Archive for Month: September 2016

Instant connection

You know that feeling when you meet someone, and you just have an instant connection? You can stare at each other for the longest of times, and the seconds seem to be floating away like soap bubbles on a windy day. It doesn’t feel awkward, but you’re still not sure when he’ll make a move. The thoughts are running through your head, and the adrenalin is pumping in your veins. For a moment you forget about everything else. You move closer. He looks at you, and you’re trying to read his mind through his hazel-brown eyes. No moves. He just looks at you, and you ask yourself: Is he intimidated by me? Did I go too fast? Am I getting too close? What happens next? Could I have done anything differently?

Well, these are the thoughts running through the head of a photographer standing face to face — face to camera lens — with a wild animal.

You see, I’ve never been much of an animal person, because I happen to be allergic to every little fury creature out there, but lately I’ve been approached by a number of “wild” animals and we’ve had some pretty intimate moments together, so I figured I’d share it with you all, haha!

You all know I stumbled upon a hedgehog a few weeks ago, right?


Well, nothing too extraordinary about that. But on Tuesday, I met this little guy when I was out photographing in Falls Park!


We stared at each other for a long time. It’s fascinating how close he let me come before he realized he had to somewhere he had to be, and left.

Rachel spotted him first, but I was fortunate enough to get some real close-ups of him. (I refer to him as “him” because I don’t know what he is … Chipmunk-squrriel-rat-thingy?)

And yesterday, I was almost ran over by four deer when I was out running! Yes, FOUR DEER! (Or deers like I initially wrote, but apparently there are no s‘s in the plural form of deer, so…)

Even as exciting as it sounds, it was actually a less pleasant experience, at least compared to the majestic moments I had with the squrriel-thingy the day before.

It was an early morning and I enjoyed the sound of my own running shoes crunching on the gravel path in Sertoma Park when I heard some intense crackling, and suddenly saw the deer cross the path right in front of me. Out of pure instinct I grabbed my phone and snapped a number of blurry pictures before they got too far away.

Unfortunately I had just updated the software on my iPhone the day before, so by the time I finally managed to access the camera, two of them had already run off. But I did get these two!



When you spend the majority of your time either running from class to class, studying or attending meetings and classes indoors, it’s pretty refreshing to meet beings who don’t give a crap about how stressed you are, or how much homework you have. They’re just there, and you get to visit their world for a second or two. Simply beautiful.

Have a blessed evening,

#FlashbackFriday #HippieKids

As a result of the photojournalism class I’m taking this semester, I’ve become very aware of what makes a well-composed picture, and for some reason I just LOVE this one. It’s not even edited!

It’s just so natural — and badass.

Full creds to mom for capturing this golden moment with my sister and I together with two of our cousins.

Street Photography

I’ve always wanted to try real street photography, and today I had an excuse to actually do it. As a part of an assignment for photojournalism, Naras and I went downtown for a little photo session.

According to the pros, it’s not real street photography unless the subjects are unaware of the camera. So you should try to move around as discretely as possible without them noticing a piece of their life is being perpetuated in the form of photography. You can talk to them afterwards, of course, but you want to capture them wearing their most natural facial expression, so they better not know you’re there!

First Steps. Photo: Maria Lavelle

The shadows caused by the sun made it kind of difficult to get clean-looking shots, but I’m still pretty happy with how they turned out.

#RelationshipGoals Photo: Maria Lavelle

Few things fascinate me more than people, so this was actually tons of fun!

The world seen through the eyes of the tall. Photo: Maria Lavelle
Date. Photo: Maria Lavelle
Taco Love. Photo: Maria Lavelle

Naras even managed to sneak up on me during the shoot! That’s easily the best performance of the day. Hands down.

Photo: Naras Prameswari

I want to thank you all for the congratulations, comments and likes on my previous post by the way. More than 230 shares!

Love you,

Over the Bridge is going to Hollywood

Hey all!

The title is a little sensationalistic — but to us this is a sensation — so I don’t care. I just got to know that Over the Bridge has been selected for the 2016 Awareness Film Festival in Los Angeles!


Out of all the festivals we applied to, this one was very high up on our list of festivals we really wanted to get into, because it’s a real fest with live screenings, it has a good reputation and no online-awards nonsense.

It’ll be screened in the LA Live Regal Cinema Theatre on October 14th. I’ve never been in California, so I’m very excited! I also have a couple of other errands to do in LA while I’m there, but I’ll tell you more about that later.

The Cinema Falls community has been a tremendous support for us in this process. Photo: Julie Anderson Friesen/Cinema Falls.

The travel expenses are sponsored by Cinema Falls. And I want to give a huge thanks to the founder, Julie Anderson Friesen, for her amazing mentorship during this process.

I just wish my dear friend and co-producer of the film, Sarah Kocher, could be there with me, but knowing that she’s in the UK chasing dreams makes me feel a little better about going all by myself.

Well, I know I might be repeating myself, but I’m just beyond grateful for how well Over the Bridge has been received so far. When Sarah and I started talking about film projects on the airplane to Austin last fall, we certainly didn’t have any of this in mind! Our initial plan was just to make a film we could show to our professors for some constructive feedback over a cup of coffee. We got a full house at the premiere, four film festival acceptances — and most importantly — the opportunity to bring attention to a social issue through several public screenings and TV-interviews, and a Cinema Falls event instead.


I want to thank everyone who backed our Kickstarter campaign and helped us pay for the entrance fees! None of the festivals would’ve been possible without your support. You’re all amazing.

Now lets hope we can spread the message about homelessness so far it actually makes a difference.

Bless you all,


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