Hey there, it's Cassandra.
I'm a Monterey-based outdoor, fine art, and commercial photographer with a huge appetite for adventure, colorful storytelling, and trying new assignments just for the hell of it.
As *Sylvia Plath puts it, I saw many branches of my life beginning to expand and bear fruit. I saw careers and high mountains completely unrelated to each other. I saw options that were just symptomatic of dreaming and feeling envious over skills I don't feel especially akin to, and I saw options that others would be happier to speak about than if I had actually done them. Never did I find the balance.
I never saw the connection between photography, people, and my unrelenting passion to serve others until I began regularly photographing those who held the closest relationships to me. Out of those experiences bore opportunities to give people, as well as myself, something I had previously tried to give in so many other fruitless ways - a moment to be seen. To connect. To remember. Decidedly, since you are reading this now I can say with confidence that I have picked out a branch, harvested some fruit, and would like to share.
* Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar exerpt can be viewed here
AS AN OUTDOORSWOMAN
I never strayed too far from home as a child. You could say I was even scared of the outdoors. So much wide open space felt dangerous. I felt exposed and uncomfortable by the vastness.
I began car camping and hiking more in my late teens and once I bought my first camera (that I still own and use today) I felt released. Somehow this little camera gave me the permission slip I needed to go out, be curious, and feel comfortable.
Now my least favorite days are the ones I spend inside. Avidly bouldering, top roping, road/trailing running, open water swimming, backpacking, surfing, kayaking... the list goes on. Sitting still just never felt right for me.
Now capturing those who excel at these activities in addition to cycling, lifting, and racquet sports.
AS AN ATHLETE
As the younger sibling, anything my older sister did I had to try as well. So when she was 7 and racing in her first swim meet, my 3-year-old self decided I needed to pick up the sport as well and 21 years later I am still swimming competitively. Thanks mom for dealing with that first tantrum...
As a former collegiate swimmer, I never move or travel without considering where the nearest pool is.
I have additionally found sanctuary and comfort in other forms of movement (that also help me cross-train for the pool of course). With the intensity I can create in the pool, various movement brings about more balance in my life and you can find me regularly practicing yoga and climbing at Pac Edge in Santa Cruz. The communities I find through all these activities always end up being the most uplifting, quirky, and insightful.
AS A PERSON
Curious, empathetic, compassionate.
Three words I hope to breathe into every session and interaction through life.
Nothing makes me happier than knowing I am doing right by my clients and work. Running a business that is so interwoven with my personal identity can be fairly controversial, but I'd rather be all me and fully present than try to segment myself into different areas.
AS A PHOTOGRAPHER
The culmination and expression of everything I've mentioned above.
I aim for my work to be colorful, captivating, different, bold, and imaginative.
Currently working with two full-frame Canon bodies: 1DX MarkII & 5D Mark II (some may refer to this body as a 'fine wine', I just call it my trusty dusty) + 35mm , 50mm, 70-300mm, and the occasional wide angle zoom lenses.
Select work through OCF as well as on-camera flash.
I will not be everyone's cup of tea, and I will never be offended if clients choose another direction. Always happy to recommend other photographers and videographers in the area, especially if I believe they are more capable of telling your story.