Peru

Back in summer, I received a message from my friend Jacqueline about the possibility of heading down to Peru for a week-long yoga and surf retreat in November. She wanted me to come down and shoot some photo content for her new business venture, Pa’lante Yoga, and obviously I was all for it. I try and jump at each and every opportunity to travel, especially when ceviche and left hand point breaks are on the itinerary, so this one was a must. Plans came together quickly, plane tickets were bought, and before we knew it, 13 of us were stepping on a plane headed for Máncora, Peru.

Máncora is a little slice of surf heaven in Northern Peru; a town built around all things fishing and surfing. We arrived after a 10 hour flight from LAX to Lima, followed by a two hour flight from Lima to Piura, followed by a two hour shuttle ride through the desert. We were spoiled with staying 6 nights and 7 days at the amazing Casa De Sofia, which needless to say was incredible. With meals cooked for us and cleaning services all set in place, our job was to chill out, surf the left point out front, do lots of yoga, eat large amounts of ceviche, and just relax (aside from my job of shooting photos, which really doesn’t even feel like work in a setting like that). Thanks to Pa’lante for having me and to Austin, Sadie, and Erin for being a few of my main photographic subjects on the trip.

These are a handful of my personal photos from the week down south. Moments captured in between others. Enjoy.

-Jack.

Salt and Pine

Each person has that one thing that makes them feel refreshed.. alive.. balanced. It can be an experience, a place, a process.. whatever it is, it’s different for everyone. For me, one of those things is spending time on the central coast of California. From velvet hillsides littered with cows and horses, to turquoise-blue waves beating against pine tree covered cliffs, I love it all and just being there makes me feel so alive.

Growing up on the beaches of San Diego, my life has always revolved around the ocean. The salty air, warm weather, palm trees, golden sunsets… there’s no place I’d rather call home. While growing up, I also spent a lot of time up highway 395 going to Mammoth, backpacking through the John Muir wilderness, and camping in pine-tree heaven. But those were always two separate experiences for me (the beach and the mountains). I think that’s why I enjoy the central coast so much, because it’s like being in my two favorite places at the same time. There’s something so magical about that zone, and it’s such a blessing to live just a few hours away from a place so special.

With that being said, it was time for another trip up the coast and I has the pleasure of going with four of my close friends Breyden, Ivana, Kate, and Nikki. We all get jazzed on taking photos, blasting music, and hanging out the window drooling over gorgeous landscapes, so this seemed like a perfect trip for all of us. We left on a Friday morning at 2:00 am, woke up as the sun was creeping over hills north of Morro Bay, and began breathing in that crisp, cold ocean air.

With plenty of cameras, PB&J’s, and no agenda, we cruised around Big Sur, Monterey, and Santa Cruz throughout the weekend. I could write a short novel about all the laughs and good times we had during our time up there, but I’ll let the pictures do the talking. Here are a few of the photos I took along the way.

-Jack.

VERANO

Thoughts Lately on Change, Progress, and Purpose:

It's a Sunday in August and I'm having a rather nostalgic morning at a coffee shop in Cardiff. Every time I update photo galleries on my website, it's a chance to look back and reflect on the multitude of photos I have collected from the past years. It's a bit of an inevitable process for me because I'm always looking back on photos from years back and seeing what i've changed in my photography, difference in my editing style, different friends, etc... but every time I go back and look, it ends up being a reflection of the times instead of an analysis of photo style. I'm not sure if it's like this for other people but my photos connect me with the past so heavily and make feel a certain way that I don't feel from anything else in the world. And that's a major secondary benefit I get from being a photographer; it's like having concrete memories to turn to to help remember even more about certain places, times, situations, and feelings. 

Man it's so weird to see the rate at which things change at this age. I think the ages in between 18 and 25 are absolutely the most volatile stages of young life and so much changes in each of us in those years. As I am about to turn 24 in September, I look back at my 18 year old self... a wildly naive and curious freshman in college that didn't know hardly anything. Little did I know how much change I would go through in the next 6 years. I think that looking back on those times and comparing them with the 'now' is such an important and healthy thing for all of us to do. It gives us a context and a scale for our growth and helps us realize how far we've come, the way in which we have changed, and the direction in which we are growing. Year by year, we all grow and change and those around us do the same. Change is a good thing, and sometimes it takes some reflection to realize it. 

This summer has been quite different for me, and I know this is a part of the process of growing up. I'm graduated from school and now I am working. I landed a job as a Marketing Coordinator at a tech startup company in Carlsbad that creates an app product for the construction industry. What a strange change of pace for me. I always thought I would be working in action sports or something like that but here I am, indirectly in the construction industry doing marketing for a software company. My job is incredible and I am so blessed to be able to have landed a job where I did. I work with the coolest people who are all legends at their craft and I am learning more than ever. Things have a weird way of working out and I don't know why I'm here and don't know what it will look like for me down the line, but I'm along for the ride and can't wait to see where it takes me. 

As far as my photography goes, it hasn't been slowing down at all. In fact, i've been shooting far more now than ever and I am far more inspired now than ever. Part of that has to do with my schedule and how busy I am with my career. Photography has always been my outlet... my means of relaxation, creativity, joy under any circumstance, and it's something I know I can always turn to. It's passion in purest form. I am used to doing a lot of my shooting by myself but lately, i've been lucky enough to form a friend group and creative circle with some good friends Kate, Ivana, and Nikki. These people push me every single day to be creative, to find inspiration everywhere, and to be happy as a a clam no matter what is going on. We've been able to spend a lot of time together shooting photos, surfing, and learning from each other. It's so important to have people like that in your life, so I am very thankful for those newfound relationships. (Apologies because pretty much all of the images in this gallery are from shooting photos of them or with them)

I've been reading a lot and have been on quite the search for beginning to seek out purpose and meaning in my life and what that looks like in my career. Every wise and intelligent source I look to in books, articles, and blogs all talk about the importance of aligning passion with talent to find fulfillment in a career. I've always been against turning my photography into a career but as I get more into photography, as I discover new opportunities with it, and as my passion and talent for it grows, I can't help but think about being destined to do this. It's an omen and it just makes sense. For that to happen, it will have to be about finding an aspect of photography that I could make a sustainable career out of and I have no clue what that looks like. As I said earlier, I don't know why I am here and I don't know what it will look like for me down the line. All I know is that I love freezing time with my camera, I love using it as my creative outlet, and I am the best version of myself when I am in that space. All I want to do in life is to be able to say I helped or drastically changed something for the better. Whether that looks like helping others and providing for people less fortunate than I am, or changing how people interact with the ocean, or showing people love who have never experienced it... no matter what it looks like, I just want to serve others and make a significant difference for something other than myself. And I would love if my camera was the means of me being able to do that. For now.. baby steps. All I can do now is to keep learning, keep growing, keep shooting, keep traveling, keep looking for new opportunities, keep enjoying life, keep changing, keep creating, and follow that heart because it's usually right. 

Enough rambling from me. Here's a concise collection of my photos from the past few months. Feast your eyes on what I do in my free time. 

-Jack. 


 

Big Sur Valentine

Upon returning home from Thailand, I was feeling pretty exhausted of being surrounded by so many people, hopping on flight after flight, and just living in craziness for a month. With this feeling and as the introvert that I am, I thought it would be really nice to head up the coast to Big Sur, California to spend a few days camping and relaxing with just me, myself, and I. Big Sur is a majestic, quiet, and gorgeous stretch of coastline in Central California where the forrest meets the Pacific in the most stunning way. Every corner you turn reveals another breathtaking view that makes you want to stop your car and stare for another 15 minutes, every cove has some crazy rock formation with trees growing all over it, and every night sky is littered with galaxies. There's just something really special about the place and it was really nice to escape up there for a few days to just refresh. I think everyone should try and take the time to do something like this, you'd be surprised at what it can do for you. Here's a little gallery with a few of the photos that I shot up there. Enjoy. 

-Jack.

 

Water

Ever since I got my water housing for my camera, I've been able to experience a whole new side of the ocean that I didn't get to experience before and that is creating in the ocean. I can remember hundreds of times that I have been out surfing and thought, "Damn, I wish I had my camera right here, right now to capture this." And that's all it ever was until I finally sacked up and bought a housing. When I got the housing and started using it, I fell in love with what was going on below the surface that I had never been able to see before. When you look at the ocean below the surface and see all of the abstract, free, random movements that it makes, it is just beautiful. Every time I go out for a swim at Swamis or some reef break, I am stunned at how much beauty is there when before, I had hardly noticed it. There is so much life, motion, change, flow, balance, and power. Through photographing the ocean, I have learned about what an example the ocean is for us as humans. The ocean is always growing, always changing, it is relentless, it is resilient, it is quiet, it is graceful, it is loud, it is mighty, and it is full of life. What better inspiration can we get than that? We should all try to be like the ocean and adapt the traits that it has. That's what I love about the ocean aside from the constant joy that it brings to those of us who are lucky enough to live next to it and engage with it on a daily basis. 

So without further adieu, i've setup a gallery of some of my favorite photos I have shot in the water in these last few months. Take a look and enjoy. 

-Jack. 

Southeast Asia

Taking advantage of youthful autonomy is such an important thing for us to do. Traveling is one of those things that can get harder and harder to do as we get older. Careers, kids, bills... life just gets hectic down the line and taking advantage of being able to get out of town for a while to see the world is such an important thing. 

Freddie Sahhar, Nicolette Affre, my little brother James, and I saw an opportunity where we could all save up and take some time to travel around Southeast Asia. We pulled the trigger, bought plane tickets and started planning in October for a month long trip in January. As the fall months passed, we just got more and more excited for the adventure that we were about to have. The holiday season came and went quickly and before we knew it, it was off to Thailand on January 3rd. 

The trip started in Bangkok where we stayed in a crafty little air bnb smack dab in the middle of the city. We cruised around for a few days, blown away by the sights, sounds and smells of the busy city. People move fast, they throw their trash wherever they like, the air has a looming thickness to it, and for some reason you always feel like you're going get pickpocketed. Despite these strange first impressions, we found Bangkok to be really fun. Great food, some of the best cocktails in the world at the most unique bars, crazy skyscraper scenery, unnecessarily extravagant malls.... the list goes on. After a few days in Bangkok, we headed North up to the mountains to a small town called Pai. Pai was one of our favorite places on the trip due to the solace and more authentic feel. We stayed in a little jungle bungalow, snagged some mopeds, and spent a few days cruising around the valley seeing all of the sights. Pai is nice because it's just a sleepy little hippy town with good food, good coffee, nice people, and a rad little market that takes up the whole main street every single night. During our time in Pai, we linked up with some of our friends Trent, Kialy, and Alana, hit a hot spring, went to a festival in the middle of nowhere to see Cherub play, ate more good food, and moved on from Pai to our next adventures. 

After Pai, the four of us went North from Chiang Mai into the chilly mountains and stayed a few nights at an elephant sanctuary called Chai Lai Orchid. Other than being a safe-haven for elephants, Chai Lai Orchid is established to support a foundation that fights for women in some ugly trafficking situations. A lot of the women who were saved from that terrible reality now work at Chai Lai and are some of the sweetest people you'll meet. The profits from the sanctuary go to helping elephants that are being hunted or are being treated harshly with metal chairs on their backs, as well as funds the organization that fights women trafficking. During our stay, we got to trek around the mountains with our guide Koloh, rode a bamboo raft down a river, bathed a baby elephant, and got the opportunity to ride the elephants through the jungle. This was an absolutely surreal experience and is something that I will never forget. 

Always on the move, we then headed down south to Krabi, Thailand, a tropical region of the country littered with palm trees, geckos, and all kinds of critters that crawl in the jungle. From Krabi we ventured around to Koh Lanta, Ao Nang, Railay Beach, and also spent two nights on the Phi Phi Islands. Although Phi Phi wasn't really our vibe with an overload of fist bumping meatheads that look like they came straight out of Jersey Shore, the islands are breathtaking and have some of the most beautiful rock formations you've ever seen. We linked back up with Trent, Alana, and Kialy here and all took a boat out for a day to explore the surrounding islands. Crystal clear water, gorgeous reef passes, white beaches, crazy sunset.. what more could we ask for? It was an epic day. After a night of celebrating over more good food and drinks, we parted ways and the four of us were off once again, to Singapore. 

Well, we thought our air bnb was in Singapore, but it was actually in Johor, which is the province directly outside Singapore in Malaysia. Crossing the border back and forth from Malaysia was pretty interesting and was a rather wild experience in itself. There isn't much to do or see in the main city area of Malaysia, so while were there, we basically had 2-3 days to just lay low, eat amazing food, and relax. We found some of the best food we had ever eaten, had a little too much hot sake, and always managed to stumble back to our 25th floor high rise apartment safely. After a few days of R&R in Malaysia, it was back to Singapore to explore the city. Singapore is clean, like weirdly clean. The laws are really strict and it makes for a really safe feeling, clean place... but it isn't cheap. Singapore is expensive to visit but has some of the most unreal industrial architecture in the world. Most buildings look like an art project, especially the 57 story resort with a yacht-looking structure on top of it. All in all, it was a few more days of good food, good drinks, and good times cruising through the city. 

After Singapore, James had to go back home due to the start of the school semester, so we wished him safe travels and headed to Bali, Indonesia. We landed in Bali and rented a little Suzuki Jimmy, which in the states in practically a Suzuki Samurai (a 2 door tin can wanna-be Jeep). It was such a rad little adventure mobile and we took it all over the place. First up to Ubud where we hung with monkeys, cruised around the sleepy little town, saw some beautiful rice fields, and of course had more good food and drinks. After a mellow stay in Ubud, we headed down to the Uluwatu region in Bali where we stayed for six nights. Suprise, suprise... more good food and drinks in this part of the country. We linked up with a couple of our friends that live there and they took us to a couple fun little breaks to get some waves and adventure through even more of the lush, beautiful island. After our time in Bali, it was time to head home to sunny San Diego. 

Coming home to San Diego is such a treat. I haven't been to that many places around the world but I have spent time in some of the most beautiful places imaginable in Costa Rica and throughout Southeast Asia and nothing feels better than finally touching back down in California and coming home. Maybe it's the notion of it being home, maybe it's the weather, the salty air, the warm people.. i'm gonna guess it's a little bit of all the above. There's just nothing quite like coming home and it takes going away for a little while to realize how incredibly lucky we are to live in such an amazing place as San Diego. I'm no world traveler and I have barely seen any of the world but i've seen enough to be grateful and realize how good we have it. This is why traveling as a young person is so important. It shows us (or at least me) how many blessings we are surrounded by every single day and helps us not take it for granted. 

I tried to keep a month of stories and information relatively short and sweet, so hopefully you're not sleeping of boredom right now. Take a look at the photos that I put together from the trip, maybe they can help tell my story a bit better. Of all the 10,000 + photos I shot on the trip, I've compiled my most favorite images in a gallery for you, so take a look and enjoy. 

-Jack. 

 

 

Rachel Kirchoff Photos + Thoughts About Creativity

Caught up with Rachel Kirchoff last week while she was down in North County for the day. We kinda winged this whole shoot and just wanted to do something with flowers and that's really all we had planned.. not much to it. We were able to get some cool shots and spend the afternoon not focusing too much on the terrible fires that North County just experienced. 

There's something about going out to shoot with minimal plans and direction that is so fun. It really keeps me on my toes with my creativity and forces me to use whatever I have around me. Such a good way to take your mind off of whatever life is throwing at you and do something fun. If you're a photographer, I would encourage you to go out and drive around, just take one lens, don't plan anything, and go exercise your creativity by shooting whatever inspires you. It could be a tree, a flower wall, the ocean, a car, your dog... whatever inspires you, just go shoot. 

 Also, don't be too critical on yourself with how your photos come out. I am often so overly critical of my work.. sometimes that's a good thing, sometimes it's unhealthy. I always think of what I could have done differently or how I missed focus or didn't use colors correctly.. I am never satisfied with my work and I beat myself up about it a lot but for me it's important to remember that this is all just for fun and I shouldn't stress about not getting the perfect result every time. If I always got the perfect photo, there would be no challenge and no fun in it. Always gotta remind myself to try my best and just have fun with it. 

Enough with my rant... here's some photos that came as a result of minimal planning and just having fun. Salud people. 

-Jack. 

 

 

Austin and Sadie

Last week I caught up with Austin (@aussiedix) and Sadie (@slimsadie) for a little mozy down coast highway. It was a chilly fall evening with great light and a couple stylish people on a black chopper cruising into the sunset. Super fun time and we were able to make some cool photos out of it. Heres a grip of them. 

-Jack.

Desert Daze + RAEN

This past weekend, I got to go out to the Desert Daze festival with RAEN. We went to go promote the brand, hang out with the artists, and grow connections. It was a hell of a time with lots of good people, good times, and plenty of rad music. I was able to get my hands on a photo pass for the weekend which was super fun. I got up and close with Ty Segall, La Femme, Kurt Vile, Lee Fields, and a ton of other talented musicians. It was a badass weekend to say the least. Here are the photos that sum up the weekend pretty well. 

-Jack.

RAEN

RAEN has always been a brand that I have had a lot of passion for. Their brand image, foundation,  position in the industry, the way they grow, their aesthetic...it's all inspired me so much and I have been a complete fan boy of their company and product for a long time. I've been in cahoots with RAEN for a while now after they discovered me through one of their giveaway promotions that they were running in 2016 called 366 Days of Summer. I won one of the daily giveaways with a rolling photo I shot of my buddy Zach Leath riding his chopper. Ever since then I have been in continual communication with Steven, the digital marketing genius at RAEN, and he has given me a bunch of opportunities to do product photos and even my own 'Through The Eyes' blog post about an awesome trip I took back in early 2017 to San Francisco with Rae Correll (which you can read here if you want). Long story short, I eventually bugged those guys enough and inquired about the possibility of interning at the RAEN office as a marketing intern for my last semester of college. Things worked out and it was set in stone for me to start with RAEN in late August of 2017. Here we are, September 21st and I've been loving every day I spend in the office. I've been given the opportunity to do a couple little photo jobs with a couple of their ambassadors Margaux Arramon-Tucco and Zye Norris. I shot Margaux up in San Onofre before she paddled out in some meager ankle biters and managed to get a few decent photos, and shot Zye around downtown Oceanside. Nothin' but good times hanging out with these rad people, just thought I would share some of the photos we did from those days. 

-Jack.

Costa Rica

Myself and Raegan Correll recently took a 6 week trip down to Costa Rica to get away during summertime. Being based in Playas Del Coco at the north-west Guanacaste region of the country was perfect for us. We explored beaches, waterfalls, estuaries, jungles, and all kinds of exotic places. During the 6 weeks, we traveled all over the country and saw some of the most magically beautiful things we have ever seen. Initially, we traveled east into the rainforest region surrounding the majestic Lake Arenal and continued all the way to the eastern side of the country into the foggy mountains where we stayed at the Waterfall Gardens for a few days. This place has a crazy resort right next to a chain of about 5 beautiful waterfalls. During the few days we were there we saw tons of animals, breathtaking mountain scenery, and spent a lot of time just decompressing from the busy school semester we had just escaped. Also, we went as far south as Manuel Antonio. This place is unreal and the drive down there is so epic as well. Manuel Antonio is basically a town built on a hill where the jungle meets the beach in the most amazingly scenic way.  We had such rad times there exploring, eating good food, and experiencing some really amazing things. I could go on and on about this magical country of Costa Rica. It is such a beautiful, happy country with the nicest people and is somewhere that everyone needs to visit at least once in their life. Here are some photos from all around the country as a brief summary of our crazy 6 weeks in paradise. 

-Jack.

 

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