Photography

My Photography Got Published!

I am so honored to have my photos published in Alabaster Co.'s book of Psalms. MERP.

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Earlier this year, I created a list for myself. I’m a planner, aka I love hard, scheduled, tangible goals. My fellow Myers Briggs J’s feel me out there? In this way, all things creative have really challenged me.

I found that in this season, I didn’t want the creative in me to get lost. Throughout the course of this year, I hit this wall that a lot of creatives inevitably hit from time to time. I felt like something about my work just was not good enough, I wasn’t growing, and on and on and on. I felt like none of my photography nor creative skills were quite at the level I wanted them to be, but at the same time, I felt like I had no direction. So, that’s where the list came in. The planner in me chimed in, “why not make a list of goals?” And number 1  (of 10) on that list, was “submit photos to get published”.

Fast forward three months, I could barely open my sleep deprived eyes after finishing an intense pharmacy school competition, staying involved in UCSF organizations, applying and interviewing for many summer internships, on top of studying! When I created this list, however, I had an agreement with a buddy of mine (who made a list of his own as well) to check in at the start of every month regarding our list of goals. This small act of accountability pushed me to eventually do something with that list!

Introduction to Alabaster Co.

So some of you might be wondering, what is Alabaster Co.? This elegant company aims to explore the intersection of creativity, beauty, and faith through visual storytelling. In short, they have integrated beautiful imagery and photography to curate modern and artful books of the bible. They have currently produced and printed the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) and now Psalms. Read more about who they are here.

My Process

In this case, I was first and foremost a fan of Alabaster Co. before becoming a contributor. I realized long ago why people tell you to be passionate about what you do. I first received the book of John from their collection from my college roommate, Janae (love that girl). Naturally, after having discovered their first set of books (the gospels), I delved deeply into researching Alabaster & Co. I read and connected deeply with their inspiration, their perspectives, and their mission. Having fallen in love with their brand as a whole, I decided on a whim, to simply just email them. I started off by thanking them for inspiring me, I told them how I personally connected with what they do, introduced myself, and then sent them a couple of photos along with a link to my website portfolio. I timed it knowing that they were currently in the middle of their production process. Within 28 minutes of hyperventilating and building up the courage to finally click “send” (I know I’m such a dork for remembering exactly how many minutes) before sprinting to class to attempt to be on time, I got a reply.

Fast forward a couple more months, I had the absolute most pleasant experience collaborating with Alabaster Co. Throughout this experience, I got to work with gorgeous and talented friends from college (much love to Pam, Amy, Katie, and Harry). We got to meditate on the verses we were shooting for, throw flowers and other colorful props around, play worship music throughout our photoshoot, and glorify God through photography together.

Pamela

Amy

Here are a couple of my favorites from the photoshoot (including a couple of my favorites that didn't end up getting used in the book that I just wanted to share because my models are freakin' beautiful).

Throughout this process, I felt so honored by God. He spoke to me through the verses I was shooting for and stirred my heart with opportunities to share about His beauty and goodness with both Jesus-loving friends and friends who don’t believe in Jesus through the introduction of this book. He reminded me that He was faithful, to all facets of me. Which made this verse (that I ironically was shooting for) stand out to me like whoa - 

The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.
— Psalm 145: 13
Me excitedly flipping through the Psalms book on the first day!

Me excitedly flipping through the Psalms book on the first day!

The sweet thank you card I received from Alabaster Co.

The sweet thank you card I received from Alabaster Co.

Do you see my name?!

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The overall goal of my entire blog is simply to share and to inspire! I love talking and sharing about my process, so don't hesitate to shoot me a message (cleung160@gmail.com) if you want to ever go on a photo adventure or even just sit down for coffee some time and chat !  I love sharing and learning from you all. <3

Love You All!

 

Best Spots in Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce, home of the HOODOOS. What a funny word right? If you're like me, you initially had no idea what the heck hoodoos are either. Hoodoos are a geology term in reference to the "tall, thin spire of rock that protrudes from the bottom of an arid drainage basin or badland" (according to Wikipedia). These unique shaped rocks draw many people near and far and prove to be quite mesmerizing. We visited Bryce Canyon National Park just for a day, but managed to squeeze in three different viewpoints/hikes along the way! We paid $30 per vehicle (which was only one car for us) to get into the national park and the pass is actually valid for 7 days! Listed below are the three spots we visited:

Sunset Point (Navajo Trail)

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This particular hike was my absolute FAVORITE. I probably started to annoy my friends when I could not stop saying that I wanted to  walk down into and in between all of the hoodoos. I'm pretty sure that within the day I mentioned it at least 7 times. I just wanted to explore man! This particular hike was actually unplanned, and we were initially driving to another viewpoint, which ended up being closed off for unknown reasons. We debated on just giving up on the spot, but instead we spontaneously picked a nearby spot on the map and chose this spot merely because it was named the "Sunset Point" and it was almost time to watch the sunset. Spontaneous decisions are often the best ones, because then my wish to hike down into the rock formations finally came true! I found the pinkish-orange tint of the sand and rocks to be extremely alluring, and I had wished we found this trail sooner so we could have explored the path even more deeply! Spend the next few seconds scrolling through the following photos, gawking in admiration at the colors of this gorgeous hike with me.

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This Navajo Loop Trail is only a 1.3 mile roundtrip hike, with 550 feet (or 167 meter) elevation gain. It was pretty easy on our feet and burned our thighs quite a bit on the hike back up, but it is overall pretty relaxing! It was visually a very intriguing hike. The hike featured beautiful high-up views of hoodoos and trees, a gorgeous switch-back section, and some cute little hole-like rock formations that Harry thought it would be cozy to take a nap in.  Our group never made it all the way around the loops since we were losing sunlight very quickly, but I encourage everyone to finish the entire hike!  It begins at Sunset Point, not far from the parking lot, and goes all the way down to the main amphitheater. For more information regarding the trail itself, click here.

Hello to the Hella Handsome Harry

Hello to the Hella Handsome Harry

Inspiration Point

If you are looking for the iconic, well-known, picturesque view of Bryce National Park, this is probably the spot for you. Inspiration Point is again marked by the tall orange tinted hoodoos, a trail-way to walk that extends along the mountainside, and a tall cliff which you see me standing on in the photo pictured below. I obviously was not brave enough to go all the way to the edge but hey, good enough right? I promise, it's taller than it looks! I really loved this particular viewpoint because it provides a varied collection of views of the amphitheater. You can climb up to the top of the hill to look down in awe of the vastness of it all, or walk down the path a little bit and get a little bit closer to the hoodoos, where you can see a gorgeous lateral view of the natural structures. I love the warm orangey-pink tones of the canyon and could honestly see myself sitting, sipping some boba (sadly I had no boba with me at the time, sigh), looking at this view for hours on end. When we visited this particular viewpoint, it was not too crowded, which made the experience much more enjoyable! It was a vast, peaceful scene that really reminded me of how magnificent and big God made nature to be, and made me so thankful to be able to be a part of it.

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Shot on Iphone

Shot on Iphone

Bryce Point

Bryce Point was expansive! It was one of the more crowded viewpoints we visited since it is definitely more well-known. From the parking lot, the trail led to a fenced-off viewpoint at the edge of a cliff, providing close to a 360 degree view of the canyons. I thought the weaving greenery of the trees between the warm tones of the many rocky hoodoos made this particular site especially beautiful. A branch of the trail was closed off, so I believe it opens up to the public later on in the year during the warmer months, but I was itching to explore! This viewpoint was a bit cold and windy, even in the end of March, so make sure to bring layers, hats, gloves, etc. Our fingers were freezing trying to take photos! I've heard that the sunrises are Bryce Point are mind-blowing. I can only imagine the intertwining reds, oranges, and yellows that result when the sunbeams hit the tall hoodoo tops. Our group didn't quite make it for sunrise since we traveled to Bryce National Park early morning from a further location, but it is on my bucket list to come back and see a proper Bryce sunrise. One day (:

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For a general overview of the itinerary we took for our 5 day roadtrip through Utah and Arizona, visited this page. Bryce is higher up in elevation though, so it proved to be much colder than the other spots in Arizona and Utah we visited during our roadtrip. Bring layers! Fallin' in love with the desert more and more every day I spend here.. EEP!