A chat with Reno Tahoe local, Laura Lawson Visconti

I recently spent a glorious couple of days exploring Reno Tahoe for the first time with my friend Laura, and was immediately smitten by the stunning views of Lake Tahoe juxtaposed against the quirky artistic charm of Reno. I wanted to share some of the photos from our trip as well as some thoughts from LLV on finding home in #renotahoe. Hope you enjoy 'em! 

V

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V:  LL, we’ve been friends for years –– since your early Seattle days. I obviously miss you being around, but can you tell me about your journey to finding home in the Reno Tahoe area?

L:  Oh man… I’ve lived up and down the entire West Coast: from Orange County to Seattle, and everywhere in between. It’s taken awhile to find “home” but it’s been worth the wait! My husband Nick is from Truckee, and throughout our time in the PNW it was always his goal to come back to launch a coffee roastery (coming this fall!). We’ve been here two years now, and this is definitely where we’re supposed to be. I am launching my own creative agency next month, and am grateful to live in a place that supports entrepreneurs like Nick and I. The Reno Tahoe area has the best community: an eclectic hodgepodge of ski bums, creative business owners and really just the best humans you’ll ever meet. Throw in a healthy sprinkling of tourists to make the economy function, and it’s definitely one of the more unique places I’ve ever lived. I’ve never had a bigger circle of friends, or been more involved in a church. I run into someone I know literally every day. I still love experiencing the vibrant heartbeat of big cities, but now they feel stifling in a way… like, where are the trees? The mountains?

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V:  We ran around Reno and Tahoe for a couple days, and I got to see a glimpse into your world. You very obviously have a sense of pride about your home, as well as the locals I met along the way. What do you think it is about Tahoe that runs deep in the local's veins?

L:  There’s something special about choosing to make your home in the rugged wilderness –– you’re signing up for a grittier, gutsier life; but also a more rewarding life. The community here really does rally together. You don’t hear people arguing about politics; instead conversations revolve around trailheads and chair lifts. This past winter was record-breaking –– we had over a dozen power outages in January alone. Neighbors knocked on each other’s doors, offering extra batteries and flashlights, and helped each other with the snow. Then we all met at the bar at the end of the day to compare tall tales. No one locks their front door. It’s a safe community –– a good place to raise a family. It’s not for everyone, which I think is partially where that local pride stems from –– we’re the ones who have figured out how to make it work, and that’s not always easy.

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V: Describe your perfect day at home… (obviously it’s with me visiting!)

L: Haha, of course! Nick and I actually see our friends a lot more now that we live in Tahoe, as they just come to us. I love catching sunset at Donner Summit –– the history there is so amazing, and the views don’t get much better. Kayaking has become a big part of my day-to-day life in the summertime: I either kayak Donner Lake in the morning, or head to Tahoe’s East Shore in the evening for sunset. Coffee is a must. Then I’d either opt for a traditional beach day, complete with floaties and beer, or go on a massive day hike –– we did Twin Peaks the other day (11 miles round trip), which was epic. Finishing the day in Reno for a delicious dinner at Centro would be the perfect ender.

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V:  Okay, let’s get to the important stuff:

·   Best cocktail in town? Mediterranean Mule from The Shore Room at the newly-opened Renaissance Hotel in Reno.

·   Best dinner + view? Lone Eagle Grille in Incline Village, hands down. You literally can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.

·   Fav local’s spot (promise we will keep it a secret!)? The abandoned train tunnels on Donner Summit –– also fun to snowshoe in the winter!

·   Most rewarding hike? Love showing newbies Monkey Rock for an amazing first glimpse of Lake Tahoe, but my personal favorite overnight backpacking trip is the Sugar Bowl to Squaw stretch along the PCT: 17 miles total.

·   Which of these are doable in the fall when I come back? :D All of them –– every experience feels brand new when there’s a blanket of snow!

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V:  Now the most important question of all… when are you free so I can come back for Pt. 2?

L:  Girl, I’ll be here all winter: snowboarding, ice skating, hot toddies, warm socks, snowshoeing, gorgeous views… there’s nothing better! Fair warning: if you visit me in the snow I will make you shovel ;)

V:  Deal!  

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This adventure was made possible due to Reno Tahoe. All opinions expressed are my own.

Home away from home // x Alaska Air

 

Those who really know me will tell you I am a homebody. I gravitate toward familiar places, people and routines. However, becoming a photographer has forced me to push my boundaries and, over the years, has taught me to appreciate and now even crave new travel experiences. Though even with all the incredible destinations my work takes me, I’m still always eager to return home.

This spring, during a Mariners game with my friends at Alaska Air, I mentioned how their airline has always been a version of home to me. Growing up in Washington I found comfort in having an airline that I could trust the same way I do the rest of my cozy world — especially with the uncertainties that come with traveling to new places. Just as a quick note: no, Alaska Air is not paying me to gush about them, they asked to hear my honest thoughts and share any insight. 

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Home. I know there are very obvious, literal versions of home, but this time, home was a close friend and a listening ear.

One of my best friends, Andrea, is staying in France this summer. Usually visiting her means taking a quick flight on Alaska Air from Seattle to Kalispell, MT,  near Whitefish, where she lives. But during the summer, she travels back to France to see her family so I had not seen her for quite some time.

This year has been a heavy one for me personally, a lot of heartache, death and sadness in my family, and I really needed quality time with a friend. I gravitate to the familiar and people who I feel most at home with. I decided I needed to book a trip to France to see Andrea.


I arrived in Paris after a reasonably quick flight from NYC. I was feeling confident and happy to be back in a place I loved. It won’t be a surprise to hear that within an hour of landing in the morning that I was already running into problems. I had taken one train to a bigger train station to head toward Poitiers (and Andrea), only to arrive and be told the train was cancelled. Now, Andrea swears that this never happens… so of course it happened that day. ;) I took a train *back* to the airport and bought a late evening ticket to Andrea, and sat for a couple hours with some Pellegrino and Pringles. The flights were a breeze, the trains… well –– lets just say they need to earn my trust back. Thankfully, the trip got a *lot* better from there. 

We spent the week exploring her old stomping grounds, catching up over home cooked meals, visiting the local markets, and obviously indulging in all the cheese and pastries we could find. We met with some local friends of hers, and drove to the coast to Biarritz… a dreamy beach town full of charm, tasty treats and beautiful people. We swam in a warm ocean –– and later found sand in every corner and crevasse of our clothes and bags. I forgot to put sunblock on my bum, drove for the first time in a European country, pushed myself creatively with our photoshoots, and had some real, honest conversations. We laughed to tears, talked about our futures, and put away our cameras for a good dose of the trip to simply savor the moments. It's a funny feeling, how you can be across the world, but with the right people, you still feel right at home.

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Some of my favorite spots we visited:

 

La Flotte in Île de Ré

This place. Ask Andrea, I was running around like a puppy who’s happy tail wags its entire body. Street after street we would stumble upon tiny gardens, beautiful windows and doors and cobblestone paths. Because folks in France go on holiday during the summer, we enjoyed a really quiet afternoon wandering the streets.

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Biarritz

A truly special city. We arrived after a long drive through traffic- Andrea couldn’t stop talking about Biarritz and all the special memories it held. She grew up visiting her grandparents, who live just down the road from the beach. The weather got a little crummy, but it didn’t take away from the experience. We had lunch at Miremont, a tea house established in 1872. Don’t even get me started on the pastries. Let’s just say I’m leaving a little more round than when I arrived and it was worth every bite.

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The beaches near Biarritz

If I close my eyes I can still feel the soft breeze and salty mist on my skin. The ocean has forever been deeply rooted in my heart; so many memories with the people I love most. But swimming in a warm salt water –– that I don’t get to do very often, so this was a special treat. 

Some of the spots we visited were Les Casernes, La Grande Plage, Miramar and Les cult Nuls, the last one translates to “bare butts beach”. I don’t have any photos from the last one, but yes, I felt extremely overdressed in my little bikini. ;)

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Poitiers

The place where we spent most of our time, and where Andrea’s parents live. The thing that drew me in most about Poitiers is its warm, lived-in feeling. Like a familiar chair, that over the years retains its shape and holds its timeless style, but feels cozy and comfortable. Andrea practiced her patience while I insisted on taking another lap around the block (for the 4th time), or searched for the quaint cheese shop I was adamant about finding. (We did find it on the last day, and it did NOT disappoint.)

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Paris

I’ll forever be giddy about Paris. Though it comes with its tourists and occasional chaos, it still has a magic it’ll never shake. The moment you watch the sun disappear over La Seine and the golden historical buildings fade to blue–– the street lights pop up and the hustle and bustle of the evening slowly comes to life. It’s painfully romantic, and lives up to every mushy stereotype, but in a sweet, honest way. I spent a day wandering the streets before my flight home, and I’m certain I had a stupid grin plastered on my face for most of it.


When flying to France, I completely trusted Andrea’s judgment about places to visit, where to eat, what to do. In the same way, I trust Alaska Air to get me to where I need to go. Though they do not fly directly to France, I was able to fly them to NYC and nicely break up my long travel time. The rest of the way I used my Alaska Air points to book with one of their partner airlines, all that I had saved up by using my Alaska Air credit card. Even though not all the flights were on Alaska Air, the entire itinerary still lives on my Alaska Air app, so I don't have to hunt around looking for flight details while en route.

My trip was not at all what I expected it to be, while being exactly what I hoped it would be. I felt at home in a new place, because of the people involved. Turns out home often has very little to do with an exact, physical location, but everything to do with the ones you share your moments with.

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In Collaboration with Alaska Air. #sponsored

Montana x Fujifilm

Spring has always been one of my favorite times of the year. The bright new buds, warmer, longer days; the harshness of winter slowly fading away. I find myself outside more than the previous months. Maybe having a March birthday has something to do with the newness of the season. Whatever the reason, I find it magical.

A few months ago, I headed out to one of my favorite places, Montana, for the first days of Spring. I have friends who get antsy visiting there — they say it's too quiet — though personally, I find so much peace there. I visited a dear friend, Andrea Dabene, and we took a week to catch up, shoot, and explore the endless roads surrounding the town of Whitefish.

While I was there, I got to know the region and the new Fujifilm X-T20, shooting stills and capturing some video. Check out a video of my time there from the Fuji Guys YouTube channel:

It's not hard to get beautiful shots in Montana — amazing scenes just unfold right in front of you. And, if you're like me, it's hard to contain your excitement about a new camera. Here are some of my favorite snaps from the trip, shot on the X-T20:

A bunch of folks asked questions about the X-T20 after seeing that I was using it during the trip, so really quickly, here are my 3 favorite things about it:

• Size. This is hands-down the most powerful camera I've owned in such a compact body.

• Quality. I still get 4K video + 24MP images and the same image sensor as the X-T2.

• Flexibility. It has interchangeable lenses so I can use the entire line of Fujifilm X-Series lenses.

What’s your favorite thing about your Fujifilm camera? Where are you taking it next?

-V

Filson Women’s Weekend

A few weeks ago I received an email invitation from Emily, a friend of mine over at Filson. She was organizing a short weekend excursion to the San Juan Islands with a group of women from all over the country to connect, explore and learn more about the Filson culture and vision. 

A weekend in the San Juan Islands?! Is there anything better? I have spent years visiting these islands, but this last trip proved to be the most memorable.

Before taking off to Kenmore Air for our departure via seaplane, we met with the remarkable Aude Tabet, Filson’s new director of design to get some sneak peeks of the upcoming women’s fall line. One of my favorite things about the company is that they're intentional about every piece and its purpose. The quality and classic look is still true to their timeless American style, yet with this new line –– the shapes, textures and details are more than just an afterthought. 

After a quick lunch in the city, we headed up to Orcas Island where we spent our afternoon exploring the grounds and taking in the sweeping views right outside of our cabins. We headed over to Hogstones Wood Oven for dinner, a true farm-to-table experience and easily one of the best spots on the Island. Ps. You’ll need a reservation and you may need to wait a bit for your food, but I promise ––  it's worth it!

EARTH DAY.

I couldn’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate Earth Day than with a group of women who choose to be powerful voices and advocates for this planet we call home. I loved that we were able to spend the entire day outdoors. (It only rained for a couple hours!)

In the morning we took off on a ferry to Friday Harbor to a magical pocket of the island known as Westcott Bay Shellfish Co. We met with Erik and Andrea Anderson who so graciously shared their story and the history of the farm while guiding us on a tour of the bay and property. I was blown away by their commitment to restoring this farm as well as their patience while teaching the ladies to shuck oysters. ;) Erik grilled some fresh oysters for us as I hovered over the warmth of the grill, listening to his story while watching him work. He shared his incredible chipotle bourbon butter recipe with me which I can’t wait to revisit soon. 

A little down time was in order so we made our way back to our cabins at Doe Bay. After a mini reset, we headed toward the garden and met with the in-house gardener, Jess Townsend. Her eyes beaming, her hair a perfect pile of curls atop her head and hands covered in soil, she showed us around the farm, introduced us to her pet chickens and led us to the greenhouse where we harvested fresh greens for our dinner.

Then came my favorite part of the weekend. Dinner over an open flame with Executive Chef, Jon Chappelle. We started with sautéed baby mushrooms, burrata cheese and toasted artisan bread. (Calories don’t count at Doe Bay, right?) Jon continued to impress us ladies with his creative dishes which included grilled seafood, a hearty roast, freshly harvested salad and roasted baby potatoes –– all prepared over a campfire with wine, good company and the sun setting behind us. It was an evening to remember.

The next morning we met at Doe Bay Cafe (HIGHLY recommend.) If you are a breakfast burrito kind of person, this is your place. I know some of you take burritos very seriously and I’m telling you… this one’s a winner. After fueling up, we slowly made our way over to the van, and reluctantly said goodbye to Doe Bay before heading out on a little hike to Cascade Falls. I had never been before, but now I cant wait to get back. I like that the hike to the falls requires minimal effort. It's perfect if you simply want to stretch your legs before a long drive. 

 

As our trip to the San Juan Islands was drawing to a close, we took off on our seaplane back to Seattle. I looked around at the incredible folks surrounding me and couldn't help but think to myself, “What an honor to have met such phenomenal women and to have spent quality time exploring the islands with some of my closest friends." This weekend getaway allowed us to truly connect with the heart and vision of our friends behind Filson.

 

NEW YEAR, NEW FUJIFILM GEAR. 

My first experiences with the new Fujifilm GFX and X100F.

 

Over the last few months, I've had the opportunity to test two of Fujifilm's newest additions to the family: The new GFX 50S Medium Format camera and the new X100F fixed-lens camera. I'll update this post soon with my thoughts on each, but for now, I've made two collections on Priime with some of my favorite images from recent trips:

GFX in Hawaii: http://priime.com/veekster/fujifilm-gfx-oahu

X100F in Florida: http://priime.com/veekster/fujifilm-x100f

What do you think about Fujifilm's latest arrivals?

xx

Victoria Wright

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An Escape to the Deserts of Southern California

a collaboration with Zappos x Blundstone

 

It was a whirlwind of a week for me between work, meetings, the Adobe MAX conference, and a fun head cold. I happened to be in southern California last week and decided to meet up with some friends of mine in between all the meetings. We decided to get out of the city for a little fresh air. 

My friend, York Galland, kindly invited Kelly, Christina and I to join him and his beautiful daughter, Olive on a heli adventure to the desert. We took off in the early afternoon, and watched the commuter traffic build up below us. It was the first time I had observed traffic and found myself smiling, thinking how beautiful it looked from afar. It's all about perspective, I suppose. 

As we glided over the cityscape, I was thinking about my project with Blundstone. The goal of our collaboration and the mission of the brand is to get outside, explore, and share #HowIRoam in my favorite boots. I grabbed them on this trip thinking they would be perfect for the rugged landscapes we were promised to visit, and I'm SO glad that I did. I was able to romp around the giant rocks we found and explore the lava fields nearby without worrying about the comfort and security of my feet.

The day was exactly what we all needed. It was a little breath of fresh air; a moment of quiet. I am thankful for good friends and for the opportunity to live in a country so diverse in landscape, people and perspectives.

I can't wait to get back out there.

I have loved working with Zappos on various projects. They continuously impress me with their extremely fast shipping, the endless options they have, and how reliable they are when it comes to finding quality brands such as Blundstone

Images by Victoria Wright & Christina Hicks

Images by Victoria Wright & Christina Hicks

Want some Blundstone for yourself? You can find them here

Happy Monday!

An Escape to the Deserts of Southern California

Rescue.

Life can get hectic — especially during this time of year. With the approaching holidays, work travels, family health issues, politics and a myriad of other stress inducing factors, I certainly find myself daydreaming of escape or reminiscing of summer days fading into the distant past. The day I spent at the beach with my sister-in-law is one I revisit often. I remember strolling through a nearby coastal town soaking up some Vitamin D with the warm sun on my skin, stopping to buy some flowers at a local market before heading to the beach to simply watch the waves crash against the rugged landscape. It was bliss.

I can't always escape my busy, hectic schedule, but Rescue is my little ray of sunshine on those days when I need it. Rescue is a blend of 5 different Bach Flower Remedies created to help us relax, get focused and get through immediate stressful situations, from exams or interviews to rush-hour traffic or holiday travel. Unfortunately, avoiding these stressful life situations isn't always an option, but choosing to be present and finding natural solutions, is. Rescue is my go-to for that dose of calmness and clarity. #stressless

To find a location that carries Rescue Products, learn more here. 

In collaboration with Bach Rescue.

Hátíðin - A Celebration

Last month I had the opportunity to work with Icelandair, in one of my favorite places on Earth. I had just been named Fujifilm’s newest X Photographer, and to celebrate, Icelandair flew me nonstop from Seattle to Keflavik, Iceland. The airport is an easy 40 minutes by bus from the capital, Reykjavik — where I arrived with my X-T2 in hand to experience some of the unique, extreme conditions found there (I shared some photos from my first visit to Iceland when I wrote about making my first book!)

I brought only two cameras with me — my Fujifilm X-T2 and X-Pro2 — along with a selection of prime lenses. My friend, Dan Rubin, happened to be in Iceland house-sitting that same week, so we teamed up for a few days and I let him try out the X-Pro2 during our shoots so he could get some real-world experience with it in the wild. The locations and views we experienced completely blew me away — Iceland is always impressive, even in the cold, rain, and wind. The X-Pro2 and X-T2’s weather-sealing held up really well despite the tough conditions — these cameras continue to impress me with their ability to perform in such harsh environments.

I stayed at the brand new Canopy by Hilton in Reykjavik’s City Center (highly recommend!), not far from some of my FAVORITE coffee shops and bakeries. If you ever find yourself in Reykjavik, these are definitely worth visiting:

 

During the week we were paired up with the lovely Birgitta, a local musician and long-time employee of Icelandair, and my Celebration Stopover Buddy. The very first day she picked each of us up with her bright, welcoming smile, and drove us to coffee (at the Te & Kaffi Micro Roast). After downing one of the best Americanos I’ve had in a while, we headed out to some of Birgitta’s favorite places within a few hours of Reykjavik including Langjökull glacier, where we enjoyed a fantastic snowmobile tour (more on that below!), the geothermal wonderland of Geysir, the impressive waterfall, Gullfoss, and a last-minute diversion to Kerið (a volcanic crater filled with water), sharing tips and facts along the way. I wrapped up my trip with an evening at a restaurant named Grillmarkaourinn over one of the most incredible meals I've ever had, followed by a drive out of the city to catch a glimpse of the dancing aurora borealis.

One of my favorite and most memorable spots that week was Langjökull, the second largest glacier in Iceland. We hopped on to snowmobiles from Mountaineers of Iceland, (though all the snow had mostly turned to ice!) and explored the area in our giant orange jumpsuits. Though it started raining, and we struggled to keep the cameras dry, the photos still turned out to be some of my favorites.

My trip was brief, but Iceland is such a special place… time feels slower there. I was able to see so much in such a short amount of time, all such unique and special locations. Joel and I were able to go earlier this year and see a lot of the island as we explored with our camper (you can read about that visit here). With each visit to Iceland, I’ve returned home incredibly inspired by the landscape, people, and memories made in this special country. I’ll be back for you very soon, Iceland!

-V

My first book: Iceland

 

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to find myself in Iceland for a few days. While shooting some work for a client, I had the opportunity to shoot some personal photos along the way. I haven’t shared many of them, not unlike most of the photos I seem to hoard during my travels. I’m not sure if it's because I worry about bombarding you all, or if it feels like everyone has already traveled to and photographed Iceland. However, I can’t deny that experiencing it for myself was entirely life changing. I felt like I was on an entirely different planet.

When Blurb approached me to work on a project with their gorgeous product line, I knew exactly what I wanted to make. I think I responded to their initial email within 5 minutes with my idea. Iceland was still sitting on all of my SD/CF cards (I KNOW- I hadn’t even backed them up yet! Shame, shame.) When all was settled, (and backed up!) I started the process of making my first photo book.

I sorted through thousands of photos before getting it down to ~150 selects. I knew I didn’t want it to be that big, so I printed those out (low-res b&w on regular printer paper) just to visualize the images side by side. From there, I picked some favorites before beginning to pair them together and select which ones would be shown as a full-spread image.

It was really important for me to have creative control over what the book looked and felt like so I immediately downloaded the Adobe® InDesign® plug-in. From that point I was able to plop the selected photos into the app and then bounce from presentation mode (to see the full-sized images) to Preview, which displayed the flow of the pages as I added them in. It was starting to come together, and I couldn’t have been more excited.

I ordered a swatch kit of Blurb’s paper options before ordering my book so I could feel the texture and see the quality. I landed on the Proline Uncoated 100lb paper. The rest of the ordering process was a breeze—choosing the cover, the size, the paper— it came together quickly especially with the inspirational layouts I found on their website.

Within a week my book arrived at the doorstep. Upon opening the book, page after page, I felt so happy seeing such beautiful memories properly displayed in their new, canvas-lined home. A book has a unique way of pausing life for a moment… reminding us to savor, reflect, and slow down.

I've had a handful of you ask me if this book will be available for purchase, and though I have no definite answer at the moment, I can say that I'm working on a little something for you to enjoy until I do. I encourage you to subscribe to my blog to stay in the loop. But for now, come visit. I’ll make us a pour-over, and you can dive into the pages of a perfect, quiet little week in Iceland.

In partnership with Blurb.com. #blurbbooks

savoring the last days of summer - 2016

 

 

My work has kept me away from the PNW for a substantial amount of time this season, so when the stars magically aligned and a day cleared for both Joel and I, we hopped in the car and headed out of the city to disconnect from everything and reconnect with each other (and Ruby!). 

With no cell service, minimal crowds, and a backpack full of snacks and books, the hours passed like minutes. I couldn’t have asked for anything more than a little more time in the day. We stopped for some iced tea, hiked into one of our favorite spots, and just enjoyed the quiet.

I savor moments like these. They’re so desperately needed to balance the hectic nature of our schedules, especially this time of the year. With autumn creeping up on us, I glanced at my calendar, realized my “free” spots were quickly disappearing, and decided that I need to make a conscious effort to not let this season slip away. An effort to see the people I love. An effort to say “no" to busyness and "yes" to family and to that friend who keeps reaching out even though I embarrassingly keep rescheduling our coffee dates (you know who you are, and I'm texting you RIGHT NOW!). 

It's a seemingly simple goal, yet, as seasons fly by, I'm realizing that these are the moments that matter most and they're worth protecting. 

But that doesn’t mean summer hasn’t been amazing! From traveling around Europe to working for a few weeks in New York, it’s been a whirlwind of fun. One of my favorite projects this summer was my collaboration with Backpacks.com and I'm so excited to finally be able to share it with you.

Earlier this year they set out to build a website with a beautifully curated selection of backpacks to help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs. And you know what? It's a game-changer. I knew what I wanted from a backpack and the website helped me pick a pack that was perfect for my little day trip with Joel: the Gregory Sketch 22. Lightweight, durable, and ready to hold our precious cargo (I’m obviously talking about the snacks). Now if only the rest of my life was perfectly curated in a way to make decisions this easy…

To help celebrate the launch of the new backpacks.com, I also shared a travel story - a full recap of the trip I took to the San Juan Islands/Alaska with LLV and Natalie - on Backpacks.com. That trip was undoubtedly one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had and, (with the help of my brilliant editor John Bray) I put together an editorial piece with all the highlights. Here's a little preview:


"That night on Bear Glacier never got completely dark, lingering instead in a twilight that matched the deep glacial blues before the sun crested the horizon. We tried to suppress our excitement and get a little bit of sleep, but the magic that seems to run on every road and trail in Alaska kept us awake. Fortunately, the morning greeted us with a steady wind that remained for the rest of our time there and pushed us to explore and kayak through the region, a place that felt largely untouched and unseen.”

You can see the full story here.
 

Also, I’m planning a trip to Utah, New Mexico, and Texas in November. I would LOVE to hear your recommendations for must-see spots or your favorite coffee shops along the way. If you or someone you know is interested in working on a project, having some photos taken, or meeting up while I'm there, send me a note! (veekster@icloud.com)


xooo
V

 

In collaboration with @backpacksdotcom. #backpackjourneys

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Sore legs from a weekend hike, exciting news, and a giveaway. Not bad for a Monday. 

 

Sore legs from a weekend hike, exciting news, and a giveaway. Not bad for a Monday. 

 

North Cascades, September 2016

North Cascades, September 2016

 

It will officially be fall in just a few days and my hike this past weekend got me awfully excited for the coming season. Crisp air, much needed sunshine, a little preview of some fall foliage (its going to be so pretty this year!) and even some snow! The lingering mist, surprise rainbows and lack of cell service were just what the doctor ordered. As I mentioned on Instagram, all the images here were taken with my Fujifilm X-Pro2.

 

I have been a longtime fan of the X series and have shot with them for years, so when the folks at Fujifilm asked me to consider being a X-Photographer, I didn't even need to think about it. Needless to say, Im SO excited to join the ranks! Over the next few weeks, Ill be sharing more about what weve been cooking up, but for now

 

Lets do a giveaway!

 

Im giving away one FUJIFILM X70 camera! Like all X Series cameras, the X70 offers simple manual operation, amazing image quality, and a beautiful touch-screen display that rotates 180 degrees. It's also perfectly compact for your day-to-day adventures. You can read more about the X70 here.

 

To Enter:

 

1.     Leave a comment letting me know what youre most excited to photograph this fall

2.     The winner will be selected at random, contacted via email, and announced via an edit to this post

3.     All comments must be posted by Friday, September 23rd to be eligible to win

 

Good luck and happy fall!

 

Giveaway Update

Congrats, Aaron Durand! You are the winner of the FUJIFILM X70! Please email me at veekster@icloud.com for instructions. 

 

Thank you all who participated in the contest! Please subscribe below, so you don't miss the next one! 

 

 

Editing Session: Projects, Pancakes, and Pups

 

After a fun session in the studio and a few projects that followed, Kara and I planned our edit day.

 Edit days are some of my favorites because I try to make sure there are other people around. Sometimes, its Kara, the pups and I. Other times, a couple other friends join in, but conversation and good food are always a priority. We pick a place to meet, grab our gear (including my HP Spectre), and decide on a meal to make so we can get through a couple hours of editing.

Last Friday we met at Kara's, grabbed stuff for breakfast - a meal that we ate at 3pm because our love for pancakes is not limited to morning hours - and got to work. We snacked, edited images from our recent projects, and let the dogs play until they fell asleep.

I was excited for this round of edits because I finally got to spend a little time on the images from my last studio session with Kara and I couldn’t be happier with how everything came together. The HP Spectre has easily become part of my routine and these photos inspired me to plan a couple extra personal projects for the summer. If I set out to simply create - camera and Spectre in tow - I'm convinced that more good things will come.

I was excited for this round of edits because I finally got to spend a little time on the images from my last studio session with Kara and I couldnt be happier with how everything came together. The HP Spectre has easily become part of my routine and these photos inspired me to plan a couple extra personal projects for the summer. If I set out to simply create - camera and Spectre in tow - I'm convinced that more good things will come.

In collaboration with HP. 

Sneak Preview - Iceland

I've been hiding out at home the last few days trying to edit through some images from my big trip last month. I'm working on something special that I am excited to share with you very soon, but in the meantime I wanted to share a little preview from Iceland. I worked with CampEasy while on the Iceland leg of my trip and was able to drive around the entire island thanks to this little camper. It was a champ. 

Summer afternoons in the studio.

 

Ive been on the road for the last few months and, as much as I love exploring and seeing new places, Ive been a little sad that I havent had a single moment to get into the studio. Theres something really special about a place that's meant to be a home for creativity. Even if Ive had the worst week ever, walking through those doors makes my heart skip. The studio feels like a blank canvas... there’s just so much potential.

After settling in back home and shaking off some of my jet lag (one cup of coffee at a time), my friend Kara and I recently snagged some flowers from Sarah Jane Camancho, owner of Thatch Floral in Seattle, and dragged them up to the studio so we could play. Often, I go into photo shoots on a mission, with shots in mind, but Ive learned that its also important to schedule time in my life to just create while in the moment.

For this session, I made sure to grab my new HP Spectre before heading out the door and I’m glad I did. Being able to see my photos on that crystal clear HD screen helped me visualize the finished product and allowed me to show Kara the images in real time as I directed her between shots. Thanks to the Spectre’s battery design, I was even able to stay unplugged for the entire shoot. When I’m in the right place with the right people – and I remember to bring all the tools I need – good things happen. This little impromptu creative session was no exception. Can't wait to share more from this day with you!

For this session, I made sure to grab my new HP Spectre before heading out the door and Im glad I did. Being able to see my photos on that crystal clear HD screen helped me visualize the finished product and allowed me to show Kara the images in real time as I directed her between shots. Thanks to the Spectres battery design, I was even able to stay unplugged for the entire shoot. When Im in the right place with the right people  and I remember to bring all the tools I need  good things happen. This little impromptu creative session was no exception.

Can't wait to share more from this day with you!

In collaboration with HP.

My office is my little sanctuary. I do a lot of work from home while huddled behind a computer screen so having a space free of clutter is crucial. I am always looking for ways to improve it, aiming to make it a more inspiring place.

This month, I had the opportunity to introduce the HP Spectre laptop to my workspace. What first caught my attention with the PC was the minimal, sleek design. Its really thin. In fact, at 10.4mm, its the thinnest laptop in the world. But the Spectre is more than just beautiful design. It has a gorgeous HD display thats perfect for my photo editing (and catching up on Netflix), and its also extremely lightweight. Weighing only 2.45 lbs, the Spectre is the perfect travel companion on my days away from home.

 

Reinvent Obession with HP

Then theres the sophisticated color palette. Lately, Ive been a sucker for all things with copper, so its no surprise that I was immediately drawn to the Spectre. The ash-colored matte aluminum is complemented perfectly with the glossy copper trim and it felt right at home on my desk.

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Best of all, the beautiful, architecturally inspired details of the Spectre inspired me to freshen up my workspace. Now I just need to make another cup of coffee and get back to work! :)

 

In the market for an impressive, lightweight laptop? The HP Spectre is available here.

 

In collaboration with HP.

Alaska. June 2016. 

After a few magical days in the San Juan Islands, Natalie, Laura and I continued our trip up to Alaska and it was nothing short of incredible. I am working on a little project with one of my favorite companies to share my experience and can't wait to tell you about it soon. Here's a little preview for now! <3