UM: You are a surfer and photographer, could you tell me a bit about the two….
CB: yes, i am a surfer, thanks to my super cool older Brother, Ben, who taught me what style was when i was a teenager, and to my parents, who supported my single-minded ambition to be “cool” like my big bro. surfing has literally shaped my life into what it is today, and exceeded my adolescent expectations of how much happiness, joy and ecstatic beauty it could bring into my life. i am so grateful for it.
photography came later, in my mid-twenties and, despite (or perhaps due to) the fact that my mom always had some sort of camera around to document my four siblings’ and my growing-up years, i didn’t really consider it a fun activity. but, once i realized i could make pretty things using light and film, i was hooked. there are infinite amounts of beauty in the world; as a photographer, all you have to do is be there to appreciate it (and make sure your film speed is set correctly).
UM: What is the best advice your grandmother ever gave you?
CB: i can’t say that i’m very close with either of my grandmothers, but i think from just being in their presence, i’ve observed that speaking with straight-forward honesty is always a good policy.
UM: What drives you?
CB: i’m perpetually inspired by beauty, and the idea of bringing more beauty into the world drives me like nothing else.
UM: When you think of strong woman who is the first person that comes to mind?
CB: my mother, Nola Rae.
UM: What does success mean to you? Has the definition changed over the years and if so, why?
CB: to me, success means being able to get by in life (i.e. be able to pay all your bills) by doing something you love. i’ve always been ideological like that, but i am learning that perfection shouldn’t be a goal in achieving success. the older i get, the more i realize that you can’t always ‘make’ things happen; a lot of times, the best things come when you’re just minding your own business and doing what fulfills you, without having any other agenda. i believe that every single person has innate talent(s), and that if we employ them to the best of our ability, success in some form or another will follow.
UM: What does it mean to have courage?
CB: i remember being the goalie on my soccer team when i was 8 years old, and my mom looking me in the eyes and telling me how courageous i was for standing in the face of oncoming opposition and not yielding. personally, i just remember feeling scared seeing a ball being kicked toward my face, but i do think her affirmations instilled in me a positive relationship with fear; the ability to be aware of fear and acknowledge its existence is extremely useful in being able to choose to not succumb to it. personally, i can’t say that i always choose to conquer the various fears i have, but that is my understanding of what courage is.
UM: What are the principles and values that you believe are important to live by?
CB: i feel that most people would say something like ‘kindness’ here, but, being slightly more selfish than most people, i find high importance in the ability to hone into one’s own intuition. is that a value? it might be more of a principle, as it’s served as a guide in many of my own experiences in life. the best decisions i’ve made in my life were not made by logic or strict reasoning, but by following what simply felt ‘right’ for where i was at the time. i also like to place faith in the idea of setting intentions. i couldn’t necessarily explain the science how the universe works in returning what is emitted into it, but i do know that on more than one occasion, a specific thought or ‘wish’ i had in the past, ended up becoming my reality. i believe it’s important to appreciate the power of our thoughts.
UM :Who inspires you and who are your role models?
CB: i’m inspired by all of my siblings and what grown-ups they’ve all become. maybe it’s because i’ve known them since we were all really young (cause that’s how siblings work), but i find myself continually more impressed by their accomplishments, humor, intelligence, and poise. some credit should go to my parents as well for raising us with proper values (and chores). i think collectively, they are probably all my role models, as they all have different strengths. it’s like everyone in my family is a different super hero and each has their own personality ‘super power’. like, my mom is probably the most compassionate person in the world; my dad is hilariously funny (both intentionally and non-); my eldest brother ben is super witty; Tyler, the second-eldest is smart as a whip and can reference basically any pop-culture-related fact ever; and both of my sisters, Hannah and Grace (twins) are some of the hardest-working and most driven people i know, which is super foreign to me, an artistic-creative type who just wanted to ‘do surfing’ as a career. so, these six humans inspire me in their unique ways, to be a better me.
UM: If you could ask god one question what would it be?
CB: if you could only eat one thing for the rest of eternity…
UM: Window seat or aisle?