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  • Hello. Welcome to my blog!

    Please check out our new fine art photography and graphic design business! www.paulandjewel.com

    This blog is no longer active but it is a great chronicle through my initial first few years as a photographer. The blog started while I was at photography school in Massachusetts, covers my time working in Florida and Georgia, and chronicles our recent 6 month adventure working with orphans in Thailand. Thanks for visiting!

Category Archives: Personal

6 months in Thailand + exciting next steps in America

Paul and I have been back in America for two weeks and we’re already missing our dear young friends from The Home of Joy like crazy. Its pretty difficult to paraphrase 6 full months of living and working in Thailand. It changed us.

Through the highs, lows, communication barriers, laughter and tears we connected with some truly incredible young people. The children taught us how to live more in the beauty of the present moment. They taught us to really appreciate the simple joys in life every day. We acquired a new sense of gratitude. We saw the horrible dangers of apathy.

140 children found their way into our hearts and helped to strengthen our faith, our love for one another and our commitment to a life together full of service. I’m so glad that we were able to spend our first months of marriage having this experience. More photographs to come.

What are our next steps? For the next few weeks we’ll be visiting with some of our much-missed friends and family across the U.S. and re-adjusting to the Western world. Then, for the next couple of months, we’ll be in Oregon working hard on all of our new business plans and materials. In a few months we plan to move to the Santa Barbara area to plant roots and start a new photography and design company together! We will never forget our friends in Thailand and hope to return for a visit someday. They will always inspire us. I hope you enjoy seeing some of their beautiful faces in these portraits that I made! Love and peace.

Orphanage Photo Class Progress – Our Thailand Home

Paul and I decided to spend 6 months in Thailand to help the Baan Unrak Children’s Home in any way that we could. Since October, we’ve been involved in lots of different projects and tasks here (with varying success) like relief work, sponsorships, fundraising, communications, IT, video-making, teaching, social media, art projects, supervising, etc. But planning and teaching our own Teen Art-Photography Class has really been what makes my heart sing (besides making the little ones giggle, of course). When you’re passionate about something, its such an amazing feeling to be able to share that joy.

After receiving enough used cameras and supplies from several generous sponsors a month ago (thank you, again!), we started the class. We will be teaching it for two more months before we need to leave. The group of 12 students meets twice a week. During the week we meet for an hour and a half for a lesson in the library, and on Sundays we go out for a three or four hours on field trips in the area. The students have trance-like concentration and their faces often light up so beautifully with joy and pride throughout our sessions.

Below are some photos I took of the teens during our past couple of field trips, but what you should really see is their own stunning work on the Baan Unrak facebook page. We have also started an etsy page for them to sell their very best art prints, profits going directly to funds for the young photographers. We hope that you enjoy their work and that you will help spread the word about their etsy shop. Love and peace!

Bangkok, Thailand

Hello! Getting to Bangkok was exhausting. We drove from Ashland to San Francisco (6 hrs), stayed the night, flew from San Francisco to Tokyo (11 hrs) and after a layover (4 hrs) we finally flew from Tokyo to Bangkok (6 hrs). After a good long sleep, we awoke to a blessing of sunshine and spent the day slowly exploring Bangkok zombie-style. The city was massive, but the areas we saw were surprisingly tranquil. These photos are from a boat trip through the canals and a visit to Wat Pho, Temple of the Reclining Buddha. The 2nd, 5th and last are Paul’s photos!

The next posts will be our rainy visit to the island of Koh Chang and our explorations of Kanchanaburi. Since the rainy season is lasting a long time this year and much of the country has severe flooding we decided to travel more later on. We are heading to Sangklaburi and will be starting at the orphanage a little early!

Leaving for Thailand!

The past couple of months have been beautiful and full of changes. Paul and I left Savannah, drove West across the country, got married on the Oregon Coast, enjoyed Ashland and explored Portland, then fell in love with the Californian coastline. Now it’s finally time to board our plane to Thailand where we’ll be doing service work at the Baan Unrak orphanage! We will be with the orphanage for at least six months and will be able to travel around a little as well. We are so grateful for this opportunity and hope that we will be useful there. Paul and I will both post some of our experiences and photographs here on this blog to share with anyone who wants to follow along on our journey. For now, just a couple of phone snapshots.

About to leave for the airport!

 

If I look different, its just the hair. I just had my hair cut to donate to the American Cancer Society. I’m pretty anxious for it to start growing back but I’m sure the cut will be practical for traveling around in such a hot climate.

 

we are married!

Paul and I are married! Our little celebration was full of blessings and laughter with our loved ones; absolutely perfect in my eyes. I could not be happier to be Paul’s wife. Here’s a little sneakpeak blogpost of our wedding photos by Jade and Matthew Take Pictures! Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.

Great American Roadtrip – Suggestions?

Next week we’re saying goodbye to Savannah and embarking on a coast to coast roadtrip! Savannah, Georgia to Ashland, Oregon. We will be moseying along, appreciating America, hiking, seeking out unusual/beautiful places, taking tons of photographs and sleeping in our tent when we can. We would LOVE some suggestions on what to see/do along this general route! Any interesting places to photograph, stay, camp, eat, hike, etc.? There will be a huge Uhaul attached to the Volvo so that will keep things interesting…

Read about our roadtrip and see our photos in the travels section.

this is us! our own engagement portrait experience

Since I am a wedding photographer and I’m getting married next month (!) people have been asking me, “Now, who is photographing your wedding?” Each time, I’m delighted to reply that Paul and I hired Savannah fine-art photographers Jade and Matthew Take Pictures for our little Oregon Coast wedding. Earlier this month they created some engagement portraits for us with styling by the lovely Jessie Matz. Check out more of the portraits HERE on their blog!

Since we’re moving away from Savannah next week (info in my previous post) these images will always be treasured reminders for us of our engagement and our time spent living in the South. I feel like they were able to borrow a little bit of our love and a bit of the South and put it in these images for us to cherish forever. When I look at these photographs now I feel how much my (very handsome) fiance loves me and am even more excited to be his bride and his wife!

Jade and Matthew’s work has long inspired me. I’m attracted to the fun, whimsy, and lightness in their photographic style. Their skill and artistry are undeniable, but perhaps even more importantly Jade and Matthew are passionate about their work and have calm, open, fun-loving personalities. The idea of being in front of the camera was strange for us (as I know it is for most people) but we were set at ease and comfortable with them which is so very important. As a bride to be I’m thrilled, awed, and excited! As an extra plus, I know that this whole experience on the other side of the lens will help me grow as a photographer and gain a deeper understanding of my own clients in the future.

 

Click HERE to see more of our portraits on the Jade and Matthew Take Pictures blog!

BIG news: leaving Savannah + living in Thailand

I try to live my life in faith, constantly open to change, love, inspiration and adventure. After falling in love and becoming engaged, it seems like I’m about to swim in a full-on tsunami of all of those beautiful things. As you probably know, I am marrying my best friend and the love of my life this summer! You may not know that soon we will be leaving Savannah, driving cross country, and living in Thailand!

In about a month we will pack a Uhaul trailer with all of our things, attach it to the Volvo, and begin our west-bound 3,000+ mile trip. In exactly 2 months Paul and I will be married on the Oregon Coast! In about 3 months, we leave for Thailand to spend at least 6 months volunteering at an orphanage! When we return to the states, our plan is to settle down and grow roots in a new place (Portland, Seattle, Hawaii?) and create a photography & design business together. Of course, dream chasing is never without difficulties. I’m pretty much terrified but I can hardly wait for these adventures and more. We’re determined to make the world a little happier together.

Our hearts will ache to leave Savannah but luckily we won’t have time to miss it too much. We are both so grateful to have found some truly incredible communities and life-long friends here. I am also grateful to all of my wonderful Savannah colleagues and clients; you are amazing. We will continue to photograph, blog, and share our experiences and hope that you will come along for the ride! Love and peace.