Victory Day

The absolute worst national celebration to attend as a short person.

Russia in May is one pulsating, flag-waving, red-flagged orgy of celebration. City workers set up barricades and hung flags, every pane of glass boasted the red star + orange ribbon decal for winning over the Nazi regime. Loudspeakers on the metro escalators played peppy marches and chipper victory tunes to get you ready.

It rang in my head nonstop for two weeks, and long into every night.

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To St Petersburg, with Love

Rebar, poop, graffiti, and the best cocktails this side of Estonia.

Saint Petersburg, I love you.

Sorry to my Russian friends, but I was underwhelmed with Moscow. Blame my 80s counter-culture-loving rebelism, but I wasn’t really looking for a trip to a chic city with all the modern conveniences.

St Petersburg started off with a mad dash to catch a train we almost missed (only caught because of the bilingual generosity of a man who was headed to the train station to meet his daughter), to share a bunk with a grumpy old man who was just as pleased as we were to be roomies for a night, and rolling into a city that didn’t have coffee before 11 AM.

We were off to a rough start.

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Moscow’s Izmailovsky Flea Market

Russian flea market. It’s a picker’s dream. A beautiful mess.

The famous Russian flea market, Izmailovo, is a beautiful mess. It’s an American picker’s dream, lovely chaos of junk and treasure and chaos and everything in-between.

For decades, tourists scoured these markets looking for a piece of the way things were in the old days. They paid their price and whisked them away onto airplanes and cars.

Piece by piece, the country sold away its history.

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Moscow Metro: Gorgeous History

An American’s impressions of the magnificent Moscow Metro.

The Moscow metro system is legendary in its reach and its extravagance, and it was one of the most anticipated features of the city on my arrival.

It did not disappoint.

It’s difficult to say just how much of the pomp and circumstance pumped into the metro system this week was enhanced by the coming of May Day and Victory Day, and how much is just a regular Thursday. The red star and ribbon decals were certainly there for the coming holiday, and the peppy military songs over the loudspeakers were probably not invading eardrums all year round, but you’d never tell that these festive touches made a difference at all to the blasé Muscovites.

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Russian Street Photography: We Are Universal

No matter what language you speak, what letters you write, or what you eat for breakfast or dinner, we all have much in common. We laugh the same, trudge through a daily commute, spend time outdoors when the sun decides to shine, and we visit with friends at the end of a rough week.

Our universalism is measured in the details we capture in every frame. Our habits change more slowly than our clothes, our cars, and our smartphones, and this juxtaposition makes capturing people the more difficult – and rewarding – achievement of all.

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Seeing Red: The Journey to Russia

This journey to modern Russia was imperative, educational, and a life-changing experience that let me live the other side.

Russia. The country that had enticed me in the 1980s and 1990s was no longer the taboo fascination of American underdogs. Going there now was a product of too-good-to-be-true airfare (thanks, Delta!) and the coordinated motivations of some friends, rather than any internal impulse to run towards the political fire that everyone was sprinting to escape.

The impetuous ingrate in me shrugged my virtual shoulders, packed my bags and went. No research, no planning, no inspirational Pinterest boards to get the creative juices flowing. I figured I would follow someone else’s lead, take pictures, and it’d be a good few days eating new foods where I don’t have to think about work, and maybe I’d get a matryoshka doll along the way.

My classic American fascination with the Soviets all started as a child growing up at end of the Cold War.

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New Orleans Proper

New Orleans touches most people in some way. While this wasn’t my first time in the city by far, the week I spent here photographing for an educational nonprofit gave me the introduction I waited years to experience.

You can come to an understanding with the manufactured microcosm that is tour guide New Orleans, but there’s so much more to it than alcohol and fried food. The best parts are found in its people, its children, its potholed road system, its local businesses.

Thank you to Momenta Workshops for giving me the opportunity to explore this city and the people within.

Saint Charles

A photo story in 1 hour riding the St. Charles streetcar in New Orleans.

Radio silence as I’ve been going through some major life changes. I’m currently in New Orleans, wrapping up a beautiful educational workshop feeding the fire that I’ve had always: Photojournalism. As I think about everything that happened and all the crazy thoughts tangled together, one surefire way to challenge myself now was to start working on crafting better photo stories.

Here’s this morning’s rainy, 1-hour ride on car #953.


I walk though the park sweating on warm weekends, tramping through mud with heavy backpacks, lured by the possibility of meeting people different from myself. Why does being different make it so wrong?

Hummingbird prefers to live under the sky with her dog, Emma, creating and selling art aimed to bring down the borders of selective favoritism. Equal love and equal support for all. She sticks to her own territories in both Berkeley and San Francisco, equally evading eviction and the troublemakers that regular folk assume she is.

The Sweepers of Haight-Ashbury

I had the opportunity to meet and follow the members of the Haight Ashbury Street Sweepers program. An offshoot of Taking it to the Streets, the Sweepers allow at-risk youth to participate in community service to clean and beautify the neighborhood as a path to achieving a more permanent job. These kids work four days a week and in return are offered a place to live, a job reference, and mentorship.

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