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  • Life Through My Lens

    Hi, I'm Angela. I started this blog as a friendly place to explore photography, my thoughts, and how to write about them. I’ve been shooting on and off for the last 10 years, but only recently started practicing street and portrait photography. It's about time, right? Come along for the ride!

  • Recent Posts

    ‘Round these here parts

    I’ve been pretty busy lately – socially and otherwise. Over Easter weekend my church had an Easter fairView full post »

    Converge Youth Ministry

    A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to take photos of my church’s youth ministry, Converge. It was excitingView full post »

    Candid Disney World Moments

    I love the innocence of this photo. Such a simple moment, but I think it speaks deep to the contrast of childhoodView full post »

Let me be clear: I love film photography.

What I don’t love is the cost, the distance I have to drive to one of the only reputable film labs in Orlando, and the moments lost while learning and experimenting. But mostly, I don’t love the cost. So when I (finally) realized that I could recreate “film looks” via VSCO Film Presets, I got pretty excited.

Ferry – Fuji 400++ Preset

The best part about using these presets (with RAW files, of course) is the amount of latitude I gain in expressing the moment. There are so many variables you can adjust to recreate the emotion of the scene, and the possibilities are endless.

The BoardWalk – Portra 800++ Preset

Although there are many critics of VSCO presets (and presets in general), I really enjoyed using these. Perhaps if I was a grandmaster at Lightroom CC then I would feel the same. But since I am not, I gain a sense of relief and joy in what I’m now capable of producing.

Caricatures – Fuji 800z Preset

Don’t get me wrong, no amount of editing can save a bad photo. However when the image itself is already alluring, the film presets (and maybe a tweak or two) really make it shine. I used to believe that almost any editing to a photo was cheating and borderline lying. Well, it’s easy to say that when you aren’t sure how to edit in post-production. But now I know. And I love it.

After all, if you can dodge & burn, use contrast filters, and manipulate film emulsion in the darkroom, then why not do the same in the digital darkroom?

Kodak Portra 160

Obligatory experimental light trail picture – Kodak Portra 160 Preset

Thanks for stopping by.

I have been spending a considerable amount of time trying to decide how I want to carry my camera. Most people use the camera strap that came with their camera and never think twice about it. Well, for me it feels like I’m being entangled and slowly choked by a seatbelt that also pulls on my hair. And it gets in my way. So that’s out.

As an alternative, I bought a hand strap for my Sony A7ii that was really made for DSLR’s, but so far it works and I love it. I’ve brought my camera out and about a few places to realize, however, that my hand and wrist are getting fatigued fairly quickly. Not to mention that I’m left handed and my new setup requires me to carry my camera in my right hand (this is a right handed world, after all). So I did some research…

You are only as strong as your grip strength.


If you’re like me and using a mirrorless camera, then you have the joy of a lightweight powerhouse. The one contradictory downside is that without any special add-ons, the grip for the camera may or may not be enough for you. Since I don’t want to add weight to my setup, I got myself a Gripmaster Hand Exerciser (about $15). I recommend light or medium depending on your needs; I bought a medium one because it’s just what the store had.

Since I had little knowledge of how to use this strange contraption, I also found their recommended hand exercises here. My favorite exercises are the hook grasp, thumb pinch, and especially the power pinch. These not only strengthen your wrist and forearm, but also the specific hand areas that are required for a firm grip on your camera.

I’m amazed (and humbled) at my non-dominant hand’s strength after playing around with this thing. Grip strength is so important for all kinds of activities, and I think it’s especially common for women to leave that area of their body undeveloped. With regular use, I expect that I’ll be able to go longer and longer without fatigue while I’m out shooting. And my wrists will thank me for it, too.

Last Monday I was hanging around in Winter Park (mostly to shop at one of my fav places, Rifle Paper Co.) and I decided to stay for lunch. I went to Armando’s, a pizzeria quaintly tucked away off of Park Ave.

When I walked in, there was only one family there with a well-dressed man who looked like he was ready to strike up conversation. I asked my friend through my teeth, “Who is that?” and I got a simple reply, “The guy that spoke at your graduation.” Congressman John Mica.

John Mica

Now, John Mica is a Winter Park local so it wasn’t so rare seeing him. But the part that stood out to me is that I got to greet him and recount the statement he impacted me with most just 2 1/2 years ago:

These are ten words for the rest of your life: ‘If it is to be, it is up to me.’

Besides having the honor of updating my graduation keynote speaker on my post-grad life, I got a blatant reminder that the results we want in life are really up to us.


And on another note, I was inspired that maybe, just maybe I could overcome my disillusionment of the political process and get involved. But that’s yet to be determined. 😉


I don’t really care too much to say “goodbye to 2015”. Mostly because I try to take each day as a new day, and therefore I’m constantly shedding.

But this year I really began to tap into my genius. As humans, we’ll never have full understanding of our potential, but it goes to show that running forward like there is no limit allows potential to reveal itself. I gained a lot of knowledge and information. I moved forward in the slow and painstaking process that is “adulthood”. I tried new things and went to new places. It was all great.

The year ahead looks to be the same: life in motion, world in color, and (hopefully) self discipline in the wake of it all. I don’t feel compelled to tell you that I’m ready to take on 2016 (though I am), but I will say that this new year will bring about unprecedented experiences that make life worth living and the call worth pursuing. It really can’t get better than that.


I finally got to visit Morimoto Asia at Downtown Disney … (okay fine, now called “Disney Springs“). With Disney Spring’s recent update comes a handful of great new restaurants, including Morimoto’s Pan Asian restaurant.  Pan Asian basically means that you can order sushi and Pad Thai in the same meal. Oh yes.

The ambiance, a design collaboration of Jay Valgora and Michael Lingerfelt, was lounge-y and very cool. It was modern and sophisticated; they spared no attention to detail. I got a table at the bar/lounge as it was first come first serve and readily available. Everything I ordered was totally delicious, including the Grilled Chicken Bao (pictured) off the Dim Sum menu. I’ve never had anything like it and I’ll definitely order it again. The sushi was extremely fresh, too.

Music wise, just imagine a cool city lounge playlist that slowly transforms into an upbeat tempo with higher beats per minute as the night goes on (or so the manager told me anyway). It definitely set a nice mood worth dining in.

Can’t wait to go back.