A photo blog about me chasing the light in photography and in life.
As a newspaper photojournalist, there's no telling what I might end up shooting in a day. It all draws me closer to God, and makes one great photographic journey.

– Rachel Luna

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted." Hebrews 12:1-3 (ESV)

Remembering 9/11: Twelve Years Later

September 11, 2011. A tragic day Americans will never forget. Nearly 3,000 lives were lost in our country’s worst terrorist attack since Pearl Harbor. As the Twin Towers crumbled right before our eyes, so did our sense of invincibility.

We now live in a post-9/11 world, and for the past 12 years we’ve fought to shake the fear that paralyzed America that day.

Ask any American about where they were on 9/11 and they’ll likely remember exactly what they were doing.

For me, I was sitting in science class during my very first week of high school when my teacher heard word the planes crashed into the towers. We were all glued to the television. Lesson plans went untaught that day as the entire school kept a close watch on horror unfolding in New York.

I vividly remember feeling invaded. Confused. Horrified as the news replayed the planes crashing and the towers collapsing, over, and over, and over again. 

Wednesday, I received two 9/11 memorial photo assignments during my newspaper’s 9/11 remembrance coverage throughout Southern California. The “Where were you on 9/11?” question came up as a newsroom topic, and the staff shared their recollections.

In those shared memories, I heard the most remarkable 9/11 story.

A colleague of mine was literally days away from retiring from long career in the service, and without hesitation, vowed to stay in it the moment the terrorism act was witnessed on television. 

My colleague had every ear in the newsroom, and as we listened intently it became obvious that this powerful story should be published in a 9/11 column for everyone to read.

But my colleague quickly shot down the idea.

It wasn’t a story to be paraded in the limelight.

It was a very personal story.

A story my colleague chooses to share only with friends. A story I feel privileged to know. (**Out of respect to my colleague’s privacy, I asked permission to mention this in my photo blog before posting.)

And while we were all blown away, my colleague simply summed it up as, “It was the right thing to do.”

There are millions of men and women who make sacrifices for the country they love and go throughout life carrying their untold stories of selfless service.  And are those who pay the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom and our lives. 

It’s heroes like these that I am so thankful for everyday.

I will never learn about every act of heroism carried out on September 11, 2001.

But the fact that I know of one, is more enough to guarantee that I will never forget 9/11.

UCLA Football Preseason Camp ‘13

Here’s images I shot Wednesday during day one of UCLA football’s preseason training camp held at Cal State San Bernardino. 

UCLA will hold the football camp through August 17, and will hold 14 practices open to the public at CSUSB. 

 Tentative schedule of open practices at Cal State San Bernardino:

Wednesday, August 7 – 5:00 p.m. 
Thursday, August 8 – 4:00 p.m. 
Friday, August 9 – 4:00 p.m. 
Saturday, August 10 - 8:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. 
Sunday, August 11 – no practice 
Monday, August 12 – 8:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. 
Tuesday, August 13 – 4:00 p.m. 
Wednesday, August 14 – 8:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. 
Thursday, August 15 – 10:45 a.m. 
Friday, August 16 – 8:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. 
Saturday, August 17 – 10:45 a.m.

Check out more photos here: UCLA Preseason Football Camp Returns To Cal State San Bernardino

COACHELLA 2012
2012 Coachella, a set on Flickr.
 

Last year I got a really cool photo assignment to cover both weekends of Coachella.
I’ll now bravely admit that at the time I had actually never heard of it before… and was quickly accused of living under a rock for not knowing anything about Coachella.
But what a way to “learn" about it! I had a blast covering all the great bands that performed. The images I got to walk away with made dealing with the 12-plus-hour work days and miserable weather all worth it.

I’d be up for shooting it again in the future.

This time, I’ll know all about Coachella.


MY BEST SHOT… THE ONE THAT BOTHERS ME MOST 

As I started walking back to my car, I turned around to take one last look at a homicide scene I had just finished photographing on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013.
Staring at the yellow tape, thinking about the fact that this was the second San Bernardino homicide within the past three days, I noticed two young boys walking nearby.
They stopped in their tracks when they noticed the crime scene.
There they stood. Seemingly motionless. 
They watched homicide detectives investigate a killing that left a gunshot victim lying dead in front of a home.
ALL of it, in plain view for everyone —including me— to see.

This photograph really disturbs me. Yet, I think it’s my best shot I walked away with that day.


(Here’s package that ran in the San Bernardino Sun newspaper: Photo gallery / Story)
MY BEST SHOT… THE ONE THAT BOTHERS ME MOST 

As I started walking back to my car, I turned around to take one last look at a homicide scene I had just finished photographing on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013.

Staring at the yellow tape, thinking about the fact that this was the second San Bernardino homicide within the past three days, I noticed two young boys walking nearby.

They stopped in their tracks when they noticed the crime scene.

There they stood. Seemingly motionless. 

They watched homicide detectives investigate a killing that left a gunshot victim lying dead in front of a home.

ALL of it, in plain view for everyone —including me— to see.


This photograph really disturbs me. Yet, I think it’s my best shot I walked away with that day.



(Here’s package that ran in the San Bernardino Sun newspaper: Photo gallery / Story)