Monday, June 28, 2010

Meet Ajira Darch . . .

        photo courtesy:  Jeannie Guzis

Ajira Darch

There are so many wise sayings in the world. It's amazing.  So inspiring to connect with the reality that others have been where you are in some shape or form.  I like to remind myself of that, and of this: 'Wherever you go, go with all your heart. -Confucious'


El Cerrito, California... we're moving but planning to remain in the San Francisco Bay Area. Wish us luck in finding a house.


November 14th. An auspicious date. Why, you ask? Because I was born on it! Ha!!


So far we have a son. His name is Chésaweh and he lights up our lives.


Cameron. We have the ultimate love story. I'll have to blog the whole thing one of these days. I knew two days after meeting him that I was in love. We clicked from the moment we met and haven't stopped since. He's a singer/songwriter and has a day job running his general contracting business. I used to help him in it at the start of our relationship but not anymore. Apparently I was an excellent painter! :D


Just the deer that come hang out in our garden, the peacock who visits our neighbourhood on occasion as well as the dogs and cats who live in the homes around us.

Contact Info:


Name of Business:

ajira darch photography






What's in your bag? (if you are building your bag, what do you desire for your bag?)

I am the incredibly lucky person who won a Canon 1D Mark IV from Scott Bourne. He's an amazing artist, and generous as well which is incredibly lucky for all of us! Love reading his blog and tweets. And the camera is incredible. I spend so much less time editing. More and more of the images I want to share are SOOC. I don't know if I'm the only one, but I'm loving the images coming out of our time together so far, which hasn't been long.

My trusty Canon Rebel XSi/450D/Kiss X2 is now my back-up. It came with an 18-55mm IS lens that won't work on my 1D.

I have a 50mm that I adore. It is the lens that's usually on my camera. I shoot everything with it. Portraits, flowers, landscapes, everything. Love it. It works on both cameras!

I also have a 70-300mm that now seems much heavier on this bigger body. Such a great lens! Love the colour and clarity I get with it. Also works with both cameras. :D Good planning there, right?

I would love to have:

EF 35m f/1.4L USM

TS-E 45mm f/2.8

EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

What's your favorite editing software?

Aperture. Hands down it's Aperture. In this last release so much was improved that I now use everything so much less. Photoshop is now rarely opened. Which I love because it makes the whole processing part quicker, simpler and more beautiful.

Favorite Food:

Ice cream! Ha. I love all food. Seriously. SO many memories of family meals and connecting with people. Love it. Lately I've been loving green beans with garlic and olive oil with chicken and a salad. Delicious! Ask me again in a few days and I'll have a different dish, no doubt. My grandmother's cooking is what inspired a love of food and the association of it with loved ones. Her food was the best tasting I've ever had. I wish I'd had more time with her.

Favorite Color:

Brown. Every shade of it. Except maybe one. He he.

A few of your favorite things:

My son's roaring belly laugh. My husband holding my foot. Getting a shot of a tiny expression on someone's face that immediately takes me back to that moment, that moves me. Flowers. Books. Apples. Bananas. Mangoes.

What or who inspires you?

The amazing gift of being a mother to my son inspires me. As does this incredible planet we get to call home. People who wear their hearts on their sleeves and don't apologize for it. Art, movement, love, wonder and curiosity also inspire me.

Name something you just have to have everyday:

Chocolate. Just a taste.

Tea. Preferably two cups of ceylon to start the day off or this lovely green tea that my friend got me from Korea.

A photograph of my son taken that day

A walk

Tell us all about your journey into the world of photography. When did you realize that this is what you wanted to do and why.

I remember asking my parents to let me take pictures with their camera when we were on vacation when I was quite young. Eight or so. I just loved taking them, and loved looking at them, wondering about what I could and couldn't see in the frame. Then when I was off to boarding school at sixteen, I decided to get my own camera. It was such an exciting day!! It wasn't until my Aunt Carole suggested it in 2003 that I even considered the idea of doing it professionally. She was so encouraging and I am grateful to her. I love it. I've been shooting almost every day for the last few years and before that shot only a little less!

If you already have a photography business please tell us about it, type of photography you do, how long you have been doing it, etc...

I left my day job to pursue a photography business full time in March 2008. After shooting a wedding in Long Beach, three months later I came home to discover that I was pregnant! It was shocking and glorious and life changing. It's been an incredible, challenging and beautiful time. I've been shooting weddings and portraits, then during my pregnancy I found that I could only really handle more portrait work... which I love. Since my son is older, I am starting to get back into shooting weddings.

Who is your favorite photographer that you follow and why?

There are a lot of photographers that I admire and learn from for reasons as wildly learning more about business and learning more about artistry. From an artistic perspective I think that Image is Found and Jeff Newsom are consistently original and create jaw dropping stuff. I also find that Steve McCurry, Silvana Di Franco, Jonathan Canlas, Sean Flanigan and Sarah Rhoads invariably have work that has me vascillating between utter wonder and a curiosity about how they created the image. There are many more that I follow and pay attention to, but I'm starting to fall asleep now so I'll have to save those for some other time.

Besides photography, what else do you do , i.e. work, domestic engineer, volunteer?

Caring for my son is my other full time job.

What are some of your other hobbies and/or things that you like to do besides photography?

Haven't had much time for them lately but I also love arts and crafts- painting, sewing, drawing, knitting etc.

Do you have any other businesses that you are incorporating and/or combining in your photography business or that is separate other than photography?

Not yet. But I'd love to do more album designing. I want to get people's photographs out of harddrives and into books where people will look at and enjoy them.

If there is one thing in the world that you would like to change, what would that be and why?

Compassion. I think more of it would let us all get along better. We'd also be more creative in solving problems because we would consider the impact of our actions not only on the world around us but also the possible future impact.

Name three things you would like to do before you die:

Travel more

Publish a book

Be happy and show/express my love daily to those around me (including myself)

List three goals you would like to accomplish in 2010:

Get my photographs published in a print/online publication

Eat out a maximum of once every two weeks

Streamline my workflow

Please tell us about the photos you are submitting and why they are your favorites.

This is a recent favorite of my son. I photograph him with at least one of my cameras once a day. He is an absolute joy to capture and I am so glad that I have this incredible record of his growth! He's ridiculously gorgeous and ever-changing.

I love portraiture. It's so interesting to look at people and try to put yourself in their shoes whilst imagining what they might be going through. This is my friend Sierra who is fierce, beautiful, authentic and brave!

These were growing beside the pavement (what folks here call sidewalk) and they just took my breath away with their simplicity and glorious beauty. This planet is incredibly gorgeous and there's so much to see and enjoy. It blows my mind. I love this reminder that beauty is something inherent in everywhere, and also that it can occur anywhere. Even beside a street in a huge metropolis!

Finally, here's one of my favorite wedding pictures. This was after the main ceremony and before the reception when the bride and groom were relaxing upstairs and receiving the occasional personal guest. It was just a sweet and restful time before the hubbub of the reception and they were both so relaxed and glowing that it was easy to shoot them!


Thank you Ajira for this wonderful interview!  It was so great to learn more about you and I was so thrilled and happy for you that you WON that camera!  Your son is absolutely adorable!  I wish you much luck and success with your business.  xoxo


  1. I loved getting to know you a little more through this SOAR! Sister spotlight Ajira. Hope you are enjoying your new camera.

    Celebrate Life and Capture It!

  2. Ajira, Your a dear heart and I am happy to know you better!

  3. Yay!!! I was so excited to open my google reader and see that there was a new post here.
    I LOVED reading this and getting to know you Ajira. I love your goal of eating out a maximum of once every 2 weeks. Amd what big blue eyes your son has! What a cutie.
    Thanks again for this!

  4. What a great interview. Not only is it a pleasure to see you spotlighted here in SOAR, but to get to know you in person. Let you said to me in our last outing... "although we just met, I feel like I've know you for years." I look forward to watching you grow as a photograph, mother and a friend. Shelly Waldman

    Looking forward to many more cups of tea together. And the occasional bit out.

  5. A beautiful spotlight for a beautiful woman! I so enjoyed reading this and I am looking forward to meeting you soon!

  6. What a wonderful post and so nice to get to know you, Ajira. Your images are beautiful and your sense of humor shines through in your words.

  7. Beautiful Ajira!

    Can't wait to read about your love story!!