Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

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I am a big fan of playing tennis, and I tend to choose opponents that are stronger than I am in oder to improve my own game. I am mentioning this because having a conversation with Anaafi makes me feel the same way: there is always something that I can learn from talking to him! And, similar to a game of tennis, there is a constant back and forth where you can challenge yourself and always feel entertained.

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I titled this post “Top 30 Under 30” because I feel that this young entrepreneur is headed in that direction. I love to meet and work with goal-oriented and driven individuals, and Anaafi is hands down one of those people.

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 I mean, how can you not put faith in that smile? 🙂


 Anaafi–I am so glad that I was able to meet you and capture these images. I want to wish you all the best in your future endeavours and I hope to see you in Forbes one day!!

My family and I go camping every year… you know: tents, barbecue, outhouses. All those glamorous things.  We have a favourite national park which we keep returning to and  we stay there each year for 1 week (not a typo). As terrible as this may sound, it really is a great experience and everyone should try it at least once in their life, even if you only go for a few days.

Yeah, yeah I know there are things like :


Sleeping outside & having unpredictable weather. Also, tons of product placement in all your photos (so annoying)

But it’s nature, you cannot always control it and you have to learn to love it. You can always buy bug repellent to get rid of the mosquitoes and bees and sleeping outside is super nice when it’s warm. You get so much oxygen and fresh air that you get a nice “Thank You” card from your lungs at the end of each day.

Besides, if you don’t go camping you may miss out on moments like these:

and photographs like this:

So yes, it’s true that camping is no 5-star, butler service, Ritz Hotel experience, but put it on your bucket list. Try it at least once if you haven’t already. If you are a photographer you will leave with some gorgeous photographs (like the night sky. You haven’t see so many stars in your entire life!) and if you aren’t, you will still spend your days at the beach, sleep under the stars and have BBQ all day long. Go camping and tell people that you lived.


I was going through my childhood photos recently (and those who know me know how much I LOVE doing this. That’s me above on the right) and I realized two things:

1) It’s a good thing that none of my family members are photographers
2) As terrible as some of the photos are (in terms of composition, light and focus), there’s something about each one which makes you love it so much more

As a photographer I know what it takes to create a beautiful photograph. I have trained myself to photograph people from the most flattering angles, to frame the image so that only the most beautiful and important aspects are shown and to use light to my advantage (you can call me Julia Lightbender Gauberg). When I have a portrait shoot with a family or with high school seniors I always keep these things in mind before I press the shutter. Can I frame this photograph as I am taking it in this instance and hang it on the wall? Will it look good? Will it be perfect?

I try my best to make the answer to those questions be “Yes.” However, looking through my childhood photos I began to think “what is perfect?” Is perfection in a photograph simply composition, light, positioning, using your camera and other technicalities? No. Of course these factors play a large role in creating a great portrait but they do not create a memorable one.

The key word here is ‘memorable.’ Memories stir up emotions and photographs with memories attached are the ones we love most. This explains why we  love old photographs even thought they may look like they were accidentally taken by the family dog.

Looking through these photos, I realized that no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to create emotion through perfect composition. You will not be able to induce feeling through your camera’s shutter speed. Knowing how to use your camera is never enough. You have to create memories and combine them with photo-taking skill to make a photograph truly perfect. This is a goal I am setting for myself: that not one family or high school senior will leave my session without memories. I do not want people to simply look at my photographs and say “Wow what a beautiful portrait” I want them to say “This beautiful portrait makes me feel something” (and I don’t mean “This beautiful portrait makes me  feel sick to my stomach”, ok? Positive emotions!)

I notice that as I am going through old photographs I sometimes think about the ways I could change one to look more professional. But then I remember when and how it was taken and realize that this photo, as ugly as it may be, will probably be one of the most beautiful I will ever see in my entire life.