GOOD Magazine Feature | Issue 34

Long ago, failure was simply not an option. Yet this concept has taken an altogether unprecedented turn in recent years, becoming an end in itself.

Largely spurred by the business community and abetted by the self-help industry, we find ourselves increasingly being dared to fail, and to do so “upwards” and “early and often”. At the time of writing, the TED website hosted 140 talks on the topic of failure. But how much do we really mean it? And of what value is it to civic life?

GOOD invited five friends to their co-founder and chief creative officer Casey Caplowe’s house to shed some light on the matter in the first GOOD Dinnertime Conversation. It was a joy to photograph and discuss how to "fail quicker" and better. I was honored to have worked with Ben Keesey in the early days of Invisible Children. He spoke so eloquently and candidly of the truth and grit of failing. Im honored to capture conversations that stir humanity toward a deeper level of vulnerability and inspiration. 

The Dinner and conversation was beautifully executed by my lady friends over at First Seating. 

You can read the whole online FEATURE here & as well as get the printed magazine HERE.  

Prism

Tessa is the founder of PRISM.  She has been DJing in Los Angeles since 2010, getting her start at the Viper Room in Hollywood and Wurstküche in Downtown Los Angeles.  Since then, Tessa has become one of the most sought-after DJs for corporate events and weddings.  

Growing up in Reno, Nevada in the 90s while working in old-school music shops like The Wherehouse and frequenting Tower Records, Tessa was absorbing and collecting music since a teenager.  

I was so excited when she asked me to photograph her. I wanted to capture her femininity and personality. In a male saturated market Tessa and her boutique agency representing female DJs are making their mark. These ladies are having a positive influence in the music industry and doing it with class. 

Nicaragua - Part 2

After a few days in Granada we ventured west to San Juan Del Sur. The drive west is laced with volcanos and the most stunning farmlands. It was quite surreal after reading Eric's memoir of his time in the country (The book is not for the faint of heart, but a well worth the read for anyone working / traveling internationally). His story weighed heavily on my heart knowing full well it was only time that separated his reality from mine. It deepened my interest in international and sustainable business. It validated my instincts around how much intention deserves to be placed on ecotourism and thoughtful - sustainable businesses in places like Nicaragua. It also evoked a wild new satiation for truth. 

In San Juan, my dear friend Rachel met up with us and we met a handful of other travelers, shopped at the mercado, grabbed coffee and the best veggie burger at Nacho Libre. 

What started over 6 months ago as a fun night with friends left me with a vivid vision of a boat sailing off into deep waters where I did not know the exact destination nor was I the one in control. I have continued to spiritually, fondly revisit that boat almost weekly. Off the coast of San Juan, my best friend by my side I got to sail on the waters just off the coast of Nicaragua, jumping off and swimming to our own private beach. This moment on the Pacific was a collimation of so many conversations, prayers and mundane but significant events that had lead up to it. 

Stay | El Jardin

Sail | Nica Sail n Surf

I want to move like the water, flowing within the container I'm placed. Humble as the ocean, fit between the lands. Quiet enough to be a vapor, sturdy enough to freeze into a glacier.

We finished with our last night back in Granada, spending my birthday night reading to the sound of thunder and rain. It was a fitting end, raining water on all that had been planted. Beyond all the fancy hotels and drink we indulged it, the true richness of having two of my most significant people with me on my birthday was overwhelmingly special. In the end I don't want to travel the world without the ones I love. 

Stay | Tribal Hotel

Nicaragua taught me that I am unstoppable. We are not powerful because of what we do, or what we create. We are not successful because of who we know or even the impact we make in the world.

I'm unstoppable because I have been saved by the majestic grace of the God of the universe and his love through Christ tells me I'm worth every bit of that sacrifice.

We are unstoppable because his love for everyone to be restored is unstoppable. This is our hope.

Nicaragua - Part 1

Early October one Sunday, in a matter of 24 hours Nicaragua was brought up one way or another too many times to ignore; my old Roomate shared about how her recent fiancé and her had honeymooned there, a new friend shared his story of starting a magazine and being wrongfully imprisoned there, a blogger shared her recent El Camino vacation, and two others shared of missions trips down to the beautiful land of Nicaragua. There was so much energy in the direction of Nicaragua I couldn't ignore it. With my 29th birthday coming up, at 1am, on a whim I bought two tickets south. I knew I needed to rest. I knew I needed to be on a sailboat. I knew I just needed to spend a whole week surrounded by water. I knew Nicaragua would bring something sacred and significant. 

Little did I know that it would be a powerful experience on many levels including getting to share my love for international travel with my mother. New to the whole “traveling to a developing country’ thing, it was so fun to get her on the dollar chicken bus (see her face in the photo below!), to rest together and explore a new place together. 

Nicaragua carries with it some of the most personable people. The creative, entrepreneurial spirit runs deep - 

With the invitation to totally rest during this trip it was the first official “vacation” I had taken. I have always piggy backed or extended work trips to “vacation”, but I had actually never traveled somewhere to simply rest. It was a challenge. It felt privileged and lazy. It felt incredibly divided and unproductive. With the family living down the street from our boutique hotel making each month the same amount it cost me to fly down, I was uneasy. The truth that I so find my value in “doing good” began melting off as the Spirit drew me in close and reminded me that He delights 100% in me following through and resting just as much as He delights 100% in the family down the street as they sit in their rocking chairs on their porches. I could sit on my butt, doing nothing, performing for no one and Papa God would still love me. His love for us is not contingent on our behavior. It is undeserved, and will continue to be unmerited. Its grace. Thats how she works. 

Stay |  Los Patios

Move | Pure Gym & Yoga studio 

Reading | Gingo Nightmare, Discerning Heart, Sacred Architecure  

Practices | Resting, journaling, getting to know the locals, hiking, savoring each meal, thinking through core beliefs. 

Lauren Scruggs for Magnify

MAGNIFY creates discussions around faith, feminism and fashion through their print magazine, blog and events.

MAGNIFY is a platform that gives women the opportunity to explore the Christian faith and how it can impact being a woman in today’s world.

Proud to have shot Lauren Scruggs for the 2nd Issue of the magazine. Here is the full collection we shot in the loft & Downtown LA a few months back. 

On the Grid | DTLA City Guide

On the Grid is the designer’s neighborhood guide. I was excited to photograph CANOPY's curation of the Historic Core of Downtown Los Angeles. I love this part of the city. There is so much being restored and renewed. For the past few years the Mayor and city have been working on a the Bring back Broadway initiative. 

Head over to the site and may it inspire you to explore! Here are some of my favorite shots from the day. 

 

The Dressember Dress design process

As many of you know Im not only passionate about photography, but all things sustainable. The last 7 months I have been working with the ladies over at Elegantees in partnership with Dressember to design an ethically made dress. 

INSPIRATION | 

We wanted something minimal, simple and fairly timeless that every body type would fit well into. We wanted to use a high quality fabric that is sourced directly in Nepal. We wanted the dies to be as natural as possible and the production to leave as little waste as possible. 

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PROCESS |

Because the dress was being totally sourced and made in Nepal we had a lot of back and forth on fabric qualities, color options and fits. Just before we started working on sourcing things, Nepal had a horrific earthquake. Thankfully the no one in the sewing center was affected however, we had to factor in new variables dealing with a country in crisis. 

 Eventually we landed on this simple 'sack' style dress with pockets and its comfortable fit. 

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Im so proud to say that the fabric, although not as heavy as I was originally envisioning is a 100% cotton, unique textured woven by Nepali natives. The men & women in the sewing center who normally work with a jersey were elated to sew with a locally sourced fabric. 

The men & women will be paid a fair wage and demand for this dress will potentially create even more jobs for more people wanting to work in the sewing center! 

This would have never been possible without the generous time and talent of Katie Martinez and all the ladies over at Elegantees! 

The dresses are available for Pre-Order and exclusively available only for the 2015 Dressember Campaign. 

Dressember uses fashion to advocate for women who've been exploited for their femininity. As women take on the creative challenge of wearing a dress for the 31 days of December, they are advocating for the inherent dignity of all women.