Donald J. Trump made his first visit as president to the western United States, giving a widely-criticized speech as protesters gathered outside the Phoenix Convention Center on August 22nd, 2017. Melissa was there with a press pass, capturing these portraits of the resistance to the Trump campaign.
It was mostly peaceful expressions of freedom of speech, agitation and passion, a little anger, some kind gestures across the divide, and a whole lot of humanity.
We were so excited when we arrived to the venue for Ashley & Cameron’s wedding! Within minutes of walking in the door, the kids were asking us if we had see the secret rooms yet! It was all hidden doors and passageways. It was hard to believe the Chateau de Vie is nestled right in Chandler, Arizona!
Ashley was such a beautiful bride and I wanted to take a portrait of her in every single room of the venue. The bridal party and family were such troopers when it came to portraits since it was quite the humid day! With a beautiful venue like this though, taking photos inside was easy.
What a weekend! John and I spent just one night camping in Joshua Tree National Park and I feel like I’ve experienced so much in that short time. Believe it or not, Joshua Tree is less than two hours from where I live and I’ve never visited. I pass by it all the time on my way to somewhere else in California, but never took the time to drive through it. I won’t be making that mistake again as I plan to visit this place as much as possible from here on out (except in the summer of course).
I understand why people flock here for hiking, mountain climbing and spiritual retreats. I also get why some of the greatest bands came here to trip on acid. It’s just that kind of place. When you’re in the presence of these prehistoric monadnock mountains there’s some need within us to have a spiritual experience. It feels otherworldly and demanding of your upmost respect. Despite the campgrounds being completely full and the hiking trails as busy as any I’ve seen, it felt tranquil. The whole park is also immaculate, shockingly so actually. I didn’t realize how accustomed to litter I’ve become until I was somewhere there was none.
We spent Friday and Saturday scrambling over the boulders and basking in the sun. I experienced one of the most beautiful sunsets ever. That’s saying a lot coming from a girl who grew up in the Mojave Desert. There’s a moment during sunset when you’re amongst the boulders that the light changes. Every sunset has this moment, but here it’s almost tangible. It’s like someone placed a pair of rose colored glasses on my face. Everything seemed to have a glow that came from within itself. The boulders felt alive. I had wondered about all the veins throughout the boulders (pictured at the end). I’m no geologist so I’ve been studying up on this area since arriving home. I know these are white quartz veins but I like to think of them as the life blood of the park. Maybe even the backbone with each vertebrae exposed.
I am a true desert dweller, a sun worshipper, and I’ve never felt it so acutely as I did here. I can’t wait to go back.
I recently visited Washington for a week for training. Most of my time was spent indoors, so sadly there wasn’t a lot of time available for photography. I also ended up coming down with the flu/sinus infection from hell. Being sick away from home is possibly the worst thing you could do to me. I complained a good deal about that. I did manage to get outside briefly now and then and even managed to get a little sun while visiting Bainbridge Island. I was a little sad about not getting the photos I wanted, but I’m not too worried as I’ll be visiting again in June and then twice in August. Plenty of time right?!
I lived in Belfast, Northern Ireland for a few years after getting married and I couldn’t help but compare Washington to the Emerald Isle. Green is everywhere and stuff grows whether you want it to or not. I love visiting it. My eyes felt rested and my skin rejuvenated, but I was definitely happy to return to the sunny southwest. I’m definitely a sun worshipper and feel melancholy setting in after a few days of overcast and 4:30pm sunsets. After returning home I spent as much time outdoors as I could topping up my vitamin d intake.
So here are the few photos I’m willing to share from this trip. I’m happy to report that I’ve fully recovered from the pesky flu and am ready for my next trip to DC in just a few days!