Finding my groove

Ivoryhut Adobe San Francisco Photography Getaway

Some weeks ago, I received an email from a lovely lady named Anne. (Yes, I already knew then that she’d be lovely.) She wrote to invite me to spend a day in San Francisco taking photographs of the sights, followed by a 3-hour Lightroom workshop with the amazing Julieanne Kost the following day. Oh, and Adobe was sponsoring the whole thing. She then so kindly remarked that she thought I might need the break.

The invitation was almost too good to be true that I had to do some background investigating before allowing myself to jump on the bed and bounce all around. The bed was grateful for the chance to brace itself. Everything checked out (sorry, bed).

The last time I was in San Francisco, I didn’t get to photograph anything. Which is abominable, really, since it’s such a beautiful city. But I had other things on my mind at that time, and my only concern then was staying awake and speaking coherently. Oh, and keeping my flip-flop-clad toes from freezing.

Part of me still feels some of that haze. You may have noticed that I haven’t quite gotten back in the blogging saddle just yet. It”s been bugging me, and I’ve been trying to muster up enough motivation to … to … get motivated. Yes, I had to get motivated to get motivated. That’s when I realized I needed help.

And help is just what I got. Starting with this amazing California blogger who, without hesitation, sent me her spare camera and lens barely a week after I lost mine. It would have been hard to join a photography getaway without a camera and lens. The incredible invitation, the company of new friends, the opportunity to spend a few hours listening to an Adobe evangelist talk about software … they all ganged up on my slumping mojo and helped breathe life back into it.

It started with a room with an incredible view.
Ivoryhut Adobe San Francisco Photography Getaway

And an awesome welcome gift on the bed. (That’s a red Epiphanie Belle camera bag, and inside it, Ghirardelli chocolates, a Lightroom shirt, Julieanne Kost’s Window Seat book, and other goodies.)
Ivoryhut Adobe San Francisco Photography Getaway

We stayed in a hotel just across the street from the eclectic Ferry Building Market full of interesting subjects.
Ivoryhut Adobe San Francisco Photography Getaway

Followed by an amazing lunch that even had me, a staunch goat cheese hater (I think I just heard some of my friends gasp in disbelief), polishing off my goat cheese tart.
Ivoryhut Adobe San Francisco Photography Getaway

We were shuttled around in style, hitting all the major sightseeing spots.
Ivoryhut Adobe San Francisco Photography Getaway

And I finally got my Golden Gate bridge shot.
Ivoryhut Adobe San Francisco Photography Getaway

And another one.
Ivoryhut Adobe San Francisco Photography Getaway

And another one.
Ivoryhut Adobe San Francisco Photography Getaway

Can you tell I loved photographing that bridge?
Ivoryhut Adobe San Francisco Photography Getaway

My only regret is that I’m not a natural portrait photographer, which means I didn’t get to take photos of the lovely women I met, who really made the entire event memorable.
Ivoryhut Adobe San Francisco Photography Getaway

And that’s the story of how a few days in San Francisco helped me start getting my groove back. Here’s hoping my groove stays funky and no one notices that I have two left feet.

Here are the other bloggers I met, including a shout out to the lovely ladies (and one gentleman) who helped put it all together.

  • Organizers and hosts supreme: Anne, Cari, Pam, Sharon, and Chris (the lone gentleman)
  • Adobe evangelist and photographer extraordinaire: Julieanne Kost (she’s incredibly funny, too!)

What a treat it was to meet these ladies and spend time with them. It was great to watch them all in action and enjoy each person’s unique photographic style. They inspired and encouraged me, and got me excited about photography again.

And I couldn’t have picked a better place to do it.
Ivoryhut Adobe San Francisco Photography Getaway

My goodness. I do love this city.


15 Responses to Finding my groove
  1. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen
    February 23, 2011 | 7:59 am

    Yes, I can tell you like that bridge! Really lovely shots. What an amazing opportunity, I would have loved to have been there to experience it all.

  2. Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon
    February 23, 2011 | 8:47 am

    Glad you are getting your groove back Erika. The photos are stunning.

    Can’t wait to see you in July.

  3. JenniferA
    February 23, 2011 | 8:59 am


    Hi Erika! It’s wonderful to see you here again.

  4. Lindsey Johnson (Cafe Johnsonia)
    February 23, 2011 | 10:14 am

    Lovely, lovely, lovely! Your pictures are lovely. You are lovely. It was so fun to meet you, Erika. Hope our paths cross again sometime soon. xoxo

  5. GayleV
    February 23, 2011 | 10:17 am

    I am so glad you posted that top photo. I think it is absolutely PERFECT!! You are such an amazing photographer!! LOVED meeting you! Hope things are going well with your house.

  6. Melanie
    February 23, 2011 | 11:10 am

    I am so happy for you- what a wonderful opportunity! BTW! I will be in NJ in two weeks, will you be around? I’m going to go back to Sushi Cruise because I loved it so much. ^_^ We’re staying at the W in Hoboken this time.

    February 23, 2011 | 1:17 pm

    it’s so good to have you back here – it’s been a long while and i’ve really, really missed you Erika. and what a fabulous opportunity to be back in SF – i do love that city!!!

  8. Amy Schmucker
    February 23, 2011 | 1:25 pm

    Yeah. Love having you back in the saddle again. Been keeping you and family all in my prayers. Thanks for letting us go to San Fran with your awesome pictures. I was 17 the last time I was there. Its been a long long time.

    Amy in Florida

  9. Paula
    February 23, 2011 | 1:34 pm

    Such great news that you are getting your blogging groove back. All the more special because of the wonderful new friends that you made during this trip.
    Your photographs are just stunning. The very first one took my breath away.

  10. Miz Boo
    February 23, 2011 | 7:01 pm

    I waited so long for you to post :o)

    The picture of the bridge from the other side.
    The vertical shot….is my favorite bridge shot. It is unique and stunning and perfect in every way!

    Well done, you!

    I miss you and your quiet spirit.

  11. Amber DeGrace
    February 23, 2011 | 8:44 pm

    Gorgeous photos, absolutely gorgeous. Happy to see another fellow blogger getting back into the groove … I lost mine for awhile as well. Being a work at home mama to a 2-year old and 1-year old takes its toll on me some days.

    Will be following you on your journey. Congrats on having the SF opportunity! So exciting. :)


  12. Joy
    February 24, 2011 | 4:02 pm

    The pictures looks wonderful. I am glad you are starting to blog more. I also wanted to present to you the stylist blogger award.

  13. Lacey
    February 24, 2011 | 4:25 pm

    Glad to see you back!! I’ve missed your pictures!! Speaking of pictures, would you recommend Photoshop Elements 9 for a beginner? Hope to read more from you soon. Keep your head up. God bless.

  14. Jennifer (Savor)
    February 25, 2011 | 3:55 am

    So glad you were able to go on this trip and have such an amazing time

  15. Mary Ellen
    February 28, 2011 | 11:06 am

    Beautiful pictures, glad you were able to enjoy yourself. You have had a REALLY tough time lately, I’m so impressed by the strength you show. Take time for yourself and we’ll be here waiting on you.

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about me

I write, cook, play music, and make pictures. Not necessarily in that order. I was born and raised in the Philippines, and it shows. That means I eat rice with every meal, love my cousins like my own siblings, and firmly believe that avocados are best eaten with cream and sugar.

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One summer night in 2010, our house burned to the ground and we lost everything we had. This is the story of what happened and how life and hope can always rise from ashes.