Protest-turned-riot / Portland, OR / Aug. 4, 2018

On Saturday, August 4, 2018 a far-right men's organization known as the Proud Boys and the Patriot Prayer gathered on the Portland Waterfront. Both of these groups are known to have heavy ties to white supremacy. Hundreds of counter-protestors showed up in opposition to the gathering, including a large number of black-clad ANTIFA (anti-fascists).

Standing on opposite sides of the street, both sides chanted various slogans and songs, both sides dressed in various states of armor, eyes and faces covered, with signs displaying everything from the hammer and sickle to "Make America Great Again" to "Love Wins." Portland Police, armed and dressed in riot gear, warned protestors to stay out of the streets and on the sidewalks. Tensions grew until they broke - Portland PD began firing flash-bangs and tear gas into the crowd of ANTIFA and other counter-protestors. The protest was eventually declared a riot.

I attended this protest as a photojournalist in my own right to document a moment in history. These are the photos I captured.

(If you would like more information about the happenings from Saturday or the groups involved, a quick Google search will give you lots of answers!)

It's actually pretty easy being green: a low key guide to veganism

I have been vegan for coming up on a year now and it has been, honestly, pretty damn easy for me. I was a vegetarian for about two years before I went vegan, and I think that definitely helped make the transition easier, as it’s quite a different way of thinking about food and living than we’re used to. I don't want to make the claim that going vegan is strictly easy, simply because everyone is different and I would hate to discourage anyone who has/will struggle to make the transition. You can read my previous post about why I went vegan here for all my disclaimers, etc.

That being said, veganism suits me very well and my goal for this post  is to explain a little about my thought processes and a few other practical things to show that it's not nearly as difficult as people seem to think it is. So here is a little guide for my friends who are interested in either transitioning fully to veganism or even just exploring and trying some recipes or incorporating some good good vegan shiz into their lives. 

Before we get into things, though, I want to make the distinction between “vegan” and “plant-based.”

Veganism is an ethical standpoint that champions animal rights and manifests throughout a person’s entire lifestyle, including their diet and the other purchases they make (i.e. avoiding both foods and other things, such as makeup or clothing, that are derived from animal products or that have been tested on animals), whereas plant-based refers solely to diet. 

A person that claims to be “plant-based” is not necessarily vegan, and a vegan may or may not eat an entirely plant-based diet (for example, Oreos and french fries are vegan, but they are not plant-based) and someone who maintains a plant-based diet, while they don't eat meat or dairy or other animals products, they may still wear leather or buy cosmetics that were tested on animals, whereas a vegan would not.

All of this to say, I consider myself vegan and so I will use that terminology throughout this post, but I’m all about educating and letting people decide what choices are right for themselves, so please do feel free to use different terminology if you prefer.

ALRIGHT, enough of that. Let’s get into it.

 

First things first, get your mindset and your motivation figured out.

Are you going vegan for the animals? Are you concerned about the environment? Are you focused more on a whole foods, plant-based diet for health reasons? Probably a little of each?

Write down your reasons and keep them in mind; they will help you stay on track if and when you’re feeling discouraged or having trouble sticking to your goals. Speaking of, write out your goals too! It’s always helpful to keep in mind not only WHAT you’re doing but WHY you’re doing it.

Part of that process is doing your own research about a vegan lifestyle. Whether that’s the diet and nutrition aspect of it or the ethical side (animal welfare, environmental impact, etc.), I think it’s important to be educated and confident in the reasons you have behind what you do.

Personally, I don’t think of myself as “trying” to be vegan; I AM vegan. Eating and buying animal-derived foods and items is simply not an option. Though I rarely feel burdened or inconvenienced by my choice to be vegan, having that mindset of, “I made a decision to live my life in this way, I wholeheartedly believe in that decision, and living my life any other way is unthinkable,” has been very grounding.

 

Keep the focus on adding and replacing instead of elimination.

While, yes, it’s true that you are eliminating meat, dairy, eggs, and all other products that contain them (and all the other weird animal products that find their way into our food), from your diet, focusing on all of the things you “can’t” eat is the quickest path to discouragement and the destruction of your goals and motivations.

Start slowly introducing different vegan alternatives into your diet, such as buying vegan mayo or butter or salad dressing or an alternative milk (seriously guys, oat milk is the future) instead of what you normally buy. Experiment with new vegan recipes or find vegan recipes for dishes that you already love. If you think all vegans eat is salad and smoothies and sawdust, you could not POSSIBLY be more WRONG.

Spaghetti and meatballs? Done it. Breakfast burritos? Hell yeah. Burgers and fries? Biscuits and gravy? French toast?  Stir fry? Banana bread? Chocolate chip cookies? You can have it all! A lot of things and ingredients that we already use and eat are vegan just by nature, so all it really takes is making a few adjustments and finding the right recipes.

Pro tip: MEAL PREP. It makes things SO much easier. I honestly almost never do this outright, but I will usually at least pick a cuisine or two for the week and generally stick to it, just to make cooking and grocery shopping easier. For example, some weeks I feel like pasta, so I buy all the things I need to make and eat pasta all week, whatever noodles and sauce and veggies I feel like or veggie meatballs or sausage if I'm feeling fancy.

Same principle applies for whatever meal I’m into that week; if I’m feeling like stir fry, sub out a different type of noodles, sauce, and veggies. Add a difference sauce and switch out a few veggies and toppings and you can eat essentially the same thing with a whole new flavor spin.

One of my laziest meals is roasted veggies - usually some combination of sweet potato, broccoli, carrots, and brussels sprouts - with rice (sometimes lentils), sautéed kale (if I’m feeling less lazy), avocado, and Yumm Sauce or Bitchin’ Sauce or hummus. It is SO easy to make and honestly? It’s probably my favorite thing to eat.

Now, that’s just my style and what works for me at this time in my life. I love leftovers and I’m also the kind of person who doesn’t mind eating the same meal a hundred times if I like it, so it works for me. But if that ain’t you, break free from that and cook a different meal every day! Or, meal prep the HECK out of your week and be all nice and organized! Find what works best and switch it up if you need to. 

 

In conclusion

There are SO many vegan alternatives available at literally any grocery store; Safeway, Albertson's, Fred Meyer, even freaking WALMART (not that I recommend shopping there, but you get the point). This ain't just a Whole Foods, Sprouts, Market of Choice, *insert local health food store* game anymore, ya'll.

The best part about all of this stuff is that even the little changes you make still have an impact. You're saving animals, you're using less water (to produce veggies VS to produce meat/dairy), you're helping the environment, you're (probably!) eating healthier, WHOLE foods that not only make your bod feel good when you eat them, but that you can feel good about all around.

Alright, well that's it for now. I hope this was helpful, at least as a base to get you started. I've also put together some lists and things below to give you an idea what what I buy when I grocery shop as well as other resources and sites that I use. Thanks for reading, please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, concerns (nice ones, not mean ones), etc. :)


Lists and resources that might be helpful:

 

Pantry staples:
Rice
Beans
Lentils
Tortilla chips (+ salsa, obvs)
Noodles (Italian and Asian varieties)
Spices (get experimental or keep it simple, but learning how to use spices will change your life)
Canned soup/instant ramen for when I'm feeling lazy

typical weekly-ish grocery list:
Spinach/kale/lettuce
Avocados
Sweet potatoes
Red potatoes
Tomatoes
Brussels Sprouts
Broccoli
Carrots
Onion
Salsa
Hummus
Sauce (pasta, teriyaki, curry)
Bread/bagels
Tofu

My fav “accidentally” vegan snacks:
Oreos
Sour Patch watermelons
Chips and salsa/guac
Veggies and hummus
Potato chips (always double check the vegan status if they're flavored!)
 

My fav vegan brands for meat/cheese alternates and "junk" food:
Field Roast (mini freaking corndogs, ya’ll)
Gardein
Beyond Meat
Follow Your Heart
Chao
MIYOKO'S
Tofurky
TRADER JOE'S!
Earth Balance

Instagram:
@traderjoesvegan
@wildsunflowerchef
@plantbasedonabudget
@earthyandy
@thugkitchen

Why the heck is Katey vegan???

Okay, seriously. Why?

 Yeah, bro, vegans eat candy too! (photo by  Brooklyn )

Yeah, bro, vegans eat candy too! (photo by Brooklyn)

People ask me all the time why I’m vegan - its a valid question and I’m never bothered by it, unless you’re being rude or dissentient, in which case, please go away - so if you’ve asked me before, you got a very condensed version of this. I try my best to be a considerate, respectful human. I am generally very diplomatic and nonjudgmental, I like to listen and I’m not the type to shove my beliefs down anyone’s throat. I am also very passionate and I have a lot of very strong opinions about a lot of things (some important, some not so much). That being said, I’d like to share a little post about why I went vegan this year, as it is something that has become an important part of who I am as a person.

I stopped eating meat August of 2015 and went fully vegan May of 2017. That means I don’t eat meat, dairy, eggs, or any other animal products (like gelatin, etc.), I have stopped buying beauty/cleaning/etc. products that are not vegan and cruelty-free, and I am working toward phasing out all of the items I already own that are made with animal products (like leather, etc.). Some of this is a slow process, for example, my winter boots are made of leather, but winter boots are expensive so I plan to use them until I can afford to buy a pair made from vegan materials. But overall its pretty cut and dry.

I initially chose to stop eating meat for a myriad of reasons, mainly for some boundaries on what I was eating that wasn’t a diet, per se, but that would (hopefully, usually) help me think about what I was eating and thus make healthier choices. I have been quite successful, but more on that in a moment.

In my considerations for becoming a vegetarian and, eventually, vegan, I did some research about the environmental impact of the animal agriculture industry and WOW. I was absolutely stunned.

Some facts that blew my mind:

  • Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, and livestock and their byproducts account for 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions each year
  • Animal agriculture consumes, on average, 55 trillion gallons of water annually
  • It takes roughly 2,500-5000 gallons of water to produce 1lb. of beef, 1000 gallons to produce 1 gallon of milk, 477 gallons for 1lb of eggs, and 900 gallons for 1lb. of cheese
  • Growing crops to feed livestock uses 56% of of the water in the US
  • Livestock or livestock feed occupies 1/3 of the ice-free land on the entire planet and livestock covers 45% of the earth’s total land
  • 2,500 dairy cows produce as much waste as a city of 411,000 people
  • We are currently growing enough food to feed 10 billion people (but about half of it it is fed to livestock)
  • 82% of starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals and the animals are eaten by western countries (okay, seriously, YIKES)
  • A meat eater requires 18x more land than a vegan to produce their food (vegan’s require 1/6th acre)
  • A vegan, by their diet, produces 50% less carbon dioxide, uses 1/11th oil, 1/13th water, and 1/18th land of a meat-eater
  • Every day, a vegan saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45lbs. of grain, 30 sq. ft. of forested land, 20lbs. co2 equivalent, and one animal’s life

(sources can be found at the end of this post)

Even if you cut all of those numbers in half, HOLY CRAP. 
I was devastated to learn about all of this, and I no longer felt that it was good, right, or just to continue with my omnivorous lifestyle.

(Note: while I do love animals and wholeheartedly believe that they are much better off uneaten, I don’t think that “argument” / trying to guilt people into going vegan by shoving photos of slaughtered cows and crying calves in their faces is very effective; in fact, it usually has the opposite intended effect and it’s just generally unpleasant and rude, so, I’m not going to do that)

I personally felt convicted to be a better steward of my planet and while turning the water off when you brush your teeth, using reusable bags for your groceries, and biking to work are all well and good, the actual massive impact that holding to a vegan diet and not participating in the animal agriculture industry makes is incomparable. I love this planet and I feel that the best thing I can do for it is follow a vegan lifestyle, and so, I will.

"But I'm broke!"

Girl, me too. A lot of people say that eating vegan is expensive, and it certainly can be if you don’t plan meals well or if you’re buying tons of vegan meat/cheese replacements (that stuff is good, but it can be pricey). But most of my meals are based around potatoes, pasta, and/or legumes, and that stuff is CHEAP. 

Now, the anthropologist in me needs to acknowledge that poverty and food deserts are serious issues that can factor into someone’s ability to eat a vegan diet, simply because they do not have access to good, fresh produce. And that’s a whole different problem that I could talk about regardless of veganism. But for just a regular person, and I can almost guarantee that I make less $ than almost anyone reading this right now, it is TOTALLY DOABLE.

I typically spend about $25-50/week on groceries (usually closer to $25-30, but sometimes I feel bougie and buy fancy stuff) and I’m even extra and like to buy local/organic everything I can, which tends to be more expensive than conventional stuff. Pro tip: Trader Joe’s has nearly everything you could every dream of, lots of random accidentally vegan items, AND they are insanely affordable.

No, I'm not malnourished or deficient

In fact, I have never been healthier. Even keeping within a vegan diet you can still eat garbage (oreos are vegan, so are potato chips) but I feel such a huge difference when I eat more fruit and veg and stay away from the processed junk. I have more energy, I sleep better, and I just generally feel GOOD.

Within the first 6mo. of quitting meat (still eating dairy/eggs, not really exercising), I lost almost 20lbs. of just extra, unhealthy weight that I was carrying around. I’ve always struggled with bad skin and terrible cystic acne the past few years. My skin cleared quite a bit after quitting meat, alas, the cystic acne remained. BUT! Since going vegan, it’s completely gone! My skin isn’t perfect, but WOW I’ve never been so happy with how my skin looks just on any given day.

For those concerned about nutrients (“BUT WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR PROTEIN?!?!” 😒😒😒) first of all, do you even know how much protein you’re supposed to eat in a day??? Probably not! Regardless, I know how much I need (about 50g/day) and there are TONS of delicious ways for me to get that protein, and all of the other nutrients I need. Like I mentioned before, health was a big factor in why I changed my diet, and I have never been more in-tune with my body’s needs and I have never felt, looked, or been healthier.

Here are some cute infographics if you’re curious (the last one is sources of iron!):

It's not as difficult as it seems

The thing that has surprised me the most about being vegan is how dang EASY it is. Once I considered eating meat, dairy, and eggs totally unacceptable, not even an option, instead of feeling restricted by that, I was empowered. I enjoy cooking and I usually only buy and make food for myself, which I do think makes it easier, but it’s been fun discovering how many delicious meals can be made from simple, plant-based ingredients. And if I’m ever craving something that’s not traditionally vegan, I can always always find or make a satisfying substitute (usually it’s better than the “real” thing, tbh!). And PLEASE, DO NOT WORRY; VEGAN PIZZA DOES EXIST AND IT IS DELICIOUS.

The good news is, veganism is only going to get easier. There has been a 600% increase in those who identify as vegans in the past 3 years (though those numbers are most likely lower than reality!) and the demand for vegan options in restaurants and grocery stores has skyrocketed.

In conclusion:

The goal of this post is simply to share my experience with those who are curious and to share my thoughts and feelings about something that is important to me. 

I never want to be known as someone who makes people feel bad or guilty for the choices they make, instead I want to educate and encourage people to make better, healthier choices for themselves and the planet. It’s not nearly as difficult as it sounds (it did take me almost two years to give up cheese, so I get it, trust me) and it is incredibly rewarding to know that just by living your life, even if you have a bad or unproductive day, you’re making a positive impact. Do good, feel good; that whole thing. It’s pretty nice.

Well, this was long, so if you read it all, congrats and thank you!

If you have any comments, questions, concerns, ideas, input, etc. about being vegan, how to start, steps to take, etc. I would love to hear them! Unless you’re going to be mean; I don’t care what you have to say if you can’t say it nicely. :)

Alright, that's enough of that. Bye, friends!

 

 

Sources:
https://gelr.org/2015/10/23/a-leading-cause-of-everything-one-industry-that-is-destroying-our-planet-and-our-ability-to-thrive-on-it-georgetown-environmental-law-review/#_ftn1
http://www.pnas.org/content/110/52/20888.full
http://www.cowspiracy.com/facts/

Manning Wedding

The Manning wedding! What a special day. These two journeyed to Bend from Portland for a special ceremony in a local Catholic church and held the most lovely reception out at Broken Top Club. They were a joy to work with and it was so much fun to capture their moments.

Here are some of my favorite shots from the day!

Marvasti Wedding

When Katie first emailed me and said they wanted to include their dogs in their engagement shoot (scroll down a few blog posts or click here if you wanna see) and in their wedding, I knew we were going to get along just fine. I have so genuinely enjoyed spending time with these two (and their dogs); their adventurous, all-in spirits have made for some of my favorite photographs from this year. Not to mention they are freaking adorable. Their wedding was perfect - We braved the rain for some epic sunset shots and in all my years of photographing and attending weddings, I have never seen so many people SO excited to dance. Check out some of my favorite moments from their wedding below!

Emily and Colton's Autumn Engagement Shoot

Pink hair, dogs, brick walls, rivers, forests, the most adorable couple ever; WHAT MORE COULD YOU ASK FOR??? Needless to say, this shoot with Emily and Colton was equal parts chill, fun, and so freakin' cute. It was hard to narrow down my favorites, but here are a few to give you a peek into this cutie Bend-based engagement shoot.

Katie and Darius' Engagement Shoot

When your client picks out the most perfect spots (as if there are any bad spots up the Cascade Lakes Highway) for the dreamiest of dreamy engagement shoots. And, bonus, they brought their dogs! It was hard to narrow down my favorite shots, so enjoy this gallery featuring mountains and rivers and puppies and LOVE.

 

The Hynson's

Drew and Alysha / 7.1.2016

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the Hynson's wedding!

Alysha & Drew

The sun was only out for maybe 30 seconds at the very end of this lovely engagement shoot yesterday. Thank goodness we were walking across that little bridge at that very moment! This couple is too cute and I can't wait to capture their wedding come July!

Elvira & James

I don't think there could have been a more perfect couple to photograph for my first solo wedding venture. The day began with an adorable puppy at James' house (seriously, if your day starts with a puppy you know it's gonna be good) and ended with hugs and a very grateful heart on my end. Elvira and James were a joy to photograph; they were welcoming and friendly and easy to talk to (and it certainly doesn't hurt that they're just a freakin' gorgeous couple!).

I had a wonderful time shooting this small but oh-so-precious "elopement" wedding and I hope you enjoy a few of my favorite photos. :)

Katey in/on the PNW

I know the Pacific Northwest is like, *a thing* now, but after spending the last 10 days or so up in Bellingham, Washington, I fully understand why. It's freaking beautiful. I have never seen so many trees, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and coffee shops in such a condensed area in my entire life. The crisp, overcast 65 degrees (with actual rain sometimes!!!) of Washington was especially wonderful coming from the dry desolation of 90-degree October in California. As a photographer and person who just generally really enjoys nature and rain and adventures, it was a blissful dream. But I realized something while I was up there...

If you don't really know me, if you haven't talked to me lately, or if you only see my life by what I post on social media (especially Instagram), you probably think my life is pretty incredible. Within the past six months, I have been to Cambodia, India, Canada, New York, Texas, Seattle, San Francisco, LA, Disneyland (quite a few times), and countless other random beautiful places and I, of course, have posted lots of photos from all of them. And yeah, that is pretty darn incredible. But guess what? There are parts of my life that you can't see via my Instagram account, and most of those parts are not very incredible.

I graduated from college in May with a degree in cultural anthropology. I moved home, 8 hours away from my friends, and 167 days after graduation (yeah, I counted), I am still unemployed, I still have no idea what I'm doing, and I still hardly even know what I want to do. This post-grad vortex of constant weirdness and subtle chaos has made for a difficult few months. That's why I went to Washington. I ran away to refocus and rejuvenate my weary, discouraged, uninspired heart. Thankfully, God is good and did just that for me while I was there. But while I was in Washington, attempting to do some physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual recovery, I received countless comments both from close friends and complete strangers about how jealous they were of my trip, how lucky I am to travel so much, etc., etc.

I have two things I want to say about all of this:

1. I am lucky! Well, less lucky, more #blessed (but seriously). I get to do a lot of really crazy (in a good way) things and I am very, very grateful for all of the amazing experiences I've had and all of the cool places I've been able to travel to (shoutout to my dad).
2. Social media is not reality. Just because someone posts pretty pictures does not mean that their whole life is pretty. I promise you, it's not. It sounds obvious, but it's so easy to forget with how often we use social media (again, especially Instagram) that even though I just wrote a blog post for Sincerely, Kindred about this very problem, here we are again. People who see my photos see idyllic lakes, cloudy city skylines, or majestic misty mountains. In other words, they see someplace they would rather be than wherever they currently are. Well, me too. Judging by my Instagram photos, you would have no idea that I am struggling, I am lost, I am confused, and I am and lonely. Just like you are.

Now, I don't say these things for a "poor Katey" response. I say them for a moment of vulnerability and perhaps a reality check for some of us. Even if my Instagram looks pretty, my life is still very messy. And that's okay! It's okay to be messy. In fact, it's pretty impossible not to be. So take heart, because absolutely nobody has their crap together. I think Theodore Roosevelt was on to something when he said that "comparison is the thief of joy." As long as we compare ourselves and our lives to others (like we do constantly on social media), we will be perpetually discontent. True joy and real peace are only found in the presence of God and when we derive our worth from Him instead of from Instagram.

Okay, this was really long, but I think that this is important to talk about. It’s the kind of thing that exists in our lives so constantly that we don’t even notice or acknowledge it until it does real damage to our spirits, which I, for one, would like to avoid at all costs. And like I said before, I actually wrote a whole post about this very topic for Sincerely, Kindred, so if you'd like to read it, just click here!

If you just came here for pretty pictures, I did put together a little gallery of some of my favorite shots from my adventure in Washington/Canada because, well, I am a photographer, after all. :)

India 2015

I went to India again. If you didn't know, I have been to India with LINC Ministries for the past four summers. It's kind of like a second home to me now, and on top of the ministry I have been able to participate in, it has been a fun and unique experience to challenge myself in my photography each year. Even though I am currently in a weird post-grad/pre-career/confused-millennial-limbo stage of life, one thing is for sure: I love visual artistry and storytelling.

So here is a collection of photographs I made while I was in India.

Cambodia 2015

So I went to Cambodia for a week, mostly to hang out with my dad while he scouted opportunities for his ministry and to play with my new camera (I graduated from the Nikon D3100 to the D750, if anyone wants to know). It was great to meet some Khmer people and learn about their lives and experience their culture as well as meet some missionaries who are doing really cool stuff here. I love being reminded that God is literally everywhere and doing incredible things all over the world. Also, shoutout to Jarel for facilitating our mini-Instameet (aka walking around the market with our cameras). Anyways, I had a good time and took some photos, so here are few of my favorite shots:

Sam the Donut Man

The electronic “ding dong” of the automated doorbell chimes a greeting as you enter the tiny, fluorescently lit establishment. From the back room emerges a tall, slight Asian man, wiping grease on his apron, a huge grin across his face.

“Hello!” he says with an excited, familiar laugh, his thick Korean accent blanketing his words and transforming them from a generic salutation into the warm, welcoming embrace of an old friend. If you have been to American Donuts even once before, Sam Song, the owner and operator of the shop, will remember you. Sit at one of the three sunny yellow tables for any length of time and you will witness an astounding number of people walk through the door and greet Song by name. Song, of course, waves excitedly and offers his usual laugh and “hello!” in return.

When you place your order, you can always expect at least one or two extra donuts. Song is especially fond of the college crowd that typically appears throughout the wee hours of the night. While the late-night donut excursions are likely due to the generally backwards sleep schedules of college students, it would not be much of a stretch to assume that the hot, fresh donuts that emerge nightly during those same hours entice the students even further. Each night, Song bakes every donut, muffin, bagel, or other pastry, often by himself, but occasionally with the help of one other employee.

Originating from South Korea, Song and his wife, Tina, immigrated to the United States 35 years ago. They have two children, a son and a daughter, who are a teacher and a dentist, respectively. Three years after arriving in the United States, Song learned to make donuts from a friend and has been in the business ever since.

The work is difficult and tiresome, especially considering Song’s lengthy 32-year career in donut making. The back room contains two vats of boiling oil, two worktables, several shelves full of sugar, flour, yeast and other donut ingredients, a large sink, two ovens and several haphazardly placed racks of cooling donuts. There is hardly room for Sam alone and when his assistant is there to help him bake, the two navigate the kitchen as two dancers making their way around a donut-infested dance floor.

When they need to, they communicate mainly with gestures and one or two English words, as English is neither of the two’s first language. Their expert donut dance is completed when the oil is no longer boiling, the tables are cleaned, the ovens are off and final trays of fresh glazed donuts are loaded into the front display.

Song takes great pride in the care he takes to he prepare his donuts. He explained that making the donuts too crumbly or too soft is detrimental to retaining customers. If the people do not like what they taste in the very first bite, they will not come back, he says. He lets them rise for the perfect amount of time and has perfected the frying and frosting system throughout the decades of his craft.

Song is a beloved member of the Riverside community, as made obvious by the countless people who enter the shop with a “hi Sam!” and often a handshake or a short conversation, limited by Sam’s endearingly broken English. Regardless of who enters Song’s place of business, he never fails to make it feel more like a home than a donut shop.

About You Music - A Day in San Francisco

I've never written a blog before, but I figure now is as good a time as any to start! About a month ago, I was asked to do a band photoshoot for my cousin's fiancé, Kyle, and his band About You Music. I was not about to pass up an opportunity to spend the day in San Francisco with some pals and shoot in the city.

I was honestly a little nervous for this shoot, considering my lack of experience in the specific area of "band photos," and also considering that "band photos" can very easily turn out awkward. Once we got into the city and started shooting, however, my confidence grew and I'm very happy with how the photos turned out.

We probably made about a hundred wrong turns and generally just went where the city took us, but it worked out. It's always a good time when I get to shoot people who are fun and also happen to be related (or who will soon be related) to me. Thanks for a great day of getting lost and good music.

I also made a video! My first attempt at something like this, for no reason other than I just wanted to try it.