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Syndicate Dance Season 3

I had the opportunity to work with one of San Jose’s finest dance companies – Syndicate Dance. Earning first place honors from prestige competitions such as Prelude and Evolution, this team has represented shark city for quite some time now. I had the pleasure of doing this “smoke bomb”/ urban themed shoot with them. This was probably my largest group shoot to date – 120 dancers and 100+ smoke bombs Congratulations guys, and good luck with Season 3.

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Coffee Shops in San Rafael

Today’s coffee shop features come from San Rafael, CA. The first two pictures are out of Aroma Cafe. A super spacious coffee shop with an extensive amount of tables. Outlets are limited, though. This place also makes for a great brunch spot, with many food choices from sandwiches to pasta. Iced Mocha: 4/5.

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The second coffee shop in the area was Red Whale Coffee.  I only stopped by for a quick drink before heading back home, but wow. Their iced mocha is to die for. Probably my favorite one so far. 5/5.  They also have a unique drink called the Krypton Ice, a cold brew with a spheric ice cube that keeps the drink cold for several hours.

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Voyager Craft Coffee – San Jose, CA

Today’s mocha feature comes from San Jose. Voyager Craft Coffee, a modern space with the perfect ambient noise for your work days. Iced mocha as always. Yummy chocolate goodness without the artificial powder. Lots of space but seating can be limited during peak hours. Excellent customer service, talked to the barista about Porter and Madeon because i was wearing their show hat. 4.5/5

IPAs #1-4 : Heritage Micro Brewery

To start off my bucket list, me and some friends went to Hermitage, a microbrewery located in in the sections of downtown San Jose. I initially was going to make this list 100, but the bartender suggested that was “easy” and now I’ve bumped my list to 250. Fortunately for me, I knocked off 4 different IPAs that day.

I’m actually missing one more here and I can’t forget what it’s named…but trust I did drink 1 more. 🙂

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HBD Julie!

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What do you call home? Christmas/Birthday in Reno

Every year my Christmas is always eventful not only because of the holiday season but because it’s my birthday. I’m usually indifferent when it comes to my birthday because either way, I’m spending it with my loved ones. I used to fuss about how people would forget my birthday when I was younger, but nowadays it doesn’t matter much. In fact, I wasn’t planning to do anything other than spend it with my extended family in Reno. But a few days before my birthday some of the closest people in my life surprised me with a large family-style dinner table at Claw Shack. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

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Some photographic yummies by @isaacmijangos

That weekend I left for Reno on the Greyhound. I’ve always had mediocre experiences with the bus company, but my heart goes out to them for working during the holidays. Taking the Greyhound has always been a constant reminder of how good I have it.

It’s been a tough year for my mom’s side of the family. My grandpa passed away this month, and financial situations have always been an issue. But when the cousins get together, none of that really matters. This year was no different – it was all laughs and love.

Every year we have a holiday family shoot, and this year we kept it simple – we utilized a homemade backdrop (no more than $25 with PVC pipes and black table cloth) along with lighting umbrellas. The results were pretty damn nice.

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I love traveling back to Reno to visit the family, and I’ve learned in the past several years as a young adult to appreciate them. I’m fortunate to still have a healthy relationship with them as I know many that don’t, and for this reason, I know many people that hate the holidays. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that we all need some place we can call home – whether it be your parents’ home for the holidays,  your closest friends, or the love from your spouse.

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