Author: bijansabet

B I J A N 2022-02-20 18:45:26

This post is by bijansabet from B I J A N

Photography is not reality, and for me, it is not about capturing exactly what was there. This is one of the reasons why I love film. With different film stocks you get different looks to the work. Either it is a colour difference, or a contrast difference or perhaps both. I use Fuji Velvia for most of my landscape work. Fuji Velvia does not record accurate colour. More or less, each time I get the films back, it is like I am staring at images made in a parallel universe to the one I was photographing. I also love film grain because it ensures that the images aren’t hopefully considered to be ‘real’ or ‘verbatim’. Film has a tendency to roll off the highlights so they don’t hit a sudden wall. And lastly, I like to use film because I understand there will be a big disconnect between what I am seeing and what I am recording.

Bruce Percy

Anguilla, revisited

This post is by bijansabet from B I J A N

It’s impossible to get a feel for a place after just one visit.

And that was certainly true when it came to our experience with Anguilla. We made our first trip in 2016. It was a short visit and we were all much younger then. And we stayed in a big hotel and pretty much spent our days at the hotel pool and beach.

This time we rented a house for two weeks. It was away from the hotels. We rented a car and explored the island almost every day. Each beach and area of the island has something unique to offer. Each neighborhood has its own personality. A little bakery in an unlikely spot. Or a food truck with the best Johnny cakes imaginable. Or a set of swings that appeared out of nowhere. A favorite bbq place only open a few seemingly random days a week.

During our trip, we met a number of folks that return to Anguilla year after year, for decades. I totally get it.

(Cameras: Hasselblad 503cw, Contax T3 | Film: Kodak Portra 400 and Kodak Tri-X 400 | Lab: FW Photo Lab in Texas)

A new year

This post is by bijansabet from B I J A N

I am not one for making any new year resolutions but I am happy to be alive in 2022. Thankful for everyone in my family getting booster shots and that we were able to get some quality family time in for the holidays. We made a trip to Anguilla for our Christmas vacation. I’ll share some of those photos when I get them all back from my lab.

My work at Spark continues to transition and I find myself busy as ever — supporting existing portfolio companies but also meeting and connecting with new entrepreneurs committed to fighting climate change. I’ve made four angel investments so far in four different companies. All at the seed stage. Each one with a different mission but all aligned with the mission of saving our planet. It feels inspiring to meet with these founders.

I am very thankful to so many other investors that have also extended their time and energy helping me ramp up my network and understanding in this space. A very special shoutout to Jason Jacobs, Chris Sacca and Andrew Beebe.

I hope to write about these new investments in a future blog posts. Stay tuned.

A return to St Barts

This post is by bijansabet from B I J A N

The last time we traveled to St Barts was in March 2020 — just before the severity of Covid-19 was fully understood by most Americans. As a family we made a return trip last month during our Thanksgiving holiday vacation. To be certain, Covid-19 and associated variants are still creating health risks but we are fully vaccinated (two of us have received our boosters). So we felt comfortable making the trip.

It was so nice to travel together as a family. I am appreciating these times with Lauren and the kids more than ever.

All photographs taken with a Hasselblad 503cw and Kodak Portra film.

Stepping back at Spark Capital

This post is by bijansabet from B I J A N

Seventeen years ago, my friend Santo told me he was going to start a new venture capital firm. It didn’t have a name just yet and he didn’t have a fund, but he had recruited Todd Dagres and Paul Conway and for some reason they asked me to join along.

My wife Lauren and I were living just outside of Boston with our two kids (with one more on the way!). I remember talking it over with her. At the time, We had moved back east after ten years in SF and I was missing the Bay Area. I had an offer from Apple that I was seriously contemplating. And, to be honest, I didn’t know if I would be a good investor or if I would even like the work. But, I loved the idea of helping start something from scratch with a group of friends and people I respected.

So in the fall of 2004, I said yes to Santo and Todd. A few weeks later we had our name and a few months after that our first fund. We were all working out of  a tiny space in Cambridge until we opened our office above a shoe store on Boston’s Newbury Street. And we have been there ever since (along with an expanded team with offices in NYC and SF).

We have done a lot together over these years. We raised six early stage funds and three growth funds and built a company that I adore. I (Read more...)