With photography, I feel at my strongest when I’m submersed in the ordinary. The ocean, my hometown, my backyard- it’s being in those settings where I thrive most behind the camera. I understand those areas and I am confident in how I want to portray them through imagery. Traveling to new places, not so much. Unlike many people who take photographs, documenting unfamiliar places and new experiences is incredibly challenging for me.. I become so overwhelmed by the newness, the insurmountable opportunities. My brain goes into “overload” and my ability to think and perceive shuts down. I become a slave to the moment- just being there with what is happening. This is the beautiful thing about traveling to new places and experiencing new things. It forces you out of your head and into what’s going on around you. But this is also a massive struggle for me as a photographer, as I need to really understand my subjects to confidently capture them.
That being said, I am pretty happy with what I was able to capture on my recent trip to Bali, Indonesia. (I only brought my point-and-shoot, and I don’t regret not lugging around my DSLR in the slightest.) The experience was unlike anything I have ever experienced, and blew away all my expectations. Along with my two friends Bently and Sherrine, we took advantage of as much as we could. Balinese cooking classes, massages in rice fields, rope swings into waterfalls, picking tropical fruits, temple exploring, seafood grilled over coconuts, fried ducks, tram-access-only beaches, snorkeling, dancing… and that only scratches the surface. The trip would have been nothing without Sherrine (an Indonesian native). With profound knowledge of the area and the ability to speak the language, she planned out everything and made the trip what it was. I am extremely grateful for her and her family, as none of this could have happened without them.