Came across an interesting and slightly entertaining quiz via Refinery29:

This is The Most Accurate Travel Personality Quiz, Ever

Ok, I'll bite. How can you say no to that title?? Here's what I've got ...
I'd say it nailed it the first time. The Global Citizen! That's me! But then I took the quiz again to doubly confirm, changing just one answer, and got something totally diff. Not saying that it's all wrong the second time around. Actually, most of it is spot on - except the social media kween bit. Me? Pshaw! (I wish it was that easy!)

What's your travel personality?


happy monday.

happy monday.

Current tunes obsession on repeat to help power through those side projects. Some oldies, but goodies thrown in there at the end.


// Spring Playlist //

Melody - Oliver Heldens

Foolish - Alpine

REALiTi - Grimes

Pray to God - Calvin Harris and HAIM

Fall in Love - Phantogram

Palm of Your Hand (Aerosoul Remix) - Speed Limits & Jaco feat. Joni Fatora

Shell Suite - Chad Valley

I Want Everything - Sneaky Sound System

Relax - Mika


besos ... jin.


east 6th photowalk.

East 6th Street. November 2014. Photo by Jin Chu-Ferrer.

See that wall? Exactly how my thoughts are.

All the freakin' time.

Disorganized. Scattered. Sometimes comprehensible. 

101 creative ideas dancing around each other. And no time to tackle them all.

Had some time to reflect on this photoblog since getting back into the blogging game a few years back. 

Experimented with a few formats, played around with some concepts, re-evaluated creative priorities. 

I learned that I simply can't do it all. 

I also feel that all my interests are not cohesive enough in just one blog. 

Time to switch things up. Try a different approach. Divide and conquer.

So be on the lookout for 3 separate blogs: Photoblog, DIY, Fashion.

And sure, why not? Maybe even a Food blog - 'cause I'm cray like that! 

besos ... jin.

mention // trailblazer for made with map.


Last week I received some random great news.

This. Featured Trailblazer for Made with Map.

Me. Trailblazin'. ... Huzzah!

What a way to kick off 2015! (I only hope this is a very good sign for a very good year.)

Now if you haven't heard of Made with Map, it's like an Instagram for adventure-seekin', not-your-ordinary, creative type traveler with 'exceptional' travel photography. When I first heard that a friend of a friend co-founded this website and learned more of it's sole purpose, I was intrigued. It sounded like a community to meet like-minded travel creatives.

I've come to pleasantly find after immediately becoming part of that community - it's exactly so! I've befriended some talented kindred souls from around the world. Still am. Some are on a 'pen pal' status. The support for each other's creative endeavor has been unwavering and incredibly encouraging. And I dig that inspiring environment. 

My kinds of people.

Anyhoo, look for the Trailblazer photo feature on Instagram next Wednesday. =)

besos ... jin.

one magical november weekend.


This so happened. 2 weeks ago. November 14th-17th. Girls' trip with Purna and Sue.

And, oh, yes. It's exactly what it looks like.

Hogsmeade. In all it's magical glory. =)

I'm just gonna frankly say that I'm def not getting around to editing those pictures. So freakin' knee-deep in editing other travel photos. NYC, LA, this past weekend's engagement shoot, the upcoming NYC trip (!!!). That's not even including personal photog projects, DIY tutorials and the occasional friend's partay. Hopefully I can crank all that out before 2015! Wish. Me. Luck.

Anyways, back to the real purpose of this post. I've never ever ever been so awestruck by a theme park before. Til now. Incredible detail went into every nook and cranny of both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. So much so, that it doesn't even feel like you're at a theme park! I feel like us girls did this whole Harry Potter trip justice. Nothing but Harry Potter. All day, everyday, for 2.5 days. (With a surprise One Direction cameo appearance. Now that's a bonus.) If ya ever find yourself in Orlando, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is truly where it's at.

besos ... jin.

still dreaming of lalaland.

L.A. 2014

Fall 2014 Mini Trip #2: Los Angeles.

Sans dog.

I expect this trip to live up to the insanely high standards as the last 2 L.A. cameo trips. Albeit, I was in my 20s and a whole lot more spunkier. And energetic. And immune to jet lag then. But aside from the obvious fact that I can't hang like I used to - No excuses!

SoCal - I'm so 85% ready for ya. Let's do this!

(Packing and planning issues ain't no joke. Recurring problem, really. Probably helped if I hadn't waited, oh, at the very last minute. =X You woulda thunk I had that all figured out after 10+ years and 50+ countries later! Travel fail!)

besos ... jin.

wondering about wandering.

wondering about wandering.

Hey East Side, I'll be hitting you up more often this Fall. Now that the slightly cooler weather is here, it's time to get back to exploration mode and unearth more creative randomness around the neighborhood. (Seems like more and more hipster gems are popping up every week. East Austin is the place to be!) Had a lil taste of the outdoor photog fun this past Saturday morning for the first time in a long time and - it's like reuniting with a long lost love.

 Miss these mini photo walks!

Well, Fall, it's about damn time you're here. Gots a feeling we're gonna make some sweet, sweet memories.

besos ... jin.

in between places.

brooklyn bridge sunrise.

So this happened 2 weeks ago.

Woke up at 5a, hauled ass from East Village to Brooklyn Bridge (Brooklyn-side), and set up (photog) shop as fast as we could when the fist hints of the night time sky started to fade into colors. The perfect sunrise locale with perfect sunrise hues and perfect sunrise weather.

And I've been dreaming of that perfect moment ever since.

Le sigh.

Can't wait to start editing the NYC snaps. As y'all have noticed this past year (or 5!) that I kinda have a time management problem.

Still. Can't seem to discipline myself into a schedule. It's just not my thayng. (Couldn't really pinpoint why until I took this test - now it ALL makes sense!) But first thing's first. Gotta get through the last round of Eurotrip edits. (A month overdue, admittedly. I know, I know - for shame!) Then on to the final rounds of photoshoots and trips and holidays to close out 2014. It's times like these that it sure would be nice if those photos edit themselves! More eating, less editing. Now that's an ideal Holiday 2014 (and 2015!) situation!

besos ... jin.

the inspirer.

ENFP. aka The Inspirer.

The new and current roomie sent us this Personality Test on one of his first nights with us back in July. Ya know, as a fun roomie thayng. (And probably to slyly find out if we're really compatible as roommates. Well played, Kenny, well played! But you also forget - I had 13 great roomies over the span of 14 years under my belt. If that doesn't speak compatibility with almost anyone and their mama, then I don't know what does!) So, anyways, I go and check this personality test out and - whaddya know - it's the exact same personality test I took back in 2004.

Ten years ago! This should be interesting. I'm fairly certain that none of us were ever the same person as we were a decade ago. Heck, maybe even last week! But one thing's for sure: whatever type I was all those years ago and the type I am today - I've changed for the better. (And I hope you did, too.) Here, my friends, is the 2014 version of Jin:


Portrait of an ENFP aka The Inspirer

Extraverted iNtuitive FeelingPerceiving

As an ENFP, your primary mode of living is focused externally, where you take things in primarily via your intuition. Your secondary mode is internal, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit in with your personal value system.

ENFPs are warm, enthusiastic people, typically very bright and full of potential.

They live in the world of possibilities, and can become very passionate and excited about things.

Their enthusiasm lends them the ability to inspire and motivate others, more so than we see in other types. They can talk their way in or out of anything. They love life, seeing it as a special gift, and strive to make the most out of it.

ENFPs have an unusually broad range of skills and talents. They are good at most things which interest them. Project-oriented, they may go through several different careers during their lifetime. To onlookers, the ENFP

may seem directionless and without purpose, but ENFPs are actually quite consistent, in that they have a strong sense of values which they live with throughout their lives. Everything that they do must be in line with their values. An ENFP needs to feel that they are living their lives as their true Self, walking in step with what they believe is right. They see meaning in everything, and are on a continuous quest to adapt their lives and values to achieve inner peace.

They're constantly aware and somewhat fearful of losing touch with themselves.

Since emotional excitement is usually an important part of the ENFP's life, and because they are focused on keeping "centered", the ENFP is usually an intense individual, with highly evolved values.

An ENFP needs to focus on following through with their projects. This can be a problem area for some of these individuals.

Unlike other Extraverted types, ENFPs need time alone to center themselves, and make sure they are moving in a direction which is in sync with their values.

ENFPs who remain centered will usually be quite successful at their endeavors. Others may fall into the habit of dropping a project when they become excited about a new possibility, and thus they never achieve the great accomplishments which they are capable of achieving.

Most ENFPs have great people skills.

They are genuinely warm and interested in people, and place great importance on their inter-personal relationships.

ENFPs almost always have a strong need to be liked. Sometimes, especially at a younger age, an ENFP will tend to be "gushy" and insincere, and generally "overdo" in an effort to win acceptance. However, once an ENFP has learned to balance their need to be true to themselves with their need for acceptance, they excel at bringing out the best in others, and are typically well-liked. They have an exceptional ability to intuitively understand a person after a very short period of time, and use their intuition and flexibility to relate to others on their own level.

Because ENFPs live in the world of exciting possibilities, the details of everyday life are seen as trivial drudgery. They place no importance on detailed, maintenance-type tasks, and will frequently remain oblivous to these types of concerns.

When they do have to perform these tasks, they do not enjoy themselves. This is a challenging area of life for most ENFPs, and can be frustrating for ENFP's family members.

An ENFP who has "gone wrong" may be quite manipulative - and very good it. The gift of gab which they are blessed with makes it naturally easy for them to get what they want. Most ENFPs will not abuse their abilities, because that would not jive with their value systems.

ENFPs sometimes make serious errors in judgment. They have an amazing ability to intuitively perceive the truth about a person or situation, but when they apply judgment to their perception, they may jump to the wrong conclusions.

ENFPs who have not learned to follow through may have a difficult time remaining happy in marital relationships. Always seeing the possibilities of what could be, they may become bored with what actually is. The strong sense of values will keep many ENFPs dedicated to their relationships. However, ENFPs like a little excitement in their lives, and are best matched with individuals who are comfortable with change and new experiences.

Having an ENFP parent can be a fun-filled experience, but may be stressful at times for children with strong Sensing or Judging tendancies. Such children may see the ENFP parent as inconsistent and difficult to understand, as the children are pulled along in the whirlwind life of the ENFP. Sometimes the ENFP will want to be their child's best friend, and at other times they will play the parental authoritarian. But ENFPs are always consistent in their value systems, which they will impress on their children above all else, along with a basic joy of living.

ENFPs are basically happy people.

They may become unhappy when they are confined to strict schedules or mundane tasks.

Consequently, ENFPs work best in situations where they have a lot of flexibility, and where they can work with people and ideas.

Many go into business for themselves. They have the ability to be quite productive with little supervision, as long as they are excited about what they're doing.

Because they are so alert and sensitive, constantly scanning their environments, ENFPs often suffer from muscle tension.

They have a strong need to be independent, and resist being controlled or labelled. They need to maintain control over themselves, but they do not believe in controlling others. Their dislike of dependence and suppression extends to others as well as to themselves.

ENFPs are charming, ingenuous, risk-taking, sensitive, people-oriented individuals with capabilities ranging across a broad spectrum. They have many gifts which they will use to fulfill themselves and those near them, if they are able to remain centered and master the ability of following through.


So what ya think? I'm thinking, nailed it. To tell you the truth, I'm quite relieved that I didn't get 'Judging'. I'd be very distressed to think that all those years of traveling got me back to square one. Anyhoo, I know you know that you wanna know. Personality Test ---> here.

besos ... jin.

hello, august.

hello, august.

So you know how I've said I was gonna go explore the hidden gems of Austin this summer, jumpstart that personal photog project part deux, get weird and shoot to my heart's content? 'Ride this inspo high and run away with it?'

Yeeeah. It's freakin' hot out there, yo. Sauna-like. No bueno for this profuse perspirer. (And I mean, profusely profuse.) Stupid insufferable Texas summer heat. A major detail I keep overlooking every year. So here's the deal. I've always dread doing summer photoshoots for clients because of that very reason. But then I get caught up in all the summer hypeness of fun in the sun and beachy wear and cray-cray adventures. I'm so impressionable. Forget all about that enveloping shroud of heavy humidity. Until I'm actually in it. And wallowing in it's misery. Best wait til it dips down below the 90 degree mark, yah? I think so. Still doesn't mean I'm not thinking up ways to get around that yearly problem! (Waking up early? Naaaah!)

besos ... jin.

analog summer dreams.

double exposure summer.

When a fellow photog friend from Vegas and I discussed possible side photo projects to do together many moons ago, I had expressed (admittedly, too much) zeal about getting back into the double exposure photography game. It was something I had missed doing with my analogs back in the day. The convenience of shooting on the go as the world blurs by, pausing just long enough to capture the spontaneity of the moment whilst sometimes (ok, all the time!) forgetting to advance the film. Just got a bit lazy over the years. DSLRs, ya know. Though all this recent photog project talks inadvertently sent off a cascade of exclamations in my head. That personal photog project numero dos that I've been wanting to do but didn't know what of? Well, it was right there in front of me this whole time. And it couldn't have been more me and true to my heart! 

Aha moments are worth waiting for, innit? Now time to ride this photog inspo high and run away with it! Summer 2014 Double Exposure Series coming soon. Quirky Jin style.

besos ... jin.


100 happy days challenge.

Have you heard of the #100happydays challenge? It seems more forgiving than the 365 challenge (which I've attempted on numerous occasions these past 5 years and each time failed miserably) and way more convenient. 100 days straight of visuals that makes you happy. Only 100 days. Straight. Sounds easy enough. What's there not to like? A month goes by. Then another. Ok. I gotta-kinda-hafta start this thing already. So in late March, I posted my first #100happydays photo. Aaand just finished my first 30 days. At the end of May. Yup. Took me 2 months to finish 30 freakin'days! I big fat fail at daily happiness and stopping to smell the roses, apparently, BUT I am determine to get to 100 no matter how many months it'll take. Modified version, if you will. Def before 2014 ends! *crosses fingers*

But, really. In this world of go go go, sometimes (most of the time) we forget the moment (any moment, every moment, the right now moment) we're in. The oh-so-elusive and disappearing beauty of the tangible. Stop. Appreciate. Anything. Anywhere. Anytime. It's the base for the bridge towards long term happiness. Who's not down with that? So go on. Begin your #100happydays journey here.

besos ... jin.

18 things highly creative people do differently.


Instagram pic by Jin Chu-Ferrer.

A wildly popular Huffington Post article about the intricacies of creative minds caught my attention the other day. As a self-proclaimed creative (and someone who feels highly uncomfortable in conservative, judgmental crowds) - this is some interesting stuff. A list of suggestive traits of a hopeless creative in a world that rewards conformity? Let's hear it. And I ain't gonna lie. I was curious. That, too. So let's see what we have here. Personality characteristics? Paradoxical (check), tend to avoid habit or routine (check), don't accept things as they are and constantly question/ponder (like a nonconformist? ch-ch-check), vehemently against mundane and copycat (check), advocate for original thought and design (double check), straight-up weird (straight-up check).

Possible theories? Left brain = rational and analytical. Right brain = creative and emotional.

"It's actually hard for creative people to know themselves because the creative self is more complex than the non-creative self. The things that stand out the most are the paradoxes of the creative self ... Imaginative people have messier minds."

Hot messier minds, at that. Check.

Pop on over to the HuffPost article to see the full details and 'science' on each of the 18 tell-tale signs. I've read it. And self-indulgently justified myself. And I know you're about to do the same. ;-) Let's compare answers! I'll go first.


1 // They daydream.

My grade school reports were littered with these exact words: 'Constantly Daydreaming'. I kid you not. Apparently, as I've come to realize over the years, it's a chronic thing and occurs on a daily basis. I do heaps of it at work/coffeehouses/home whilst looking out the window - wishing upon faraway lands to travel to and mashing together colorful abstracts and conjuring up mini adventures.

"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

I feel ya, White Queen, I feel ya!

2 // They observe everything.

Not aesthetically pleasing to the eyes? Don't matter. Lovely eyesores are my favorite fodder for inspiration.

3 // They work the hours that work for them.

Late night. Or last minute. Often times they overlap. But I gets it done.

4 // They take time for solitude.

Good for the inner daydreaming soul.

5 // They turn life's obstacles around.

I assume, like the rest of this list, that we're on terms of non-societal norms. In that case, one major life obstacle comes to mind. An attempt to move to California to chase a creative dream. Ran into some paperwork trouble with the government which lasted 3 long years and at the end of it all, I was heartbreakingly back at square one, haunted by some pretty scary ominous dreams, and out loads of money. Thanks, Cali, for taking my money. I did, however, took the time, in between fighting the Cali system, to hone the creative viewpoint of my photog craft. So some good came of that arduous experience. I became a more resilient individual and, surprisingly, with a clearer course of where I want my photog voice to venture into.

6 // They seek out new experiences.

Sometime in my early 20s an epiphany happened. Why was I trying to be a dutiful lemming living a certain lifestyle pre-approved by society? Did I really want a 9-to-5, buy a nice gas-guzzling car, get married, move into a cookie-cutter home, have kids? In that order? Heck no. I wanted the creative freedom I oh-so-craved, and to get there, I had to be incredibly open-minded. It's amazing how this world is full of judgmental and assuming people holding themselves and everyone around them back. Family is the biggest culprit. I didn't want to be that person. So I embarked on a 7 year world journey to broaden my perspective, experience other cultural POVs, soak in the curiosities of the human mind, explore the mysteries of the world, learn everything and anything, listen to everyone's personal story, and above all, live life how it's meant to be lived - carefree, no limitations, and very little planning involved because spontaneity is the best kind of happy surprise. There's this constant stream of inspo from the exposure to all these stimuli and various world-views - and my! - has it taken my imagination to a whole 'nother level, in turn shaping my photographic vision. Something that never would have happened if I stayed in my comfort zone.

7 // They "fail up". 

See #5.

8 // They ask the big questions.

I find it amusing how so many travelers I've met along the way aren't associated with religion. My kinds of peoples.

9 // They people-watch.

Coffee shops are my thayng.

10 // They take a risk.

So what if I didn't have insurance or necessarily had a place to stay or had a planned itinerary throughout my 7 year traveling stint. Some of my most cherished life stories and creative moments arise from spontaneity. Like I said, the happy kind of surprise.

11 // They view all of life as an opportunity for self-expression.

Would you believe me when I say that I pretend giant paintbrushes and pencils paint/draw in the scenery as it blurs past me when driving?

12 // They follow their true passions.


13 // They get out of their own heads.

See #1.

14 // They lose track of time.

You wouldn't believe how much time I've spent in Anthropologie or various coffee shops just taking pictures. Let alone talk photography with fellow photogs. Some of my longest marathon photog convos includes staying up til 4am talking anything and everything about photography with Ray, accidentally racking up work overtime discussing the technicalities of cameras with Rachel, and spending an entire work day sharing unique visions and photog styles with Wade (when I should've been teaching him the wonderful world of Microbiology!).

15 // They surround themselves with beauty.

... and like-minded creatives and dreamers. 

16 // They connect the dots.

Even if it's so far-fetched and unconventional. I gots solutions.

17 // They constantly shake things up.

See #6.

18 // They make time for mindfulness.

8 years of (basic) yoga. And counting. Ommm.


Want more of the creative 'truth'? Check out these other entertaining articles:

3 Signs You Are Too Creative for a 9-to-5 // Humorous approach. A bit cheeky. So true. I like it.

20 Signs You're A Creative Type // So borderline contradictory, only creative types would get it.


besos ... jin.

love weekend recap.

valentine's 2014.

It's not every year Love Day falls on a Friday and extends it's glorious self right into the weekend. As if that weren't enough good juju already, throw in perfect weather, spontaneous plans, c'est la vie attitude - and life couldn't be better! Seriously, I'm more than convinced that something (love? =P) must be in the air this past weekend. So why was it so awesome? Our Love Day version consisted of cheesy traditions of homemade heart-shaped eats (every year, more challenging!), a morning run with the dog around Lady Bird Lake, an insane 1.5 day foodie adventure spear-headed by an old high school friend and his Houston residency buddies (somewhere in there the Hubster and I went rogue for a bit - a nap, a massage, an intimate dindin at Cafe Josie, another nap - all made it's way into the epic trail-blazin' food coma marathon), and a Jin-made Valentine's card sesh for all my best girlfriends before Monday rolled around.

Whew. Best. Weekend. Ever.

Low-key, adventurous, memorable. Can't every day be like this?

besos ... jin.

january blurs.

january blurs.
january blurs.
january blurs.
january blurs.
january blurs.

We're so ingrained in showing the world the perfect side of our lives. The conventional side. The standard societal norms side. The idealistic, pretentious, materialistic side. The kind of fodder that looks good on paper, lacks any meaningful connection, and promotes FB depression. (There are various articles on this! Read it, stop oversharing personal pics meant for close friends and family, and get a life.) Social media has become so one-sided that (judgmental and conservative) people (you know, the ones living in that bubble/safe zone) believe it's the real world. This goes to family, too. They think they got you all figured out. Claiming that they know your likes/dislikes, your personality, the real you. All based on assumptions, unfortunately. The very people who throws advice/suggestions that are meant for their world, thinks they are always right, never admits they are wrong, never acknowledges the other side of the story (your side), tells you how to live your life and follow their rules. Truth is, you really can't judge a book by it's cover. If you really want to know somebody's life story - stop social media stalking and strike up meaningful, candid, raw conversations. It's all about fundamentals.

Real recognizes real. Never, ever, ever assume. For the sake of forward feminist thinking and unconventional lifestylers - things are about to get a tad bit personal up in here. But that's for a later post.

besos ... jin.