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Sunday, May 30, 2010

An update from Sarajevo


When I had thought about Sarajevo before coming here, and hearing the stories of how there are still holes in the buildings from guns and bombs during the war, I didn't understand. I couldn't figure out why they just couldn't "fix" it, cover it up, repaint, tear down the bombed out buildings. What I didn't realize, is nearly every building is marked and that would be nearly impossible without tearing down the entire city. What I still don't understand, is why certain buildings had to be hit. Like buildings which are clearly apartments and homes. I understand libraries, universities, museums, but places where it is just obviously civilians, I will probably never understand. However, life goes one, people still live in apartment complexes once sprayed along the line of fire and look out of their office windows into bombed out buildings now being overgrown with vegetation, repairing the holes with trees and ferns.

The people here are strong. Everybody has a story about the war. Even those who I can't understand (my Bosnian is rough), I know they talk about war through the hand motions of bombs and pointing to eyes and ears, which would explain why they aren't responding to my questions. The old people talk about the war, the younger talk about the war, even if they weren't here for it, they always throw in the fact that they were born in Germany, Kosovo, etc. because the war was going on, but they are Bosnian. I am reading a book called Sarajevo Marlboro, written by a Bosnian journalist, translated to English. 27 stories of the war from individuals point of view, small vignettes of their lives which help me understand what it was like. The people did and still do look out for one another, more so than in any other place I've been. One story in another book I read was about a shoe maker who told a customer to buy shoes from the man next door, he has already sold one pair and thus could feed his family that day, the man next door had a wife and two children who also needed to eat. That is how the people are here.

I have spent most of my time with Internationals. I live with a family who is American and Dutch, the kids speaking many languages. They go to a school with mainly international students and it is fascinating to talk to these people, all doing good things for others through aid and service all over the world. They're the kind of people who don't just talk.

I had been told that the Mormon church was not here. However, upon meeting a few people who had talked to a few others, the church is here. They had actually heard I was coming from one of their daughter's friends in Idaho, but nobody was sure exactly where I would be or how to get a hold of me to let me know they were here, which I find to be downright crazy. There are just 8 of us who meet on Sundays in a home in town, but it is here. The church had missionaries here during Tito's days of this being Yugoslavia, however, when it split and with war and what not, somewhere during that time it had become illegal. Nobody really knows of what happened to the members, however, there is one Bosnian member that we know of who lives outside of town. Other than that, it was just us 8 Americans.

I am having a hard time narrowing down what to photograph, there are so many interesting places and people, but they all revolve around the pain of war. I want to show how things have changed, how progress is being made, but it is difficult to show that. I still have 3 weeks, hopefully this week will be the week I figure my project out so I can spend the rest of my time working on it. The people who I have met are helping, exposing me to the right people and places to help me understand Bosnia and it's complicated history.

Bosnia has always been known for its water, a traveler in the late 1800s wrote that he had counted 110 fountains in the city alone, all flowing with perfect, cold water from underground springs. Many are on top of hills, so when you reach the top, you are rewarded with a drink. These were vital during the war when the water got shut off, keeping the people alive. There is a fountain in the center of town, and legend has it, if you drink from it, you will never want to leave. I fill up my water bottle everyday hoping that I never will have to.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Backyard. Schlitterbahn, New Braunfels, Texas

Once upon a time I snuck into the back lot for Schlitterbahn where they repair the buses and store thing for during the off season.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Alamo City (featuring Sam and Roxanne)

Nothing says "San Antonio" and "wedding" like the Alamo, right? Probably not, but doesn't matter. As I said in the previous post of this lovely couple, Roxanne and I grew up together here in San Antonio, Texas. Sam is from Springville and they got married in Utah, but while in San Antonio, Roxanne wanted some "San Antonio" type shots featuring some of the Spanish architecture and main sites. It quickly turned into one of my favorite sessions that I've done, running around my home town with old friends.

Once again, if you can't get enough of this, there are more, just click here!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I made it through London and onto Sarajevo. It's beautiful here. I'm still trying to figure out the internet situation (as in I can't get it working on my computer) as well as I'm trying to figure out electricity.. because I can't currently plug in my computer without frying it. Hopefully more to come and more pictures as well if I can get everything plugged in and running.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Roxanne and Sam Gray [Wedding and San Antonio Reception]

I love these people. For one, they're darling. But more importantly, they're fantastic together, and are always smiling and happy when together, and I like that. I grew up with Roxanne, so I'm partial to liking her, and him, we'll just say he had a lot of high expectations to meet. And he did. They got married 1 May in Spanish Fork, Utah, which I was a bridesmaid at, but I took some pictures anyways because I can't help it. However, for the San Antonio reception I was the main photographer, so that's where many of these come from. Also, Sam did all the graphic designing for this wedding (like the card with how they met on it) and he will be designing me a brand new website in the near future, so be looking forward to that!

We went around San Antonio to do formals, I'll post more pictures next week of that.. I just wanted to spread it out some, because I couldn't do it all in one post, I liked them way too much.

To see them all, go to my site.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Many Windows

I'm leaving today! A few days in London, many days in Bosnia with small trips interspersed to Slovenia and Croatia, back to London then to Paris. Needless to say, a very, very busy next 5+ weeks. I don't know what my internet situation will be, but I know I won't have a cell phone. So if you want to get ahold of me, e-mail me or maybe even Skype me if I remember to sign in. And be looking for pictures! I'll have posts ready to go for a while of things that need to get posted, but don't worry, Europe will soon be on here!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Climbing Wall Street, Potash Road, Moab.

Images from a recent climbing trip I went on with my friend, Mary, and her son (whom I photographed a while back). We went down to Moab to a road called Potash Road where climbers are everywhere just pulled off the side of the road. The specific section we were on was called Wall Street (clever). It was fantastic. There's nice little snapshot there on the bottom to prove how legit I am too (also looks like I have no forearms), wedging my way up a crack in the rock. It was crazy.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Stone Oak Park

There is a park near my house called Stone Oak Park, creatively named after the street it is on, which was also creatively named after the entire development name. It's been around for a while just as a wildlife area but then it's sort off been developed into a park with some gravel trails that turn into single track and wider trails for biking. There's also caves! Lots of them, two large ones, one of which you can get down into and supposedly has bolted routes for climbing but plenty of open space for easy bouldering.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Grayam Family in Stone Oak Park

Another family I got to photograph recently was the Grayam family and they were wonderful because, who doesn't love a family of four boys? It doesn't get any more lucky than that. We headed out to Stone Oak Park where we took pictures in fields for mom and then with caterpillars for the boys. We also were able to get down into one of the large caves in just one area of the park to climb over rocks and take some pictures for some family pictures in a cave. Awesome.

For more, go here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sibinal, Texas

My older brother and sister-in-law recently moved to Uvalde, Texas. It's a small-ish town 100 miles from San Antonio and 70 from Mexico. I drove out there two days ago to see their new house and (darling) Great Dane puppy (which is bigger than our full grown German Shepard). The drive is full of small towns, which we all know I love, and wildflowers, thanks to Lady Bird Johnson. I didn't stop as much as I wanted since I was on a time crunch both ways, but I did stop in Sibinal, which is where the turn off for the girls camp I went to growing up is. The cars were cool, but also notice how green it is! Everytime I come home it's always a shock, I always forget how green everything is here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tobler Family

I've only been in San Antonio for about 30 hours and I've already started photo-madness with multiple family sessions, booking more, and all on top of thinking that I'll try to learn some Croatian before I take off (5 days!). The Tobler family has been one of the families I photographed. They were actually one of the first friends of my family when we moved here 10 years ago. I remember being 12-years old and scared when I had a stomachache shortly after moving here while my mom was gone. I didn't know what to do, so I called the only adult I knew, Lucy Tobler, to come take care of my little brother while I thought I was going to die. Since then, cell phones have been more wide-spread and I'm sure both her and my mom have forgotten about that.

If you want to see more pictures, less memoirs, go here.