Mountains of hair

Hair by mariana carrillo



I have so much hair that it’s been more than once that I’ve been asked if I’m wearing a wig or if my hair is otherwise real. It is quite real 🙂

I’ve had this vision of capturing my hair in motion for awhile now and I finally thought I would give it a little try. This was a quick, “jump in front of the camera while my hubby is out” moment and I’m happy and proud of myself that I finally captured it.

With that in mind (and also completely unrelated), here is a Christmas song. I used to listen to Christmas music all year ’round because it makes me feel cozy, loved, safe and warm. I’m finding I can feel that way more often without needing the actual music.

Nonetheless, I do enjoy a cozy little Xmas song then and again (and now).


We can’t wait much longer, we want happiness back..

When we come home, we want it quiet and calm 
We want you to sing us a song 
When we come home, we pull the curtains down 
Making sure that the TV is on 

From off to on

From off to on


A calm and quiet reflection for this Sunday night. I reflect on the week past as I think about the week ahead. And in between, there’s the now.

Getting Better!

I’m happy to report that I’ve made progress in my “learn to light” quest! I took my fiancee’s classic Mini Cooper out to the beach yesterday and using my Canon Speedlite 430ex II mounted on a tripod with umbrella and triggered via a PocketWizard, I am happy with the results. I hadn’t read the manual for the Speedlite prior to taking it out on the beach so I was feeling my way through it during the shoot. Afterwards, I came home and read the manual and realized I could have adjusted the intensity tremendously if I had just known beforehand 😉

1976 Mini Cooper by Mariana Carrillo

1976 Mini Cooper

About Light

Self by Mariana Carrillo


Even though I have a natural knack for photography that renders some aspects of it intuitively to me, there is one subject that still scares the beejezus out of me: strobe lighting. If I could place my finger on it, the fear comes because of its technicality. What I know about photography comes naturally to me and I’ve never had to explain it, nor could I, in technical terms. It’s the same when people would ask me to teach them how to speak Spanish. How can I technically explain something that is a part of me, that’s on the inside and comes as naturally as my skin color? I could not and it used to make me feel inadequate but now I know that it makes perfect sense.

Little by little however, I am mustering the will and willpower to take on and learn this very difficult challenge opportunity for me. Perhaps it’s my fear that I won’t be good enough or could never do it. Perhaps it’s my constant self-comparison to the best; perhaps it’s because of the impossible high standards for myself. At times, I can be very black and white. Either I am perfect at something (hopefully everything ;)) or I won’t try at all. But how can I ever hope to be perfect at something if I don’t take the first step? And where did I ever get the idea that perfection exists or has been mastered by anyone? Is there some high court somewhere that passes judgement on all of us? That rates me on my perfection? There is not! There isn’t! I throw the idea of “perfect” to the trash! There is no perfection, Mariana.

Lots Happened

Muir Woods by Mariana Carrillo

Lots has been going on lately and I’m happy and busy but truth be told, there are moments when it has become overwhelming. My inbox is so overflowing with to do’s, unanswered messages and uncompleted threads that I’m finding I get anxious whenever I actually receive an email. Yet of course, I crave to get email. It’s a catch 29.

Last week, I attended my very first conference, ever. It’s hard to believe that it’s my first conference and I’m equally surprised to admit it. It was FailCon and it was an energizing experience. I chose FailCon because it was probably the most affordable conference with content that I found interesting. The concept of FailCon is to create a gathering place where entrepreneurs share their stories of lessons learned along the journey of starting their own startup or business. There were hundreds of folks from all walks of life all with one thing in common: the type of risk-taking personality that allows one to dream big and take leaps of faith into following their heart and becoming entrepreneurs.

I really fed off the energy of folks who had the chutzpah to take a leap and go for it. I’m still shy about networking and honestly prefer spending time by myself as opposed to approaching complete strangers with an elevator pitch about myself. Perhaps it’s something to work on. It just doesn’t seem terribly genuine. I like to get to know people at the human level, to figure out what makes them who they are and how they evolved to be who they are in this moment. It’s not a conversation that can be completed in under 5 minutes. Or maybe I’m thinking too hard about it. Either way, I enjoyed myself, just the way I am and I’m looking forward to attending next year.

I Knew This

I Knew This

I envisioned what this picture would be before I even took the shot.
I wanted to capture the reality that is life, with all its clothes to be folded, beds to be made, rooms to be picked up. So often, things are perfected for us, they’re made glossy, brand new, improved, polished without blemishes and absolutely perfect. But life looks very different from that. It looks very different from the perfect website with the perfect, design-friendly layout, with everything bright and shiny. And it’s definitely in stark contrast to what’s glossified and made shiny for us on TV.

This is life, it’s my life and that’s what it looks like.