Five and a half years ago, Valerie and I ran away from the tour guide on the military island of Pompus in the Netherlands. We noticed a room with the perfect aesthetics for a photo shoot. Valerie laid down on a reflective surface as metal rods hung from the ceiling; I snapped a few pictures before we swapped places.
Never content with the ordinary, we became fast friends in Amsterdam. Wherever we explored need to look like the inner pages of a fashion magazine. We’d prep outfits together in our dorm before biking off to some new location. Our time creating art (her painting, my photography) paved the road for my love of urban photography with a fashion twist.
Valerie and I were reunited on the corner of 25th and Mission. The last time we saw each other it was too cold for us to engage in our ritual of photography. Thankfully, winter in the Bay gives you plenty of nice sunny days. We made our way to the top of Bernal Heights and were both astounded by the size of this hill and the grand views it gives of the city.
Unlike LA I wasn’t going into San Francisco blind. I spent a few weeks in San Francisco two years ago. There is something very interesting about the first two times you visit a city. The first time you are overloaded by the information you are receiving. Everything is so new and fresh. I find the second trip to a city reveals so much more about the energy and tone of a place. What shined brightly on the first trip might be duller upon a closer viewing.
The sun was setting fast and in our attempt at chase after we ran off the hill and explored more of the neighbor behind the behemoth. Valerie and I found steep hills and gorgeous houses to photograph as we continued our urban exploration.
As I'm typing this I realize I only have two more weeks until I move to Tokyo. Friendships like the one I have with Valerie allow me to go to Japan with comfort because I have been able to make life long friendships with people in foreign countries over a shared love of art and fashion. Make sure you subscribe below and follow me on Instagram and Facebook so you don't miss a thing!