Melissa & Matt

These two are some of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet. I've known Melissa since we were in choir together in high school, so for ::ahemhem:: years now, and after going to the same university and having a lot of the same life experiences at the same time, our bond has only grown tighter over the years. When she told me Matt had proposed, I couldn't have been happier! They really bring out the best in each other and manage to make everyone around them feel included in that love. It's amazing to witness, and I can't wait for their wedding in June!

We got together in late October to take full advantage of the fall weather...except it was about 85 degrees that day. But they made it work! I'm in love with how these turned out.

Just a few of my favorites (well, I use the term loosely), taken at the beautiful Oak Park in Anaheim Hills.


September Desktop Background

I didn't intend for this month's desktop to come out so macabre, but I suppose it reflects what's been going on for me personally. Lots of planning, figuring out what I really want and how to take control of my future, instead of waiting for things to happen!

1280 x 1024 • 1440 x 900 • 1600 x 1200 • 1680 x 1050 • 1920 x 1080 • 1920 x 1200 • 2560 x 1440

I shot this at the edge of one of the many farms surrounding my dad's hometown of Randaberg, Norway. Even in the harsh midday sun it's beautiful. Plus I love how this shows the glory of a 50mm lens when you shoot wide open (in this case, f/2.0).


P.S. Font is Mathlete.

5 Things

There's a few things making life a little brighter around here...

1. Plants I haven't killed. My mom gifted me this big lovely mix of succulents maybe 6 weeks ago and I thought for sure it would go the way of the dodo. But I've finally accepted that there are only a few spots that get enough light inside, so I put this on the front stoop and it's been very happy. It even bloomed! :)

2. You Must Remember This podcast. Found out about this one via Hello Giggles (their daily newsletter is awesome) and loved it from the minute I read the description. Chronicling the secret and forgotten histories of Hollywood - I'm all over that! The Judy Garland episode was fascinating, and the Star Wars series is great.

2. A new taco meat recipe. For someone who makes Mexican-inspired recipes for 8 out of 10 meals, finding this deeeee-lish recipe over at Love and Olive Oil made me super happy. If I'm being super lazy I can always go back to "brown beef, dump seasoning packet", but this isn't much more work and a whole lot tastier. I use it for burritos/tacos and usually add a can of black beans into the meat once it's thickened up for extra protein. WARNING: if you're a pansy like me, cut the amount of chili powder in half (at least!).

Also, awesome dressing for everything = Ranch + salsa + lime juice + cilantro. You're welcome.

3. Shooting with an ExpoDisc. I'm SO GLAD I finally picked this up. It was a total lifesaver when I was shooting in a variety of lighting situations for my mom's projects and it saved me hours of tedious white balance adjustments in Lightroom. Plus it's so quick to set that you won't leave clients hanging.

4. Newborn snuggles. My boyfriend's third nephew came into the world a few weeks ago, all adorable and tiny and perfectly healthy. Photographing him was a dream.

5. Sense8Despite the spelling, which makes me twitchy, I blew through this Netflix show in less than a week. The biggest draw for me is how they actually film in all the different countries - a reminder of how we've become so used to green screen! The interaction between the characters is great, plus the cast is fantaaaastic.

What's been making you guys happy lately?


Newhope and Eastvale :: Healthcare Design Photography

My mom is an amazing interior designer who specializes in healthcare (hospitals, medical offices, Alzheimer's facilities, etc.), so when she hires me to photograph her projects I always answer the call. Bonus: we work very well together, possibly because we speak in mother-daughter shorthand.

This time we shot two locations in one day. We should all be so lucky as to wind up in a facility KE Design worked on when we get sick! 

Newhope was a real passion project. She worked with the husband and wife team to create a space inspired by the beach (they're about 3 miles from one). The wife is a doctor specializing in acute pain and the husband manages the office in addition to his other businesses. They are the nicest people and it was a real collaboration.

Isn't the art installation in the waiting room absolutely stunning? I remember my mom showing me samples of the artist's work years ago (Natalie Blake Studios). The tiles are hand carved and the level of detail is incredible. Plus the shell-shaped light and the patterned privacy glazing on the door are lovely nods to the theme.

Think about it - when is the last time you went to a doctor's office and saw so many warm, comforting colors?

If the gorgeous photography on all the walls is starting to look familiar, that's because it's by surf photographer Clark Little. Even if you don't know him by name, I'm sure you've seen it at some point because it's everywhere, and for good reason! His work really pulls you in, and seeing it in a medical setting makes me happy. (Also, they're original prints beautifully framed. I can't tell you how many places I've toured with my mom that have clearly enlarged low resolution prints. Not cool, super obvious bad quality, and also ridiculous given how easy it is these days to source directly from artists and photographers. *end rant*) 

We also went to Eastvale San Antonio Medical Plaza, a huge new building of medical offices. We focused on the urgent care clinic, staff training/meeting room and public areas.

Isn't that textured wall amazing? And I love the lighting, I wish I could hang smaller ones above my bathroom vanity.

I'm so incredibly proud of my mom. Healthcare may not be as glamorous as other types of design, but her passion makes me stand up and pay attention. She never goes for the cookie cutter approach and pushes her clients to always think of the patient's comfort first. It's inspiring how dedicated she is to learning and keeping up with new developments. Of course I'm biased, but I'm not alone in thinking she's awesome - she has more work than ever these days!

Magic Light

Magic Light by Ellingsen Photography

No matter who you are, where you live, or what you do – the golden hour is universal. That late afternoon*, golden, yummy, relaxing, end-of-day light is pure magic. I’ll happily eat that blown-out sun flare for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Magic Light by Ellingsen Photography

And luckily for us here in Southern California, we get to experience it most days of the year thanks to the perpetually sunny weather. It seems that luck also runs in Nevada, where these photos were taken.

Magic Light by Ellingsen Photography
Magic Light by Ellingsen Photography

*Granted, you could experience something similar at the start of the day, but what boys are having this much fun with their uncle at that hour?