Crater Lake National Park

We finally got our first WiFi access! About 30 minutes south of Crater Lake National Park, we stayed at a small RV campground to juice up our batteries, wash some clothes, and get some work done. 


The next morning, we headed northwest to Crater Lake National Park and to subsequently lose our freaking minds. A little backstory: at first, we planned to skip Crater Lake completely as it is located more south than we initially wanted to travel on this road trip. Well, the night before we decided, what the heck, we’ll go to Crater Lake and grab a couple photos while passing through to the Umpqua River Gorge. Ha!  What we have certainly learned this past week is that all of those popular, iconic places you see photographs of all the time are that way for a very good reason. What an insane natural formation Crater Lake is and regardless of how many pictures you see of it, it is just not the same as witnessing it in person. Needless to say, we spent many more than a couple hours there. Instead, we made an entire day and evening of it.

I read in a pamphlet that Crater Lake has no rivers running in or out of it. Because of this, the deepest lake in the United States - at 1,949 ft deep - is perfectly clear, reflecting an intensely vibrant, perfect hue of blue light. The entire landscape demands attention. The red and brown volcanic rock cliffs, white sand beaches, turquoise blue shallows, and the iconic Wizard Island form a spectacle like no other. 

The adventure started with us making our way through the valley, passing through expansive farmland up into the woodlands overlooking the gorge until ascending to 5000ft and entering the park. We eventually reached the bluff of the massive 6 mile wide crater. Once our eyes peaked over the cliffs, we became frantic, scurrying to grab our things while finding the closest parking spot. We jumped out of the car, grabbed every ounce of camera gear and sprinted to the edge. We were floored in awe by the beauty of this place.

Kaite and I have never been to the west coast so we have never quite understood the scale of these Pacific Northwest landscapes until now. It’s great to have little to no expectations and to then be dumbfounded by the natural wonders of the world. It is just yet another unfathomable feeling nature can offer.

After running around, scouting compositions, working together to find angles, removing foreground distractions, and taking portraits of each other, we followed the perimeter road around the lake to find a better composition of Wizard Island, the focal point of the entire crater. 

At this new location, we made a new travel buddy and fellow photographer named Gary. We enjoyed conversation while watching the birds and chipmunks gain attention from other travelers with food. In time, we all moved on to the best angle of Crater Lake to take time lapses, photos, and explore every nook in the northeast quadrant. 

That night we disperse camped near Gary just outside the park where we shared stories and photos and talked about life and future travel plans. The next morning we parted our ways, him heading toward Yosemite and us to the Umpqua River Gorge and Toketee Falls!

To stay up to date, follow along on Instagram and Like our Facebook Page! There is more to come! After Toketee Falls we’re on to the Oregon Coast!

Toketee Falls Umpqua River Gorge
Proxy Falls & Dispersed Camping
 Austin & Kaite at Lower Proxy Falls

Austin & Kaite at Lower Proxy Falls

After a two night stay at Silver Falls State Park, it was time to move on to more waterfalls. We headed southeast to Proxy Falls, just south of the very popular Sahalie & Koosah Falls. The drive in through winding, canopied mountain roads, sharp curves, and moss forest poked our excitement. Just getting out of the truck, we realized we didn’t have change for a $20 bill and the day use fee was $5 for the trailhead (to keep up with maintenance and the bathroom facility). Luckily, two dads and their sons pulled in at that exact time and they gave us $5 to cover the fee and we happened to be able to give them proper directions to the place they were looking for in return. It’s a neat thing when coincidence throws you a bone.


Hiking the Proxy Falls Trail to Lower Proxy Falls

 Proxy Falls Trail in Autumn

Proxy Falls Trail in Autumn

The hike starts out as a dirt path sloping through trees, brush, and fern. As we continue, the space opens to lava rock, ash & dust. Sparse fire red trees sit nestled among giant charcoal boulders. Looking back, mountain tops, trees, and rock fold over each other, creating converging lines and beautiful shadowed layers. A few more turns on our short trot, and we are back into the woods. This time we are greeted by the distant roar of Proxy Falls. After getting a few photos, we descend down into the riverbed and climb our way up to the mouth of the falls. The thundering water pounds every rock in the area, spilling, splashing, and gushing over each smoothed crevice.

 Upper Ridge View of Proxy Falls

Upper Ridge View of Proxy Falls

Kaite and I separate and continue to do our thing. Me, running around, leaping over stones, crossing streams, scrambling up to the base completely overtaken by the energy of the fierce flow. In the meantime, Kaite is slipping across soggy logs, tip toeing her way to a nice composition and settling only after countless small fidgets... 2 degrees to the left, tripod up 1 inch, left leg needs to extend a little to level the head… Almost got it. No wait, that stick in the foreground is jutting into the frame. Slight zoom… Click.

We eventually come together, laugh, play, and embrace as we sit and watch the beautiful power of water and nature. We try our hardest to inhale all of the sensory stimuli that we can. Once fully ingested, we carefully craft them into feelings and memories to take back home with us. These will be our souvenirs.

 Austin at Lower Proxy Falls

Austin at Lower Proxy Falls

Wonderland Expeditions at Mckenzie Pass

That night, we disperse camped for the first time.  What an ominous experience to park and sleep in the woods of wild public land! It may have just been that particular site tucked underneath the mountains, in a small open space surrounded by thick brush and tree or the fact that it was our first experience surrendering our vulnerability to both man and nature simultaneously. Either way, we now enjoy a quality dispersed camping site. We’ll tell you more about the time we camped right on a short bluff overlooking the beach and an iconic lighthouse later!

Austin at the Dee Wright Overlook

On our way out, we followed the Oregon Scenic byway out to Mckenzie Pass and the Dee Wright Observatory. Wow! The views of broken top and Three Sisters Mountains were unreal. Interestingly enough, we even found cell phone reception for the first time in multiple days in the middle of the path to the top of the lookout tower!


The hikes, the drives, the people and the adventures out here Oregon are just incredible. Our next stop is Crater Lake National Park! We spent a day taking pictures, scurrying across cliff sides, enjoying the views, and talking with a new travel buddy!


Follow us on Instagram & Like our Facebook Page to keep up to date! We have so much more on the way!



Camping & Hiking Guide to Silver Falls State Park

Off to Portland and our 3 week Pacific Northwest Roadtrip

After scramble packing, hardly any sleep, waking up at 4:30 AM, riding 2.5 hours to the airport, and hopping on a couple of planes, we finally landed in Portland, Oregon. Shortly after, we Uber’d over to Wonderland Expeditions and met with Dore to pick up our beautiful beast of a rig, Hank. Luckily, we booked an AirBnB that night in a cozy efficiency to rest up before a long, adventurous 3 weeks.


Folland Photography at Upper North Falls

First stop: Silver Falls State Park! 

With 10 beautiful waterfalls - many of them with walk-behind views - and 8.7 miles of easy to moderate hiking trails through dense moss forests, caves, and wandering rock trails, this is a absolutely must see of an Oregon State Park! For this excursion, we stayed at the Silver Falls State Park campground for 2 nights.  

Silver Falls State Park Campgrounds

You can reserve a campsite online a day in advance or call-ahead to see how many first-come-first-serve spots are available to get an idea of where you are staying. This was our first stop on our 3 week PNW road trip and we hit it at just the right time. Going during the work week and in the transition to slow season in late September just a few weeks before the rainy season provided optimal conditions for our waterfall adventures.

The campground has plenty of RV, & tent sites and hosts some cool cabins as well. All of the facilities that we used and came across during our stay were state of the art. Hot showers with large, private rooms were a perfect treat after 16,601 steps and 38 climbed floors (Apple Health App). The lot sizes are plenty spacious as well. We opted to stay in a tent site because it was our first stop and the solar charger on our rig had plenty of juice. Right across from our site, there was a neat wooden bridge with a river and some fallen logs which made for a nice walk & afternoon hangout spot too!

The campground offers most of the essential amenities minus a fill-up drinking water station for your water tanks. A little tip is that we actually stopped at the South Falls Day Area and used the water spigot to fill our 2.5gallon jugs before getting back on the road to our next adventure.

Silver Falls State Park Hiking

The entire loop with a couple extra out and backs tops around 8.7 miles. However, to get the best views possible while hiking with 40 lbs as least a possible, we broke it down into 3 sections. So, here is everything you need to know about Hiking Silver Falls State Park the right way. 

North Falls at Silver Falls State Park

Arrive early and park at the North Falls Parking Lot (about 30 spaces available)

This lot fills up quick and was full before 10:30AM. Camping at the park the night before gives you a huge advantage over other travelers. The North Falls hike is a short 8-12 minute out-and-back that leads you into a massive walk-behind fall cave with gorgeous views of the ravine. You don’t want to miss this waterfall if you’re considering shedding a couple of miles.

While you’re taking advantage of the early bird special parking spot, make sure to hike the Upper North Falls trail too! Another short, 10 to 15 minute (one way) out-and-back was by far our favorite waterfall of the day! The park ranger told us that most of the time this waterfall most often gets overlooked because of the location and the out-and-back style of it, but don’t let this happen to you! Otherwise, you will miss out on these views:

Don’t Take The Bait!

As you have probably noticed, the park tends to lead you to South Falls where there are over 900 parking spots and plenty of recreational facilities. What we noticed is that many people ambitiously start at the South Fall entrance and hope to conquer all 8.6 miles, yet cut their hike short by turning at Winter Falls, effectively shaving half the miles and missing out on arguably the two best waterfalls of the day. This is totally okay so long as you plan to drive to North Falls  and complete those hikes. 

If you really want the best views per mile hiked, the best way is to hike North Falls & Upper North falls, then drive down to Winter Falls (10 parking spots so get there early or be patient) and hike to Middle North falls and back where you will see 5 waterfalls along the way. Finally, stop at the South Falls entrance on your way out and check out the massive South Falls. This route cuts down a considerable amount of empty milage while also allowing you to see every fall except Lower South Falls - which is quite pretty but you can decide if it’s worth the extra milage yourself:

Lower South Falls at Silver Falls State Park

Bonus Tips

Dog owners, beware! Pets are only allowed on the Perimeter Trail which does not gain you access to any waterfall views. Sadly, we came across so many adorable pups and their disappointed owners who did not know this beforehand. For what it is worth, the perimeter trail alone was a beauty with multiple lookout points while strolling among the huge, moss-covered pines which really make it enjoyable.

The Roundup

All-in-all, we couldn’t have picked a more ideal first stop. We would rate the hikes, waterfalls, and campgrounds all 5-stars. If I had grown up near this area, I surely would’ve begged my parents to make this a yearly visit at the least. 

Kaite at Lower Proxy Falls

Our next stop: Mckenzie River, Proxy Falls, and Mckenzie Pass!

Our new favorite! Literally, the most insane, diverse, spectacular views our eyes, lenses, and giddy, rock hopping spirits have ever seen! This was also our first encounter with ‘disperse camping’ and all of the weirdness that comes along with not knowing the area and sleeping out in the wilderness. Can’t wait to show you! We’ll get that out once we have service again! 

Follow us on Instagram and Like our Facebook Page to stay up to date! Cheers to more adventures!


Austin & Kaite Follos & Landry
We're Headed to the PNW!

WOW! This year has been crazy!

We have been pulled in so many directions and have so much going on that we have neglected to write for nearly 10 months! Yikes. Well, it is a fresh start moving forward and we are stoked on our future plans! From now on, we will be writing, adventuring, inspiring, creating and sharing much more! Follow along and you will get to see inside looks from all of our adventures ranging from travel, landscapes, behind the scenes portrait sessions, and everything else! We will do our best to inspire, teach, and entertain you as the doofy, photography-crazed couple that we are.

Florida Keys Gradient Sails


So, what's new?

Well in just 7 days... we are flying to Portland, Oregon! From there? We're buying a tiny home and never coming back! Kidding… Maybe ;) This is both Kaite & I’s first trip to the Pacific Northwest and we are as giddy as ever. So what’s on the list? Well, we may be hiking through the dense fern forests of Gifford Pinchot, meandering through mountaintop meadows on Mount Rainier, swimming in the turquoise pools of the McKenzie River, and star gazing among the craggy sea stacks of multiple West Coast beaches! But we have 3 whole weeks!

As dreamy and idyllic as the location seems, what’s important is that we will be spending time and doing the things we love together - creating and exploring. And truthfully, if we get out there and the weather turns to crap, we will be merry & have plenty of fun regardless. Thus I’m sure we will have plenty of stories to share.

For this trip, we have partnered with some amazing people and awesome companies! We are working with Wonderland Expeditions, a 4 x 4 camper truck rental company based out of Portland. So, this guy will be our home for 21 days:

Hank

How sweet is that?! Ryan and Dore of Wonderland Expeditions are incredibly awesome people and we can’t wait to meet them. They have already been a huge help in answering all of our questions and preparing our travel plans. They have no idea how much they have inspired us by simply partnering with us for this trip. We are beyond stoked to create some unique and inspiring content for them in return!

We are also very excited to be able to say - for the first time ever - we have been sponsored by Xero Shoes, Forsake, and Boulder Denim! On this 21 day escapade we will be showcasing and testing some sweet outdoor gear which we will tell you more about later!

So what can you expect from us the next 3 weeks? Lots of stories & pictures like the ones below! We have made some exciting new investments too, so more creativity to come!

If you haven’t already, follow us on Instagram and Facebook where we will be posting often! Like, share, and comment! Heck, send us an email, tell us about a pristine hidden gem out west that we can’t miss. Get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!

Folland Adventures: "Sailing with Two Monkeys Travel"

Folland Adventures

"Sailing with Two Monkeys Travel"


Welcome to our first Folland Adventures Blogpost! Kaite and I have decided to offer a peak at what it's like to be a part of the adventure photography lifestyle!


It all started with Hurricane Irma effectively taking out our home, jobs, my car... it  even managed to take out my camera for a short time. Here's a short video of what Kaite and I came home to.

Now, I'll rewind a bit and fill you in. In May of 2017, Kaite and I formed a strategic partnership and launched Folland Photography LLC. The name comes from combining our last names together (Follos & Landry) to produce 'Folland.' Upon start-up, we signed a contract with Hawks Cay Resort out of Duck Key to begin offering family, engagement, event, and commercial sessions for the resort and its guests. After shooting our first major weekend of events, successfully launching our marketing campaign, and doing all the necessary things to get the ball rolling, a really nice little cyclone out of the Atlantic called in and booked our first and last session under the name of "Irma." If you didn't get it, Hawks Cay Resort is down for maintenance until Summer of 2018, which scraps the usefulness of our services and renders us temporarily unemployed by Hurricane Irma. 

Irma has changed a lot for us but that is the greatest part of any adventure - the unexpected. By holding no expectations and clinging to no certain paths, Irma has allowed us to sort of  'roll with the tides' - pun intended - and make the parallel changes that best reflect our passions and talents as adventure photographers. Although we will still be shooting portraits and offering our services to the community in every way we can, we are looking to invest more toward our goals of getting on the road and shooting landscapes and partnering with businesses to provide them with creative commercial marketing content. So, if you're a brand or business owner and happen to be reading this, keep us on your radar or feel free to give us a shout ;) !


Now, let's tell you about our first official Folland Adventure with Two Monkeys Travel!


On October 30th, we were contacted by Kach Howe of Two Monkeys Travel to shoot some marketing material for them. To start, we had no idea who these people were. So, we went to Google and upon searching them we found that they were this awesome couple who met each other while on the road (like Kaite and I, albeit ours was on a much smaller scale of traveling). Kach and Jon met while backpacking in Asia and have now conquered 85+ countries together and are embarking on a new journey of sailing around the world. Sounds awesome right? They are. What we did not realize is that they had developed a  300,000 member Facebook following and a 40,000 member Instagram following. Once we discovered this, we thought it was a scam and some person was trying to catfish us onto their sailboat to steal our camera equipment to recoup some of the costs of the hurricane. Very fortunately for us however, they turned out to be real! And very real at that as we met them to be a very genuine couple with a deep passion for travel and culture and lots of fun stories and adventures of their own!

So, the first adventure started with learning how to drive a dingy...pretty simple right? Kaite has grew up on the water. She is a native Conch to the Florida Keys so naturally her boating skills would translate well to dingy management - in her mind at least. Well, to my amusement within the first 5 minutes of meeting Jon and climbing aboard his miniature dingy with 25lbs of camera gear, Kaite's avid boat skills ran us straight into one dock then across the canal directly into another boat. This all happened within just a couple feet from our departure! Needless to say, I took over the dingy driving that day.

After we met and got some snap shots of their previously purchased and freshly damaged (thanks again, Irma) sailboat we climbed back aboard to share a meal and get to know each other. Kach Howe is as vibrant and welcoming as her energetic smile. She's Filipina and although she claims to be new to cooking, it is absolutely in her genes. Upon meeting her, she served us with hearty bowls of beef stew, rich with plantains, corn, green beans, and carrots. It was not long before we realized that as a graduate of economics, Kach's great strengths are founded in her knowledge of marketing, networking, and branding. She has educated us with tips to pitching to companies, reaching out to sponsors, and has inspired us with many incredible travel stories and insights. In summation, Kach is a great catch. 

Jon Howe is captain of The Empress and a handy diesel mechanic hobbyist that knows how to use a little bit of humor and a whole lot of elbow grease to get out of a sticky situation - which we'll get to later. Jon is a jack-of-all-trades from the United Kingdom. He's an architecture grad turned world traveler, blog writer, and sailboat fixer-upper. After spending some time getting to know them better it was apparent that these two monkeys balance each other very well. 

So, on November 3rd we invited them to our place and handed them each a bowl (in Jon's case like 5 bowls lol) of pulled chicken tacos and some of Kaite's fresh corn salsa with lime. We then spent the evening sharing more stories and developing a plan to take The Empress out for the first time since Hurricane Irma to test her strength on the open seas. This way Jon could also gain a more experience with this particular vessel before trekking to their next adventure in the Dry Tortugas. 


S/V Empress at Sea

S/V Empress at Sea


After picking up a few more scalawags - Kevin and his K-9 mate, Theo - we blasted out of the harbor into high seas! Kidding, we got off to a slow start, literally, a 1.5 knot start on a beautifully calm, windless afternoon. At one point, about a half hour into our voyage, Jon let out a thunderous viking roar, thrusting his fist in and air, "we have reached 2 knots!" Everyone aboard then assumed to act as if we were feeling the force of 5Gs and wind gusts of Hurricane Irma (too soon?) beating down the sails from both sides. We were pretty much going no where anytime soon. But Kach had our backs. She cooked us Lumpia and Pansit which are essentially Filipino egg rolls and Thai noodles with chicken. That shizz was the bomb. She conjured up some mojitos with fresh mint and fattened us with carrot cake. So, needless to say, we love hanging out with these guys and we enjoyed the smooth sailing. 

Our initial goal - and failed attempt - was to sail out to Sombrero Lighthouse on Sombrero Reef to swim and snorkel. This has been on Kaite and I's bucket list for a long time now. At only 2 knots though, we made it about 2/3 of the way before deciding to turn around. Since the sun was soon to set with the Fall time change and Jon hadn't yet installed the required lights for night sailing, it was time to get back to port.

The adventure wasn't over yet however. Jon and myself hopped in the dingy and took the opportunity to catch some pictures of S/V Empress strutting her sails in the open ocean. All I could think of while I was out there was what an awesome experience it is to be out in the middle of the Atlantic on a calm day in a little 2.5hp inflatable dingy with nothing but a camera in my hand. We circled the The Empress time and time again, Jon calculating smooth passes across the bow of the boat while I did my best to steady through the bumpy wake and line up a good shot. Luckily for us it only takes a fully cranked 2.5hp motor to keep up with a large sailboat in a dying wind.

After getting a few, we continued our sunset sail back to port and were given some lessons as new sailors. Kevin and Jon taught us about tacking: essentially zigzagging into the wind, attacking a tangent via starboard and port maneuvers. Yes, we were also informed which side is starboard and which is portside too. We now know what a jib is and even the most comfortable way to take a nap on an uneven deck. Although Theo seemed to be the master of the last one. 

We continued to capture more images and eventually stoked up some deep conversations while gazing out at the sunset. Kevin, a retired science teacher and full-time liveaboard sailor offered great insights into the beauty of the world and the identity of nature. With the orange reflective shimmers beaming off the choppy, deep blue waters and the dark silhouettes of Herring Gulls flying into the radiant, sinking circle that lay on the horizon, it really was impossible to speak or think of anything else. Naturally we stood and allowed the sun to slip past our conscious thoughts and resonate its warm grasp within us. And as it tucked itself away, it left a faint magenta rim reminding us of the nostalgia of having lived another awesome day. 

Unfortunately, The night sky wasn't quite as warm to us, metaphorically speaking. Upon entering the harbor blind - wielding one measly torch during a new moon - we nearly ran aground 200 meters from the mooring ball. Literally, at one point the meter read 0.1 ft below the keel. Thus meaning we were less than an inch away from another, this time unwelcome, adventure of being beached in the middle of Boot Key Harbor. However, we made it back safely with a little throttle and Jon's nifty skills. After pleading with the pup Theo to hold his pee a little longer, we ate a little more pansit before dingying our way back to shore. 

We had such a great time with Jon, Kach, Kevin, and Theo. And although our adventure may come off as a series of unfortunate attempts - and you will soon see that this is just in our nature - we had a great day on the water with even better company. If anything we left room for more attempts and adventures to come so stay tuned!

Thank you for reading! We hope you enjoyed the article and the images! We would love to print an image for you or go on an adventure with you so please feel free to reach out to us at follandphotography@gmail.com! In an email, mention the blog and get 20% off one of our prints (email us for pricing options)! Also, check out our gallery and share our work! Thanks!

Kach and Jon have some amazing content and stories which can be found at Two Monkeys Travel and Mr. & Mrs. Howe - Sailing and Lifestyle Blog! You'll even catch a few of our pictures bannered on their homepage!

All images are copyright by Folland Photography LLC