With all of the graduations brewing, it was a shocker to me to remember that I hadn’t yet blogged such a special collection I did of a very special graduate last year. I was mostly devoted to my wedding work and found it really hard to fit anything in. As I’m blogging a bit more these days I wanted to bring that collection and that story to you guys because I don’t know how I didn’t previously!
JULIA…she was a connection for me from a friend who wanted to gift this to her [Julia is her neice]. The moment I started to connect with Julia, get to know her personality, got to see how cute and fun she was…I was so excited to work with her. Julia’s family is from my hometown but she was studying in Cal State Pomona. I felt so connected to her from all of the communicating we’d done and just knowing who her family was. She was immediately kind and treated me as she had already known me. There was something so captivating about Julia when I would photograph her. She was so much fun and I wanted to make sure to bring that side out of her but there was also this calm sincere softness to her that I wanted to capture as well. The connection she had with her mom on the sets of our shoot was just genuine and kind. You could tell she honored and respected her mom and that to me was a sign of a great young woman.
Julia the Grad.
She earned her Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering with a Minor in Materials Engineering [in 2018]. She first found a love for chemistry her sophomore year and then fell in love with chemical engineering as she grew to understand that everything around us revolves around this subject. “My major and minor make me feel like I can not only understand the world, but I can help build it. Originally, I thought chemical engineering was going to be like chemistry.. “but with engineering”. If I could re-name my major it should sound more like “process engineering”, because what we do is learn the process of a plant (petroleum, food industry, ammonia, etc..). I took chemistry classes until I mastered Organic Chemistry, and have barely used that information in any of my core classes. But it was still so fun to learn, since I still LOVE chemistry!”
I asked Julia if she had any set backs or hard times that made her want to quit or shift into another direction while attending school and she replied, “Between my third and fourth year of college, I was really struggling with my classes and understanding the material. I always knew it was going to be tough, but man, it was harder than I thought. Before this moment, I never struggled in any of my academics. I would stay late on campus studying material and it wasn’t enough so I would go home and brew up 3 cups of coffee to study some more. Exam nights were the absolute worse! It would be nearly 3/4am, and I would have my exams at 9 or 10am. I was barely passing these organic chemistry exams, I thought I loved chemistry but how?! I began to doubt my major and thought I could be doing WAY better at something else, something that was a little easier. BUT, I decided I’d come way too far to let some equations ruin what I spent 3 years working on. I stuck with my goals and stayed with my major.
“You gotta have a dream. If you don’t have a dream, how are you going to make a dream come true?” This has been a favorite quote of mine for 6 years. I don’t like hearing “dreams are overrated” or far-fetched, or whatever silly words people use. I don’t like hearing “be real, be practical”, because the greatest minds in the world weren’t that. Dreams are what drives this world and if you always set yourself to being practical and within a certain means, how are you ever going to know what is truly out there for you? You gotta have a dream!
How Julia felt about our session together.
“From the start Rubi was so easy to communicate with and told me everything I needed to know. Never have I had anything work so smoothly. The photoshoot itself was so fun and I loved every direction she took. I had texted Rubi ideas about a “sunkissed/sunset/nature” type of thing and she turned it into reality. The entire shoot was amazing but I absolutely adored the car session and the creativity with that. Those ended up being some of my favorite photos and they came out amazing.I have looked at my photos for hours at a time since I got my collection and still cannot get over how amazing they are. I know Rubi is a wedding photographer, but she’s absolutely amazing period. My sister loved the photos and texted me “I want to hire her so she can make me look like a model too!”. 100000/10, beautiful person, beautiful photography, would book again in a heart-beat.
My story to the car part: I saw the open road and I can’t resist an open road, but I was feeling really alive with Julia and I kept imagining this type of imagery. These car style shoots are nothing inventive on my part, it was just something I never really thought to try. At that moment, I just felt that with her, I saw it with her! That’s the key thing I always try to remember…to stay flexible and to make it about the client and not always necessary come with a full concept in mind. Now the tricky part was….could I achieve this even though I’d never tried it. Would the vision in my head translate in photos. With Julia’s mom taking a few speed road runs back and forth-with Julia feeling the moment and being present in that time and space-it was perfect…it was truly meant for her. It still is a shot that takes my breath away [below-b/w].
Love notes from Julia to those who supported her throughout this season.
Mom: Thank you mommy for all that you have given up in order for me to succeed. I cannot thank you enough for putting up with me for the past 22 years of life. Even when I felt discouraged, filled with negativity and anger, you still managed to love me and support me in any way you could. Your words always stay with me and I promise to do everything I can to make you proud. I will look up to you forever. Your courage, your strength, and your love, guide me towards a better life.
Gina: Thank you to my big-little sister for raising me when mom wasn’t there. Thank you for the endless amount of spoiling you gave me and continue to give me. Thank you for engraving permanent moments of us together into my memories. It’s because of you that I love strawberries, dip my french fries in bbq sauce, and think of watching the Little Mermaid every-time I make top ramen. I love you and look up to your success, you paved the way for me to be able to do this.
Michelle and Jay: Thank you to both of you for always being present in my life and offering support when needed. For checking in on me and offering opportunities nobody else could bring me. I am so fortunate to have both of you love me and share this moment with me. Because you always think of me and give me some of the best advice and stories, I feel so blessed.
Raul: Thank you for being in my life for the past 4 years, but being there for me the past 2. My family get’s to see the success. But you were there with me during the struggles. I have never had anyone understand me the way you do, or be so patient with me the way that you are. Thank you for listening to me and being there for me when I needed.