2017

 

It's hard to believe that we're almost halfway through the year. I feel like it was just yesterday that I graduated from San Jose State University. 2016 was rough, emotionally and mentally ROUGH! There were a lot of shit things that happened towards the end of the year and even today I catch myself replaying some of those memories in my head while simultaneously trying to push them out. Some of them I will never be able to forget. No matter how hard I try to erase them, they'll just always be there. It's just one of those things where you live through it and you learn from it.

Enough of last year though, can we just talk about how awesome 2017 has been. I am so amazed by how much opportunity I have been given in the last few months. I think it's safe to say I've sort of jumpstarted my photography career. Something I never would have thought would even be possible. I had always loved photography. For as long as I remember but never EVER did I imagine myself doing it for somewhat of a living. Granted, it's not a full-time gig (yet!) but it's helping pay off some bills, like my camera and the other extracurricular things I enjoy doing. Honestly, none of this shit would have ever happened if it weren't for some very awesome people. One of these peeps includes my boss Daniel Garcia (The Cultivator of Content Magazine) and my coworkers Elle Mitchell and Kristen Pfund. Being a part of this magazine has given me an awesome platform to share some of my photography and really just introduce me to the entire art and creative community here in the South Bay. Another awesome couple that has literally given me free rein to do whatever the heck my creative heart desires are Tammy and Dave, owners of Redemption in downtown Campbell. Hands down, some of my favorite people. They're so hip and I always feel so lucky to have them as my bosses. They've believed in my creativity from the start and I am forever grateful that they gave me the opportunity to help them with their social media photography. It's been amazing especially because I've met tons and tons of people through them. I feel weird about what I'm going to say next because I don't ever like to give myself any attention. Mostly because I truly feel that the best kind of people are always the humble ones. With that being said, it's been such a blessing to have people reach out to me for photography. I almost feel like I'm not doing enough to find myself work but it somehow finds me first. I feel so lucky, guys. So, lucky.

Lol! In my last blog I think I said I was going to be writing consistently but man, I've been so lucky to have had so much work that I'm even backed up on editing shoots, writing and everything else I've been meaning to do. It's a good problem to have for sure. Anyway, until next time.

Enjoy this lovely photo of Joey and Cheyenne on the lightrail. 

Arabela

 
 

When Light Pours In

There is something so wonderful about natural lighting that pours into a room. A white room to be specific. Yesterday I had the privilege of photographing one of my good friends Deanna in her new home and her room is about as beautiful as they could get. With a lot of open space, tall closet mirrors, a large window and a beautiful chair tucked in the corner, I knew this shoot was going to be a good one. There wasn't anything particular about this shoot that I wanted to accomplish but to simply create beautiful images in a simple setting with minimal details. I have been photographing a lot of blogger style shoots and portraits for print lately and so it was extremely refreshing to photograph without the pressure of the images needing to be perfect for social media or for a publication. I am absolutely obsessed with how it all turned out and look forward to more shoots like this one. As some of you may know, Deanna makes music and she is a talented lady who just put out a song with MRVLZ. I'll link her Soundcloud profile and Spotify profile below. 

Here are a few shots that didn't get included in the main photo series. 

 
 

 

Full Photo Series: Deanna Villareal

Soundcloud: DEANNA

Spotify: DEANNA

 

Back At It

Hello again,

I have missed you. I apologize for having disappeared for so long but this thing called college and work got in the way. Nevertheless, I am back and staying here for good. I will try to be as consistent as possible but I'm sure that won't be a problem because I have tons of time on my hands as of right now. Just a quick life update, I graduated from SJSU this past December and it feels great. I can't tell you how awesome it feels. No homework... No deadlines. No more exams! So what have I been doing since then? Well I've also been interning for this really awesome magazine called Content Magazine. I've been getting a lot of experience with social media, portrait photography and learning about magazine production, editorial shoots and so much more. It's been pretty great, especially when I get to meet so many talented people in the creative scene here in the South Bay. It's been a real blessing and I have so much thank my coworkers and boss for that. I've also gotten the privilege to be the social media manager for a boutique in downtown Campbell called Redemption. I've been photographing their products and working with different models and bloggers to showcase the clothing the boutique has to offer. It is the cutest little shop with just about everything you've ever wanted AND everything is made all here locally in California. You'll feel like your money is actually going towards somebody's dream rather than some huge corporation like Forever 21, you know? As far as my personal life, I have had a crazy past few months with a lot of emotional crap I wasn't expecting to deal with especially in the middle of the semester. I'm not sure if I mentioned this but I was taking 5 classes, working 2 part time jobs, doing my internship with Content, and managing the social media for Redemption all at the same time. This last semester was a tough one.

As I said, I wasn't expecting to deal with so much emotional shit but it happened anyway. I was betrayed by someone I thought was supposed to love me and I was also diagnosed with hypothyroidism which meant I had to start taking medicine every day. It wasn't fun. My mom actually has hypothyroidism and it basically just means your metabolism is a bit slower and you may experience unexpected weight gains, hair loss, stress, fatigue etc. Honestly, all those symptoms were definitely happening but I didn't really find them to be because of hypothyroidism but because I was dealing with so many things at once. I'm normally a really positive and optimistic person and so for me to even think about what I was like a month or two ago is kind of bizarre. I hit an all time low. I was distrustful, I wasn't confident in myself or in my ability to do anything. I broke down every day because I couldn't believe what had happened to me. When I got diagnosed for hypothyroidism, my doctor offered me therapy sessions that were free through my insurance. Honestly, I didn't really think much of it but decided to give it a go anyway and it was probably one of the best decisions of my life. I highly encourage anyone dealing with emotional shit to consider going to therapy. It wasn't one of those experiences that "saved my life" but the kind of experience that helped me get back on my feet. It was nice being able to confidently talk to this therapist about my situation and they guided me in overcoming it. Therapy helped me become myself again. A couple of things I learned? You don't need a relationship to make you happy. Only you can make yourself happy. Rough life experiences suck but it's all about how you view them. While experiences shape who you are, they shouldn't have to define you. Something to always remember is that people who do shitty things have absolutely nothing to do with you. There is no justification for being mistreated and you should never point the finger at you or think that you caused it to happen. 

Anyway, so that's what I've been up to. While everything might sound dandy since graduation, I actually have been stressing out a little. Now that I don't have one of my part time jobs anymore I have to put my big girl pants on and find an actual job. A career! I've been working my butt off for the last few days updating my website, LinkedIn, Behance, and designing a new resume. I'm a little restless and feeling stressed. BUT, I am confident that I will find something soon. I better... your girl needs to pay those bills. (Haha!) 

Until next time,

Arabela

 
 
 

Los Angeles: January 2016

 

Yes, I know it's March but here's a quick photo gallery of my trip to LA in January with friends.

FYI, Roscoe's is the best spot for chicken n' waffles. Wish there was something like it closer to home. 



 

Tradekraft Collective

Man, I can't believe it's 2016 already. Working in retail during the holidays can be incredibly hectic but things have finally calmed down now that it's January. I haven't posted anything in quite some time and I apologize for that but I assure you that I haven't been lazy. In fact, I've been busy with other things like starting my very first internship (yay!) to working on different projects that include design and photography.

Not too long ago, I posted on my website a collection of photographs that I took of a San Jose based music collective. They go by the name of Tradekraft Collective with a "K." Officially formed on May 22nd of last year, Tradekraft Collective has already made some major moves from throwing huge live events to hosting their own spotlight radio show on Soundcloud. Tradekraft began releasing tracks under their name late last year and they currently boast over 500 followers on Soundcloud and over 8,000 plays collectively. 

Tradekraft is currently comprised of the following artists: 

SkylarkSLVMMVino, and Wooshay

 

 

To find out more information about each artist as well as the Tradekraft crew that make it all happen, check out their brand new website (HERE!) which features their latests releases/mixes, blog posts, upcoming events and more. The website also features some of my photography as well as any cover art that I have done or helped make. 

There is no doubt in my mind that Tradekraft will be doing some incredibly awesome things for 2016. I do have to say that I'm slightly biased as I'm actually a part of the collective, not as an artist but more on the creative and promotional end of things such as photography and helping spread the word.

But seriously, watch out for these talented people and thanks for reading!


 

Speaking Of Mondays

Last Monday, my best friend Anjelica and I hit the city for some good coffee and a much needed thrifting sesh*. I can’t really remember the last time we both had the same day off from work but it miraculously happened so we took advantage of it. Aside from having to wake up extremely early, our day started out pretty great as we headed off to San Francisco with the intention of having some good coffee first. So I suggested we visit Front Cafe, a coffee shop I had photographed before leisurely and for a school assignment as well. After hearing that Front was going to close down soon, I decided it was only appropriate to visit it for the last time. Although small in size, the cafe had won me over with its clean, sterile look. Most of the cafe is white, making it look like a laboratory, with coffee bean filled test tubes and containers labeled clean or dirty. Not to mention, their Affogato is on point and they’ve always had some yummy pastries.

I have to say that one of my absolute favorite things to photograph are coffee shops. I truly enjoy being mesmerized by the aesthetic and mood of each cafe and being able to capture that feeling on camera. There’s something about the way they deliver not only coffee but an experience from the interior design to even the people who frequent them. 

 

I sipped on a mocha while Anjelica had a pour over. As I finished my drink, I mentally waved the cafe goodbye and we set off to our next destination. Although our intentions on this day trip were to capture some OOTD* footage, we failed miserably. We were expecting a more diffused and hazy looking day but instead we got harsh sun with hideous shadows. Besides, I have very little experience in videography and Anjelica had her mind set on a specific style of shooting that probably requires more experience and/or better equipment (lol). Either way, I was still able to get a few wonderful photographs of our day (well, mostly Anjelica haha). 

Outfit Deets:

Anjelica
Fur Open Cardigan: Therapy
Gray Sweater: Salvation Army
Vintage Levi's: Animal Traffic (PDX)
Boots: Black & Brown
Backpack: Thrift
Sunglasses: Ray Ban

Arabela
Chambray Shirt: Pink Stripes
White Denim: Crossroads Trading Co.
Boots: Sbicca Footwear
Black Purse: Therapy
Infinity Scarf: Therapy
Sunglasses: Sunglass Spot
Rings: Empire Vintage

 

We headed straight to a non-profit thrift store called Community Thrift located right on Valencia. I know that whenever I’m having an itch to thrift in the city, I have to take Anjelica with me because she always knows the best spots. A good 80% of the thrift stores I have ever known are all her suggestions. Black & Brown, Crossroads (Santa Cruz), Wasteland, Community Thrift, Thrift Town, Afterlife and anywhere on Haight really… I ended up finding a flannel in the men’s section and two rain jackets for about 25 bucks. Not bad! We then walked along the streets to visit Azalea as well as Afterlife Boutique. I found sunglasses and rings at Afterlife while Anjelica continued without finding anything (she’s very selective and she also has great self-control). 

At this point, we had worked up our appetite pretty well so we walked back to the car to add more time to the meter (why is parking in San Francisco SO expensive?) and we popped into Curry Up Now, a restaurant that serves delicious Indian food. I can’t tell you how amazing their burritos were and to top it off we had some amazing spiced sangrias. 

 

Lastly, we headed to Thrift Town to see what we could find and I ended up walking out with another warm flannel. With the holidays around the corner, work has been crazy busy and it was so nice just to get a break and visit one of my favorite cities to eat, drink coffee and shop. 

Thanks for reading and I apologize for it being so lengthy. 

Still trying to get used to this blogging thing! :)

*Sesh: my abbreviated word for session.

*OOTD: outfit of the day.

 

Mondays Are For Models

This past Monday I had the most incredible opportunity to join in and assist on a photoshoot for a local magazine by the name of Content. Content Magazine is a bimonthly publication that promotes the people, events and businesses of not only San Jose but it’s neighboring cities that are all part of the Silicon Valley. Although I have only been a subscriber for a few months, I have really gotten to enjoy everything that Content has to offer from the actual magazine to the networking events they put together for creatives to meet and socialize. 

I honestly wasn’t quite sure what to expect from a Model Monday shoot but I was blown away by how seamless everything came to be. I found myself at the Bedlam Beauty and Barber salon located in downtown San Jose after finishing up the last essay I had due for one of my finals. I met up with the Content crew there and noticed the model getting her hair curled. Several “looks”, or outfits, were hanging on a rolling rack that consisted of beautiful cream and brown colored fabrics with different textures. I was in love. I watched as they all collectively decided on what garment would go well with what and the looks were eventually finalized. The mood board for this specific shoot was that of a 70’s vibe consisting of knit tops, fur coats and sweet embroidered dresses. In that moment, I realized that it would have been a good idea to bring my camera and perhaps some of my own jewelry that we could potentially use for the shoot. I decided that I would head home to quickly grab those things and meet the crew at the location in which the shoot was going to take place. 

I went home, grabbed what I could and headed to the park. The location was stunning. It’s so hard to believe how many places I still haven’t been to considering I’ve lived in San Jose all of my life. The Content crew went straight to work. I went ahead and started snapping some photos of everything around me and it was really great to watch everyone in action. The model was getting dressed, the MUA was applying last minute makeup and the hair stylist was applying hair spray to keep the hair from going everywhere. I ended up actually helping the photographer, also the cultivator of Content, with the light reflectors by positioning them in the right direction to bring in some light on the model’s face.

Unfortunately, I was forced to leave the shoot early for a final presentation I had to give for one of my classes at SJSU. Aside from that, I had such a great experience watching and assisting such an awesome shoot and I can’t wait to do more of this.

Here are some of those pictures that I took from that morning.

 

The blog was posted today and you can find it by visiting this page: Model Monday Katia

The Details:

Photographer: Daniel Garcia

Photo Assistant: Arabela Espinoza

Art Director: Jessica Owens

Model: Katia Coate for Stars Management

Stylist: Elle Mitchell

Hair Stylist: Emily Selfridge for Bedlam Beauty and Barber

MUA: April Wiswell

Producer: Kristen Pfund

Wardrobe: Black & Brown

 

First Of Many...

Hello,

With the recent upgrade of my Squarespace plan, I’ve been able to add a blog feature to my website and I’m beyond excited. Thank god because it’s about time I make one and finally get some content out there. Anyway, the point of this blog post is the simple fact that it will be the first of many. I haven’t quite figured out what kind of direction I’d like to take it in but that’s ok. For now, it will begin as some sort of public diary in which anyone can view/read what I’ve been up to and the things I’ve been dabbling in.

I am passionate about so many things and sometimes that can be very overwhelming as I try to keep up with all of my interests whether it be finding new music or exploring new coffee shops. However, as you may know already by my website, I’m completely in love with photography. It is an outlet, a passion, and a creative journey for many people like me. I hope that you can see the way I view the world through my photographs as most are a direct reflection of what makes me, me.

I apologize if I ramble in advance. I will make an honest effort to try to keep the originality of my posts by editing as little as possible with the exception of grammar and punctuation of course! 

(Because who enjoys typos… Not me lol!)

Arabela