I Make Friends With Small Animals

I crouch behind a tree, my sweaty palms grasping the bundle of black machinery. I slowly inch my face around, causing the creature to fill my field of view. There it is, I think to myself. Slowly does it…don’t miss the shot… Ever so gently I bring my hands up to my eye…’CLICK’ The squirrel, no bigger than the 55 millimeter lens on the camera in my hand, flinches. It crouches, nose quivering, trying to decide the level of immediate danger the girl and her camera pose to it.


Luckily for me, after a few tense seconds it relaxes and resumes nibbling on the pinecone held in it’s paws. I take a dozen more photos before we both hear rapid footsteps approaching.


“Emma!” My brother jogs up to me, “Get over here! We found a little snake!” I look back at the squirrel, but it had scampered from its spot by my feet to a log a few yards away. I snap one more picture before joining my brother, who by this time was a good way up the path. On to a new subject.




Blast (Bus?) from the Past

My mom is the proud and fanatical owner of  a red-and-white ’63 Volkswagon bus, it’s been her baby for many years. She used to sell strawberries in it at farmers markets in Iowa. Now that we are in Maui however, the bus sits in the garage and is only taken out for a special trips. This past week while my grandparents were visiting, we happened to be in Walmart for something-or-other and saw it; a four-foot box emblazoned with a child-sized, exact miniature of my mother’s prized vehicle on the side. After several selfies and “THIS IS SO COOL!”s, we went on shopping. That was not the end of it however, at the end of their stay with us, my grandparents had us go to the garage and proceeded to show us their christmas present to us; the coveted box from Walmart. Never mind that none of us can actually fit in the little bus, you can plug in your phone and play music, open and close the doors, honk the horn, start the engine, and (of course) drive it at a racing pace of 5 mph. This called for a photo-shoot. Out came the deafening roar of the old and the high-pitched squeal of the new. After a good half and hour of the entire family taking pictures and getting in each other’s way, here are a few of my shots:




We’re all enjoying our new toy and I had a lot of fun taking pictures of it.

 Mele Kalikimaka! (Merry Christmas)


Check out IowaMeetsMaui to learn more of the backstory on the bus!

Fair Week!

This past week was the 93rd Maui county fair. For me, this year was unique in that I had the opportunity to shadow the official fair photographer. I learned a lot; how to take a picture of a fast-moving subject while still retaining a sense of movement, that taking pictures of what the people want to see is key, and to make sure to always bring all your gear with you!

foodies' appendix-15

I really liked taking pictures of the Wave Swinger, especially at night when it was lit up.


I took this by zooming out while using a long shutter speed at night.


This one was also taken using a long shutter speed, but during the day.

Photography Class Sampler

I recently took a photography class here in Maui. Each week our teacher; Krissy Millar, would talk about a different facet of photography. Our homework was to then somehow incorporate the lesson into a picture. Here are a few photographs that I sent in.


I sent the above pictures in for an assignment that had us walk around Kihei and take a single picture. I chose to take mine of some colorful mopeds lined up in front of Maui Scooter Shack in the Aloha Open Market. I admit I definitely could of framed this first picture better, but the intent of taking only one picture was so we would have to really think about our subjects, composition, and (later) how we could have done it better. A couple weeks later we had another assignment  in which we were to recreate the first photo using a new creative aspect of the subject. Because I left this project until the night before it was due, I dug around in my brother’s bottomless pile of cars and found a small toy moped to photograph.


This last picture I submitted as the last piece of homework in Mrs. Millar’s photography class. We were asked to choose our favorite picture to be printed, and I decided, after much hemming and hawing, upon this one. This picture is of my brother and grandpa walking in the rain together on a bridge in Northern California. The reason I decided on this particular picture was that I liked the way the lines of the bridge drew the viewer’s eyes toward the figures. I also  liked using black and white tones to bring more expression into the picture.

Thanks again to Mrs. Millar for teaching such a fun class!

Whiskey Town Lake

Earlier this week I returned from a thanksgiving vacation in California with nearly a thousand pictures on my Canon camera. I had gone hiking in the Whiskey Town Lake national park and there where so many bright colors and interesting trees that I was constantly lagging behind the rest of my family while I took pictures. Here are three of my favorites:


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