A Road Trip through Southern Africa with Intrepid Travel

I'm thrilled to finally share stories from my recent travels to Zimbabwe, Botswana, and South Africa. It was a whirlwind adventure, packed with lots of laughter and locals, plenty of campfire cookouts, and exhilarating searches for Africa's wildlife all stars, the "Big Five." I absolutely loved traveling with tour company, Intrepid.

Read my story paired with all the photos I love to capture so much over on Intrepid's adventure blog, The Journal. And of course, additional photos and portraits are always up on the galleries right here on my site.

I hope you enjoy! Stay tuned for more of my stories and adventures from this wild ride around the world.


2017, It's Time to Shake Things Up.

Hello Friends and Family, Travelers, Photographers, Visitors and the Curious. I am so glad you’re here!

I’m crazy thankful for all that 2016 has offered and feel crazy lucky to live the life I lead. While I would have much preferred alternative outcomes to many things this year, I feel nothing but joy ringing in the new year.

2017 will be a big one for me. 

My posts have fallen short since Antarctica as I settled into my day-to-day and into the comfortable routine of life and work. But it’s time to shake things up...

Starting January 11th through April 11th, I will be a taking a huge amount of time off to travel the world and do what I love most - photography!

Here's where I'm going:

  • Camping on a safari drive in Zimbabwe, Botswana, and South Africa
  • Shooting frozen landscapes & the auroras in Iceland
  • Sailing on a catamaran in Phuket, Thailand & the Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar 
  • Traversing the South Island of New Zealand with Sam 

I've chosen these destinations very intentionally, starting with the most "out of my comfort zone" leading up to the longest and most comfortable. It was important for me to visit reasonably diverse places that each have a special and unique personality - but are also deeply meaningful to me in one way or another. 

Each destination will center around photography, of course, and I'm excited to see what themes develop while I'm out there: from culture and wildlife and ice (again!) and tropical landscapes. 

I can't wait to practice my craft this way - and refocus for a moment before ultimately deciding what's next.

I hope you can join me here (subscribe!), on MediumInstagram, and Twitter as I share these adventures, before, during and after and share the impact that each adventure will have on my photography and my spirit. 

I’ll be back in between each trip for some relaxing time at home with Sam, some reflection and lots of editing, storytelling a bite-sized Medium posts.

The time for change is now and I can’t wait to tell you more as I leap forward.


A Fresh New Site, Now with Photo Galleries

I've spent the last few months going through many years of photos and travels, stories and adventures and finally put together a complete site with a fresh design and dedicated photography galleries! This probably seems fairly simple, but it was quite a feat making selects and finalizing the layouts. I'm crazy thrilled to finally have a space that I truly love one that can grow and evolve as I do.

While this new site doesn't capture all of my projects and all of the places I've visited over the years, it's a great start toward creating dedicated galleries for my work. I'm so excited for my next adventure, especially now that this new platform for travel planning, photography and storytelling is complete. Huge thanks for all of your support so far, I hope you continue to follow along as I plan, prep and ultimately photograph this great big world of ours. 



Tiny Atlas Quarterly Photography Show

I'm thrilled and honored to have been included in the Tiny Atlas Quarterly #LOVEMytinyatlas show at the Scott Ellsworth Gallery inside Alite Outpost here in San Francisco. The show celebrates travel photography from around the world and features an incredible set of inspiring work curated by Emily Nathan and Michael O'Neal. Of course, Antarctica did all of the hard work, but I'm excited to be a part of it.

For those in town, this is the last week to visit the gallery space. The show has been since up since February 13th and runs through March 16th. Thanks to everyone who already came out in person and in spirit!  


Coming Home & the Plan for Sharing

Hey guys! 

Antarctica. Wow.

This experience will be sticking with me for a long, long time…

Anyway, I wanted to give you an update.

It has been so exciting having you guys follow along with me and now that I’ve returned, I’m thrilled to tell the stories, share the moments and unveil the photos I’ve taken (9,369 in total!). 

I’ll need some time to process this epic and transformative adventure, so bear with me while I get organized and try to find the right words and the best photos to describe it. We live in an incredible world and I hope to be able to somehow give you a tiny glimpse into my utterly legendary experience of the Antarctic wilderness.

It will probably all come together after the holidays while I take the time to let it sink in and attempt to adjust to regular life. 

Until then, have an amazing holiday and a happy new year. 

PS - I updated the hero image on my blog with my own shot! I love Antarctica. 

Return from Antarctica

I've just returned to Ushuaia from Antarctica. The trip was legendary. Far and beyond the best and most epic experience of my life. I'm really looking forward to showing you guys some of the places I've seen and sharing some of my stories. Coming soon...

Arrival in Ushuaia

The start of my four-flight trip to Ushuaia was as good as anyone could hope for. Getting to the SFO airport was easy, through security -- a breeze. The sunrise was lovely and to top it off, we flew by a rainbow. That's right, my trip kicked off with rainbows! Magic. 

Golden sunrise and rainbows over SFO

Golden sunrise and rainbows over SFO

My seat mate was also on the same flight plan to Ushuaia and also embarking to Antarctica (different ship than me, though). We chatted over planning, ship options, and photos and hung out during layovers. It was nice to have the same friendly encounter after each landing.  

The whole journey was fine. Long and draining, but smooth and went on without a hitch. In sum, here's what I did:

  1. SFO - LAX: 1.5hrs
  2. LAX - PTY: 6hrs
  3. PTY - EZE: 7.5hrs
  4. EZE - USH: 3hrs

I'm glad that's over. 

I'm now in Ushuaia where I will relax and explore for a few days before boarding the ship to Antarctica.

View from my hotel in Ushuaia.

View from my hotel in Ushuaia.

I Leave Tomorrow...

Dearest friends and family, followers and fans. It has finally arrived! I depart for the great adventure to the bottom of the world, tomorrow (insane). At 7:30am December 4th, I board my first flight from SFO and head to LA to Panama City to Buenos Aires and finally to Ushuaia.

I’ve spent that past several months ruminating over options, practicing kayaking and photography, making tough decisions about gear, figuring out how to take underwater pics, answering a lot of questions, and generally over planning for this journey of a lifetime.

I’ve spoken with dozens, learned from many and have amazing people to thank for all the advice and lessons they’ve bestowed. 

On this eve of adventure, I am calm yet filled with anticipation. Eager yet filled butterflies. Butterflies of the unknown, of traveling alone, of the unexpected. But more than anything, I'm ready.

Let’s do this.

Reminder: Follow along! I'm aquinnm Instagram.

The Thanksgiving Special: A Great Big Thanks to this Great Big List

It’s Thanksgiving and I have a hell of a lot to be thankful for. 

I have an amazing family, so many supportive friends and colleagues, and have met a ton of people along the way that have shaped the vision for this trip. To all of you I say, thank you! So much.

I wanted to call special attention to these people who have played a pivotal role in making this crazy trip real. Your help, guidance and support has been invaluable. 

Sam! Who has heard me talk about this thing every day and offered so much support. And his mom for the gloves.

Melanie! Who shared many tips and stories, introduced me to her friends and let me borrow lots of gear.

Ian! Who gave me the best advice ever and all the inside pro-tips one could hope for. Amazing stuff.

Sarah! Who booked it all for me and listened to me ruminate endlessly on which trip to pick.


Of course, my parents whose support and early Christmas gifts will be amazing during the trip!

Ira who has given me many tips and words of wisdom. And Karli who introduced us. See you there!

Kyla and Danny whose use of travel points is mind boggling and amazing. Thanks for the tips.

Emily, a friend for life whose own adventures serve as a constant reminder to live freely.

Chris and Linzi who are just such great friends and have been forever. Thanks for listening.

My team at Nurun who will be busy while I'm gone. I’m looking at you Stacy, Tim, JT, Jordan, Trey, Larry, Albert and so many more.

And the list goes on!

  • The greater NurunSF office. The place that keeps me gainfully employed with enrichment programs and a generous vacation package, all crucial to this trip.
  • Scott and Paul of Aperture Academy whose photography instruction in Big Sur helped me hone technical photography skills. And fellow student, Brian who shared many tips.
  • The Sea Trek crew who taught me how to kayak and how to rescue myself if I fall out (let’s hope it doesn’t come to that).
  • Angie, who is always up for something big and always down to hearing about this trip
  • Steve, an old friend from Philadelphia who shared some wise photography wisdom
  • The Machu Picchu trekking crew from 2013, especially Peggy whose world travels, climbing tales and Antarctica stories were particularly inspiring.

And some more folks I've never met:

  • Martin Bailey whose podcast I love and photography tips and gear recommendations will come in handy.
  • Crystal & Ben and Marnie on Etsy who are made me the most amazing Antarctica inspired creations. 
  • Everyone who contributes regularly to the forums on Tripadvisor so I can read and learn from all of your amazing experiences. 

Finally big thanks to everyone out there reading this blog, liking these posts, or following me on Facebook and Twitter. You make me happy too. 

(Exactly one week to go...)

It's official! I pulled the trigger on Antarctica! December 4th. Lots of photos of ice are coming your way! Excited out of my mind.

I'm going to Antarctica!

A few months ago, I bought a book called A Portrait of Ice by Caleb Cain Marcus. I was blown away. I set my sights on taking my own pictures of ice.  

A few weeks ago, I decided that my journey in ice photography would happen in the Polar South. Antarctica. I targeted a February 2016 expedition. 

A few days ago, after full-on research, reading and looking at other people's Antarctica pictures, I decided that I just can't wait! So here we go. Time to figure out how to make it happen in 2014-2015.

Photo by Lisa Mclean via Quark Expeditions

Photo by Lisa Mclean via Quark Expeditions