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Welcome to! bio picture

about the site...

Thanks for visiting my website! I hope you enjoy your stay and are able to find your way around without any problems.

I created this site as a project, but it turned into a different few things. First off, it is a blog; simply a place where I can write some of my scattered, random thoughts, and occasionally rant a little bit, about how the man is keeping you (and me) down.

Secondly, it has become a place where I have posted some photography, so feel free to check some of that out as well. And lastly, This site will be used as part of a a few different projects for my masters degree. Feel free to email me if you have any questions, comments, concerns during your stay: (

about me...

A little about me, let’s see...Well, I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, then moved to Los Angeles for college and about halfway through that I moved out to Boston. After falling in love with New England (go Pats/Sox!), I made my way back to SoCal and got two degrees from Azusa Pacific University in Los Angeles, CA (a BA in English-Writing & an MS in College Counseling and Student Development). Then I moved up to Oregon and woked as a Hall Director at the University of Portland in Oregon. From there, I moved down to Mt. Shasta, California. Man, I love this place. Mountains, sun, snow, and family. What more could a man ask for?

Besides all that, I love writing, backpacking, photography, homebrewing, music (recording, composing and listening), playing/watching sports, and exploring new lands.

Merry Christmas 2010 In Pictures

It’s been an eventful year, these past 12 months. A new camera, a new degree, a new job, a new town, a bunch of great, new friends, a new hobby, and a brand new, beautiful, loving girlfriend. It’s been a great year, to say the least.

So, I figured whats a better way to recap everything, than to run through it all through the method of photography? Well, I couldn’t think of anything either… So, here ya go, one photo for each month…

January – Well, I started the year out (right) in Boston, Massachusetts. What a glorious way to start a new year. Man, I love that town. Hung out with the Tiller clan for a bit and then finally got back to SoCal. [Who’s not leaving SoCal anytime soon? This guy.]This shot was taken from the Griffith Observatory in LA. I moved to Echo Park in August ’09 and it will always be a place I feel at home in. Growing up, my big brother lived in LA, so I’d venture down there every few months to visit him. He ended up living near Echo Park durin ghis college days, and years later, I ended up living less than a mile from where he lived. Crazy how that worked out. I love that part of LA. Six years in SoCal, and I’m sure I’ll be back eventually…

February – Still in LA, Tyler Weaver and I used to go on “photo dates” (yes, we’re nerds) around Pasadena with our new D90s. This was one of the first days I went out and still one of my favorite shots. Weird that it only took me about 200-300 shots to get to this one, but 15,000-20,000 shots later, I haven’t found many more I like as much as this one…

[note: if this place looks familiar, it’s probably b/c it’s used as the exterior of the city hall of the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana in the show Parks & Recreation]

March - I took a trip to Chicago in mid-March to go to a national conference for student affairs practitioners (student life people). It was there that I met and was interviewed by people from the University of Portland for the first time. Yeah. I’d say that was a good decision. Besides the conference, I had an amazing time on this trip hanging out with a few people from my graduate school cohort. Definitely some fond memories of walking around downtown Chicago, smoking Cuban cigars with Dwayne, Alex, Jana, Charity and Andrew. Miss those great people. Oh yeah, I also went to the Bahamas around this time of the year. Unfortunately, I couldn’t put 2 photos from each month in this blog (my own rules), but if you want to see some shots from that trip just go here. Plus, my boy Tyler left for Haiti just kinda outta the blue. He’s like that. Just leaving the country on a whim to go put his services to use helping those in need. Hate that guy. Oh yeah, then he found the love of his life down there too…sheesh. Not that I felt left out or anything (we’ll get to that part later).

Dang…March was crazy.

April – This month wasn’t much less crazy actually. Let’s see…I finished my last course for my masters program, the Duke Blue Devils beat the Butler Bulldogs to win the men’s NCAA basketball national championship, I went to Tijuana for a field trip, one of my best friends Sean Thompson got engaged, I finished my first photographic journey, and the San Francisco Giants were not only leading their division, but had the best record in Major League Baseball after the first month of the season. It was a good month. Oh yeah, there was a rainbow too…

May -May was an adventure too actually. I ended my internship with LA-Term. Then I had my capstone, and my mother came out to see me present it. Then I graduated and the next day I flew out to Portland for my on-campus interview at UP. That was intense…but then like 3 days later, they offered me the job! That was neat as well. Then Jason and Meaghan came out and we took a trip up to Marin and see some old friends too. Oh yeah, and this gorgeous cherry blossom tree bloomed right in front of our apartment for about a week and a half around this time of the year too. Lucky us…

June – June was the month of photo shoots. I had my first three ever take place this month. The first one was of my friend’s band, Watoca. Went well. My second and third? In North Carolina of my bro and his fiance at the UNC and Duke campuses. This is one of my favorite shots…

July - This was a month of changes. After a quick trip to the Bay (see picture below), I moved all my crap up to North Portland and well…settle in to the University of Portland lifestyle. It was weird at first, but after two months of training and getting to know my students more, I definitely loved it more every day.

August -Besides more hall director training, I did finish my second photographic journey. That was nice. other than that? A little RA training and some orientation and hall opening business in Villa Maria…

September – This month was glorious. While it was one of the busiest months of the year while I was getting used to my new job and all the new students, it was also the month where I started dating this lovely lady…

October – This was a busy month too, but full of very fun, positive things the whole time. First of all, my mom visited and we had a lovely time hanging out around Portland. Then I went out to Kentucky to visit my bro and his fiancee (and my mom as well). And then I started homebrewing my own beer (see below). It was a very productive month…as well as I made that whole “dating” thing official with Hannah Jane Reed.

Also the Giants were doing pretty well in the playoffs throughout this month and well, they WON THE FREAKIN’ WORLD SERIES, and as noted in January, I love this team and had little idea they would be this great. Wow. What a year.

November - This month through Christmas always goes by superfast. First it’s Thanksgiving, then 2-3 weeks, then Christmas break. So, for Thanksgiving, I continued my 3-year tradition of venturing to Novato, California and hanging out with the Wood family and Jorge. It was a great, relaxing time in which we even held a little photoshoot for the Wood family Christmas card. Turned out well, but I think I like this pic even more…

December - This month was pretty stinkin’ great too. (It’s been a pretty great year, now that I really look at it.) And besides a few quick weeks of work and school, I was able to travel with Hannah down to Mt. Shasta to hang out with her family for a bit. Then I’m where I am now in Illinois with my mom and family for Christmas. Then it’s off to North Carolina and finally Boston before going back to Portland. Finally, for the cutest photo ever taken, check this out…

It’s been an overwhelmingly great year. Like a said before; a new town, a new job, a new girl, a new camera, a new hobby and some great new friends to go along with all the great ones I’ve had for years. God has blessed me so underservingly so, but I thank Him (not enough) each day for His gifts and encouragement throughout everything I do.

So, I’m already having a wonderful Christmas, and I hope your Christmas is going just as swell as mine. God bless and Merry Christmas.


Related Posts:

by Ben Helms


Hannah Jane Reed - Fantastic re-cap of the year. I love the pictures... especially the one of the BAMF beer. So good!Saturday, December 25, 2010 - 12:14 pm

CoRri - Oh my sweet heavens, that is the cutest baby I have ever seen. And you know I'm not a baby person.Saturday, December 25, 2010 - 12:16 pm

Ben Helms - Hey thanks! And yes, CoR, that does mean a lot. The kid is Hannah's nephew and he's the cutest baby ever. He's always smiling and chewing on things. He was even laughing when the priest poured water on his head during his baptism. Who does that!?Saturday, December 25, 2010 - 12:29 pm

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