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Nobody Does Summer Nights Better Than Filoli

Categories: Blog

By Holly Daley  | Holly is a guest blogger and student volunteer writing about her experience photographing Summer Nights at Filoli.

My name is Holly Daley. I am currently a senior at Sacred Heart Preparatory School in Atherton, CA. My love of taking pictures lead me to take two years of photography courses at SHP including AP photography this past school year.

Surrounded in the bliss of Filoli’s gardens, the fog in the mountains, the beautiful sunset in the distance, and the lively music traveling through the air, I was enchanted by beauty during Summer Nights at Filoli. Over the summer, I put my passion of photography to work and took photos of the Thursday evening activities. I wanted not only to capture the actual activities, but also the smiles radiating from the faces of people as they enjoyed their evenings away from the obligations of their day-to-day lives. I loved spending my nights watching people pause to enjoy their friends and appreciate this magical setting in Woodside. Tucked away just off fast-paced 280, Filoli is a peaceful place where you cannot help but exhale and allow your senses to unplug and recalibrate after you pass the Gate House entrance.

The Summer Nights series offered a plethora of themed activities. You can experience something you are familiar with or be exposed to something completely new.  Themes ranged from yoga to music to flower arranging to lawn games. It was so fun capturing some of these activities on film and seeing the relaxation, joy, and genuine happiness on the faces of people I photographed. Roland Petersen was the featured artist for the summer season at Filoli with his unique, colorful pieces that inspired you to think of summer and the sense of relaxation that this season brings. With his works featured in the Visitors Center, after purchasing their tickets guests were immediately transported to the beauty of the gardens. .

I see my parents work hard with crazy schedules like most parents do. As a senior in high school, pressures, expectations and deadlines. The Summer Nights at Filoli helped me to escape from some of that and to focus on improving my passion. Filoli has also given me another reason to look forward to coming home after I leave for college next Fall. Thank you, Filoli. I will be back!