Brookdog Fishing Company

You know how the saying goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Well, if one would look at me, one would automatically assume that I would not really be into the outdoors. I don’t have a very rugged or earth-mother looking exterior from my blue hair to my fake lashes. But, I will have you know, that not only do I enjoy the outdoors, I really enjoy fishing.

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That’s right, my friends. I first became interested in fishing a thousand years ago (approximately) when Nicholas used to take me spin fishing for little guys. Him, being a huge fly fisherman, gradually introduced me into the world of fly fishing. While I’m really not that great at it, I still enjoy being out on the water and hopefully catching a fish or two.

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I recently linked up with Ryan of Brookdog Fishing Company to spend a few hours on the water.  Brookdog is a local fishing charter owned by Ryan Shea and Nathan Carr.  I’ve never been on a fishing charter before, so I had no idea what to expect.  As you can see from the photos in this post, I experienced an amazing evening with a super chill and down to earth guide who showed me a new side to Buffalo’s water that I haven’t been able to see before. Plus, I caught a fish!

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The weather was absolutely perfect to be out on the water. Ryan told me what to do to make sure that I would catch the smallmouth bass that we were searching for. I followed his instructions and landed this bad boy! Actually, I think he told me it was a girl…

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I was SO EXCITED to catch this beauty! Most of the time, the etiquette when you have a fish on your line is to yell, “Fish on!” But I’m pretty sure that I just yelled, “Oooohhhhh!” I’m lucky that he understood what I was trying to say.

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From there on we traveled over closer to Grand Island, fished a little more, caught an amazing sunset…

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And also caught another fish! This one was all Nicholas.

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I asked Ryan a few questions about Brookdog and the future of their business.  Here’s what he had to say!

When did you start your business?

June 2016

Have you always known that becoming a fishing guide was something that you wanted to pursue?

We had an assignment in 7th grade for home Econ class – write a 1000 word essay about what you want to be when you grow up. I wrote about being a professional angler.

How did you come up with the name Brookdog?

Nate, my brother Tim, and I used to camp and fish small streams in our younger years. Back then, everything had a little hip-hop flavor to it – i.e. What’s up, “dog?” We were always throwing “dog” at the end of various words. Since brook trout were our favorite fish on those small creeks, we’d revel in catching “brookdogs.” The nick name clicked – and we decided if we ever started a guide service we’d call it Brookdog Fishing Company.

What do you love about owning your own business?

Independence and the ability to use our creativity in creating a brand. Making ourselves distinguishable from our peers is a lot of fun. It creates many opportunities to collaborate with different people and learn something new.

What are the challenges that come with owning your own business?

Generating business! Work-life balance is really tough. Having a supportive family is key. I couldn’t do this without the love and support of my beautiful wife.

What’s your future plans for Brookdog?

Keep growing! We also want to expand our portfolio of Re-Discover Your Region episodes.

What do you love most about Buffalo?

Fishery: It’s a year round fishery with different targets and tactics for every season.

Town: the social scene. You can emerge yourself in so many different cultures and you never have to travel far. The concerts, the festivals, the food – it’s all incredible.

Favorite place to grab a drink?

Dockside Bar and Grill

What’s currently on your playlist?

Anything 90s hip hop! However, I listen to “Box Chevy V” by Yelawolf every time I’m about to get on the water.


Thank you SO MUCH Ryan for taking us out for a gorgeous evening of fishing. We had a blast!

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If you have always wanted to go on a fishing charter, you should absolutely contact Brookdog Fishing Company! Visit their website for more information.

Spend a Weekend at Darien Lake!

This post is sponsored by Pepsi and Darien Lake Theme Park Resort. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

We all know that life can get a little (or a lot!) hectic sometimes. Work, school, chores, kids, pets, significant others, family…as “adults” we have a lot to deal with. But while people have a lot of responsibilities to handle on a day to day basis, is it so wrong to want to throw a little bit of fun into the mix?

My life has been pretty busy lately, and I am SO grateful for the wonderful folks at Darien Lake Theme Park Resort. Recently, myself and a few of my favorite humans spent the weekend at Darien Lake, and this could not have come at a better time. Technically on paper, we are considered to be adults, but thanks to this amazing experience, we definitely felt like kids again!

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Darien Lake had provided myself and my friends with cabins for the weekend, as well as some killer swag.

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Some of us looked better in the tees than others…

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The Cabin

So I’ll be honest, I’ve never been that big of a camper. The whole staying in a tent and possibly getting eaten by bears thing never sounded appealing to me. But this…THIS I absolutely can get used to.

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Guys, you don’t understand. The cabins at Darien Lake are incredible. Like, I would stay here every weekend if I could.

First of all, they have air conditioning AND heat. It was a little bit chilly the weekend that we were there, and it was so warm and toasty inside the cabin after we turned the heater on. Definitely a great way to warm up on a cold night. Second of all, they have super comfy mattresses…like a real bed inside a real house type of mattress. So much better than a sleeping bag inside of a leaky tent. Third of all, and the most important, a bathroom, shower, electricity, and running water. Seriously!! It’s glamping at its finest, and I couldn’t have been more excited.

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As you can see from my super awesome (not!) cell phone pic below, each cabin has their own picnic table, fire pit, and charcoal grill. We were most excited about building a fire in the pit in the evening and roasting up some marshmallows for smores….

How toasty do you like your marshmallows? I like to light mine on fire. Yep, I’m THAT girl.

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The Food

Speaking of food…isn’t amusement park food the best?! Obviously, we scarfed down all of the yummy things that we could find.  From chicken fingers and fries to cotton candy and pizza, we actually ate everything.

Not pictured: the ice cream that I ate so fast that I totally forgot to take a photo of until it was too late.

Sorry not sorry.

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The Games

I would like to think that I am good at games, but I’m not good at games.  Like, at all. I’m actually pretty terrible. But I have so much fun playing them!

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I attempted to win this insanely adorable troll creature, but alas, luck was not on my side. She still looked cute with my outfit, though, so hello perfect photo op!

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The Rides

As I had mentioned in my first post, Darien Lake is a ride lover’s paradise! My personal favorite is the ferris wheel.

Why?

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Check out the view from the top…so beautiful!

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And of course, roller coasters are always the fan favorite. My friends’ absolute favorite coaster in the park is the Boomerang.

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This intense ride shoots you forward AND backward…talk about a thrill, right?

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And speaking of thrill….oh dear.

Have you guys seen this one?

This is the RedHawk. This bad boy brings you up 180 feet off the ground, and once you pull the rip cord, you soar through the air like its namesake.  I was WAY too chicken to do this one, but my friends said that it was an amazing experience!

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I found my favorite form of excitement by riding the pretty ponies on the Merry Go Round 🙂

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The Fun

Well, we only had one casualty of the weekend…

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Just kidding! He’s totally fine…or is he?

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One of my favorite parts of the weekend was the Ignite the Night Colorblast laser light show! The is a nightly laser show that includes pyrotechnics, fireworks, music, and multi-colored laser effects.  It was so beautiful!

 

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And of course, the boys had WAY too much fun with their glow swords. Want to see a grown man act like a child? Give him a light up sword…bonus points if the sword also makes noise (these did!)

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The Friends

I’m sure everybody says this, but I actually mean this next statement with my whole heart: My friends are the greatest friends in the entire world.

Not to sound sappy, but this weekend was actually so incredible because of the people I was with.  I’ve been blessed with incredible friends who know how to have a great time no matter what we are doing.

My final tip for having the best time at Darien Lake is to bring a group of your besties with you. Sure the park is a blast on its own, but it will be even better if you have your people with you.

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BONUS: The Views

While walking back to our cabins to relax before the light show, we had to stop and marvel at the beauty of the actual Darien Lake. The sunlight, the slight fog, the reflection of the roller coaster in the water…I’ve never seen anything like it.

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I just wanted to give a gigantic THANK YOU to Darien Lake Theme Park Resort and Pepsi for this opportunity. My friends and I had so much fun! And just a reminder, visit http://www.darienlake.com/pepsi and buy one full price admission & get one free when you use code PEPSI. Offer ends June 25th, so take advantage of this ASAP!

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Photos by Ryan Kell & Nicholas Robson

Say Hello to Summer with Pepsi and Darien Lake!

This post is sponsored by Pepsi and Darien Lake Theme Park Resort. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Summer is right around the corner! Can you feel it? The sun is finally shining, the birds are singing, and I’m starting to break out my warm weather wardrobe (say that three times fast!)

These rising temperatures have me itching to finally get out of the house and go on some adventures. Yes, laying on a beach all day may be enticing, but I’m craving something a little bit more action-packed! But where can I go that hosts the perfect mixture of relaxation and excitement?

Darien Lake Theme Park Resort, of course!

First of all, you know how amazing the rides are at Darien Lake, right? They have six unique coasters, from the backwards Boomerang to the lightning fast Ride of Steel. Also, have you seen the super intense RedHawk and Slingshot? Totally perfect for those of you who are adrenaline junkies!

Now you say, but Lindsay, where does the relaxation part come in?

Well, how about my absolute favorite lazy river in the Splashtown Waterpark! Or cuddle up to your favorite person and watch the nightly Ignite the Night Colorblast laser show (definitely a must-see!) There are even Hotel and Cabin rentals available to raise your Darien Lake trip to the next level!

Now you can’t wait for your trip to Darien Lake, right? And thanks to Pepsi, you can take advantage of this incredible BOGO offer. Visit http://www.darienlake.com/pepsi and buy one full price admission & get one free when you use code PEPSI!

Thanks Pepsi and Darien Lake for this great offer…my friends and I will see you soon!

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Photos by Ryan Kell

Let’s Go On A Mural Tour!

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All photography by Ryan Kell

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know just how obsessed I am with public art.  So much so that I have an entire page on my blog dedicated to public art in Buffalo and I list the locations & artists so you can check them out for yourself.  This is an ongoing project that I’m updating regularly so keep stopping by for more!

Last weekend, I had planned to do an Instagram story and Snapchat takeover about local murals for Step Out Buffalo, and coincidentally, two of my favorite humans in the world, Billy & Pat, had asked if I was free the same day as they were filming a video all about Buffalo public art.  With our forces combined, plus the sick photography skills of Ryan Kell, we set out on a day full of art adventure.

Peep on some of these great photos of our fun-filled day of urban exploration.  Because I love you, I’ll post the locations of these pieces on top of the photos, just in case you would like to visit and take some bomb ass selfies (make sure to tag me in any of those selfies on Instagram!)

1221 Main Street, Buffalo

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710 Main Street, Buffalo
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461 Ellicott Street, Buffalo
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Nacho Break at Deep South Taco!
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515 Main Street, Buffalo (side of building)
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515 Main Street, Buffalo (back of building)
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233 Allen Street, Buffalo
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245 Allen Street, Buffalo (side of building)
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Albright Knox Art Gallery
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72 Jewett Parkway, Buffalo
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45 Jewett Parkway, Buffalo
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I had SO much fun with these guys.  Make sure to check out Billy & Pat’s video below to follow along with our adventure!!

Nickel City Gritty: We Must Dash

How amazing would it to be to be able to travel across the world with some incredible people and have everything taken care of for you from tours to accommodations to transportation?  The definition of worry-free travel.

Well thanks to Brandon & Stephanie Zarbo, this dream is now a reality.  The husband and wife team own their own active travel business called We Must Dash, and they are doing some incredible things.  Brandon & Stephanie take care of absolutely everything that you could think of, and make sure that you will have the time of your life.  All that you need to do is show up and have a blast.

I recently sat down with the duo, and we chatted about travel, music, and everything in between.

This is Nickel City Gritty, and this is Brandon & Stephanie of We Must Dash.

Travel photos c/o We Must Dash

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Tell me a little bit about how you started your business.

B:  We were taking our honeymoon and we wanted to spend a good amount of time in Southeast Asia, and I had been doing research about companies such as Contiki and Intrepid Travel, and I was completely dumbfounded at how many people were traveling to Thailand, and we had really fallen in love with the area. Ever since the first time I had been there, I was trying to get people to come with me, and then me and her (Stephanie) went, and we had done about five months in Southeast Asia, and that morphed into us saying, “We’re having our honeymoon, why don’t we just bring a bunch of people to Thailand with us?” I think at the peak we had about 24 people. It went really well, and everyone was raving about it. so we said, let’s just organize it and put the website up, and that’s that!

Describe your style of personality to me.

B:  I am a challenger.  I think that everyone wants to do things, they just need the motivation to do it, so I’m constantly the one to challenge you to do it. Do it, you are gonna enjoy it.  Sometimes people need that little bit of a push. I would say, like, my style is more of a friendly challenge. It’s just the little bit of motivation that you need. I’m super outgoing, really an extrovert. I want everyone to get along with each other and have fun, and this was another reason why this was kind of like, just fell into our laps, I think.  She is very analytical, and that’s not in a negative way, and I’m just jumping off the cliff like let’s do it and we’ll learn as we go.  So mine is leap first then ask questions later.

S:  I think we both are really strong in the mentality of creating fun.  Always trying to find a reason to have fun in any situation you’re in. I feel like it’s taken me a long time to get to the point where I can jump a little more than I used to because I’ve had a lot of loss in my family and learning that, and realizing that at no point is anything going to get worse.  There’s been things in my life that have been the worst situations, and I’ve been able to always come back out of them with growth and a new perspective.  I’m a little bit less scared than I used to be.  The fact that we’re freelancers, never in my life could I imagine this. I would have wanted some kind of safety net to fall back on.  At the end of the day, learning through all of this and the craziness to come out on the other end and say, “We’ll figure it out.”  We’re resourceful and passionate about this and I’d much rather throw my passion into something than wait ten years and go, “What the hell did we do?”

B:  I think that’s why we work well together.  Not just in this business but our relationship has been really strong because I’ve always been the one to be like, well *laughs* I guess peer pressure is a bad word, but in a positive way.  That’s why I say I’m more of a motivator and she’s the one to always take people aside and talk to them, and that’s why I said analytical.  She always more of the friend that you can confide in.  This has kind of been a push with our brand, because we’ve seen other travel companies that are like “Washboard abs! Boobs and butts and look at the beautiful travel!” and we really just want to radiate those friends that you can always confide in no matter what.  We want you to feel ultimately comfortable.  If you ever want to travel, just ask us questions. We just want people to get out there and experience the world.  A smile is the best currency that you can have.

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What is on your playlist?  What do you both love to listen to?

S:  We just started a We Must Dash Spotify actually! We are tailoring it specifically to certain moments in travel.  I’m a big closet EDM fan…that’s pretty much all I listen to.

B:  Yeah, we listen to a lot of Trop House and stuff like that.

S:  That’s the island thing, because immediately for us it’s like we’re back in a villa.  Also, right now, Lord Huron, we could listen to them all day, they’re just great, and easy to listen to.  Not too distracting and great background music.

B:  I just listen to such a wide variety of music.  I’m such a fan of corny 80’s music, though. It’s what I listen to all the time, and she hates it!  I also like to make playlists for every situation I’m in.  So, like, when I’m having some drinks around the fire, I’ll have a mood for that.  When I’m trying to get amped up to go out, I have a mood for that. And then I have one that’s silly when I’m trying to make her laugh.

S:  So yeah, I could listen to EDM at any moment on any day at any circumstance.   And that’s totally a post-cheerleading thing. I would make the mixes for cheerleading and yeah it’s bad sometimes.  Sometimes I’m like, “This makes no sense why I’m listening to this and how it fits this moment.” but it just works.

What is your most memorable or favorite concert you’ve ever been to?

S:  Mine was Edgefest 2006, and we were both in high school, Taking Back Sunday was playing and Anberlin, and it was like my mecca of high school bands, I was so excited.  And he goes, “We’re gonna go backstage!” and I’m like, “Get the hell out of here, who is this dude?” And we ended up watching the show backstage! He literally just walked backstage and was like, “Oh I’m here with the crew.” And they were like, “Okay!”

B:  I had played in bands for a while and all throughout high school, so you just know. It’s just confidence.

S:  So I was thinking, like, what is the worst that could happen? They are going to send me out into the crowd? That’s not even that big of a deal! What did you like, jingle your keys and pretend there was a pass on it?

B:  Yeah, I just grabbed my keys and was like, “Oh here” *waves keys quickly* And I did it so fast so they couldn’t actually see anything.

S:  Yes, we’ve been to some great shows but this was definitely the most memorable.

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What were you guys like in high school?

B:  I was a complete spaz.  Just Dr. Detention all the time.

S:  I was a pretty good student! So I was a weird one, because I was an art student, and president of band, and I was also the cheerleading captain.  I could never specialize in something, because I always had my hands in a million different things. And nothing’s changed, because I’m just used to trying a little bit of everything and never excelling at one thing, just always being moderately okay at a lot of things.

If there was a movie about your life, what actor would play the role of you?

S:  I’m trying to think of the person who I most identify with…Ellie Kemper from the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt…I feel like she’d do a good job for me.

B:  Vince Vaughn.  I don’t talk as fast as he does, though.  He’s just somebody who I identify with because he started out by writing his own movie and then he made his own way into the movie world. And he’s a Libertarian too, which I identify with…the only Libertarian in Hollywood pretty much.

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What is your spirit animal?

B:  Bald Mothafuckin’ Eagle. *laughs*

S:  You would say that.  I’m starting to think that my dog is.  In a past life I would have said something like a fennec fox, and I don’t really have a reason for that other than I just like them…they’re adorable.

B:  I would say a lion, but that sounds to conceited, so we’ll go with a mountain lion and/or a cougar.  Because I don’t want to call myself a lion, because that’s like, “I’m a fuckin’ lion” and it’s so big headed. It would definitely be a big cat of some sort, because there’s a certain amount of viciousness to them but only when it’s warranted, but then there’s gracefulness to them.

S:  So I think I would probably say a butterfly. I’m fascinated by the caterpillar to butterfly transformation, the whole thing…like I have a butterfly garden and keep the caterpillars and let them go.  And I love the idea that science doesn’t even know  why they shift and how that whole process happens, but they are becoming something else.  And the migration for monarchs blows my mind too, that they just instinctively know.

B:  Just born to travel!

What is the most memorable trip you’ve ever taken?

S:  Our five month trip was out of this world.

B:  Yeah, we did so much in five months.

S:  That was life changing.  I know that for a lot of people that type of experience is not just something that they can do.  But, I shouldn’t even say that.  They think that it’s not possible.  But there are a lot of scenarios that a lot of people could make it work.  That trip just changed our lives.  We lived out of backpacks for five months and the people we met, the experiences we had, we stayed with families and to see how they live on a day to day, it’s just so polar opposite of what we do and the things that we worry about. And after I was overwhelmed just walking into a grocery store.  People don’t have these options.  It really opened my eyes that we have way more control in our lives than we think we do and it really comes down to prioritizing what’s most important.

B:  I think mine was this past trip with everyone, because we were taking such a leap and trying to expose people to something so different.  The Honeymoon trip.  We had a lot of people who meant a lot to us.  I had one of my best friends in my entire life who’s had a lot of shit happen to him and he took a chance to go on this trip, and just seeing how he changed from the first day to the end of the trip.  That happened to a few people.  And it was something coupled with us taking such a chance on kickstarting this business, and using something like our honeymoon, it was very personal, it’s like your time as a couple to go out and do what you want to do, and for us to take a chance and invite all these people.  It could have gone so horribly wrong, or so we thought.  And I think it opened our eyes that this could really work.  We were ready.  This does change people and it really does make people reevaluate themselves.

Where is your happy place?  Where do you go where you need to get away from the craziness?

S:  In a hammock.  It doesn’t even matter where the hammock is.  A house is not a home without a hammock.

B:  I would say the property.  We have property down in the Southern Tier and I could be mowing the lawn and just hang out and watch the dog run around.  Just hanging out and cooking shit over the fire and watching the sunset.  Super duper happy place.

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What is your favorite restaurant in the city?

B:  Currently, I’d say Kaydara.

S:  We really love it there.  It’s pho and it’s Vietnamese fusion, so it’s a mix of a bunch of different stuff, so we always go there.  It’s definitely pretty close to what we had in Vietnam.

B:  I would say that’s my favorite place right now. Either that or a fuckin’ taco place like Don Tequila’s or Cantina.  But Kaydara is the number one for now.

My last question that I always ask, because it’s very important.  What do you want to be when you grow up?

B:  I just want to be somebody who motivates people to be who they want to be.  That’s it. As long as I can do that, I just want to be somebody who makes it easier for people to achieve what they want to achieve.

S:  When I actually had to think about it when somebody asked me that after college and stuff, when I was asked what would be my dream job, it was something so lofty like, “Open a summer camp.” I think the about the happiest that I’ve ever been, and not to say summer camp was the end all be all, but as a general statement, all of the different things and activities and the people you are meeting, I think summer camp is a totally underrated thing that now, kids find a million reasons not to do that. That was such a defining part of growing up and learning to appreciate those things and trying stuff that you would never be able to do at home.  So I think we’re on the path for me getting to be what I wanted to be when I grow up…a camp counselor! But just in a very exaggerated form.

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Thank you SO MUCH Brandon & Stephanie for taking time out of your crazy schedules to meet with me.  It was a blast talking with you and I’ll definitely have to take a trip with you soon!

Are you thinking of doing a bit of adventure traveling but don’t know where to start?  Check out We Must Dash and you could find yourself on a trip that will change your life.

Photographer Spotlight: Brandon Lua

The second photographer that I’m spotlighting on my blog (check out my first interview with HERE with Colin Gordon) is a newcomer on the scene.  He’s only been at it for a few months, but he’s already making a name for himself.  I came across Brandon’s Instagram account and knew that I had to do a shoot with him.  We did our session in the Old First Ward, and as you can see from the photos below, this is the exact type of gritty backdrop that I love oh so much.

I got the chance to work with him a second time at a pop-up photo shoot/music/model collaboration party at a local amazing Airbnb.  This party sparked the idea to create Locations…a project between Brandon and two other photographers Ryan Kell (one of my besties!) and Alexis Bandera.  This is a super exciting project that’s totally new to Buffalo and I can’t wait to share more details with you all in an upcoming blog post!

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I sat down with Brandon after our shoot and asked him a few questions about photography and life in Buffalo…here’s what he had to say!

How long have you been doing photography?

I’ve only been shooting for four to five months.  So not too long!

Have you always been interested in photography?

Actually, always.  I grew up, my father was always shooting.  He wasn’t exactly a photographer but he always had a camera on him.  He was shooting me, the surrounding area, his friends.  And then also growing up I had friends who were into photography, and then I kind of always envied them.  But I always felt like I was too old to start, but I don’t know…one day I just finally decided to pick up a camera and just shoot, and then next thing you know I was addicted to it.

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What do you love most about photography?

Oh man…everything.  I like capturing the moment.  I feel like every single time I’m capturing a moment, it helps me remember it.  For example, I was shooting one of my friends Denzel at an event that he threw, and his mentor that flew out from California, a really well known director, was telling a story and I remember him pointing his hand out towards Denzel and I captured that moment, and that’s something that I’ll always remember.

Which do you like more- the photography or editing process?

I like them both equally…wait, actually no. I like photography, capturing the moment more so, because I get to interact with the person and socialize.  It’s just all around fun.  I’m more hands on.

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Do you have a favorite location where you like to shoot?

I do, it’s in front of Shea’s at night.  On Main Street…I love the lights in the background.  I like to work with bokeh.  I love to work with lights a lot.  I like daytime, but at the same time, night time…there’s something about it, it’s kind of mysterious and magical.

Do you have a most memorable photo shoot that you’ve done?

I’ve had some crazy shoots!  I’ve done some pretty explicit stuff before *laughs*  Maybe it’s because I’ve never done stuff like that, it was almost natural, though. I didn’t think anything of it until after.  My absolute favorite moment was shooting my girlfriend.  She never likes taking pictures, but she’s very beautiful.  I somehow convinced her and it ended up being one of my most noticed photo.  It was in front of Shea’s, and it was just perfect, because the snow was falling lightly and she was looking beautiful as always and the light was hitting her perfect.

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Where do you draw your inspiration from?

From my lifestyle…that’s why it’s hard for me to find a niche. My life is very random.  One day I’m doing something that looks very innocent and the next day I’m doing a shoot for a rapper, next day I’m doing something for a model.  Basically, I’m not afraid to do anything, so I just do what I want to do.

What do you love most about living in Buffalo?

Most of my family is here.  I like how the city is in a resurgence and everything is coming back to life.  I like how people are taking something with so much culture and history and bringing something new to it, and not just destroying it.  The food here is so good, too.

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What are your favorite local restaurants?

That’s like picking your favorite kid…that’s really hard.  I like Pasion a lot…I’ve been working with them a lot.  It’s Cuban food, and it’s actually my first trying Cuban food and it tastes great.  I also like La Divina. I’m there too much.  They bring something authentic to Buffalo.  They have this drink called horchata which is amazing.  Well, that’s all I got…I guess I only have one kid.  I haven’t been trying many restaurants out recently.

Favorite place to grab a drink?

I like Vera Pizza.  And Pasion, their bar is great.  It depends on the mood I’m in.  I like Vera for original cocktails and Pasion has more tropical drinks.


Thanks so much, Brandon, for sitting down and chatting with me!  I can’t wait to work with you on the upcoming Locations event…it’s going to be a blast!

Also, here’s a bonus shot of the lovely Caralyn and I!

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Photographer Spotlight: Colin Gordon

A few weeks ago, I talked about my love of photography.  Recently, I’ve been very blessed to work with some extremely talented local photographers.  Instead of just compiling some of the photos in a random blog post, I wanted to really showcase these amazing camera magicians.

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The first photographer that I’m going to feature is Colin Gordon.  I’ve known Colin for a few months now, and he is such a genuinely nice person who has a true passion for his craft.  I shot with him a couple weeks ago on an extremely cold and windy day in Allentown, and although the weather conditions were a little rough, the photos turned out phenomenal!

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I asked Colin a few questions about his business and life in Buffalo…here’s what he had to say!

How long have you been a professional photographer?
I have been a professional photographer for about a year and a half.

What do you love most about photography?
There are so many things I love about photography that it’s hard to narrow down to just one! First and foremost, I love to create. Secondly, I love technology and computers. Being a photographer lets me justify buying new gadgets haha. Thirdly, making people happy with the images I create is an amazing experience. Not only am I doing what I love, I get to create something special for someone that can never be recreated and that will last forever. It’s honestly pretty surreal sometimes. Also, I love that photography forces me out of my comfort zone. It makes me explore new places and meet new people.

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Do you have a favorite location where you like to shoot?
My favorite location is the spot where I have yet to shoot! But on the realz Italy was amazing…

What’s your most memorable experience as a photographer?
There have been countless memorable experiences as a photographer. In the past year, I would have to say shooting the Shakey Graves concert at Canalside was a highlight. They’re one of my favorite bands and to be able to combine live music and photography is amazing. Two of my favorite things at once!

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
There are many sources that I draw my inspiration from: local and national photographers, tv shows, and my friends and family.

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What do you love most about living and working in Buffalo?
I love living and working in Buffalo because you can feel the energy and excitement of the next generation of businesses and entrepreneurs. All I remember hearing when I was growing up was how terrible things are in Buffalo. Now, things are finally starting to turn around and it’s cool to watch it happen. It gives me hope for the future.

Favorite local restaurant and/or bar?
Too hard to pick only one haha. Here’s my top 5: Saigon Cafe, La Divina, Black Sheep, Mothers, and LLoyd (trucks and factory).

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Are there any locations in Buffalo where you would love to shoot but haven’t yet?
Yes! I want to shoot on top of one of the grain elevators. I’ve explored so many of them but have yet to get to the roof. I’ve seen other local photogs do it so there must be a way!

What’s on your playlist- what do you listen to while you are editing photos?
My taste in music is all over the place. I love house and techno but I also listen to a smorgasbord of bands. My most recently played bands on Spotify are: The Decemberists, The Head and the Heart, Odesza, Pinegrove, Ugly Casanova, Modest Mouse, Shakey Graves, Alt-j, and Vampire Weekend.


Thank you SO MUCH Colin for shooting with me!  I had a blast!!  Make sure to follow Colin on Instagram for your daily dose of gorgeous photography inspiration.