Late Night Ponderings.

In life we have choices. We open some doors and close others, push through some and bypass others. Most of the time, once we cross a threshold we never know what’s going on on the other side. We don’t know what could have been. We just have to trust our gut that we made the right choices. But every now and again, some revolving door swings open long enough for you to get a glimpse of the other side. A tiny glimmer of the life you passed on. The things you would have had, the places you would have gone, the people you would have loved. And in that instant, you gain a special type of insight into yourself. Because you know. Whether your choice was right or not, you know. You feel something. Perhaps nostalgia, regret, or redemption, or solace. Or perhaps, as for me, you feel peace.

I should note that this was not expected. I question every decision I have ever made with ferocious intensity. I almost always act based on emotion rather than logic. I am no stranger to long insomnia-driven nights wondering what if.  I am prone to nostalgic daydreams about the glory days of past. And as we all know, the grass always appears greener wherever we are not. 

And yet, while it had its moments of wonderful, I do not miss my would-have-been life. I do not wish things would have turned out differently. I am at peace with the choices I have made. They have brought me to where I am now, and although all my once plans have unraveled and my current future is a mysterious adventure that has yet to reveal itself, I have no regrets. If I could go back, I would make the same decisions over again.  I would live the adventure over again. Because in the end, it leads me to now. And now is perfect in it’s own imperfect way. 

Everything turns out exactly as it should. I believe that now more than ever.

Wantings.

Sometimes I think I want so much that I don’t want anything.

I want to travel but I also want to stay at home in my lovely armchair with a cup of tea and an enormous sized apple. I also want to move around, live in different countries, wake up in a new city once a month and never cease to find new little coffee shops that sell my favourite peppermint tea. At the same time I want to be able to find somewhere I can call home.

I want to work with something I love doing, but I love doing so many different things I don’t know what to choose. I want to have a career I love so much I don’t even want to think about it. Because what if I fail and never get that wonderful job where I can get all my creativity out and at the same time wear high heels to the office?

I want to meet all (or at least more then a few of) the interesting people in the world, and I want to make them my friends. At the same time I want to be all by myself, and I want to focus my love on a few special people instead of having a heap of acquaintances.

I want to love him but at the same time I want to leave. Mostly because I am afraid that one of us will stop loving and move on. I want to open my heart but as soon as I’ve done it I want to close it again. For now I will manage to keep it open though, and let myself love him just as much as I want to.

I want to be just as I am and have my emotions on the surface. At the same time I wish I could be closed as a clam and not give away exactly what I feel as soon as I feel it. I want to be able to lie with my emotions as good as I am about lying about who stole the last cookie (it’s always me).

I want to write without thinking about who will judge me for what I do put down in words. I therefore often censor myself and skip writing in my own strangely overenthusiastic and sometimes slightly depressed way.

I want to have a pair of new Acne boots, and a sweater from Celine. I then want to wear them while having lunch with my love at a picturesque little restaurant in Venice. And after having eaten lasagna until our stomach hurts I want us to go in a Condole. Just because we can be that overly romantically and silly. We would be the only one who knew about it anyway.

I want people to see me for who I am, but I also like the image I know many people have of me. I can hide behind that surface of being a skinny girl with a strong ambition even though I sometimes feel as if I am nothing but that.

Sometimes all I want is to stop wanting so much, and instead just be content. At the same time I do know that being fully content with my life would take away some of my fire, some of the energy that feeds my urge to become something.

I guess I will have to live with being a person who wants, and then wants some more. I’d rather be someone like that, someone who is constantly striving to get more out of life then someone who never looked beyond their doorstep.

So it it what it is. And now all I want is more cake. 

- Nathalia Lindvall

Small Victories.

Social media is a funny place. Most of my newsfeed consists of beautiful strangers who inspire me and I have massive FOMO over their fabulous lives. But sometimes, it has the opposite effect. Sometimes, I run into someone's profile who I used to know. I look at the lives of the people who used to make fun of me, of the girls who stole the boy I liked, of the boys who turned me away bc I was a tomboy or ugly duckling or not one of the populars. I look at the people that made me feel inadequate or not "cool" enough or didn't want to be friends with me. I look at them and their lives , most of which are painfully ordinary, and I know that I have risen above all of that. I watch them silently liking all my photos and following my adventures and praising my successes, and I realize that so many of them must feel about me the way I feel about the fabulous strangers I follow. I always wonder if they're proud of me, or jealous. Whether they roll their eyes or are genuinely surprised at the way life turned out or whether they like to forget the past and pretend we're friends now. 

The truth is, I still am and will always be that weird kid in the corner. I just learned to embrace my weirdness and let it work for me instead of trying to hide it under a facade of coolness. I no longer do whatever people want me to do just so they can like or accept me. I embrace and love myself and my chaotic life and my weird mismatched friends and my crazy loud family. I choose to honor my flaws as they give me character and fall in love with my mistakes. I'm taking back my own life and that starts with taking the power to hurt me out of the hands of other people who misuse it. By owning my own life and self and actions, I suddenly have no need for validation from anyone else. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. 

All of the rejection I experienced made me who I am today. It made me strong and resilient and able to adapt to overcome adversity. It made me strong willed and independent, full of hope and determination and perseverance to fight for what I believe in. It made me patient, and thoughtful, and compassionate. I am who I am today because of every struggle I've ever had to overcome. Because of my constant need to better myself and wanting to prove them all wrong. 

On days like today I feel like I have. Like I won. And it feels pretty damn good.

The Little Girl Inside.

 

A friend of mine shared some sage advice today and I want to share it with all of you because I think everyone can use a reminder that they are wonderful and worth loving.

"You have a lot of inherent value. Your value is not measured by a romantic partner or shitty job or by a bad week that you're having. You need to be kind to yourselves. Imagine yourself as a little girl sitting in a room with you and comfort that little girl. Be good to her. Stop abusing her/yourself.

Give some thought to what you would say or do or feel about the little girl version of yourself if she was going through something that you're going through.

You would never punish the little girl for being sad or having doubts or being insecure. You would never tell her she wasn't good enough. You would not starve her or hurt her or judge her body or tell her to get over it or try to kill her or disregard her. You wouldn't send her off to just exist complacently in some shitty situation. 

You have to take care of her and love her and hold her and be good to her. Give her good advice and comfort her." 

--

This is my little girl. She is really smart and kind and very curious and so so imaginative and way ahead of her time. Her smile lights up any room she enters. She is caring and compassionate and happy and kind of naive but she always manages to find the beauty in people and the world. She doesn't take herself or life too seriously. She isn't afraid to look silly in a photo. She laughs until her rainbow eyes disappear and her fat cheeks hurt and she gives the best hugs. She talks too much and is a little bossy but she is stronger than she knows and powerful beyond measure.

Here's my little girl, pantsless and barefoot, with rollers in my hair, playing with dolls. I'd say not much has changed except that now my dolls are real models. I will protect her always. She is the best part of me. ❤️

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Culling: It's like choosing who I want to be.

So going through some pictures from yesterday’s shoot I had a little epiphany. I FINALLY understand why culling photos is so difficult for me. It is SUCH an emotional process for me. Akin to say, the show the bachelorette. She starts out with a bunch of great ones, and then narrows little by little by seeing which ones fit best for her, proceeds to fall in love with all of them and then has to get rid of them till there’s only one. It’s a heartbreaking process and I go through this EVERY TIME I cull pictures. 

As far as the process…I realize that even when I have a vision coming into a shoot, I always let it develop organically..and I never truly invest or fall in love until AFTER the shoot when I first see the pictures. THAT’S when I fall in love. I know some photogs know what shot they want and then just shoot till they get it, then move on. For me, It’s not like that. Even when I’m shooting to “get the shot” I never feel like it’s good enough when I’m shooting..because it never matches up perfectly with what I had in my mind. So I shoot more until I feel a little happier with what I’ve got. Thinking I only have a few good ones. Then I import and realize there’s so much more good than I thought I had. And it’s hard to choose through them.

As far as the feeling….it’s hard to explain. it’s like I’m finding myself through my photography. Going back through the pictures I shot is like seeing myself through my mind’s eye. I learn so much about my personality and who I am deep down. Even if I don’t know it when I’m shooting, everything comes out when I’m clicking that shutter. The things I am feeling. The things I am longing for. What I want, what I love, what I want to be, what I am and don’t even know it. Every picture I create, while I may not be in it, is like looking in a mirror. It’s a direct reflection of myself. It’s the weirdest yet most amazing feeling, to look in this mirror and see yourself: not the outside, but the inside. Not what you look like, but what you FEEL like. All your hopes, dreams, aspirations, vulnerabilities, insecurities, deepest feelings, innate character traits, all captured in an image and staring right back at you. It makes me feel alive. That’s why I shoot. It’s the closest I’ve ever felt to knowing who I really am and what I have to offer the world. It’s beautiful, and raw, and so transparent. And when I cull, what I’m really doing is choosing the ones that really say what I want to say. That capture the essence of me I want to show. But the rest, even the rejects, they’re as much a part of me as the good ones. They show my flaws and imperfections mostly. And rejecting them…it’s like getting rid of little parts of me. Culling is like choosing who I want to be. The part of me I want to show the world. And it is one of the most difficult things I’ve probably ever had to do.

Does anyone else feel like this?

Day 100: The LA Chronicles.

Day 100.

Today is Day 100 of living in LA. Nothing is certain, but there is so much promise in the air. My head is spinning; I'm being pulled in so many directions. There is so much going on all at once, and the only constant is change. Every day is an adventure, a blank page in a book waiting to be filled with stories: I wake up and never really know where the next few hours will take me or how it will end. Most days I feel like I am on a carousel, just along for the ride and holding on for dear life, not sure when the ride will stop or where I'll end up when it does. It is all kinds of crazy stressful and incredibly maddening, especially for a control freak like me, but I would choose this a thousand times over feeling stuck and bored and passionless as I did before I came here. The chaos fuels my soul in a way I never knew was possible and I find myself standing strong amidst the hustle and bustle and confusion. Upon first encountering it, I was afraid I might lose myself in all the commotion; but instead, it has forced me to really identify who I am and what I truly want from life and I hold tight to that and let everything else go. It is a freeing feeling of sorts, not having to have it all figured out all the time. I am slowly but surely unlocking parts of my psyche I have always wanted to reach but didn’t know how.  I am becoming more spontaneous, adventurous, open-minded, and self-assured. I am becoming more free.

Meeting people and making friends was much easier than I expected it to be. People here have been so kind, and warm, and inviting.  And yet, what’s funny is I don’t feel like  I need them. Before coming here, I was afraid of being lonely. Now that I’m here, I almost welcome it. I really value my alone time. The sense of anonymity is kind of nice; it frees me of expectations and affords me the chance to be whoever I want to be--or rather, who I really am in this moment. It’s something I have never felt before--when growing up in one place for a long time people gradually build up this idea of who you are, and even though they watch you transition through life they expect that you won’t change too drastically. And so although you can morph or grow to an extent, you are inevitably stuck in the shell of who you once were or who you’ve always been. Coming here has allowed me to shed that old skin completely, and man, does it feel good. No one really cares where I came from, or what I did, or who I was, and It’s a beautiful thing not to have to carry around the weight of my entire past on my shoulders. 

Finding work, on the other hand, has not been quite as easy. Finances are a constant worry.  Money goes extremely quick here, much quicker than I’m used to, thanks to a faster paced lifestyle and a higher cost of living. My survival instincts have kicked in and I have been hustling harder than ever. I have been utilizing my creative talents to make ears to help supplement my very small income. Most days I feel like I am treading water,  grabbing at anything I can find, trying desperately just to stay afloat long enough to get to shore. It is exhausting, and sometimes discouraging; but knowing that it is all just temporary keeps me focused and pushing forward. That being said, my work has been received very positively by all who have seen it, and more and more opportunities are starting to come my way, so I feel like it is just a matter of time before I’m connected with the right people and everything just clicks into place. The holidays (and with it, my trip home to Miami) are placed squarely in the middle of my being here and have made finding anything steady quite difficult. I have my eyes set intently on January--it already looks like its going to be a crazy month! 2015 will undoubtedly be a life-changing year for me, and I am ready. I have waited and prepared a long time for this. I am ready.

Despite my struggles, I truly love my new home. It’s strange; I haven’t felt homesick at all. I miss certain people, and sometimes I wish they were here with me, but I don’t miss Miami or my life there. Other than to spend time with those people, I have no desire to go back.  For a long time I have looked back, constantly wondering “what if...?” and questioning the way my life turned out. Now I know that every struggle, every decision, every heart break, every step was in preparation for this moment.  All of it was necessary to lead me to where I am now. I have, for so long, been petrified of letting go of anything or anyone, afraid that those people or things were what made me who I was and that if I lost them, I’d lose myself forever.  It has taken almost 28 years and more pain and tears than I ever knew I could possibly endure but I finally feel like I can let go of my past and look to the future, only taking what I need with me. It is foggy but full of hope: there is a bright light at the end of this tunnel and I intend to get there and find out what’s on the other side.

I am insanely grateful for all the people I have in my corner, both here and in Miami, rooting for me, praying for me, pulling for me, wanting to see me succeed. I don’t know if I could have made it this far without that support. Moving across the country has been the hardest and yet most fulfilling thing I have ever done with my life. It has been a crazy ride these 100 days. I can’t wait to see what the next 100 days bring. <3

 

 

I Feel Too Much.

09/17/14

 

I feel too much.

I care too much.

As a result I'm doomed to a life where people don't feel or care about anything as much as I do. I just want to find someone, one single soul that cares for me the way I care about them and I'm fairly certain that'll never happen and I will be alone and unhappy forever. Not to mention constantly disappointed.

I don't know what I'm doing anymore. I have no idea what to think, how to feel. I feel like everything I thought I was sure of in my life is bursting into flames right before my eyes and there is nothing I can do to stop it. I wish I had someone to hold me and kiss me and tell me they love me and that everything is going to be okay, and mean every word of it. Instead I feel lost and alone and completely lacking direction. Every day I wake up and go through the motions but none of it feels like it has any real purpose.  I am questioning everything and not sure of anything anymore, including whether I want to pursue photography as a career.

I love LA as a whole but being here has really put things in perspective. 

Lost.

This week has been rough. Lately I have found myself feeling very lost and questioning everything. 


For the first time in a long, long, LONG time, I have no idea what I want, what I'm doing, or where I'm going. When I think about the future all I see is a cloud of uncertainty.

I have faith that everything will work out exactly as it should; it always does. But in the meantime, this lack of direction is beyond frustrating. I have lost the sense of passion that defines me, and without it I feel empty.

There's this quote about losing yourself to find yourself: I hope it's right.

One Month.

I made it a month.

Today makes a month and one day.

Today is the first day I have cried and wished to go home.

I feel completely and utterly alone, despite being surrounded by people.

People are selfish everywhere. 

They want what they want.

Maybe I should give up on hoping that I will find someone to love and care about me the way that I love them.

I am starting to believe that no such person exists in the universe.

Grateful.

7/27/14

This year has been the craziest roller coaster of my life. I left everything I've ever known and everyone I've ever loved to go chase dreams across the country. Nothing is perfect, and everything is uncertain. It's expensive, and while exciting, very much a struggle. And I am so grateful that I even have the opportunity to struggle. I am endlessly thankful that I have had the courage to pursue happiness, even when it isn't easy. I am thankful for the supportive people cheering me on and rooting for me to succeed, and the ones who believe in me so wholeheartedly even when I doubt it myself. I am also grateful for the bullies in my life, for the people who put me down and made me feel like I was never good enough—I have them to thank for my incredible sense of resilience and my determination to prove them wrong and fight to be extraordinary. I am grateful for my new home, the incredible people I've met, and the warm, open arms they have welcomed me into their city with. I am grateful for my family and for the people who love me here, who have made an effort to keep in touch and stay in my life—it means more than I can ever say. I am grateful for my baby and my best friend, Sparky.  He keeps me warm and sane on those lonely nights. He is my little piece of home. I am grateful for every like and comment on my photos or status, every encouraging message, every person that tells me they love my work, and especially to my clients and those who choose me out of all the talented photographers out there. It is humbling and inspires me to keep going and not give up. I am thankful for my health at a time when others are fighting to stay alive. I've seen a lot of people I love pass in the last couple of years and it makes you appreciate just being alive so much more. Life is not perfect but it is precious and beautiful and there is so much potential ahead of me. I can't wait to see what the future brings. 

There is youth in my spirit, beauty in my world, peace in my mind, love in my heart, talent in my fingers, passion in my veins, friends in my home, and food on my table. I am happy. 

Happy Thanksgiving lovers, may your life be filled with all the joy and gratitude that your hearts can hold. 😘❤️

New Beginnings: Day One.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

 

7:04 am. I open my eyes. Sparky and Yoshi's faces are inches from mine. I look around, a faint feeling of familiarity. I don't feel at home, but I don't feel out of place. My brain hasn't processed that I am living here yet. I am freezing, the portable air conditioning unit we turned on last night at full blast has finally done its job. I get up to turn it off but can't reach it, it's so high up. Not even as I climb atop the bean bag chair that's wedged under it. Bean bags sink; that's not gonna work.  Jenn hears me struggling and comes to help. I go pee and crawl back onto my air mattress. Sparky comes and cuddles in with me, although he doesn't look tired. My body thinks it's 10 am. I'm used to waking up around this time. I force myself back to sleep anyway, knowing if I don't I will regret it later.

9:02 am. I hear sparky stirring but reach to pet him and he isn't there. I turn around, my eyes scanning the room everywhere for him. He is cuddled up at jenn's feet on the futon. He looks comfortable. I lay back down.

I check my social media to an outpouring of love and support. People calling me an inspiration. It humbles me. I hope I don't let them down. I hope they don't forget about me. I know I won't forget about them. 

Jenn turns her head and mutters good morning. I go and sit with her and sparky, and Yoshi comes too. For a few minutes we all attack each other with love and hugs and kisses. Our new little family. We look at each other and know this is all we need for now. This is enough. I can tell she is grateful not to be here alone anymore. I am lucky to have her.

Jenn gets ready for her Disney appointment. We take the dogs out on their morning walk. The air is cool but not cold. I am happy to be away from the muggy heat and the sticky air and the rain. Once Jenn leaves, I take sparky out again, for a longer walk. He's not as quick as Yoshi, and he's taking a while to familiarize himself with his new surroundings. He smells everything. He seems happy.

I am hungry, but I don't have a car yet. We have a long day ahead of us, moving to the new place today! I should eat. I ravage through half packed boxes until I come across a bag of cinnamon toast crunch. SCORE. 

I decide that all of these little moments are what really make up my new life. The big milestones are great but they are few and far between. I sit down to write my reflections because I don't want to forget any of this. Maybe I will blog them later. I wonder if people even care. Maybe it will help someone who is thinking about making a big move but isn't sure what it would be like. 

11:33 am. Jenn calls. Her voice is full of excitement. She got her Disney internship! I am so happy for her, this is one of her lifelong dreams and it's so amazing to see it come to fruition! She definitely deserves it. I am proud. The good news definitely makes this moving day a little sweeter. Moving stuff is never fun. 

12:14 pm. Jenn's friend Azim comes over to help us move stuff to the new place. We reintroduce ourselves, he is nice. I don't exactly have much upper body strength, so the added manpower is more than welcome. Jenn arrives shortly thereafter and we begin packing both her car and his. It's a pain going down all the hallways of her building but we figure it out. We drive 9 minutes to the new place. It's 5 exits away, but the exits are pretty close to each other here, not like in Miami. We exit on Vineland. There are two gas stations right off the highway: $4.01 for regular unleaded.

We see a donut shop and a Pizza Hut right off the corner, there's also a chase bank and Ralph's nearby: Awesome. We make a mental note to get pizza afterward. We turn onto our street: The neighborhood looks charming and quiet. A pretty young blonde in a purple maxi dress walking her dog. She introduces herself as our downstairs neighbor and welcomes us to the block. We are overwhelmed with how incredibly nice she is. 

12:56 pm. I step foot into my brand new home for the first time. It's small, but it's cute and cozy and I love it. I skip down the stairs, overcome with joy. Unloading is much easier than loading was, maybe because I'm excited. We go back and pack the cars one more time. I order pizza for us.

3:27 pm. We finish unloading. The house is a mess, there's stuff everywhere, and we are absolutely exhausted. We sit on the floor and have pizza and beer and relax for a few minutes. We thank Azim for all his help.

3:51 pm. Jenn leaves to her audition and then to work. She won't be back  till late tonight. I FaceTime some if my family and friends back home to show them our new apartment. It's not much, but it's ours. Once I hang up, I start putting things in their place. I'm determined to have the whole house unpacked and set up and much as possible before Jenn gets back. 

Spent the rest of the day settling in. I am exhausted but excited. So many memories ahead!


 

Ain't got the fever.

 

Just read 5 statuses IN A ROW on my newsfeed about having babies THIS MONTH. Many others scattered throughout. The amount of engagement/marriage posts are not far behind.

Meanwhile, I'm over here just trying to move across the country and chase adventures. 

I'm 27, and I don't have baby fever whatsoever. I don't have the itch to get married at the moment. I don't even have any potential suitors. 

I do want to get married and start a family someday. I am aware that there is an actual physical biological window within which this is possible, and the next 3 years are probably the optimal time. But if I had a say in it, I probably wouldn't even think about kids till maybe 35. I have so many dreams left to chase and I know once I decide to take the plunge, my life isn't my own anymore. My choices don't just affect me anymore. Until you're at the top, the industry I'm in (fashion, and photography in general) is a very fickle and unstable one. I have no means of raising a family right now. I'm fighting just to support myself. I'm just trying to be responsible.

Moreover, growing up I always wanted to marry and have kids young (25). Then that time came and it just didn't feel right. It still doesn't feel right.

I think it's okay not to be ready. I think it's okay to go your own path. I'm perfectly happy living my life my way. But dammit if society doesn't make me feel like shit about my choices, like I'm somehow doing it all wrong. It's one of the most common questions I get. People constantly remind me that I'm not getting any younger and ask when I'm going to settle down. The truth is I don't know. I'm not thinking about that right now. Whenever I meet a person worth being with for the rest of my days and the time feels right for both of us, I suppose. No I don't feel empty or alone. I love my life. I love my job. I love my family. I love my friends. I am still learning every day to love myself.

Don't get me wrong, I love children. I worked as a preschool teacher before I got into photography. I am absolutely elated for all of my friends taking these momentous steps into the next chapters of their lives. It makes me happy to see them happy. I just wish people didn't judge me so hard for wanting something different for myself. I too am taking a momentous step. It's just a different one. In 5 days, I am picking up my life and moving what little I have left 3,000 miles away to a city where I know only a handful of people, in passionate pursuit of a dream. To travel and live the life I've always imagined but been too afraid to take the reins of. My goal is to be happy with my life before I try to teach a child how they're supposed to live theirs. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that. 

I'm writing this partially for me, but mostly for anyone else who feels like this on the regular. I want you to know: it's okay. It's okay to break the mold and go your own way. It's okay not to do what everyone else is doing, even if it is the norm or what's expected. 

Personally, normal and expected are two things I have no desire to be anyway.

Saying Goodbye.

 

Today has been a trying day, complete with a whirlwind of emotions.

I have spent the better part of today reliving my past, then throwing it away.

Movie stubs, hand written cards, love letters, tickets and programs, school papers and assignments, drawings and posters, certificates of achievement. Memoirs accumulated over a lifetime...all in the trash.

I know that it is necessary. I know that I don't need these things, and that throwing them away does not erase the memories and experiences. But my god does it hurt. I am severing ties with my past, parting with memories of my would have been life, saying goodbye forever. I am letting go; something that I have never ever been able to do. It is hard, and it hurts like hell.

I know it will be worth it. It frees me. It gives me the ability to move on and begin a new journey without the weight of the past to hold me down. I know that once the aching in my soul subsides I will have space in my heart for bigger and better things, but that does not make the goodbye easier.

To all of you who have been a part of my life thus far, to everyone who has made memories with me, no matter how far away or forgotten they seem, I just want to say that I will never forget you. You are the reason I am who I am and the stepping stones that have gotten me to this point. Things will change, we will grow. We may no longer speak, or see each other, or be as close as we once were. But I love and appreciate you just the same, and I will never forget you or the impact you have had on my life. I hope that you will remember me too.

I Am Not A Photographer.

I am slowly coming to the conclusion that I am not a photographer.

I am a visual storyteller.

I paint pictures with my camera, or with a brush, or with my words. I could care less about perfect technique, or the guru techie talk that most photographers get giddy about. Not because I don't know what it means, but because it bores me to tears. None of it really matters to me.

So what if you can take a technically immaculate photo using 742 pieces of very expensive shiny equipment? Does it move me? Does it make me feel something? Did it provoke thought, make a statement, or change me somehow? If it doesn't, then did any of it really make a difference?

To me telling the story is the most important thing. You can do that with your fancy schmancy digitech or with a 30 year old film camera you found at a thrift shop or with an iphone or a chewed up pencil or kid's watercolors or with rainbow chalk on a sidewalk. These are all just tools we use to make art, to have our voices heard, to share what's in our minds and hearts.

Art is an expression of the innermost workings of our soul. The story—and the message we send with it—that is the ONLY thing. Technique is only important insofar as it contributes to that message.

I'm sure many purist photographers will disagree. To them I say: I am not a photographer. I don't play by your rules. I am only here to tell stories about the characters in my dreams that no one else can see. I will do that by whatever means possible.

Necessary Changes.

It is no secret that I've been going through a rough time lately. Just want to say thank you to everyone who has reached out, offered advice, kind words, or even tough love. Things need to change, because the way I have been doing them I have been running myself into the ground.

I spend every waking minute of every day doing things for other people: be it my clients, models, peers, my family, my friends, even strangers sometimes. I honestly cannot remember when the last time was that I did something for myself. I tell myself that I don't have time, that the other stuff is more important, that mine can wait. I always put the needs of other people ahead of my own, and I put mine on the back burner until I can finish the other stuff.  

Only I never finish the other stuff.  It piles up faster than I can knock it down and it never ends. Never.

I don't do anything for myself.  Nothing that makes me happy,  makes me feel whole, none of the things that really make me who I am. I've lost my passion, which is probably the single most defining aspect of my character. I am the girl who is too passionate about everything, and that has been stripped away from me, and I am left just going through the motions. Photography isn’t fun, food has no taste, maintaining my relationships is a chore. Nothing feels right, nothing is as fun as it should be, it's all just another thing to do in my busy schedule. Nothing brings me enjoyment. I'm left feeling like I want to get out, run away,  get away from it all--if only just for a moment. And then I realize I can't. And that trapped feeling is eating me alive day by day. 

I've been ignoring it for months now, telling that little voice to shut up and just wait; and now it is a deafening roar in my head insistent on making itself heard. I am unable to concentrate or focus on anything else. It cannot be silenced. I can’t ignore it any longer. I am suddenly, extraordinarily unhappy.  This isn't the way a life should be lived. Something must change.

It seems that the solution is simple: to take time for myself, to do things that make me happy, preferably things that don't add to my workload.  Only the problem remains that I have 92594589203062 people beating down my door wanting something.  And it makes me feel extraordinarily guilty for having any fun at all, so guilty sometimes that those things stop being fun.  It’s not fair.  I am a business owner, yes, but I am also a person.  I deserve to be able to take time to myself.  Even people with jobs have their weekends.  I cannot be expected to serve my clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is just not possible.  Trust me, I have tried.

I love to dance.  It was my single utmost passion in life. I was a dancer for almost 15 years and taught dance for 5-6, and stopped about a year and a half into my pursuit of photography when it really started to pick up, and I simply no longer had the time to dedicate to it.  At first, although of course I missed it, there was no noticeable loss, one passion basically replaced the other.  But they fulfill different needs.  Dance you can feel in your body, it is physical.  It gives me an outlet that photography never could.  The same goes for my other passions which I have given up to follow my photography dreams: painting, reading, and writing. I decided at the end of last year that I wanted to start a blog and refocus on my passion for writing.  That quickly dissipated as I started working my ass off to fund my upcoming move to LA. Again my photographic dreams squandered my ability to fuel another, separate but equal, passion. 

I am a slave to my dreams.  I tell myself to keep my head down and keep trucking, who cares if I’m miserable now, that one day it will all be worth it. But the truth is, that the end may not justify the means. Especially when the end is uncertain, not promised, and probably at least a decade away. I realize that if this continues, if I continue to sacrifice everything I have ever cared about to only focus on one dream, I will grow to resent photography, as passionate as I may be about it now.  I refuse to let that happen. 

I have decided to give myself a weekend of sorts.  Two days off a week, like everyone else.  One day will be for me.  To paint.  To dance.  To go to a yoga class.  To sit outside and read a book.  To take my dog to the park.  To go shopping or get my hair done or tan in my backyard. It doesn’t really matter what I do, but it will be something I do for myself, to relieve my stress, without the pressures of the world on my shoulders. I will not schedule shoots, answer emails, deal with client issues, or worry about social media (especially not in a work capacity).  I might even turn off my phone.  Thursday seems like the best day for this.  It’s mid week; and most people will be busy. No one will bother me. It’s perfect.

The second day of my “weekend” is reserved to nurture my relationships. I will spend quality time with my family, my friends, and my boyfriend.  At the beach. At a bar. Watching a movie. Having coffee dates or game nights or whatever it is we want to do.  A Sunday Funday of sorts, occuring any day between friday and sunday depending on events happening at the time, so long as it happens at least once every week. 

I will also be making time at least once a week to write in this blog.  I haven’t figured out what day that will happen yet, but it will, because it is important to me.

On top of this, I will be limiting my testing for the time being, and I will not be taking on any more shoots for the remainder of the month of April.  (Those that are already scheduled will be kept, of course.) I will be using this time to catch up on the workload that I already have.  May is open for booking but I will only be taking on a limited number of shoots. I have too much on my plate and I simply cannot add any more on until I clear some space.

To my existing clients and models: please be patient with me.  I am working through as fast as I can.  I know that I have fallen severely behind.  I am doing everything in my power to get you your images as soon as humanly possible.  I appreciate your patience and understanding more than you will ever know.

Thank you for bearing with me as I regain my sanity and take back control of my life.  It is my hope that we will all be better for it.  Cheers to being happy again, soon. :)

xoxo, Evie

 

Let's Be Friends.

Feeling a little burnt out lately. I've sacrificed a lot to follow my dreams, and while the journey has been amazing and I do not regret it for a second, lately I have been left wanting more. 

I love what I do but there is so much more to me than that. I have so much more to offer than the pictures I take. For every inch that I am overflowing with passion for my work there is gaping hole I have been neglecting: I am craving meaningful relationships with people. Luckily I have an amazing family I am very close to, and I have ten thousand and one acquaintances but I'm talking about real friends. The kind that stand beside you at your wedding and make toasts. The kind that you call when you make stupid decisions at 4 am or almost run over a cat on your way to work or get into a fight with your significant other and need to vent about how ridiculous the opposite sex is. The kind that take you out for a drink when you accomplish even the tiniest thing or celebrate things that are only important to you (like my singleversary). The kind that will take a road trip with you on a whim or stay up talking with you all night because you don't feel like being home. 

I want people that I can talk to about non-photography related things. People to go to a bar with for happy hour or watch a chick flick with or have an impromptu game night or be gym buddies or go on a double date with. People to go get our nails done or play dress up or come adventuring with me to find cool places to shoot or lay out and watch the stars and contemplate how tiny we are in relation to the universe. People who are cool and unique and have an interesting point of view and something to say, but who I can obviously still relate to. I want to create memories that will last a lifetime, not just capture them for other people. I want to build lasting, meaningful relationships, not just fleeting ones. 

There are so many people in my life right now that I think are so awesome and I get along with amazingly, but I simply have not found the time to really build on those foundations and create amazing friendships. That ends today. 

I am making a promise to myself to dedicate more time to my friendships. I don't know where in my crazy schedule I will do this but I want at least ONE day of every week to be spent bonding with someone awesome, having fun and doing something NOT work related. There are 52 weeks in the year. I could make a lot of memories in 52 days. 😊

If you think i'm cool people and want to be friends, or we're already "friends" but we could stand to hang out way more (applies to all of my friends, pretty much), let's hang out. You know you are: especially if I've told you how awesome I think you are (I don't really hand out compliments freely), or told you that I miss yo face, or that we should play or hang.  If we've been friends for 10 years but have since lost touch because life got in the way, I'm talking to you. If the first time we met we hit it off and we have lots in common and you're pretty sure you could see us still being friends 10 years from now if we only put enough effort into it, I'm talking to you. Don't make me start tagging people.

It goes without saying that If you're a creeper guy or a total stranger and we haven't connected in any capacity them I'm not really talking to you. Also, I'm not looking for a boyfriend. I've already got one of those thankyouverymuch.

This isn't a wanted ad, I'm just looking to strengthen the bonds I already have.

So yeah. Let's be friends people. The real life kind. Not the kind that just comment on each others statuses. Life is lived in the real moments, not on the Internet. Let's make memories that we will still remember long after facebook or Instagram dies and and that status is long forgotten. Let's go on adventures. Who wants in?

Help Wanted!

Okay so here's the deal. 2014 has BLOWN UP. I am 4x busier this year than any other year and it doesn't look like its going to stop anytime soon.

Thus far It has been me and only me. I am a one-woman show. I am VERY particular about the way I do things, because let's face it, that's what has made me successful. But I am still human, and I can only do so much. And right now I am buried in work. It's more than I can handle alone.

Therefore, at the suggestion of a few of my friends/peers, I am *considering* getting an intern/assistant. 

Very loosely part time. Hours are flexible and will vary. Tasks will vary. You would work from the comfort of your home. We would meet for coffee/lunch dates occasionally. I'm really chill and I like to think I'm cool to hang out with. :P

A camera is a bonus. Editing skills/knowledge of editing programs are a HUGE bonus. Being organized, intelligent, well-spoken, and able to communicate effectively with clients is a MUST. Being good with social media is also pretty important.

Oh, and I have to like you. (duh)

I pay in secrets, and connections. Anyone who knows anything knows these are far more valuable than money. I will take you under my wing. I will teach you my ways. I will answer your questions. You can come along on shoots, see how I work, hold some reflectors, shoot some BTS. You will receive all applicable credits. I will promote you. I will help you develop in any way I can. If you're good, I may even refer clients I can't take on to you (Read: You will make $$$ some way or other).

I'm moving to LA soon, so that might be a good amount of people.

This is a pretty good gig to someone just starting out in the business who wants to learn the ropes. 

If you are interested, or know someone who might be, please email me at evielynnphotography@gmail.com. 

If I generate enough response, an application will be posted soon. :)