Photography Challenge #1: Joe Platko

Photography, Thoughts

Firstly – my apologies for the blog-posting-hiatus. Summer is the busiest month for my work..and any free time is mostly spent trying to catch up on sleep or working out. In saying that – I will try my hardest to post at least once a week for all you great readers from across the globe. I am crossing off a Bucket List item in a couple of weeks…stay tuned to find out which one it is 🙂

I am super excited to announce my first Photography Challenge today! Here is a summary of the Challenge:

1) Find a willing and excited photographer

2) Give the photographer a theme 

3) Have the photographer submit 3 photographs encompassing the theme

4) Showcase their 3 photographs on 

5) Then I will share a photograph of my own encompassing the theme

My first Photographer participant is one of my classmates from Cal State University Monterey Bay – Joe Platko. He is an amazing nature photographer – both on land and under the water. We both have an affinity for marine life 🙂 so we get along very nicely.

The theme I chose for Joe seemed fitting for the time being here in America :


At first Joe had a hard time with this theme..that is until he went on vacation in the beautiful state of Hawaii. Here’s what he said :

Hey, so now that I’m back from my “summer” trip to the big island, I thought I’d just give you three images that wrapped up the trip for me. This will likely be my last big family trip, as my youngest sister is now in college, so our family thought we’d go out with a bang. That is why I decided to give all three images for the Summer assignment, and tried to choose shots that epitomized what the trip was about, aside from the family togetherness. Hope you enjoy the shots, ALOHA!

Credit: Joe Platko

Credit: Joe Platko

The palm trees were taken in the parking lot of the beach for our resort.
Lol so that was cool, shooting something everyone else was just walking by.
And I was only aimed up because if I shot dead ahead you would have seen all the cars.
Credit: Joe Platko

Credit: Joe Platko

The reef scene was taken right off of the harbor, when I was diving with my dad.
Credit: Joe Platko

Credit: Joe Platko

The turtle photograph was taken on the last day I was there, after I was bummed about not getting a single shot of one while diving. And I was snorkeling with it just north of Kona.

Thank you so much Joe for these spectacular photos! I couldn’t think of a better place to take “Summer” photos than Hawaii… I have so many fantastic memories when my family vacationed in Maui. The photo I took for this particular challenge was on one of my favorite excursions : whale watching. Well, other than a couple of sea lions and pelicans…our luck out in the big blue was unsuccessful. No whales or dolphins in sight!

But, it was honestly one of the nicest boat rides I’ve ever been on – the weather was beautiful and warm & the sea was so very calm and BLUE. I also had some great company as well 🙂

The photo I snapped to represent “SUMMER” was of these playful sea lions we pulled up to alongside the boat. After working with sea lions, I have a whole new perspective about these pinnipeds. They are such intelligent and dynamic creatures. Hope you enjoyed my first Photography Challenge! Thanks Joe for being my first photographer 😀

If you would like to participate as a photographer – please comment below.
Credit: Chanel Hason

Credit: Chanel Hason

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Hoping For The Best

Photography, Science, Thoughts


G’Day Mates! We are starting the final 24 hours before Australia’s Best Job in the World Top 3 Finalists for each job are announced (AHHH!). Needless to say, I am filled with a multitude of different emotions. This process has been so amazing thus far, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I will go more into all those emotions and experiences in the next post, so be on the look out for that! I wanted to update all you bloggers out there with my latest video blogs seen below:

When I completed the second phase of the contest last week, I turned in a presentation summing up my Referee (supporters/social media) campaign. I accumulated a large number of support letters during this phase of the contest that I turned into the judges as well. I am so humbled to have received kind letters from law enforcement officers, wildlife trainers, CEO’s/Presidents of large companies, and even important high-profile media individuals. I want to personally THANK each person who submitted a letter in support of my dream job – it meant the WORLD to me 🙂 

Also included in my presentation was the video as seen below. Here, I filmed a heart-to-heart to allow the judges to view me in a more personal light. My life is dedicated to educating others about conservation and environmental sustainability of our planet. I don’t see this position as just a 6-month job, I see it as a stepping stone towards living out my passions in life. 


FACEBOOK – Like / Share / Comment

TWITTER @PSChanel #ChanelWC #BestJobs @Australia – Tweet/RT Why I Australia Should Pick Me!

INSTAGRAM @ChanelWildlifeCaretaker – Like and #ChanelWC


My Visit to the Australian Consulate

Photography, Science, Thoughts


Today, I started off my morning sitting in LA traffic – but that didn’t phase me one bit! I had an appointment at the Los Angeles Australian Consulate in Beverly Hills. There are only 7 Australian Consulates and Trade Commissions in the United States, and luckily I have one right here in Los Angeles! When I walked into their offices, I was surrounded by beautiful Aboriginal Art pieces on the wall which made me feel instantly at home. I studying Aboriginal Art at UQ in Brisbane, so understanding the background and history of these great paintings make them so much more unique.

I had the pleasure of meeting Karen Ann Lanyon, the Australian Consul-General. Karen was eager to hop on Twitter and start following me on my campaign for Best Jobs 🙂 . She was thrilled to hear about my Wildlife Caretaker campaign and wished me the best of luck! She made it clear that I should keep the Consulate in the loop this week if I should make it to the Top 3. 

I also had the honor of interviewing with Deborah Bowman, the Deputy Consul-General. She just moved to Los Angeles 6 weeks ago, so she is ‘fresh off the plane’ from Australia as they say.


Deborah feels like SHE has the Best Job in the World! Not everyone can say that about their profession, so it pleases me that Deborah really enjoys working for the Australian Consulate and is passionate about her job (‘love your job, and you never work a day in your life‘). The Deputy Consul General was very eager to hear more about my journey to win my dream job of being South Australia’s Wildlife Caretaker!

We connected INSTANTANEOUSLY when I mentioned I had previously lived in Brisbane for a year studying at the University of Queensland, Saint Lucia. She used to live and work in Brisbane as well! We chatted about our favorite places to visit in the city: the amazing farmers market they had on Sundays in front of the casino, taking the City Cat up and down the river, and enjoying the botanical gardens.

Her husband is an environmentalist, so she is already quite knowledgable about the Australian ecosystems and native wildlife. Deborah shared with me some great home stories about Australian wild animals which they sort of ‘adopted’ at their home in Canberra. We truly had some great conversations!

I came prepared with a couple hard-hitting questions for Mrs. Bowman to answer – check out our great interview below:

1- How many Australians live in California?

There are about 10,000 Aussies that live in California at the moment. 

2- What is your favorite Australian activity?

Bush-Walking! My husband is an environmentalist so we love going in the outback and exploring nature. 

3- Do you have a desired Australian cuisine?

Well, let me just say that I love cooking. It’s one of my favorite things to entertain and have people over to cook for them. I have tried all of the Australian ‘specialties’ : crocodile, shark, kangaroo, etc… I’d rather host some friends over and my own dishes though 🙂

4- What’s your #1 activity to do in South Australia?

My grandfather used to live in South Australia, and now my cousins live there. I’ve always loved going to the beaches in South Australia, they are beautiful. We also love to bush-walk down there as well. 

5- Favorite Australian native creature?

The Wombat – my grandfather’s house in South Australia was surrounded by stunted gum trees, which made for beautiful silhouettes in the evening time. And once the sun went down, a wombat would come waddling up to the house from on the gum trees to investigate my grandpa’s trash haha. 

6- Best advice to give a soon-to-be Wildlife Caretaker in South Australia?

Be yourself and keep up the great campaign!

Win A FREE Trip To Australia!

Photography, Science, Thoughts





Chanel is already a natural spokesperson for promoting ocean conservation, environmental sustainability, and exploration/travel to everyone she meets. To become a Wildlife Caretaker in South Australia would not only be a dream come true, but it could lead to some AMAZING opportunities to help pursue and utilize her passions in life. She’s made it to the Top 25 Finalists out of over 45,000 entries – the world is Chanel’s ‘South Australian Oyster‘ 🙂 !

Her love for Australia has been evident ever since she learned about the Great Barrier Reef when she was a young aspiring marine biologist. The intrigue only grew when she traveled to Queensland, Australia for a year-long student exchange program in college. The culture, the people, the places, the wildlife, the scenery, the history, the beauty; all these elements sparked her Australian infatuation even more. The photographs she captured during her year abroad are some of her prized possessions (some gaining recognition in photography competitions).

The compensation for this job ($100,000) is not why she’s interested in the position of Wildlife Caretaker – it’s about a journey of a lifetime. It’s about exploring exciting and unique locations/activities in South Australia, and sharing those stories with the world! It’s about assisting with conservation and research efforts spanning from the coastline to the Outback. It’s about walking up to strangers and sparking conversations which result in long-lasting friendships. It’s about preserving Australia’s natural ecosystems and wildlife. Chanel’s life has lead up to this moment for reason; this is her destiny.

Chanel wants YOU to experience South Australia for yourself. The outpour of support on this quest to win her dream job has been HUGE – so Chanel thought the least she could do would be to repay the favor and award one of her lucky followers a chance of a lifetime. Australia is country that should be seen and explored by all!

If Chanel is the last one standing and is announced South Australia’s Wildlife Caretaker, she will randomly select one of you lucky participants, to win 1 ROUND TRIP AIRLINE TICKET to visit her Down Under as Chanel’s Biggest Fan (see contest rules and regulations for complete details)! 

Complete ALL The Steps Below to ENTER:
It’s so EASY! 

1) Follow using your email to register (find and click the “Follow Me” button on the righthand side of the blog)

2) Comment on this blog post answering all the following bullet points:

  • Give your reasoning why Australia should pick Chanel for Wildlife Caretaker (Feel free to Tweet @Australia and tell them your reasoning to pick @PSChanel #BestJobs #ChanelWC too!)
  • Name one activity/location you want to visit in Australia and WHY

  • List your NAME / CITY / STATE / COUNTRY

  • Post your personal/business blog URL (if applicable)

You are still eligible if you were previously a email/follower of Chanel’s blog before 8pm (PST) on May 4, 2013 – remember to just please state so in the comment. GOOD LUCK supporters! Reminder: the giveaway will only occur if Chanel Hason is announced the winner of Australia’s Best Jobs on June 21st, 2013. If awarded Wildlife Caretaker, Chanel will announce a winner on July 1st, 2013. So be sure to LIKE/SHARE her Facebook Page and Follow/Tweet her @PSChanel to increase her chances of winning!  To see the full list of rules & regulations for the giveaway, click here or find the tab at the top of the blog.

The Final Puzzle Piece

Photography, Science, Thoughts

Yesterday, I had a phone interview with the South Australia Tourism representative regarding being a Finalist in the Best Job in the World contest. We had an amazing conversation; it actually felt more like a chat with a close friend than an interview for my dream job – in a good way!

After our conversation, I was filled with excitement! The position of Wildlife Caretaker, REALLY IS MADE FOR ME. I am everything passionate about animals/environment, ecotourism, traveling, blogging, photography, video editing, being in front of the camera, conducting research, talking with strangers, and exploring new places. All of the qualifications and characteristics they are looking for, I possess. I feel like the final piece of a 1,000 piece-puzzle (that makes up a map of South Australia of course), ready to placed in its unique spot to complete the masterpiece.

This week really FLEW by! Let me tell you, throwing a huge social media blitz for a job opportunity of a lifetime is a 24/7 job. Time is of the essence, and I am utilizing every second of the day.

Throughout this campaign, I have had the pleasure of connecting with some amazing people. Even if the cards aren’t in my favor for this competition (but I hope I’m dealt a FULL HOUSE), I will be pleased to leave with a new group friends from around the globe. I am convinced I am on this journey of a lifetime for a reason (or two, or three). Surrounding yourself with inspiring, supportive, and positive people will only lead to great things 🙂

I HAVE A THEME SONG! A well-known band based out of Orange County, the Saints in Rehab, got creative and wrote a quick little theme song to support my dream job of becoming a Wildlife Caretaker. I met these guys one year ago when I went on a cruise to Mexico for my birthday, and we’ve remained good ever since friends. It’s amazing to look back and count the number of blossoming friendships I’ve created by just starting a conversation with a stranger on my travels! Needless to say, they are a great group of talented guys! THANKS SO MUCH 😀 Hope you can come visit me Down Under and play a ‘real’ didgeridoo.

We’ve accumulated over 1200 likes on my Contest Facebook Page – if you haven’t liked it yet and want to support me – please click the link above/below and like/share with your friends! It only takes 2 seconds I swear, but your actions could make a 20 year dream become a reality.


FACEBOOK – Like / Share / Comment

TWITTER @PSChanel #ChanelWC #BestJobs @Australia – Tweet/RT Why I Australia Should Pick Me!

INSTAGRAM @ChanelWildlifeCaretaker – Like and #ChanelWC


Life Could Be A Dream, Sweetheart

Photography, Science, Thoughts

This contest has opened my eyes so much.

The amount of love & support from not only my family and good friends, but from acquaintances, and even people I don’t even know is OVERWHELMINGLY TREMENDOUS (for all the right reasons). The outpour of acknowledgments of my passion/life dedication for wildlife and environmental education and conservation, only makes my heart fill with joy. To be completely honest, I have found myself bursting into tears reading some of the supporting comments from my peers across all my social media platforms. I wish I could hug each and every person right now who has shared/liked my FB page, even though I wish there was something more I could give them as well.

Volunteering at my local YMCA Healthy Kids Day as CocoRoo!

Volunteering at my local YMCA Healthy Kids Day as CocoRoo!

My Contest Facebook Page is reaching 900 likes in just 4 short days, and over half the likes are from people I’m not even friends with on Facebook (which is AWESOME – I’m going viral)! That means, people are genuinely supporting a campaign just to help a person win their dream job. I’m a strong believer that there’s more right than wrong in the world 😀

If you want to help out - one way is to print this image and take pictures of it with other friends (human or animal :) ) who support Chanel's campaign and post it on the FB Contest Page or on here!

If you want to help out – one way is to print this image and take pictures of it with other friends (human or animal 🙂 ) who support Chanel’s campaign and post it on the FB Contest Page or on here!

I have a lot of fun adventures, trips, and visits planned at some pretty unbelievable locations coming up this week that you should all be excited about! I’m honestly putting 20000% + more into this social media push to win my Dream Job, because you can’t expect anything just to fall into your lap. Hard work, passion, determination, respect, creativity, open-mindedness, and a positive attitude are all some of the key qualities to portray in the pursuit of your dreams. 

Have you ever gotten the feeling that opportunities reveal themselves to you for a reason? The Australia Tourism Board saw something in my submission video that made it stand out compared to the other 45,000 applicants. There’s not doubt that my passion for conservation awareness of our precious wildlife and environment is what drives me each and everyday to make the world a better place. I could show you a slide show of my entire life, and the majority of the photos will show me volunteering with animals, going to wildlife camps, pursuing my passion of Marine Biology, and traveling the world.

I will admit, I’ve got a very competitive side, and I won’t give up even when the going gets rough. After 4 days of launching this campaign, I’m not going to lie, I  am exhausted mentally and physically. It’s draining when you have 85 million ideas and tasks to accomplish all at once in short 24 hour day. But, that doesn’t mean it is holding me back. I woke myself up at 6:15am this morning rearing to start this incredible week!

As I’ve said before, I’m learning a lot in this process and I’m so happy to be in this position. Thank you Tourism Australia for allowing me to compete for my Dream Job in a country I hold so close to my heart.

I started a daily video blog on my journey through this process. Take a peek at what I’ve got so far:


FACEBOOK – Like / Share / Comment

TWITTER @PSChanel #ChanelWC #BestJobs @Australia – Tweet/RT Why I Australia Should Pick Me!

INSTAGRAM @ChanelWildlifeCaretaker – Like and #ChanelWC


Australia’s Best Job In The World Contest



Best Job in the World Contest?!

Even before this fantastic announcement, there has been this ‘itch’, so to speak, of  somehow making my way back to that beautiful country of the ‘land down under.’ I lived in Brisbane, Australia for a year in 2009 when I studied Marine Science at the University of Queensland, Saint Lucia. It was such a growing experience, in more ways that I could ever begin to describe. Let me share a couple ‘firsts’ that happened while abroad:

  • FIRST TIME GETTING MY PURSE STOLEN: Crime happens everywhere – in every country – at any moment. My moment – in a movie theater with people from my apartment complex during a social group outing. A thievery couple stole my purse from under my seat in a movie theater..luckily I had my apartment key in my pocket. They spent $500+ in 15 minutes at 4 different 7-11 stores..who knows maybe they really loved candy bars? But, I have to say the Australia Police Department really were very helpful throughout the whole situation – cheers mates!
  • FIRST TIME GOING TO AN E.R. + FIRST TIME GETTING STITCHES: Silly me I sliced my finger open with a pocket knife while trying to open the package my new vegetable knife was in (ironic much). Luckily I had a friend tag along with me for moral support (and documentation) of my time in the E.R. and getting stitches. The Aussies doctors were amazing and hilarious, but I still don’t have all the feeling in my left index finger :/
  • FIRST TIME HOLDING A KOALA / PETTING A KANGAROO: When in Rome (or in this case Australia), am I right? But to be honest, I was scared that the koala was going to pee/poop on my while I was holding it for the pictures – no joke!
  • FIRST TIME LIVING BY MYSELFI had this nice corner studio apartment unit on the 15th floor of a student housing complex in the middle of downtown Brisbane. I wouldn’t change it for the world – met some of the most amazing people/life long friends in UniLodge.
  • FIRST TIME I EMBRACED BEING A PHOTOGRAPHER: Before I moved to Australia, my mom treated me to a shiny brand new Canon camera. During my time in one of those most beautiful countries in the world, I got to experiment/enhance/and fall in love with my digital and film photography skills (how lucky was I?!).

Now back to the Best Jobs in the World contest – so basically Tourism Australia created 6 amazing jobs across Australia that compensate you $100,000 for 6 months of ‘work.’ I applied to 3 of these fantastic jobs opportunities – Wildlife Caretaker, Park Ranger, and Lifestyle Photographer! To apply, you had to submit a 30 second video of why you are the best person for the job. I had a lot of fun filming these videos – and special shout out to my film/editing partner Dominic Parisi for helping me with my videos- you rock! On April 25th they will announce the short list of the TOP 25 applicants for each position – keep your fingers crossed!!!

I have this feeling that something BIG is going to happen to me this year – not sure what it is going to be – but I can’t help but imagine this opportunity might be it. I had multiple people send me the link to sign up for these contest – which only put a big smile on my face that they thought this contest was ‘for me’ 🙂 This is the only time in my life where I can literally pack up – move across the globe – live spontaneously – and have the best 25th year of life possible! If I won, I would definitely put the money towards going back to school and getting my Masters Degree in Conservation Biology/Marine Science/Education. Hope you enjoy my final products – tell me which video you like BEST! :




Facebook : Photography + Science = Chanel
Twitter : PSChanel
Pinterest : PhotoScience

Pick Your Top 5 Photos – 2nd Photo Contest..Here I Come!

Photography, Science, Thoughts

So for my first photo contest ever, one of my photos got chosen as a “Judge’s Favorite.” WHICH WAS SUPER AWESOME! Even though I didn’t win, that fact that I  was even recognized felt amazing and special.

Now I’m ready for my second Amaetur Photo Contest! This time- it’s all about the California Coastline!

If you could be so kind and pick your top 5 photos– please comment and let me know! It’s always great to hear from other photographers. Any feedback is good feedback 😀

AND JUST FOR FUN- Check out this sweet video find of an iceberg flipping over…crazy stuff!


Photography, Thoughts


So really exciting newwwwwssss! I entered to win a FREE Skydiving Adventure Package on the blog Bucket List Publications. The wonderful Lesley Carter, who writes the Bucket List Publications Blog, went skydiving in San Diego, and had such a wonderful time, she wanted to pass on the opportunity for others. This is what the Skydiving Adventure Package consists of:

                        Tandem skydive adventure includes:

                                  -Pre-jump instructional class
                                  -One tandem jump harnessed to a professional Instructor
                                 -A scenic 5 to 7 minute parachute flight
                                 -A First Jump Certificate
                                 -Deluxe Video and Stills

So after around 200 submissions, the list was narrowed down to 15 finalists. I’M ONE OF THE LUCKY 15!!!

The finalist with the most “likes”, “tweets” or other “mentions” under their profile by March 12th, 2012 at 5pm PST (GMT-8:00) will be the winner of the Skydiving Package. SO GO TO THIS WEBSITE AND TWEET, FACEBOOK, GOOGLE +, STUMBLEUPON, REDDIT, AND INSHARE THIS PAGE. Make sure to get your friends to do the same!




The voting is continuous starting today (Feb 27, 2012- March 12, 2012). So please reblog this if you have a blog, or email it to your friends and family. This is the first item listed on My Bucket List – to skydive anywhere in the world. Here is what I wrote in the submission the email so you can understand why I really want to win this contest:

Hello Lesley,

I was so excited to see that you have this amazing opportunity to Skydive in San Diego!!

As you can see on my blog- the first thing I have listed on my Bucket List is to skydive (anywhere in the world) :

If you read earlier on my blog- I posted about how 2011 was a whirlwind of change in my life. I’ve realized that: 1) You can’t be afraid to try new things, 2) I need to surround myself with people who make me happy (and more importantly distance those negative people in my life), and 3) Live life each day to the maximum- it’s too short to live it any less.

I’m changing myself for the better, and what an awesome way it would be to start the new year with jumping out of a plane with no strings attached 🙂 ?! I’m not going to lie, it does scare me a bit… but I’d be so upset with myself if I never tried it! Life is about stepping out of your comfort zone, and taking advantage of trying new things. If you make my dream a reality- I’d cherish it more than you will ever know.

I live in Pasadena (LA), and visit San Diego quite frequently since my Mom just moved there towards the end of last year. Southern California is my home and heart.

Also my 24th birthday is March 15- and this would be the ultimate gift package (not to mention a check off the ole’ bucket list)!!! I’m ready for an adventure that I’ll never forget.

Thank you for hosting this contest- My heart is skipping with even the slight possibility of skydiving this year 😀




Help Me Pick- I’m Entering A Photo Contest!

Photography, Thoughts

Alright- So I’m entering the Birth Aquarium Underwater Parks Day Photo Contest.

This is the first photo competition I have ever entered- I’m super excited 🙂

The only time I’ve taken awesome underwater photos was at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia (not too shabby of a place I might add 😉 ). I rented an underwater digital camera for $50 bucks when I went on a dive boat- and it was the smartest thing I did! I came back with fantastic photos- luckily the visibility was EXCELLENT and the sun was out and the fish were playing.

I can enter up to 5 photos- and I have 4 FOR SURE and 2 QUESTIONABLE.

IF you guys could PLEASE help me pick the best of the 2 below–It will be greatly appreciated- Tell me why too 🙂

PHOTO 1- Reflections


PHOTO 2-Clown Fish Abode