loving you feels…: sean + damian

Day 4, day 4! We’ve passed the halfway mark.

The texts and emails and messages y’all have been sending me has made my week.. but the thing I love most is how some of the couples have been letting me know that their families + communities are in mad-love with their photos and stories.

If you’re new here (welcome!) and have no idea what I’m talking about, start from the very beginning, here.

Today, loving you feels… like Sean + Damian.

We go way back with Sean, and getting to know Damian over the last year’n’a bit has been a delight. These gents are the loving, loyal, putting-good-into-the-world type, and they bring genuine sun into the lives of those that know them. (Sean is also a longstanding member of the Gay Men’s Chorus of LA and is a real triple-threat who can sing/dance/wear heels all at the same time. We go to their Christmas concert every year, and it is GOLD.)

Side note: no one loves Disney more than these two. No one.

Don’t forget to listen to their sound bite. It is deeper into the post today because the placement felt better there. You’ll see…

Here’s that audio clip I told you about…


S+D, so much love and respect. See you on the playa! xo

loving you feels…: jenn + paco

Well hey again, welcome to DAY 3 of Loving you feels…

If you haven’t already gotten to know Jamie + Dekoven and Ryan + Orie, then what are you waiting for?!

Today, loving you feels… like Paco + Jenn.

These two met when they were ten years old and they’ve been together for 17 years.

I mean, c’mon. Having a serious mic-drop / life goals moment here, are you?

They’re mamas to possibly the cutest pooch you’ll ever see. They’re both mad-creators, making magic here and here and here and everywhere they go. They’re karaoke’rs, they’re food-burners (same, tbh), they’re lovers of life, humans and especially each other. Jayden + I really love these two, and I’m so honored to introduce you to them today.

Don’t forget to listen to their sound bite from our time together… 

P+J, so much love. xo


loving you feels…: ryan + orie

Well, happy Friday and happy day 2 of LOVING YOU FEELS..!

The first time the idea of this series came to me was last year, when I was listening to my favorite podcast called On Being, and the guest was Dr. Mahzarin Banaji, psychologist and Harvard professor of Social Ethics.

Towards the end of the episode, Krista Tippett asks Dr. Banaji, “how do you construct your life, your environment? How do you move through the world differently having taken [the Implicit Association] test yourself, also having also not liked the results? Because of this science that you do, what actions do you take that turns that understanding into change?”

Dr. Banaji’s response is something I’ve thought of almost every day for a year…

“…the other thing that I do is to actually create inputs into my mind of my own making. I do think that in some ways our brains are simple and that they will believe that things are real even if they’re not. So, that’s what movies do. That’s what novels do for us. They — and so what if I have a series of 1,000 pictures that rotate through on my screen saver of people who come from many parts of the world that I will never, ever see or even think about. Look, just take an example close by. I have no idea what life for a farmer in Iowa is. I bet it’s hard. I bet I have no idea what they have to deal with. I don’t think I will ever truly understand.

But, right now, they’re a distant group in my mind. I live in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and I don’t think about farming and farmers. If my screen saver literally just points out the existence of such people and what their issues might be, I believe that my brain is going to begin to care at some level. And, if I show myself possibilities that don’t exist easily, that’s even better.

These are hopes, but I also — I don’t just say it’s a hope because I do know enough as a psychologist about learning and memory. And I know that we learn. How much of this I need to do in order to change, I cannot say. But I can say that there is a point at which this brain is not just elastic in moving to what is being suggested, but that it may be plastic in that it can be reset into a new mold.”

And so, this series was born. May ‘our brains begin to care’… xo

Loving you feels … like Ryan + Orie.

Ryan [AKA Waking Up With Ryanhas become a dear friend over the past 2.5 years, and getting to know Orie more recently has been a delight and joy. These two went to the same high school, and Ryan was dance friends with Orie’s sister back in the day, but love is often on its very own timeline, don’t you know.

We adore these gents past words, respect what they create in the world, and are incredibly inspired by the love that they share.

R+O, I love you. Thank you for letting me spend a bit of Orie’s birthday morning with you two in Malibu. xo

(don’t forget to listen to their audio clip from our time together!)

loving you feels…: jamie + dekoven

The past week in America has been especially heavy.

There is so much grief. So much hurt. So many ‘us vs. them’s. And endless words being shouted about who is right and who is wrong.

Making someone wrong will never draw them closer to me.. and so the days grow more pain and the cavern between the sides gets far more severe. What is one to do?

Yesterday, I posted “artists, my challenge to us: put down our phones and go make art. your art speaks more than the shouting ever could. what you will create can reach hearts, and make real change” and today I shared; “when the world becomes a massive mess with nobody at the helm, it’s time for artists to make their mark.” -joni mitchell

And so now this. My money-where-my-mouth-is moment. the Loving You Feels series.

I’ve been working on this project for awhile now. It has come from a place of realizing that love and the way love is portrayed has nothing to do with the way love actually looks in my life and around me.

Love is not just a white, hetero couple in their mid-20s… it is so, so many more things, and so many more feelings. Love around me is biracial, it is same sex.. it doesn’t fit into a category, and it doesn’t need to

I don’t need the love around me to look like my love in order for me to be impacted by it.

When I look at people around me in love, I feel love. The beautiful, painful, mountains-and-valleys that true love brings. The differences. The similarities. The cultures, the heritages; the things to be proud of and the things that may bring shame.

I’m honored to get to share a glimpse into the loves of 6 inspiring couples in mine and Jayden’s life that we get to call our friends.

Over the next 6 days, I’ll be posting snippets of their lives together through my perspective, and my most sincere hope is that you’re left with hope. Because Love does always win. However dark the night must get before the sun shines again, we know it is coming. And these beautiful faces and their stories and sounds are the rays that I turn to for inspiration, for comfort, for a reminder of how far we’ve come. 

Because things sure do feel dark right now.. but it is always darkest before the dawn.

Loving You Feels… like Jamie + Dekoven [ and Rain! ]

[Each post is going to have a little minute or two long audio clip… be sure to have a listen!]

J+D, thank you. I love you. xx

our living room makeover: ’80s india mahdavi and a bit of milo baughman, too

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve been eyeball-deep in a living room / dining room makeover. Today, I thought I might let you in on a little preview of the inspo that’s been swirling around my brain. I’ve been pretty secretive about what our home looks like at the moment (super unusual for me to be secretive about anything!), but why not slip a little sneak now?

As a photographer, creativity is my job. And I love it. But I’ve also realized that I really crave a creative outlet that is mine, where I don’t have someone to ‘report’ to.  Interior design has become that outlet, and I just can’t get enough.

The strongest inspiration for our living room / dining room makeover comes from India Mahdavi. Known mostly for her restaurants (like Sketch in London) and boutiques, (like Red Valentino, also in London) India is fearless with her use of color and ability to pair unexpected shades in the same space.

I’ve also been incredibly inspired by the ’80s this year. Last year, I was obsessed with the ’70s, (remember our bedroom makeover?) but it’s almost as if my inspo timeline is ‘in time’ with time, because the late-70s that I loved last year has become the early-80s this year. Hey, it happens.

I adored Fendi’s Happy Room designed by Cristina Celestino for Design Miami last year. The chunky furniture, mixed textures, non-white walls and opulent use of velvet just has my heart rate goin’ up like I’m on a first date!

The last major piece of inspo comes from my most favorite furniture designer, Milo Baughman. Known mostly for his collaborations with Thayer Coggin, Inc. from the ’50s-on, Milo’s use of chrome(!) and tons and tons of burl wood has me with my hands clasped around a bag of smelling salts, that’s for darn sure.

And so…

the inspo board.

First off: no white walls. None. Bye, Felicia. Time for sum’n new! Enter: Portola Paints is saving the day in that department!

Next: the furniture! Velvet, velvet and more velvet.. always from my favorite Crypton Home, because it is cleanable and super stain resistant. Crypton covering two stunning Verellen silhouettes brings the chunky ’80s glory that I see in my dreams.

I’ve been searching high and low for vintage Milo Baughman pieces that are ‘affordable’, and let me tell you, it is possible! Swooping Craiglist and pestering my friend Jason on a regular basis has me all kinds of satisfied. The makeover is so close and I can’t wait to reveal it next month!

Other folks you’ll be seeing more from… Brite Lite Tribe, Studio Proba, Folia Collective and maybe even a few more ?!

So what do you think? Could you live in a space this color-filled? 🙂

Image sources: 1 / 2 / 3