hi there! i'm michelle, southern california based photographer and curator of the coco gallery.

welcome to my blog where i share my life, my latest adventures, photo projects, random nuggets and the occasional stray thoughts.

for clients: to view my portfolio just click on this link - theCOCOgallery.com. to book sessions please send me a message through theCOCOgallery.com or contact me via michelle@thecocogallery.com | 949.734.0604

Saturday, November 22, 2008

defining my new chapter

i used to think ... if only we could live on the beach surrounded by tranquility...  if only our time was our own and we could relax and do nothing.  if only we could be happy and stress free.  we've been living that life for a while now but two weeks ago curtis and i had enough of the quiet.  my class and portrait session in manila came at the perfect time.  we got a break from the provincial life and immersed ourselves in the bustle of manila.  infused with activity and energy it's just what the doctor ordered to make us fall in love with our little hide away again.

our stay in la union is winding to a close.  it's been a wonderful six weeks.  i was standing at the edge of the ocean today, collecting more treasures, listening to the sound of the surf and feeling the tide tugging at me.  and as i stood there on the precipice of eternity i thought ... i shouldn't have to remind myself that life is wonderful.  

it's so easy to get used to the way things are and fall into a routine.  it's so easy to let life pass you by.  it's so easy to get too accustomed to seeing and doing the same things.  it's so easy to take the beautiful things in life for granted just because we see it everyday.  i've said often that i should make an effort to pause and enjoy life, see the beauty around me... but it shouldn't have to be an effort to stop and appreciate things.  but i'm thinking it's human nature to be this way.  

more often than not, our attention is caught by flash, pomp, circumstance and things out of the ordinary.  toddlers are amazed by everything they see.  they have an abundance of curiosity but the color red always captures their attention.  the beauty of life is in its simplicity but our attention is held by the reds in our lives and our indifference to all the other colors leads us to a lack of appreciation.  

pondering even deeper... perhaps that's why we make our lives and relationships complicated as well.  maybe we like drama in varying degrees ... to get out of the ordinary.  and i'm realizing all this as our days in this beautiful place are numbered... we tend to be late on appreciation as well.  

i wish i didn't have to remind myself.  i wish i didn't have to MAKE an effort.  i wish it came naturally.  as i step beyond the first pages of the new chapter in my life, i've finally realized how i would like the story to end.  i would like to love, live and appreciate with genuine passion while the moment is here ... certainly before it becomes a memory.


  1. Gorgeous pictures my friend. I am glad you get to experience the tranquility of a life unbound by schedules and to do lists.

  2. Wow! I am in LOVE with that second shot of the purple sky! And, the fact that it's of the Philippines, my Filipino husband can truly appreciate that ... he'll be back for another visit next March! So, if you see a guy who looks like the Dog Whisperer then that's him! Say hi!!! :)

  3. So, I friggin love these pictures. They are pretty much A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!