Sunrise Shoot

On a recent four day long weekend abroad, I spent most of my time daydreaming while gazing up at blue skies and taking brief snapshots with my iPhone. The thought of picking up my Canon hadn’t crossed my brain longer than a fleeting second before the idea of roaming into a boulangerie came to thought. It is not to say that I was not inspired by my surroundings, it was quite the opposite. I was thrilled to be around people, art, sounds, cultures, sights, and glorious golden spring light. Seeing it through a lens wasn’t enough, I needed the moments to filter through my very own pupils into my wandering mind.

Yet, my company wasn’t convinced and inspired a challenge. Wake up at sunrise on my last day with the intention to take my camera off the shelf and out into the streets. With tired eyes I snoozed through two alarms the next morning and reluctantly tied my shoes and headed out into the world. The light was right. Softness took over what had been traffic filled every moment before this dawn. People were still home, tossing in their sheets, the morning was mine to capture. For photographers and runners, there is no better time than sunrise to get it done right.

I neglect this fact often at home. Yet, on a trip to a foreign place, it is easy for me to try new things or reminisce an old lust, for the sake of the experience. Call it je ne sais quoi, call it jet lag, but I hit the streets that Sunday morning feeling free and more like me than I had in weeks. Quiet time alone with myself to visualize, frame, and capture a moment. A memory.

Free Up My Content

This week my inspiration came from a few different places. The images collected are based on an Instagram challenge called #FreeUpMyInsta. Whilst following Alexia Booker (@LostFoundKeep) and her daily vlogs all month long, she mentioned a new challenge developed by Allison Sadler. It is a beautiful concept designed to motivate others to appreciate our day to day lives, and worry less about a number of likes, quality of content, or curated images. The following images are my interpretation of the challenge.


 1. Look Up // Lately, when you look up, grey skies surround the most unique colors of the year. This image is from my very own backyard. Although it may not seem like much, to me, this view changes and grows every day, just like me.


2. Inspiration // I quickly captured this image whilst briskly walking by. I am currently victim to the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, and vans are my repeated encounter. At some point in my life, I hope to live carefree in a van with the world as my backyard. But for now, I will continue to wander streets and fantasize about each van I see.


3. Bloom // While October is not famous for any new foliage, the colors are something similar to a firework show. I also enjoy the woman walking in the image, and the bundle of golden maple leaves she has collected to take home. I only imagine she has a craft to create or a seasonal centerpiece to display in her kitchen.


4. Simple Pleasures // Helsinki Trams. I love Helsinki Trams. The iconic yellow and green paint job is maybe one of my favorite things about the city. Only second to riding around enjoying the scenic streets and bayside sights pass by.


5. Friday Fun // Confession time, this image was taken on Tuesday. During this period of my life, I have had to adjust my schedule, routines, and sense of purpose. But the most rewarding part of it all has been the Tuesday afternoons that feel like Fridays. The moments when I can have a spontaneous adventure with my husband, despite time, location, or finances. Life has many seasons, and I know this one will not last forever, but I am going to soak it all up while I still can.



6. Explore // It was not clear how this image would turn out, but I am so pleased with the outcome. At 6ft tall I had to stretch my arms overhead to capture the top of this garden shed. It may not be your interpretation of exploration, but the way we view things can be a new adventure when given the chance to observe something from an alternative perspective. If anything, you will have no other choice except to explore the corners of your mind and wander your imagination.


7. Favorite // This is my favorite picture this week. A quiet back street makes the perfect autumn postcard image. I feel as though the picture speaks for itself.

This challenge was a great way to think differently about my day to day surroundings. I would like to encourage the challenge to all of you. It does not have to result in a blog post or an Instagram, but instead, consider the world around you in these seven themes. I hope it provokes a sense of awe and contempt as you actively engage with your surroundings.


Summer Solstice 2017

For some of you, it may have not been apparent the summer solstice just passed. For many of you, it may not ever register when a solstice occurs, but in Finland, it is the ultimate celebration of the season. The sun is visiting for the longest period of time all year, and it is the climax of the year for most civilians. From a photography perspective, that means you have to wait till about 10:00 pm for golden hour content.


I have enjoyed living here and celebrating this special occasion. Mostly, because it is always a contradiction to what it should be. It should be sunny, warm, and absolute euphoria in the air. In reality, my memories oh Juhannus (Midsummer in Finnish) are anything but! Grey skies, chilled temperatures, and multiple layers of clothing tend to pass the day.


Another story about Finnish Juhannus is the empty city streets. Everyone packs up around Thursday and by Friday evening the city is left with only unknowing tourists and younger people living by the dusk light and catching a glimpse of a local bonfire. Although I did not get to make my ultimate midsummer photo, these sunset streets sure kept things entertaining until midnight.


 The final image was that last on my SD card. It was the last image I took, just before turning off my camera and soaking it all in. The midnight sun, the beginning of summer and the end of spring. It is bittersweet to think about the days getting shorter again, but we will leave that thought for a future post. Until then, hyvää juhannusta!


xx – nasty trash

Spring Light

In the previous post 5 of 52, I went on a photo walk. That day was roughly an 8 hour day sunrise to sunset. The photos turned out to be the neutral gray monotone that is Helsinki winter…


This week I went on another photo walk, full of sunshine, blue skies and approximately 12 hours of light from dawn till dusk.

That is a huge deal.

Helsinki is a place where the people faithfully worship the sun. I find this culture in Nordic countries fascinating. It is something that if not born and raised here, it will always seem a bit odd and unnatural. Literally, as I write this I am reminded to take my vitamin-D supplements.


It is something remarkable, though, after weeks of gray skies, white snow, slush roads, then suddenly one day, the blue heavens break through. You can physically feel the sun’s warmth on your skin, which up until this point has only been a memory and a reason to travel south for the winter.


I am grateful to have captured these photos, and even more, humbled by the sheer joy that I feel gazing upon a flawless blue sky. The sound of birds chirping and the gentle drip of snow melting off of rooftops. The combination of springs sights and sounds make winters end all the more rewarding. As if unwrapping a sacred present slowly and carefully, just to embrace each moment as a gift in its own right.


As the sun creeps back, and the light returns, I hope to take advantage of every beautiful day. I hope to embrace the season and use more energy to get out, create, and get inspired. The metaphor here is to be patient, not everyone can bloom all year.

May this spring bring inspiration, new motivation, and fresh possibilities to all of you. Thanks for reading!


xx – nasty trash



Getting out of bed to take these photos was an emotional tug of war. To convince myself to go outside, take my camera, and find something in what feels like nothing but cold grey days… it takes work. And caffeine. I take mine as a flat white with oat milk and a croissant. Carbs and coffee.


Lately I have been so busy I forget to play tourist, to continue to fall in love with my neighborhood, and embrace this city. Although I am grateful to be busy, it is a glorious accomplishment to find meaning in a place so foreign to your understanding.


This post is inspired by the images I captured on Wednesday February 1, 2017. It was a casual morning only interrupted by slippery sheets of ice and a drowsy desire for more coffee to sustain the adventure.


I am proud of this little collection acquired from that day, and inspired by this cathartic weekly engagement. Holding myself accountable this past month has been a remarkable experience that can only be understood until you do a project like this yourself.


xx- nasty trash