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Kamilah Gonzales

Kamilah and I have been friends for quite some time now, with my first time meeting and shooting with her was all the way back in Boston, Massachusetts nearly 2 years ago! We've kept in touch every now and then, and she told me about how she moved to LA a little over a year ago. Now that I've finally relocated myself, we made a plan to shoot with each other once I get here. After some difficulty aligning schedules, we were able to link up on a warm early October day. Despite that we missed the golden hour, we still got some great shots in.

In this shoot, I decided to shoot with extremely high ISO levels to get the grain and make the shoots seem like were taken on a film camera. Felt pretty satisfied with how they came out!

A day in SF with just a camera and a skateboard.

On this day I was not scheduled to work and I was itching to shoot - I contacted several people to see if anyone wanted to come out and take photos, but unfortunately no one was available. It was almost 4PM and it was getting a bit too late to go out to the City, but I told myself, I've always wanted to do this - take Bart, get off and skate around, taking photos of whatever you see interesting.

And that's what I did. It started with the Financial District, and I set myself a destination and allowed plenty of time for photo taking of landmarks. My first destination was Quickly's in Chinatown, which I had last remembered sold milk tea for just $1.50 . Unfortunately, they had changed their price to the average $2.50-3...ahh such a disappointment. I continued to explore and found myself in the very steep hills, and then eventually Coit Tower. Kept walking around and found a hidden trail within the neighborhood which seems to have been built for dog walking, it was super nice. Definitely bookmarked it for a future shoot.

Eventually got back to street level and got hungry - grabbed a cheesesteak sandwich and wrapped up the night taking a long exposure of the Transamerica Building before I got kicked out by some cops for blocking a street sign, since I was crouching right in front of a "No U-Turn" warning in a street island.

Highly recommend anyone taking a small solo adventure! It was definitely dope and something I'll do again one day. Lately I've been editing my photos to look like they were shot from instant cameras, definitely trying to explore more in depth with presets and be outside commercial style for once.

Day 2 in Pudong + 1st night in Tokyo

After our short exploration in Shanghai, we crashed at our very run down hotel that we stayed at and woke up very early in the morning for a quick, street food breakfast and then explored the area.

Being outside the city center, we just so happened to be staying next to an extremely poor neighborhood. Definitely a side of China that isn't openly spoken about, but what quite an experience photographing. From street food that costs only a mere 1 yuan (15 cents), stray dogs, chickens, ducks, and many other interesting sights. 

Selfie.

Selfie.

Random outdoor gym.

Random outdoor gym.

This puppy definitely caught us off guard. He was the only playful and friendly one out of the handful we saw, and he even followed us for a little bit, begging us to take him home.

This puppy definitely caught us off guard. He was the only playful and friendly one out of the handful we saw, and he even followed us for a little bit, begging us to take him home.

15 cent onion pancakes.

15 cent onion pancakes.

A father getting his daughter ready for school.

A father getting his daughter ready for school.

After a long morning of walking around and shooting, we headed back to Pudong Airport and boarded our flight to Japan. After landing, I realized that getting into Japan is just as difficult to getting into the states when you're a non-citizen. About four different forms of paperwork later, passport control and customs, we finally got out, claimed our rail passes, and got to our Airbnb.

We were immediately blown away by the cleanliness, efficiency, architecture, lights, and most of all polite and kind people of Japan. I was in a fantasy world; Japan was everything I imagined to me and better. I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking.

Tonkotsu with curry and karaage on the side.

Tonkotsu with curry and karaage on the side.

The vending machines have EVERYTHING.

The vending machines have EVERYTHING.

Gyoza Izakaya. Super bomb

Gyoza Izakaya. Super bomb

Random passerby that made the photo even better.

Random passerby that made the photo even better.

Late night arcade.

Late night arcade.

Metro runs late too.

Metro runs late too.

Walking home from a long day of errands.

Walking home from a long day of errands.

Telephone booth aesthetic.

Telephone booth aesthetic.

Long exposure to end the night.

Long exposure to end the night.