s Wedding

Casey and Carly had one of the most beautifully emotional yet outrageously fun weddings I’ve had the privilege of photographing. Everything about their ceremony – from the gorgeous backdrop of San Diego Botanic Gardens, to the tearful vows – was absolutely picture perfect. The highlight of the day had to be Casey’s vows to their son Ryder. There was not a dry eye at the altar during that moment. These three have such a wonderful future ahead of them surrounded by the love and support of their incredible families. Congrats Casey, Carly, & Ryder! :)

Big thanks to my second shooter Paige Nelson.

Click to see full photo set ▶

Andy & Irina’s Wedding

Andy and Irina, dear friends of mine and some of the best looking people I know, had a gorgeous wedding at Booze Brothers Brewing Co in Vista. Every detail was hand-crafted by the abundantly talented friends and family who poured out their love onto this couple for their big day. And they deserved every bit of it – these two have such servants hearts, constantly giving all that they can to enrich the lives of others. It was a blast celebrating the start of their beautiful marriage.

As always, couldn’t have done it without my second shooter, Suzi Jacobs.

Click to see full photo set ▶

Snowy Adventures with Scout

On New Years Day, we headed up to Mount Laguna for a walk through the forest with Scout. I can’t think of a better way to kick off the new year than breathing in fresh mountain air with the late afternoon sun on our skin. Patches of snow clung to the shady spots in the meadow and underneath the trees. So Scout experienced her very first snow day! And let me tell you – you haven’t seen pure happiness until you’ve seen a cattle dog chasing pinecones through the snow. Not pictured are the handful of photos I took of her rolling uncontrollably and darting through the snow-covered grass, leaving flurries of ice behind her while we died laughing. If there’s one resolution I have this year, it’s to do more of this.