The Story behind ‘A Year in Pictures-2017’ Part I

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” — Aaron Siskind

The Story behind ‘A Year in Pictures-2017’ is exactly what it sounds. It is the story behind every noteworthy memory I’ve captured in the year 2017. It is a brief explanation on why and how I manged to capture these moments.  Please note how this pictures were mainly TAKEN BY ACCIDENT and with loads of pure luck!  I am an amateur photographer who just picked up a camera this last 2016. The greatest pictures you’ll ever take are the ones done by accident, possibly someone said, but whose name I-do-not-remember.

Without further due, here lays my private collection of cherished memories from 2017. Enjoy 🙂

*If you haven’t checked out the gallery by itself, go check it out!*

*This is ONLY Part I*

Marla I

1.  This was the first time I went out to take pictures with a DSLR camera. Our high school teacher threw us into the wild school grounds to take pictures of what we thought was interesting. Believe me, I didn’t have clue on what I was doing. After many frivolous poses, Marla (the girl above) surprised me with this look. She continued to be my subject in future photo shoots.


2. After a hard day of doing nothing, my best friend and I decided to test my brand new DSLR camera. We decided to catch the golden hour and ran as fast as our feet would carry us to nearest set of trees. These trees happened to be 3 blocks away and in the middle of the road. You can imagine people driving up their driveways only to encounter silly teenagers goofying around.

The Tinker


3. I had just started my first Photography class in high school as a senior. Our professor Mr.Solomon, was the hippest of hipster professors you’ve ever encounter. With a towering height of 6’7 and large sea green eyes, he gave us the assignment of light painting. Without knowing what I was doing, I graded the green laser and painted what came to mind. Let’s just say this hybrid Tinker Bell hybrid was on purpose.


4. My friends and I had to complete an assignment for our Photography class. Just like all high school students, we decided to leave this at the last second. We took this on the parking lot by a nearby Wal-Mart because we didn’t have time to go anywhere. I was playing with my camera’s shutter speed by taking test shots. One of my friends happened to pass by, and ta-da!

ana copy

5. This is Ana. She is one of my closest friends. She never allows me to capture her stunning brown-blue eyes. In fact she never allows me capture anything of her. For the first time, in our 4 year friendship, she posed for the camera. One night in a dirty backyard, I shot this picture. I don’t think she will ever pose for the camera again, like she did that night.


6. On the same night our photography assignment was due, my classmates and I decide to start on it . We decided to rest at a Carl’s Jr. But ended climbing up the children’s playground instead. A streetlight happened to be right next to it and hued the germ infested tunnels.  Marla (the girl in the picture) made it seem easy, but let me tell you: Navigating through this claustrophobic germ covered tunnels was quite difficult. I bathe in hand sanitizer after this shoot.

Pick a Cleo

7. My cat, cleo, always lays by the window and indefrently receives us as we come into the house. It was golden hour one afternoon, and I happened to have my camera at hand. When she turned and look at me at the sound of my camera shuttering, I took this glorious picture.

World of Wonders

8. Celebrating my friend’s 18th birthday we decided to ditch the formal dinner and head to the arcade. That night was a notable one. It was one of the last summer nights, before we all had to confront and accept the responsibilities of adulthood.

Welcome to Adulthood

9. This is a triple chocolate crepe cake. Another welcome to adulthood for a friend of mine.  It took approximately 23 shots and 2 rounds of singing ‘Happy B-Day’ that I managed to capture this delicious cake perfectly.


10.  This is my sister Diana. She hates people taking her photograph. While waiting to be seated at Hometown Buffet, I took a close up of her. I then played with the picture on Adobe Photoshop for a couple hours. I summited this photograph for a high school photography competition. It did not win. It didn’t even make it pass the second stage.

Why Are You Looking at Me

12. This is my cat Cleo. She usually sleeps in my bed during the day. My mother hates her for it. She says animals should be on the place where you lay to rest. Anyway, just like photograph #7 I started to take pictures of her sleeping. But she woke up. Surprisingly she didn’t shy away, instead she started to model for me.

Melting Pot

13. This was early on, before I took photography seriously. Note that I had colored green hair (this happened to be during my wannabe-rebellious phase.) My best friend and I were bored at a family gathering. I happened to have my camera, so we started to take close up pictures of our faces just for the sake of it. (I now realize how bizarre it might of being for those passing by, as the camera’s flash would go off every 10 seconds.)

Months later, I began to play around with the smear option in Adobe Photoshop. And, this was the result. Ta-da!

PC: Maria Favela Edit: Sofia Contreras

Midnight Chatter

14. It was a small gathering with some friends from high school, and we decided to put a bonfire. We pitched in for s’mores and just laughed at our failures and achievements from high school. We’ve hanged out together, in the same dirty school bench for four years.

Alone IV

15. I accompanied my best friend and her parents to southern mexico for a weekend trip. We road the dry and deserted highways of mexico to witness the whale migration. This deserted gas stop was one of hundreds of abandoned stations near highway 1. No matter what direction you looked, miles of cacti would be the only thing we would see. In the end, witnessing such extraordinary occurrence (whale migration) was worth the juiceless ride down south.

Light Walk

16. On the same trip to Baja California, my best friend and I decided to spend some quality time together. That was the last summer before we both had to assume responsibility as newly adults. While the grown ups went fishing, she and I walked down the deserted beach shore. The farther we walked, the rounder each shell became. The larger the shells became, the more you realized the white sand in the horizon was not sand.

As we walked farther away, the shells along the shore became rounder and pooled together with each wave. They no longer resembled shells. It was the erosion that had caused them to become small white stones. We continued walking on this beautiful graveyard of shells, discussing our future. And I couldn’t help thinking that we had something in common. Just like the shells, who were once considered unique in a way, end up eroded and forgotten by the everlasting waves of the sea.

Space Cyclops

17.   The picture was a class assignment for my photography class in high school. The assignment indicated that we had to create a ‘monster’. With the right combination of procrastination and boredom, this was the result.

The face of the astronaut is actually my cat, Cleo. When I first received my DSLR camera, I took a picture of her. But the flash blinded her on the stop, capturing her natural disappointed expression 

The Love Off

18. This picture was one of the first commission photography jobs I shot. The owner was a friend of mine and asked if I could retake some pictures for her website. I went to take pictures of her restaurant without knowing how to properly shoot on manual settings. It wasn’t pretty. I didn’t have any experience either! After lots of sweat and tears, I managed to shoot some semi-decent pictures. Although disappointed and unsatisfied I was with the end result, the owner was happy with the outcome. It was stressful for me, I admit. But everything was alright in the end. 😀

American Plains

19. I admit this picture is not in it’s best quality. Behind the window of a moving car, I shot this. Our car had broken down in the middle of the road, and we had to rend another one. It wasn’t as confortable as ours, but it drove us safely. We drove for hours at a time, under massive white clouds. We were visiting my future home, for the first time. I could feel my stomach doing piruettes, whenever I thought about it. For 13 hours I could only think about the university I was suppoused to attend.


20. This is my sister. She was waiting for her soccer practice to begin. She always loved soccer. But not watching it, only playing it. She says watching soccer is a waste of time. And I have to agree because watching her play soccer was a waste of my time. I took my newest finding, a disposable film camera, to occupy myself with somehting. But instead of taking pictures, I was more busy trying to find subjects to photograph. After 3 wasted exposures, I captured my sister’s crabby expression.

Two Path Window

21. I never thought dogs could get camera shy. I accompanied my best friend on a family trip to Baja California Sur, to witness the anunual whale migration. Her dad had friends in the area, and they decided to host us in their home. They fished and carbon baked a massive tuna fish, just for us. As we ate, an old tired husky wondered around the patio in search of tuna. His name is Titan. And as magnificent as his name was, he was the most timid and serene dog that I’ve ever met.

Copy of 010_16a
At Home

22. One sunny afternoon, my parents and I took a walk in Mercado Hidalgo (Hidalgo Marketplace) in my birth town, Tijuana. The market resembles a farmers market, but stationary and year round. The market primarily hosts shops that sell traditional fruits and vegetables; Mexican sweets, and a vast variety of spices and condiments are sold as well. This place was my family’s go-to market for traditional foods, before we moved the United States. Going back to visit my roots was a huge reminder that no matter how far I might go I am myself, I am Mexican, and I am a proud Latina!

The Lone Ranger

23. This was taken on my first of many visits to San Francisco. And being the tourist that we where we stopped at every interesting point we encountered. We stopped to listen to an old Chinese man playing to what appeared to be a Huqin, a handsome British man do acrobatics, and a talented musician. He called himself The Lone Ranger. 

IMG_1116 (1)

24. Funny enough, this was taken form somebody else’s iPhone. But don’t worry! I took it. This picture was one of the only pictures I took during the set construction of Beauty and the Beast. I was a senior in high school. And… I was a theater kid (shocking!) I took part of every production as a production manger in several areas, costume including. This image does not hold any aesthetic component, besides being lit in purple lighting, it only holds as a reminder of the little I managed to encounter in high school.


25. This was taken in the San Francisco Museum of Contemporary Art. Fernanda and I roamed floors full of art displays. The floors of the museum where themed. For instance, some where Warhol inspired or paintings from the 70’s. Others were more abstract and minimal. Other floors, were of state of the art. Although this picture is a fun memory for me, as it is a reminder of my first time visiting SF, I can’t help but feel angry. But… that’s another story.

*Go check out the rest of the gallery here!*

Part II





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