One Roll

I shot considerably less 35mm in India than I did 120mm. A roll of 35 could meander the streets with shots from a walk here or there and would often finish, forgetting where it started. When I’d finally sent it to be developed and it eventually made it’s way back to the USA, I’d often forgotten what was on it at all. Months later, small gifts would unravel in my inbox filled with frames of friendly faces and bright temple corners. Somehow in the chaos of our move back home... Read The Rest →

Madras Mary

Summer is here and with a house-full of kids, plans to play in the sun all day, you’d better believe I’m dreaming of weekend mornings and long brunches complete with Bloody Marys. Our biggest plans during our summers back in the United States are to simply stay put and enjoy the fruits of the season, the green grass, the fireflies twinkling in our yard, popsicles on the porch and the many parks with in walking or biking distance to our house. We’ll take a short trip to the Pacific Northwest in... Read The Rest →

South Indian Beauty // Botanicals

It doesn’t take much to throw my creative juices off, I think any creative would tell you that. Negativity is the death of creativity for me, as I know it. Sometimes it’s like a fickle fire that needs constant attention, little pieces of kindling to keep it going and sometimes a lot of kerosine when the fire has simply fizzled out. Other times it is like Niagara Falls and I wonder when the ideas will ever end or how I will contain them. I keep my creative fire fueled and... Read The Rest →

Tamil Nadu Fish Fry

Famed as the “World’s Longest Beach,” Chennai’s Marina Beach, is alive long before the sun rises, a sandy village awakening. The sea brings all people in all forms for ritual feedings of a million pigeons, a fury of tangled nets and surprise catches, variable goodie bags of sea-life. However, when the sun is high the beaches of Tamil Nadu become largely abandoned. Unlike most of the world’s beaches, it’s clock set a little to the left of center and for good reason. In the heat of the day fisherman and locals scamper... Read The Rest →

Notes From India: One Year

I speak best in photographs, it’s true, but in the last few years I’ve found I have more to say, more experiences to share and that the weight of my words carries moments in time and feelings that sometimes even my photographs can not. I read once that Annie Leibovitz said “If they could only convey smells, photographs would be perfect.” Above all I am a story-teller. If given every possible tool on Earth to communicate, none would accurately describe the heart of Chennai except for a visit ones self.... Read The Rest →

South India: A Lady-Traveler’s Fashion Guide

Wherever I go, I aim to maintain my personal style. I look at each of our travels as a fashion challenge, a way to stretch my wardrobe, create new outfits, but most importantly see, experience and photograph as much as I can, and as a photographer, that often means blending in as much as possible. It’s true I’ll never completely fit in in most places, but not standing out can work greatly in my favor. In fact, I never want to stand out when exploring, I don’t know if I ever really... Read The Rest →

Top 5 Greenspaces // Chennai, India

In a city of over 9 million people, green-space is hard to find, make that city in India and green-space comes at even more of a premium. By now you know of my unbridled love for Chennai. Aside from it’s visual splendor that dazzled my camera each day of my two years there, living a life and raising a family in this city came with many more challenges. There are a few priorities on our to-do list when we move to a new place and one of them is seeking out green-space... Read The Rest →

Tea Stall Style: Dining Room Dreams

These photographs are from a tea stall in one of my favorite neighborhoods of Chennai, George Town. This shop was just opening, milk was heating and shelves were lined with pastel pink and blue insulated pots. A color palette too good to be true- one I’d like to make live on- in my everyday even though I’m no longer in Chennai. As I sort through my thousands of photographs from India now that I’m home and simultaneously settle my family into our new home in Northern Virginia, I’ve been thinking... Read The Rest →

WANDERLUST STYLE // INDIA

It never fails that travel changes us from the very depth of our souls outward.  I always adore hearing that the fashion lines of some of my favorite designers and the work of some of my favorite artists were inspired by a place or a city. With a background in design I seek all aspects and genres of design to add to my photographs, art work and the interiors of my home. So the other day when I went searching for a new dress, something that melds my love of... Read The Rest →

Cumin Coffee // Recipe

  Cumin plays an elemental role in our kitchen. From recipes handed down by my husband’s Lebanese grandmother, to our shared mutual love of Mexican and Southwestern food from our days spent in the hospitality industry. Cumin is unequivocally our favorite spice. South India has made me a believer in many things, not the least of which is the importance of freshly roasted and ground spices. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to buy masalas off of the shelves of a supermarket again and I’ll certainly always roast... Read The Rest →

Nappa Dori // Instagram Giveaway

  About a year back, while on assignment in New Delhi, I discovered Nappa Dori in the trendy enclave of Hauz Khas Village. Hauz Khas Village is a Tim Burton-esque pocket of  hip bars, cafes and boutiques intertwined with ancient ruins. In an alley lined with street art and vintage Vespa scooters I spied Nappa Dori, no larger than a closet, packed with candy-coated patent leather trunks and handcrafted leather bags. One of which I nearly melted for and has been my favorite go to bag for all my travels... Read The Rest →

Priyam Global + ELISE HANNA // Wandering Chennai Postcard Pack

There is a little place about a thirty-minute drive from my house here in Chennai, where possibility and opportunity unite and magic happens. I’ve taken a lot of photographs in this city in the past two years. I’ve painted a picture of my days here and have wandered most every neighborhood from left to right and top to bottom in this sprawling city of over 9 million residents. Villages set end to end are painted with color combinations so vibrant and unthinkable. At the end of one such road, lies... Read The Rest →

Nectar of The Gods // Cocktail Recipe

  Whenever the twined-stems of these beauties peer out of a box at the market, I jump to buy a bundle. Both beautiful and slightly deceiving, this prickly fruit- sliced open- yields the most aromatic pearl-like flesh. When I first ate these I was a small child, I was indulged eat a local Chinese restaurant that our family frequented. A rarity in the Pacific Northwest, we savored the  flesh and marveled at the shiny seeds left behind, dreaming of planting and growing our own bunches. Fast forward to India a... Read The Rest →

Anatomy of a Tiffin Box

  As the school year draws to an end and expertly designed bento box lunch-boxes turn into a granola bar and a juice box, I thought we could all use a little lunch inspiration. Have you seen this? I laughed so hard I nearly cried. I began to wonder what other culture’s first day of school to last day of school lunches look like, so I asked Mrs. Rita what the “peanut butter and jelly sandwich and potato chips” of Chennai was. The preferred mode of lunch transport in India... Read The Rest →

Vada + Tea

    I’m working with Tea Collection this month to bring you South Indian inspired recipes in honor of their Indian-inspired spring & summer’s children’s clothing line. Check out their blog for my Savory South Indian Donut recipe and more treats and tours from the Subcontinent. Then stay tuned for more South Indian delights from me, right here in Chennai.

Madras Fish Curry // Mrs. Rita

If you are anything like me, you are a little intimidated by cooking Indian cuisine. It seems complicated, but really is as simple as the ingredients themselves. Each serving an aurveydic purpose, there isn’t an ingredient that is added that is added without reason. Still I was nervous to pick up the spice dhabba and get started. Enter: Mrs. Rita All one really must do is express an interest in anything in South India and there will immediately be one (or more!) people willing to share their knowledge. It is... Read The Rest →

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