The Seaside Calls

One girl's mission to escape monotony

Late Nights & Neon Lights

Like a lot of introverts, I am 100% a night owl. The benefit of being self-employed is that I can make my own schedule. I sleep in until the sun wakes me up (usually around noon), but as soon as the sun sets, I get my bursts of creative energy. In the dark of the night, I feel social, and productive, and inspired. I get insatiable urges to create. To draw, to paint, to photograph, to blog. To make something beautiful, using my hands.

In recent weeks, I’ve been teaching my dear friend, Brittany, the basics of photography. A fellow creature of the night, she suggested that we find a couple of alternative models and hit the streets of our favorite San Diego neighborhoods. And that’s exactly what we did. We waited until it was late enough to avoid the crowds of people loitering outside of bars, and then met up with our models, Becky and Allyssa.

I usually shoot solo, so it was nice to share this photo adventure with Brittany. My business has been keeping me very busy recently, so I haven’t had much time recently to work on creative material. My soul really needed this 💜

Becky and Allyssa were the best models I could have asked for. They were so natural in front of the camera, and had such great chemistry with each other. Oh, and they’re both gorgeous.

There are two kinds of people who go out this late into the night:

  • Creatives.
  • Drunks.

We encountered plenty of both.

We made some new friends…

… And ran into some old ones.

Oh, and Becky taught everyone her signature move: the shoe phone.

Then things started to get weird. In a good way.

I can honestly say that this was the first time I had models hop up on top of a trashcan, but it just felt right. Who am I to stand in the way of two friends bonding atop a can full of garbage? It was beautiful, really.

When we had finished our stroll through Normal Heights, we headed over to Kensington.

The friends we made back in Normal Heights gave us some matches to play with. It’s good that they ended up in our hands, rather than in the hands of some pyro punk.

You’re welcome, Kensington, for the artistic tribute to 90’s kids.

When the matches ran out, we finished up our shoot, said goodbye to Becky and Allyssa, and then Brittany and I headed home (and by “home”, I actually mean “to the liquor store to get some beer”). We stayed up until 6 a.m. watching The Great Dictator and talking about love, art, and our dreams. And drag queens. These are the nights I live for.

Get The Look











Wonderspaces | San Diego

UPDATE: Wonderspaces is returning to San Diego in 2018! As of February, dates haven’t been announced yet, but keep checking back here for new info.

From time to time, my dear Lexington will hire me to do some photos for her instagram feed, and I’m always so stoked because she’s incredibly fun to work with, and she always comes up with fantastic ideas… and this time was no different. She had the idea of doing this shoot at Wonderspaces, a temporary art installation here in San Diego. I’d been wanting to check it out anyway to see what all the hype was about, and this was the perfect excuse. Plus, it gave me a great reason to bring my camera along!

Now when it comes to art, I’m a bit of a snob, and I tend to stray away from modern contributions (I would take Caravaggio over Banksy any day)… But the stuff I saw here reawakened my appreciation for the artists of my generation! It was weird, quirky, and interactive, and I couldn’t get enough!




If you’re in the San Diego area while Wonderspaces is still up (until August 27, 2017), you should absolutely check it out. It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time!

UPDATE: Wonderspaces is returning to San Diego in 2018! As of February, dates haven’t been announced yet, but keep checking back here for new info.


Nena’s Travel Essentials



Boudoir With Viktoriya | Tehachapi, CA

If you’re reading this blog post, you’re probably well aware that my life revolves around two things: visiting new places, and photographing boudoir. So you can imagine how stoked I was when I had the opportunity to visit my sister in Tehachapi, CA to photograph her… Okay, I know it’s Tehachapi and not Paris, but it was a new experience for me, and that’s exciting.

After leaving San Diego, Viktoriya spent some time living in Seattle and eventually moved to Tehachapi a few years ago shortly after she gave birth to an adorable little boy (whom I will someday clone).

Needless to say, being a mom can put a hold on your budding modeling career. I’m not a parent (thankfully), but I recognize and appreciate the fact that mothering a child is a full-time job, and it’s not always the sexiest of careers. Being a full-time mom often means trading your business attire for T shirts and yoga pants, and your stiletto heels for fuzzy bunny slippers. This can take a serious blow to a woman’s self-esteem, especially if she doesn’t have the means to treat herself to a night on the town every now and then. But that’s the beauty of boudoir- it gives all women, including moms, the opportunity to transform into models.

I’d say about half of the women who come to me for boudoir photos are mommies who are looking to reclaim their sexiness. This warms my heart so much. Sometimes being a mom can become a woman’s entire identity, and she may forget that she is a beautiful, unique person who deserves to feel good about herself and about her body.

The whole goth style has really lost popularity in recent years, but Viktoriya is still pulling it off. Not just for this shoot, but during her everyday life. And you know what defines her as a true goth? One of her hobbies is taxidermy.

One of the reasons I got into the boudoir business in the first place is because I wanted to promote body positivity, and to show women that they don’t need to be Photoshopped to be beautiful. Now, upon request, I will sometimes do some light & natural-looking retouching in Photoshop, but Viktoriya specifically asked me not to mess with her tiger stripes, and that makes me so happy. I love it when women embrace their body’s natural changes, even the ones society tells us are “flaws”.

This is easily one of my favorite shoots out of all that I’ve done. The funny thing is, I strayed from my usual style (I’m crazy about color, so I NEVER edit my photos to be black & white) which I was hesitant about at first, but I think it ended up working so well.

You can follow Viktoriya Rae’s modeling career through her new Facebook page, or through her Model Mayhem. For inquiries, or to book a session with me, please contact me through my Facebook page.

Until next time… xoxo

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