Blue walls, cacti gardens, sweet mint tea, simmering tagines, clanging karkabas — if that’s all I told you about Morocco, you’d be left with the pleasant image of an exotic place of sensory excess. An intricately tiled doorway into a world of wonder. A beautiful adventure.

Marrakech is pretty as a picture, yes. But only if you frame it very, very carefully. And only if you ignore how your presence as a photographer fundamentally changes the posture of your subject.

I thought I was “prepared” for our two weeks in Morocco. I scrolled through Instagram hashtags. I jotted down a short list of high-priority attractions to visit. I bought ankle-length outfits. I left space in my liquids bag for plenty of argan-oil acquisitions.

I had no goddamn idea what we were getting into. Read More »


Spring Break in Tulum

Spring break isn’t just for students! After surviving a busy first semester at the University of Alabama, Matt was itching for some downtime on a beach. And, after some debate and cries of horror at the prices for the Caribbean this time of year, we chose Tulum, a small, arty town a couple of hours from the Cancun chaos.

Matt visited Tulum as a kid and again as a backpacker, but this trip was my first time to the Yucatán. Matt was struck by how much the town had changed in the last decade, and I was struck by how different it was from the Pacific coast of Mexico, where we traveled together in 2012.

Tulum is a quirky mix of New-Age wellness, Mayan revivalism, Mexican-American fusion, and … Canadians. It’s not your “typical” anything, but it is a very special place.Read More »