present joys

Elizabeth Carababas

Portrait of photographer Elizabeth Carababas


Words by:

Elizabeth Carababas

We were first introduced to photographer Elizabeth Carababas’ work by way of our client, Ceramicah. Elizabeth's work is contemplative, sincere, and effortlessly artful. Be sure to peruse her portfolio, but in the meantime we hope you enjoy reading through her present joys below.

A vinyeard at sunset with clouds in the horizon.
The places my job takes me

Sometimes I pinch myself thinking about where this job title of photographer has taken me. Gaining access to some of the country’s most beautiful homes and locations is one of the most rewarding parts. I was working with a loyal client and had the privilege to shoot on location at this vineyard in Sebastopol up in northern California. We arrived on a cloudy (which I love) and moody morning and throughout the day the sky opened up to quite possibly the most peaceful, golden sunset. The positivity was all around us and because of that I think we made some of the best group of images together.

A black and white dog sleeping on its side with its paws just grazing a person's knee.
My companion, Frank

I heard recently that “A dog is your best friend for a portion of your life, but you are their best friend their whole life.” Frankie is my rock. It is understated how she helps me. There’s something so precious to a dog’s love for you. So when she sleeps next to me while I work and her little jelly bean toes touch me ever so slightly, it makes my heart overflow. I cherish these little moments of peace and quiet between us.

Teal lasers lighting up a concert.
The IRL experience of music

Seeing live music is my first and last love. It’s the way I unwind or reconnect with myself between the productions, flights to catch and whatnot. It’s an interlude just as necessary for my mental health as sleep is. Seeing Underworld with friends was much more than an audible experience. I live for that feeling of the soundwaves hitting my chest. I also appreciate how they put on a pretty good visual show, as well. They’re so epic!

Bespectacled man reading a book in his car with the window open.
Noticing the quiet things

Maybe it feels slightly voyeuristic, but I saw this man sitting in his car reading his book where I usually hike with Frank and had to capture that moment before I drove away. I really struggle with my attachment to my phone sometimes. But this moment felt so precious because it was simple. He parked his car at the base of this hiking trail, rolled the windows down and appreciated the setting sun and eucalyptus-scented breeze. That’s it. It's a simple reminder that I can unplug for something analog if I choose to. I can choose the peace of a book beside the chaos of my phone.

San Francisco Hyatt Embarcadero Building close up of the architecture
Seeing one of my favorite ugly buildings

Hopelessly obsessed, I know. But I can’t get enough of John Portman’s structures. I particularly love the Hyatt Embarcadero in San Francisco. The atrium is alien-like. The exterior feels like a landed spaceship. I can’t get enough of it. I just find the design to be colossal in a way that would make anyone feel something unforgettable. I try to stay there whenever I pass through town, not because of how stunning the decor is (it’s not), but because of how architecturally impressive it is. We all know that spending time in nature is a way to humble ourselves but I have such a visceral response to architecture, especially of epic proportions, its another way to do that for me, just as a mountain could. Same, but different.

A few more joys from Joyce and Michelle...

were had at Sessions Arts Club and Café Cecilia during our stay in London last week. (The comedy of Michelle’s long-awaited return to the states and me scurrying off to the UK within a week…)

by Victoria Adukwei Bulley. Poetry can often intimidate me but Bulley’s words somehow make accessing the emotion of it all so free and easy. ‘There You Are’ simply gutted me.

I bought while wandering Borough Market. The ones in the states are usually just shaped like smaller sheet pans, so the satisfyingly straight edges of this one earned it a spot in my luggage.

A previous joy of Michelle’s, now mine: this lentil salad. Michelle and her husband stayed at our apartment while we were away, and Michelle lovingly prepared the salad for us to eat on our return. Comforting and nourishing a recipe on its own, but the thoughtfulness of the gesture takes this meal to a whole new level. Taking note on how best to greet weary travelers–this is indeed the way!

—whatever name you go by, it’s back! There are no words for the happiness every season the baking show brings. Right now I’m team Abbi, but it’s still anyone’s game.

After a heartfelt conversation with Holly Howard and Joyce Chai (interview coming soon!), I started worked on a “most me” list. A list that encompasses little things I like to do that make me feel most like me. It’s pretty basic and doesn’t make me particularly unique, but it’s a helpful reminder that it doesn’t take much to feel a bit more you; also that not everything, including yourself, has to be sorted and perfect all at once. Note: add “eat the rainbow” to “eat mindfully” (thank you Nina!)

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