california

California Here We Come by Reuben Hernandez

My favorite beach, near where I grew up in Southern California

My favorite beach, near where I grew up in Southern California

An oasis at Joshua Tree National Park

An oasis at Joshua Tree National Park

I accidentally light painted this Joshua tree with my iphone during a long exposure

I accidentally light painted this Joshua tree with my iphone during a long exposure

Here are some of my favorites images from a recent trip to California last week. It's always great to come back and visit some of the spots I used to frequent growing up.

by Katherine Yaksich

California here we come, right back where we started from  

 #nofilter #comiccon 

 (at San Diego, California)

California here we come, right back where we started from

#nofilter #comiccon

(at San Diego, California)

by Katherine Yaksich

Retracing the steps of my youth #wearestillwild 

 (at San Clemente, California)

Retracing the steps of my youth #wearestillwild

(at San Clemente, California)

2014 A Year in Review by Katherine Yaksich

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2014 | A Year in Review

Greetings from California! When I look back at 2014, I can’t help but be surprised by how quickly the year flew by. It’s quite startling actually. I’ve decided that moving forward I need to reevaluate and work on my relationship with time. I need to savor the adventures a bit more and stop more frequently to soak up, enjoy, and live in the moment.

I’m also incredibly grateful for all of the beautiful moments I experienced and the people I shared them with. One thing I’m proud of is how much time I was able to spend with my friends that live on the west coast. I took 7 trips out west to CA this year, mostly for work. But more than ever, I realize that cultivating friendships and community takes a lot of work and energy, but is also meaningful, necessary, rewarding, and quite possibly the most important aspect of life. I want to be intentional about cultivating relationships and one way I will do this is by designing adventures specifically for that purpose. This past year I finally summited Half Dome with my friend Matt and in 2015, I will head to South Africa, Tanzania, and Zanzibar with my friend Drew to conquer Kilimanjaro and hopefully get some great views of “big cats playing ball”. 

One of my major highlights of 2014 was the time I spent as the Photographer in Residence onboard the M/S Expedition ship in the Arctic, 600 - 800 miles from the North Pole. It was truly a transformative experience spent in the wild, beautiful, and fragile polar environment, and made me realize firsthand the importance of safeguarding the future of our planet. I’m so excited to embark in a few weeks on a 2 month adventure and photo residency back onboard the M/S Expedition down in Antarctica, which has been on my bucket list ever since I was in 4th grade and is also my final continent to explore. It will definitely be a meaningful experience that will undoubtedly shape my life and future work.

Thanks for joining me on this adventure and for allowing me to share some of my favorite moments. I wish you a beautiful, adventurous, and transformative 2015! 

The photos above are my top 10 favorite images of 2014 with captions below.

All My Best, 
Reuben

1. Polar Bears in the Arctic, photographed about 100 meters away from a zodiac and one of the most challenging images I’ve ever captured (Svalbard, Norway)

2. Dr. Tom Smith, rifle master and naturalist, once saved a polar bear’s life by punching it in the face (Svalbard, Norway)

3. A mountain peak emerges in Inglefieldbreen, Svalbard, less than 800 miles from the North Pole

4. NYC Ballet, Jen Trahan for Reuben Hernandez Studios, NYC

5. Yosemite’s Half Dome summit with Matthew Morgan (California)

6. Blood Moon/Total Lunar Eclipse, photographed from Southern California

7. Christopher “Push” Costa at PMT Dance Studio, NYC

8. Spiderman Parkour Self Portrait, Brooklyn, NY

9. JR’s Inside Out Project at Millions March NYC 

10. 9/11/2014, NYC

by Katherine Yaksich

\ HOME \ 
 These are the colors of my youth  Shared with friends and lovers  They draw me back here  Where nostalgia finds me  And I learn to love more each time  This is where I discovered adventure  Uncovered hope  Dared to dream  And found my courage  Where my soul longed for the universe   Home is not where you grew up  But where you grow to find yourself 
 #reubenwrotethis 
 (at Dana Point, California)

\ HOME \

These are the colors of my youth
Shared with friends and lovers
They draw me back here
Where nostalgia finds me
And I learn to love more each time
This is where I discovered adventure
Uncovered hope
Dared to dream
And found my courage
Where my soul longed for the universe
Home is not where you grew up
But where you grow to find yourself

#reubenwrotethis

(at Dana Point, California)

by Katherine Yaksich

This is Greg, who used to be my boss. Almost 5 years ago, I filmed myself tendering my resignation to Greg in a conference room, and here we are stand up paddling nearly 5 miles around Dana Point, my old stomping ground. The water is freakishly warm, and we’re pretty happy to say the least. 
 (at Dana Point, California)

This is Greg, who used to be my boss. Almost 5 years ago, I filmed myself tendering my resignation to Greg in a conference room, and here we are stand up paddling nearly 5 miles around Dana Point, my old stomping ground. The water is freakishly warm, and we’re pretty happy to say the least.

(at Dana Point, California)

by Katherine Yaksich

We made it! This is @mtmorgie and I at the top of Half Dome. Summiting Half Dome has been on my bucket list for over 4 years, so today has been quite a beautiful and fulfilling day. I highly recommend it if you haven’t already done it; you really can’t go wrong with Yosemite. #yosemite #halfdome #bucketlist #california  (at Top Of Half Dome)

We made it! This is @mtmorgie and I at the top of Half Dome. Summiting Half Dome has been on my bucket list for over 4 years, so today has been quite a beautiful and fulfilling day. I highly recommend it if you haven’t already done it; you really can’t go wrong with Yosemite. #yosemite #halfdome #bucketlist #california (at Top Of Half Dome)

by Katherine Yaksich

Pre Coachella Flight 
 An aerial shot from a video I’m directing for Harper’s Bazaar, by my DP Evan Burgher, on location at the Parker Palm Springs. The set up for this shot was a hexacopter and GoPro HERO3. 

Pre Coachella Flight

An aerial shot from a video I’m directing for Harper’s Bazaar, by my DP Evan Burgher, on location at the Parker Palm Springs. The set up for this shot was a hexacopter and GoPro HERO3. 

by Katherine Yaksich

Self Portrait Series 
 Stand up paddling my old stomping ground with @evanburgher @gopro @gopole #gopro #selfie #goprooftheday #SUP #danapoint (at Dana Point Harbor)

Self Portrait Series

Stand up paddling my old stomping ground with @evanburgher @gopro @gopole #gopro #selfie #goprooftheday #SUP #danapoint (at Dana Point Harbor)

by Katherine Yaksich

Exactly 4 years ago, I left my native California and embarked on a 9 month journey around the world, in pursuit of adventure and the human story. I hopped on a plane bound for South Africa and Mozambique, and then took a 15,653 mile road trip across North America. I sold my car upon arriving in NYC, and haven’t looked back ever since. #neverstopexploring #roadtrip #canigraduate #wanderlust (at New York City)

Exactly 4 years ago, I left my native California and embarked on a 9 month journey around the world, in pursuit of adventure and the human story. I hopped on a plane bound for South Africa and Mozambique, and then took a 15,653 mile road trip across North America. I sold my car upon arriving in NYC, and haven’t looked back ever since. #neverstopexploring #roadtrip #canigraduate #wanderlust (at New York City)

by Katherine Yaksich

Check out the Oakley Disruptive by Design campaign video that I helped film at Red Studios in Hollywood, CA, produced by Evan Burgher and The Wonderland Group. We had a solid crew and had such a blast shooting this. Huge thanks to Evan and The Wonderland Group for flying me out to California to be a part of this fun project!

Filmed on RED Epic digital cinema cameras by Jes Stockhausen, Dave Brumbley, Eric Ulbrich, and Reuben Hernandez
Edited by Dave Brumbley Produced by Evan Burgher and The Wonderland Group for Oakley, Inc.

by Katherine Yaksich

Photo by Evan Burgher - In honor of parkour class, here’s a photo of me exactly 4 years ago on my last day working at Oakley, after quitting my job to pursue a creative career in NYC. The decision to quit my job has been one of the most significant and rewarding decisions I have ever made. If you’re unhappy with your life, I hope you find the courage to break free and do what you love. 
 Here’s an excerpt from my farewell email that I wrote to my coworkers on March 26th, 2010 with teary eyes: “Everything, even the best things in life, must come to an end at some point. I’ve decided to pursue a creative career full time, at least for now. I’ve always been a creative person and it’s not a life that we choose for ourselves in the words of Barbara Streisand. It is a difficult path, but it is who I am and what makes me come alive. I can stay up all night on a work night working on a project or play music until the early hours of the morning and even wake up before the sun comes up to take pictures. So next Friday, I will hop on a plane bound for NY, South Africa, and Mozambique to embark on a new adventure, travel for 9 months, and film a documentary about the human experience. I will also have the opportunity to take a road trip across the states, which has been a long time dream of mine. Afterwards, I will move to NY which is something that I’ve always wanted to do at some point in my life. I’m really going for it and taking a leap of faith.” 
 The last 4 years have been absolutely incredible, and I have never looked back. 

Photo by Evan Burgher - In honor of parkour class, here’s a photo of me exactly 4 years ago on my last day working at Oakley, after quitting my job to pursue a creative career in NYC. The decision to quit my job has been one of the most significant and rewarding decisions I have ever made. If you’re unhappy with your life, I hope you find the courage to break free and do what you love.

Here’s an excerpt from my farewell email that I wrote to my coworkers on March 26th, 2010 with teary eyes: “Everything, even the best things in life, must come to an end at some point. I’ve decided to pursue a creative career full time, at least for now. I’ve always been a creative person and it’s not a life that we choose for ourselves in the words of Barbara Streisand. It is a difficult path, but it is who I am and what makes me come alive. I can stay up all night on a work night working on a project or play music until the early hours of the morning and even wake up before the sun comes up to take pictures. So next Friday, I will hop on a plane bound for NY, South Africa, and Mozambique to embark on a new adventure, travel for 9 months, and film a documentary about the human experience. I will also have the opportunity to take a road trip across the states, which has been a long time dream of mine. Afterwards, I will move to NY which is something that I’ve always wanted to do at some point in my life. I’m really going for it and taking a leap of faith.”

The last 4 years have been absolutely incredible, and I have never looked back.