European Holiday - Part 1 of 5: Lisbon (Day 1)

Earlier this month I had the privilege of traveling overseas to Western Europe with my boyfriend, Brent, and our friend, Storm. It was a whirlwind trip. We spent a day in Lisbon, traveled to Sintra (an hour train ride outside of Lisbon), rented a car and drove to Seville, Spain where we spent two days, then drove to Lagos where we spent the afternoon, and then finally back to Lisbon where we spent another day and a half. There was so much to see and I took around 1,200 photos. Even after paring them down there would still be far too many to share in one post. So I’ve decided to divide them up by day and city.

Lisbon, Portugal

Looking down on the city center of Lisbon from Castelo de São Jorge

Looking down on the city center of Lisbon from Castelo de São Jorge

We arrived in Lisbon on a Friday morning. After checking in to our AirBnB in the Bairro Alto neighborhood we set out to explore the city. We were a bit hungry and our AirBnb host suggested that we check out a couple of spots in a park just a couple of blocks away called Jardim do Príncipe Real. It was a really cute public garden with an incredible cypress tree that’s more than 20 meters in diameter. On Fridays the park is filled with artisans selling their work; everything from pottery and jewelry to paintings and handbags. On Saturdays there are stands with fresh, organic produce.

After buying a few pieces of handmade pottery we ventured on to find food. We came across a bar called Pub Lisboeta in the Príncipe Real neighborhood. It’s a narrow, cozy bar with a large list of Portuguese craft beers. We each had a beer and split a couple of pizzas. Much like the rest of Lisbon, it was incredibly affordable and the pizza was delicious.

As we ventured on through the MANY undulating hills of Lisbon I couldn’t help but notice the colorful tile on the facades of a great deal of the buildings. Coming from New York City it was a bit of a shock to see such an array of colors and patterns adorning the streets. This was probably one of my favorite aspects of Lisbon.


Our first point of interest was The Convent of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the Chiado neighborhood. During the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 the church on the southern facade of the convent was destroyed and today it remains as one of the main traces of the earthquake. It is now an archaeological museum with tombs, fountains, statues, and other architectural relics including a couple of corpses. Upon entering the nave of the ruined church the ceiling opens to the sky and is reminiscent of the Great Hall in Hogwarts. Unfortunately it was quite overcast on the day that we visited, nonetheless it is a really incredible sight to behold and is not to be missed.

We then made our way to the Alfama neighborhood to try and catch the sunset from an observation deck called the Miradouro de Santa Luzia. Along the way we stopped in to the Lisbon Cathedral (Santa Maria Maior de Lisboa), often referred to as the Sé. It was built in the Late Romanesque style and completed sometime between 1147 and the early 1200s.

After a steady climb we finally made it up to the Miradouro de Santa Luzia in time to watch the sunset. While there were some really incredible views of the city and the Tagus River below, it wasn’t exactly the best place to actually see the sun set. We took in the views, snapped some photos, and rested for a few minutes before wandering back down to the water.

Looking up at the Sé from the Tagus River

Looking up at the Sé from the Tagus River

We wandered around downtown for a bit before making our way back to our AirBnb in Bairro Alto where we had a couple of glasses of wine that our host had left for us. After resting for a bit and getting cleaned up we ventured out to find a restaurant for dinner.

There is nothing quite as captivating as a European street after dark

There is nothing quite as captivating as a European street after dark

At this point we were pretty worn out from our flight and from wandering up and down the hills of Lisbon, so we quickly settled on a restaurant called Flower Power in Bairro Alto. The ambience was cute, the service was great, and the food was good, but it wasn’t our favorite meal. After dinner and a couple of glasses of wine we decided to call it a night and rest up for our trip to Sintra the next day.

To be continued…

Farewell to Summer

We took our final trip out to Fire Island over Labor Day weekend and it was easily the most fun weekend of the summer. I feel very fortunate to have been surrounded by a group of incredible men.

"Then, as now, The Fire Island image was the same. Always before him. Thousands and thousands of handsome men. All over the place. Wherever eye could see. All touching, holding, hands or arms upon each other, all touching, the Brotherhood! No wonder all kept coming back, again and again, in memory and in truth. Such Beauty. Such narcotic Beauty!"    -Faggots, Larry Kramer

To Dan, Alex, Steven, Will, Jeff, Kevin, Derek, and Peter: Thank you for making our weekend so special. Here are some photos from our time together this weekend. Love to you all.

Summer of The Pines

Last week we had another amazing time out on Fire Island. Andrew and Judah joined us for the weekend and we did lots of drinking and dancing. :) On Monday, we met a really great group of guys visiting from Chicago. They were kind enough to have us over a few times to hang out by their fantastic bay view pool. It was so fun meeting you guys and we look forward to visiting in Chicago soon.

Here are a few photos from the week for you to scroll through! Enjoy!!

10 Years Later...

When meeting new people I am often asked "What was that like?" after finding out that I grew up in a small, conservative Texas town. I'm not sure what they expect my answer to be, but I think that they are often surprised by my response. I have always looked back on my time in high school with fondness. I feel very fortunate because I know that not everyone can say that about their high school experience.

This weekend Forney High School's Class of 2006 celebrated it's 10 year reunion and I was reminded, once again, of why my time in high school was so special.

As we all arrived, it was a bit of a strange feeling. "What is this going to be like?" "How have ten years passed already?" But we all began to catch up (and have a drink or two) and it was like barely any time had passed at all. It was so nice to see old friend groups come together and share stories and laughs about old times.

I am so impressed with the people that we have become. Educators. Mothers & Fathers. Health care professionals. Artists. Musicians. Scientists. Maybe I'm biased, but I really think that our graduating class is truly a special group of people.

Thank you to everyone who had a hand in planning the reunion and to everyone who came. It was really wonderful to see all of you and learn that you are doing well. 

Here are a few photos from the evening. I didn't take nearly as many as I would have liked, but I guess I was just having way too much fun!!

Cheers! To the Class of 2006!!


Brent and I have been fortunate enough to get to Fire Island three times so far this summer. The first two times were made possible by the generosity of our friends (Stephen & John and Jeff & Miguel). The third time we rented a place with our friends Andrew & Judah.

Here are some of the highlights from all three trips! Most of these were taken by myself and a few by Brent. :)

Summer 2016

Jeff & Miguel's beautiful home in The Pines

Miguel & Jeff

leaving no broken hearts (#31)

This is the next installment from my series 'leaving no broken hearts'. Much gratitude to Jeremy Jordan King for his help and belief in the project. :)

"who burned cigarette holes in their arms protesting the narcotic tobacco haze of Capitalism" -Allen Ginsberg, 'Howl'

leaving no broken hearts (#38)

I try to be as open to advice and opportunity as I can. That being said...

Last weekend I did a shoot for a project that I have been working on since September of last year. Afterward, some of the guys who were modeling and I went for a drink and a chat. Richard Cortez gave me some advice and a lot of it really resonated.

Until now, I have only shared tiny portions of this project. The series is called 'leaving no broken hearts'. It is inspired by the poem 'Howl' written in the 1950s by Allen Ginsberg. The poem is an exploration of an array of themes including, but not limited to drugs, sexuality, and American society post-WWII. The goal of my project is to revisit these themes and explore them from a modern perspective.

Moving forward, I will be sharing lots of the b-roll shots from this project on social media platforms as well as my blog. I plan to celebrate the completion of the project by publishing a book sometime in the future. But for now, this is where you can find the work.

The shoot from last weekend featured Richard Cortez (@richardcortez), Jake Elvig (@jakeyfabuloso), and Jordano Richardson (@paris_boi). This particular shoot was based on the following line:

“who balled in the morning in the evenings in rose gardens and the grass of public parks and cemeteries scattering their semen freely to whomever come who may" -Allen Ginsberg, 'Howl'

Thank you to Richard, Jake, Jordano, and my buddy Joey Buckingham for coming to help me chase light and offering lots of moral support. :)

To check out 'Howl' in its entirety, click here: 'Howl' by Allen Ginsberg.

Men in Skirts.

Last Thursday I traveled to Asbury Park, NJ. It's about a 2.5 hour train ride on NJ Transit. Asbury Park is a cute little beach town with your typical menagerie of ocean side bars, restaurants, and shops and a great boardwalk with lots of interesting architecture from the late 1920s.

I went to meet David. He and I have corresponded via multiple social media platforms and finally got to connect in the real world. David is a native of Scotland and recently graduated from Princeton. He is both a composer and a performer.

Here are some of the photos from our time together!

Click the link to check out David's music!

Lows and Lows

The past few days have been pretty emotional. It's been very difficult to even process the events that occurred over the weekend.

Last night, Brent and I went to the vigil at Stonewall. There were people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities. It was incredibly powerful to see the thousands that turned out to show solidarity for our community. Unfortunately though, there were a lot more talking heads pushing their political agendas than I cared to listen to. It felt more like a rally than a vigil.

Here are some of the things that I saw.

Highs and Highs

I've heard it said that every artist, at times, feels like they are absolute crap. Other times they feel like they are at their best. I'm no different. And right now, I truly feel like I am doing some of the best work that I have done since I first picked up my camera.

Today I spent time with Jordano, a Bronx native and first grade teacher in Jackson Heights. I couldn't have asked for a more handsome, willing, and patient model. And the light was absolutely to die for. I'm in love with just about every shot that we got today. I hope you enjoy them all as well!

Work Work Work Work Work

I think that May was by far the most productive month that I have had in my career as a photographer. So much so that I have barely been able to keep up with the massive amount of images that I have been producing.

Yesterday, my buddy Josh came over to shoot. He is a recent college grad and a working dancer. He is leaving on Monday for a production of West Side Story in D.C. I set up a little space in the alley between my building and the building next door and this is what we got!

We Didn't Start the Fire!

On the way home to Brent's apartment tonight, around 9PM, we came across a HUGE fire under the BQE. We got there before FDNY and stayed until they showed up.

Luckily I had my camera and I snagged a few cool shots!!


Every time that I shoot someone new, I never really know what to expect. So, I try to leave myself open to trying new things and rolling with the punches.


Yesterday, I met Gabriel. He and I connected through Instagram. He is Brazilian. A model manager. A writer. And he lives in Chelsea.

Gabriel has the exact kind of personality that I really vibe well with when doing a shoot. He was very open and willing to try anything that I asked, no matter how weird. And he even had his own ideas. Between the two of us, we came up with some really fun shots.

Connection Through Creation

As I photograph more and more people, I am really beginning to realize what a powerful tool my camera can be. I have started finding joy in meeting and connecting with new people. In the past, I have never quite felt that way. I can be such an introvert at times and things like getting to know someone and small talk have never come easy. Having a camera in my hands helps that immensely.


Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Jimmy. We connected through Instagram and have several friends in common. Last Monday, the 15th, I packed up my camera and my laptop and took a trip up to Harlem to shoot and get to know him. Jimmy is a dancer, choreographer, and yoga teacher. Creative type. The kind of person that I find myself drawn to. After chatting for about 20 or 30 minutes while Jimmy worked on a craft project, I grabbed my camera from my bag and realized that I had forgotten my memory card. (As it turns out, it was actually in my bag the entire time. Which was evident when it fell on to the locker room floor at the gym. But that's a story for another time...)

After realizing that I had "forgotten" my memory card, we decided to meet another time and try again. As I was leaving Jimmy asked if I had any interest in coming to shoot production photos of a dance project later in the week that he and some friends were filming and putting together. The concept sounded really interesting, so I said yes and offered to bring my lights for them to use.

After a successful day of shooting some dancing in the clouds, I packed up my camera and left my lights behind so that they could use them as they continued the shoot a couple of days later.

Jimmy and Rashmi.

On Monday, February 22nd, I traveled back up to Harlem to pick up my lights and finally finish what we had started. I spent about an hour photographing Jimmy with an occasional appearance by Rashmi (who, I swear, is a dog trapped inside of a cat's body). And Jimmy's boyfriend Jacob was nice enough to sit for a few minutes as well.

Jimmy, Jacob, and Rashmi.

Be on the lookout soon for images from the video production and a link to the final product!

Going Rogue

Today, I went to Brooklyn to meet up with Benn who I have followed on Instagram for a bit. It has been about a year since I have travelled to someone's home to shoot and it was a really nice change of pace to be outside of my apartment and using natural light.

One of the first things that Benn said to me when he opened the door was that there was "a situation". His cat, Rogue, had jumped the fence in the courtyard of his building and couldn't get back.

This is actually the first photo that I took of him today as he climbed the fence to save Rogue.

Benn is a yoga teacher who is incredibly dedicated to his students and to his own practice. This was abundantly clear even in the brief amount of time that we spent together. He just returned to New York from 5 weeks in India where he was practicing almost every day for 8 hours a day.

Benn and Rogue. 12/4/15.