t’s been awhile. Things have changed, but most importantly I hope you are well. I’m glad to announce that aside from breathing and being alive, life is moving forward in a way that has recharged my desire to share all that’s taking place. Isn’t it amazing how fast we can change if in that moment we actually choose to take action? No hesitation, just pure soul choosing, allowing. 2018 was a very interesting year for everyone. From Anthony Bourdain, Mac Miller, to family upheaval, tremendous miscommunication, learning that social media will be the life and death of us. Amongst landing the biggest job I’ve had to date and turning 30, 2018 was the transformation in which was both joyous and as painful as can be.Read More
I will tell you my life's story another day. Today I will focus on the purity of my focus and where it has got me today. When I turned 30, though this was already destined, heres what happened:
I am aware of many things because its all nothing. It 's just here. I am filled with abundance, prosperity, light and more importantly love and not for anyone other than myself, because when I am filled, my entire universe and all that it touches will do the same. You have to understand your existence is beyond this realm. Your feelings are a gateway into the untouched, into the peace which we seem to have a hard time seeking. I promise at the last of my breath, that this and only this is the only form of currency used in all realms in all purposes.
I turned 30 this year. You know how many people cringe at the idea of getting older as if the actual number has anything to do with real progression. I moved to LA in January 2015 with $600 I made selling images at my going away party. Excited, unsure, eager to progress. To track down that voice that has been whispering to me before I was even born. For reasons ineffable, circumstances, people, places, words, tears and many laughs have brought me to this very exact moment where you are reading this text. Nothing special, just here. In order to properly run down the timeline of this excursion, Ill need many blank pages and open passages to fill those blank pages. So instead, I'll brief the journey I took.
1. I took a road trip to Portland stopping in Oakland, Humboldt and Florence OR along the way.
2. Met some incredible people sleeping on my friends couch in Oakland, CA.
3. The Monday after my birthday, I got news that I would be working as a co leader and photo teacher with National Geographic Student Expeditions this summer in NYC. Japan for Putney Student Travels was put on the table, but not confirmed.
4. I Camped for 2 nights alone in Humboldt Redwood State Park. Sleeping among the great trees 200+ feet tall, starting a fire, setting up a tent and driving 30 miles to find a coffee shop to submit all my paperwork for this NYC gig.
5. Trampled up the 101 to Fern Canyon, seen below, which was a daunting task until its reveal after the 8 mile 1 way in 1 way out road to get there.
6. After that I drove a few more hours to Oregon where I stayed in Florence along the coast in a backyard house. I woke up to dogs, chickens, kids and it bothered me none. The Thursday I arrived in Oregon I got an offer email to also work for Putney Student Travels teaching Pre- College Photography and Film in Tokyo, Japan.
7. I ended up in Portland where I spent the remainder of my trip. I had to actually end my trip early because I in 2 weeks I would be flying to Vermont to start training. Before I make my round of judgements I've expressed to others about Portland, I'll visit this place again and see how I feel. The nature of Oregon was magnificent, but again I'll confess that when I spend more time there.
This summer proved to be exactly what hitting a new decade means. Engulfed in the joy as well as submerged in the demons we think we've defeated. I have solidified that "I Belong Nowhere" will be the umbrella to house the many ideas and creations I have been secretly working on and running through my mind. Ive also discovered the importance of living and not to just to breathe, but fully living. Now that I'm back in LA and finally settled, I will be more proactive and efficient at sharing all I have going on, from developing a travel photo program for young adults, a wellness artist community building retreat, an I Belong Nowhere podcast amongst other things.
I decided to go camping and take a road trip for my 30th birthday. I camped in Humboldt Redwood Forest, which I get chills from still when I look at the videos and images I captured. Camping alone was a huge stepping stone in my life. Im adventurous, I travel, I experiment, but sleeping alone outside, I knew it would happen one day.
Driving through the Avenue of the Giants connects you immediately to source. I arrived a little after 7PM and rushed to get my tent built. This was my first time building a tent alone. With patience saving me all my life, I was able to get it up and get a fire started right before the sun decided to depart. There is both a relief and fear attached to a silence like this. A hiss of lite whispers that you are unsure of where they came, but peaceful and deep in earth. You are aware that the happenings of this moment are natures intentions, and neither your thoughts or whats happening else where can effect this moment.
There's a great deal of camping sites to choose from and research was done before my arrival. The Burlington camp ground, I believe is the first camp site you'll see once there. Its a family campsite so there is a booth, rangers, restrooms/showers, and almost everything else you'll need. If you are more of a backpacker and want a more authentic experience, go further north. Burlington was also where I discovered a Banana Slug. I thought I encountered an alien. Look it up.
To be liberated of your cautions is to handle your fears. My lifestyle is unlike almost anyone I've known, especially from where I was born. As wisdom continues to be my teacher the gift of knowing is that wisdom is with experience, not age. I share these true progressions of my life and not for the purpose of art or conversation. This is real life. These days I spend alone in foreign places discovering, is my true teacher. My true form of acceptance and understanding. People rage their brains online, with other people, themselves, politics, the news, hate, fear and yet none of that exist here or in the places you choose, including your mind.
If you do it, you want to. If you are looking for a space of solitude, impeccable energy, nature, history, peace, and silence, I highly recommend spending some time in Humboldt, CA. More photos and a video will be coming soon.
There is nothing more pleasing to me, than witnessing earth. I find myself at complete peace when I am given opportunities to immerse myself in the world around me. When I was a kid I remember always wanting to drive. I had this small obsession about the thing that could take you places. Now that I have access to unlimited road and opportunity, I hope in my car every chance I get.
Idyllwild, CA is about a 2 hour drive from Los Angeles. The video depicts my descent from 5,000 feet above sea level. I was in Idyllwild shooting for the Immense Grace Women's Retreat with RAMA, which is a yoga institute in Venice. Driving through Idyllwild is a dream. I got a glimpse of snow, some tall redwood tress and a small town I would live in without a second thought. Unfortunately this vlog isn't about the town itself, but about the amazing view I captured when my weekend retreat was over.
I invite you on this ride with me to show you how amazing open and free the world is and how its our right to experience it first hand.
"Look at what you have thats an advantage over other people." If there was anything I walked away with that day, this was one of many. I met Mark Edward Harris while I was working for the Palm Springs Photo Festival at Photo Expo in New York in October 2017. As I was ease dropping on his conversation, the only words that I heard were travel, photographer and workshop. As soon as he was finished his conversation, I walked over and introduced myself. "Hi. I'm Brianna Lopez and I overheard you mention you're a travel photographer."
We talked for a few minutes about travel and images and how travel and images have opened, altered and progressed what we are. Maybe I'm exaggerating, but thats what it felt like. Up until this point, which was before my 3 week trip to Thailand, I felt excited but indecisive. Unsure if I wanted to take this route, unsure of my images and what they really meant. What did they say about what I was seeing? Did they mean anything?
I emailed Mark 5 days later, thanking him for his generosity with photo ideas for Thailand and making sure he was aware that I was very serious about travel and photography. We agreed to meet up for coffee/tea when time permitted. With Marks 40 plus years, 97 countries and many amazing publications later, he has already given me an ample amount of encouragement and faith that a successful career in being a travel photographer is more than possible.
After our first meeting in February, we remained in contact via email hoping to have lunch at the Farmers Market come the beginning of April. Although we didn't get around to meeting that week, I actually ended up attending Marks one day travel photography workshop the same weekend and same day I was to head to Las Vegas for NAB. Only the universe can set something up so perfectly and I am beyond grateful that I had the opportunity to learn some techniques very necessary for my growth as an image creator.
To find out more about Mark please visit www.markedwardharris.com.