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Post image for Photographer Irene Searles captures the multi-facets of the Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco

Pride_feathery_vertThe mass shootings at a gay nightclub in Orlando prompted InMenlo contributing photographer Irene Searles to head to San Francisco last Sunday to attend what would be her first Gay Pride Parade, although it was not without some trepidation.

“I admit, I did ask myself, ‘Should I really be doing this? Could something happen?'” she said. “But I was determined not to let the bad guys win, not to live in fear.”

Irene took the train up from Menlo Park with photographer friend and mentor, Neal Menschel. “When we arrived, we noticed immediately how peaceful and controlled everything was. There was so much happiness and all kinds of people — straight and gay, couples and families.”

Pride_redattitude_vertWhile barriers lined the parade route, Irene and Neal were fortunate to get on the parade side, so they walked along as photojournalists with the marchers. “I’d taken my two Fuji mirrorless cameras, which I’m not as familiar with as I am my Nikons, and ended up shooting about 800 images,” Irene said. “Event photography is tricky. You don’t get to isolate people. It’s a constant balance of making the photographic composition interesting as well as telling the story in time and place. There are a lot of distractions!”

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Once home, Irene selected about 100 photos that she liked in particular and realized that they could be grouped by a number of themes, including crowds, politics, signage, couples holding hands, Orlando, corporate marchers, and families, plus one more — fashion, which together we selected to feature on InMenlo. We further refined the selection by focusing on red, one of the colors of the gay rainbow.

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Photos by Irene Searles

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Heart-shaped photo delights from photographer Irene Searles for Valentines Day

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On a walk along the Alpine path towards the Dish in February, 2014, InMenlo contributing photographer Irene Searles took a variety of heart-themed photos for a Lightroom class she was taking at Foothill College. One — Lights Heart (above) — was taken on a night field trip for the same class. Not only do we think Irene’s photos are […]

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Photographer Irene Searles goes on a field trip to Yosemite with her landscape photography classmates

Thumbnail image for Photographer Irene Searles goes on a field trip to Yosemite with her landscape photography classmates

We at InMenlo have been fortunate to have Menlo Park resident Irene Searles as a contributing photographer for the past three years. When we first met she’d just taken a portrait class through Stanford Continuing Education with Neal Menschel and wanted to flex her newly-learned skills. She returned to Stanford this Spring where she took a landscape photography […]

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Photographer Irene Searles casts her lens on the people and landscapes of Burma

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Some things are worth waiting for. This is very much true for viewing InMenlo photographer’s Irene Searles’ photos of Burma, which she took on a February 2013 photo workshop trip led by Mark Tuschman. Upon return, she did a cursory glance of the 8,000 images that she captured but didn’t fully circle back on her body […]

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Freewheel Brewery photo exhibit showcases work of photographer Irene Searles

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Financial executive to pastry chef to community volunteer may not be the usual path to photography but it’s the one that Menlo Park resident Irene Searles has taken. It began with two classes at Stanford and then some one-on-one mentoring with photographer Neal Menschel. It’s paid off in an exhibit at the new Freewheel Brewery, […]

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Photographer Irene Searles aims her lens at carnival workers as they move on to next stop

Thumbnail image for Photographer Irene Searles aims her lens at carnival workers as they move on to next stop

Last Saturday I enjoyed walking around the Nativity School Carnival photographing the rides, games and happy faces of the kids. At each area, I was struck by the kindness of the carnival workers and thought I would return on Sunday to talk with them about their jobs and a life so different than we know […]

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Palo Alto Photography Forum hosts photojournalist Ed Kashi in its initial lecture

Thumbnail image for Palo Alto Photography Forum hosts photojournalist Ed Kashi in its initial lecture

InMenlo contributing photographer Irene Searles recently got involved with the Palo Alto Photography Forum Lecture Series, started by Frederica Armstrong. The goal of the lecture series is to showcase prominent photojournalists, whose work, according to the organization’s website, “brings understanding to critical stories and promotes conversations and engagement on global and local issues.” “Being passionate about photography and […]

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Phillip Nicholas expands his photographic focus to pets

Thumbnail image for Phillip Nicholas expands his photographic focus to pets

We first profiled photographer Phillip Nicholas when he’d just landed in Menlo Park after living outside of Yosemite. While there he’d honed his landscape photography skills. He was teaching — another passion — at the Aperture Academy, which he continues to do. But some days he has open hours. Inspired by his next-door neighbor, a dog […]

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Photojournalist David Burnett’s exhibit at Cafe Borrone spans four plus decades

Thumbnail image for Photojournalist David Burnett’s exhibit at Cafe Borrone spans four plus decades

Thanks to a local tie, Menlo Park is in for a treat when Cafe Borrone hosts an exhibit of photojournalist David Burnett’s work, on now through the third week of April. We had an opportunity to sit down and talk with the award-winning photographer at his sister Lisa’s house in Menlo. “Lisa kept telling me that […]

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Spotted: InMenlo crew at Pier 24 Photography

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Some of the InMenlo crew, including photographer and co-founder Scott Loftesness, contributing photographer Irene Searles and moi, took a field trip yesterday to San Francisco. First stop was Pier 24, which now houses photographic exhibits in a beautiful space. The works of British photographer Paul Graham were on display; read the Chronicle review here. Photo by Steve […]

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Photographer John Todd is comfortable on the sports field – and the outdoors

Thumbnail image for Photographer John Todd is comfortable on the sports field – and the outdoors

John Todd (pictured, right) is a photographer who refuses to get pigeon- holed, being passionate about both landscape and sports photography. An exhibit of his work, currently on view at Freewheel Brewing Company in Marsh Manor, is testament to that fact. All available for purchase, they are, says John, “some of my favorite images from over the years. […]

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