52 Week Project Blog

Week 27/52 - Mystical Garden

We are now over the halfway point of the project! The 27th portrait of the week goes to my one of my closest friend Nguyen! The 27th week falls onto her birthday of July 6th, 14 days before mine! Our week occurred between July 2nd to July 8th. So happy to have her as the first July portrait of the month. 

Nguyen has been following my progress early in the year. She garnered an interest when I photographed Harrison. We both wanted to do a photo shoot together. Our location of chose is the Kubota Garden in South Seattle. This photo shoot was my birthday gift for her. What you will see is a short bio about her, how we met, and our time together together featuring her husky puppy Zeus! Come on in and have fun with us!

Nguyen is a Seattle Native who loves to enjoy life with her friends and family. She also happens to be fourteen days older than I am and cool to share July for our birthday month. We met in April 2011 through an online community before Facebook became a hit. We started out with small together, partying at night clubs, camping near Ocean Shores, playing at the beach, running into her at music festivals, and now working only down the street. Majority of that happened off and on within six years of knowing each other. We adult-ed (not even sure that is a legit word)! Seeing her growth since then, she has matured into an amazing woman. She is a proud owner of an adorable puppy husky. 

Upon meeting each other, we shared similar interest toward photography. We picked Kubota Garden because it was the very first place we formed an interesting friendship. We brought our D-SLR to the garden and took pictures of each other. Looking into my storage, we looked drastically different than we look now six years ago! I still have the photos we took together. I was a beginner photographer with no experience to pose or give direction for my subject. We just took pictures for fun. Coming back to the garden with the intention of a modeling like environmental portrait, I wanted to recreate our session as mystical. 

I arrived first waiting for her at the entrance. She just finished her hair appointment and had to pick up her dog. I'm like, "when did you get a dog'? I haven't been paying attention to SnapChat because she said she had Zeus for a month prior to the day. She parked couple feet away from me and out I see Zeus! He looks just like Bolt from the movie! Also, Nguyen dyed her hair Periwinkle. I thought it was unicorn related because of the funny name. It turns out it's related to the flower because it's ice blue along with silver. First time ever seeing her in bright hair just like mine, this was going to be a fun day. We walked around the garden trying to find the spots we took picture. Realizing the garden was practically empty, we felt inclined to explore and go behind the normal spot. We found unique hidden area of the garden that was shrouded with tall leaves over the walk way, an amazing waterfall which we climb to the top to continue walking on the path for the pond, and finally the red bridge. The lenses I used were the 50mm prime lens and my telephoto 100-200mm lens. It was first time using my zoom lens this year. Unfortunately, my 50mm fell into the water and deemed unusable for the remainder of the shoot. My zoom lens was amazing. I captured her differently than if I were to use my prime lens. Nine out of twelve photos used in this blog I used the zoom lens. The coolest fact about that lens being it was originally for my film SLR. I'm able to adapt that lens into my current Sony system and get that film quality into a digital platform. This is what appears to be mystical. At the end of the shoot, we were satisfied. 

A last few words to share. I cherish our friendship and I love the time we have together. Looking back at our old photos, we have grown tremendously. Heck, our hair is totally bleached now than compared to the photos shown here. Looking at it, the four photos here are identical captured of the both of us. When she photographed me, I was happy to be captured for once. It is a reminder to not only to cherish the moment and look back at our memories. It is also to strive forward for new adventures. 

At last, thank you Nguyen for being in my portrait project. Our photo shoot finally happened after years of being an adult. It was great to smell the roses, have fun in each other companies, and create this session together. Let's add more session in the future. 

Thank you for reading about our time together. Week 28 is just around the corner. Keep your feet planted for the next blog!

- Sally