Sunday, November 29, 2015

How to embrace motherhood

If anyone knows the magic answer, please do let me know.

I suck at life.

In summary, and not to rehash what I may have already written about, I have been staying at home after the birth of my last baby about 6 months ago. I did not anticipate staying at home full time. I'm bored out of my mind most days. Slightly depressed (I'm hoping a lot of it is still just postpartum stuff and will go away). I have no idea what to do everyday so I do nothing except usually dishes and picking up the house. Combined, I am angry and easily angered and impatient. It is straight up ugly. Writing these words are nasty. Makes me feel even more depressed about the type of person I have become. So....

I found this lovely blogger on Instagram. Love Taza. Don't know anything about her and I haven't even started reading her blog but it's popular so it might be good and her about me section said she was all about family and embracing motherhood. I subscribed via bloglovin immediately.

I would like to be filled with all joy and peace but it's hard and I don't know how.

If I'm going to waste away in front of the computer all day, I'd at least like to be doing something productive like editing photos and designing our yearly family albums or writing or trying to figure out how to make our yearly family video using all the videos we capture with our iPhones.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

What fall looks like

Fall has been quite cheerful this year. Bright pumpkins and blooming dahlias are so delightful. Since I'm in a season of finding myself mostly at home, I've been having fun styling some pretty photos. I have to say that photographing flowers has really been rewarding - more so than I would have ever thought. I've been thinking it would be fun to get into being a photographer for bloggers. I would love to be in a creative environment and get to photograph lovely things for inspiring people. Of course this would require me to actually get out and meet people - a daunting feat. :)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Behind the Scenes: Dahlia Flower Styling

Last week I took the two kids on the bus down to Pike Place Market. It was a fun, quick and easy way to get out of the house and go do something that wasn't that stressful. Perks of city living means Pike Place Market is not stressful. :) 

(I'm still a fan of the old school smiley face).

A stranger saw me photographing this wall and asked if I wanted her to take a picture of the three of us. I started to say no and then I thought it would be fun to actually have a picture with me in it even if I wasn't feeling that great about how I looked. 

Jack has been here before and knew he wanted to see the gum wall. 

This $5 bouquet was perfect! The orange hues lent themselves perfectly to the pumpkin display we had on the kitchen table. 
This is the simple set up I used for the pictures in the previous post. The giant window is just to the left. I usually use two big white pieces of cardboard but here I'm using only one. The wood is the back of a piece of art Matt and I made that hangs in our bedroom but happily doubles as a pretty background. White backgrounds are really nice but this wood added warmth and texture that really put the cozy, fall feeling into the shots. 

Here's a few snaps I took with my phone before shooting with my Nikon:

Last shot is of all my favs in Lightroom. This made me so happy!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Styling Dahlias + Pumpkins


I'd seen so many beautiful dahlias flooding Instagram. I had to get my hands on some so I took the two babies on the bus to spend an afternoon in Pike Place Market. Per the three year old's request, we visited the gum wall but all I cared about was the flowers. Honestly, the market is amazing for flowers. I don't even know why people would buy bouquets from the grocery store - seriously overpriced. For $5 I got 8 dahlias and 3 of those white things that I'm not sure what they are but look like a vegetable. For $5 I spent a lovely morning in front of the amazingly lit windows in my dining room area and photographed these stunners and then just stared at them all together in Lightroom. I think I might open up a print shop and sell limited edition prints of pretty things like these Dahlias.

If you had a pretty floral print where would you put it? Bedroom, bathroom, office, cubicle...?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Confessions of a Fan Girl

This is a work in progress.

The Internet has bred a bunch of wannabes. A bunch of people completely unhappy and dissatisfied with their life. Always comparing. Always trying to be the happy, every day people they see in pretty pictures on different forms of social media (hello, Instagram and Pinterest). I must admit that I am one of these people. Good for them but a LOT of people have made a LOT of money trying to tell other people how to do exactly what they did to have a fabulous life like they do. Seriously though, good for them. When you really look at what some of your favorite faces online are doing you may begin to wonder what exactly it is that they are doing. Is it sustainable? Let's just say some very, very successful bloggers - like what is it that they are actually doing? In the long run, in order for them to stay profitable, they will have to keep changing what it is they are actually doing or really focus on growing an actual business and not just ideas. At least I don't see "ideas" as being long term success without any real work behind them.

I've been inspired.
And I've been reminded of what I often feel to be true.
No one on the Internet is going to make my life better. I will never be those people. I will never have their life (probably for the best). There is no magic button to make a successful business. I actually just have to get out there and do the hard work. I need to stop listening to the hum of the Internets and just do what I need to do.

Sometimes I think, well what do I really want to do? You know, I can always change what I'm doing. I've loved photographing people. Ever since I was a teen, I've loved it. It scares the hell out of me. It challenges me like no one or thing has ever been able to challenge me. It makes me want to run and hide. But I keep doing it. Slowly (because I keep hiding). And these pretty people on the Internet. Well, I think they're getting me off course. Sure, I would love to run an online company so that I can work from anywhere in the world (though I don't care for traveling much outside of the west coast but hey whatev). I really would. But what would it be? I'm not going to be some type of coach or mentor. What would I mentor people on? I believe to be a real mentor you need years and years of actual success under you belt. And probably a good mentor is still in whatever field they are mentoring on. Like my step-dad.

Side story: my step-father has successfully for over 30+ years run his own company. He is not on the Internet. (His company of course has a website and is somewhat involved on Facebook but he is not on the internet). He probably doesn't know what blogs are, Pinterest - whatrest? And the guys a success. You can't fake it for over 30 years.

There is so much STUFF out there. Just tons and tons of stuff that is positioned to help you become better, more successful, etc, etc, etc. But all it does is leave you grasping for straws. (Is that a saying)? I've watched and read so many business and marketing related content in the last six years. It's actually slightly depressing because all that says to me is 'hey, why haven't you actually done anything?'. Without even being 100% aware, I just am one of those people in my generation. One of those people who doesn't think they have to work hard to make things happen. I hate admitting that. I've done nothing but complain about how I'm still not where I want to be in life. It's pathetic. I have a bookcase full of marketing and business related books and look where I am. I haven't put in the work. I've been ruled by insecurities. I've sulked in self-pity over comparing myself to others who seemingly have the perfect life online.

Maybe I should do this.
Maybe I should shut out all the noise. Unfollow all the people. Why am I looking up to them anyway. Let's call it what it is. Jealousy. Envy. Greed. Stop trying to be and just do.
For a month. And just see if actually doing gets me further than reading about doing. Reading about doing comes with the illusion of feeling like you are actually doing something productive when in reality all you are doing is playing make believe. It's just a dumb rat race where everyone is trying to keep up with everyone and no one is really making it anywhere anyway.

But. And I have to add this caveat. Or do I? Geez I don't even know. I'm an addict. There's always a caveat. There's always something. But. Ok, well, I mean the Internet should go back to what it was. A super awesome great fab place to look up stuff that you are looking for and on occasion be inspired by something that you randomly find not some place that is just throwing ideas and shit at you from all sides about anything and everything and making you feel like you need anything and everything in your life or else your life sucks. I KNOW I am NOT alone in feeling like this.  But I was going to say that there is probably some value in having a VERY small circle of blogs or people that you follow online. Very small. Around 10 or less. Probably less is better. Less is more. In life. So, I was going to say that I wouldn't cut out everyone but I think I'm going to do it mostly.

I'm going to cut out all the noise. All the crap. All the stuff that makes me feel like a hurricane of needs and wants and desires with no destination or idea or or. I just don't need #allthethings in my life.

This theory to be continued....

Saturday, October 10, 2015

How I grew my Instagram Following

This is really what I did to boost my following on Instagram. I took a class called "Instagram with Intention" by Hilary Rushford. There's no secret. Her first free class is the best place to start. It's all about making your feed actually pretty so that potential followers aren't scared away by unappealing or ugly pics.  Even as a photographer, I found this class useful. And insightful, if you don't have anything to post then don't post something just to post it.

but have been learning as I go along is that if your point of view keeps changing you might alienate your current followers. For example, I first thought I would use my IG for the sole purpose of floral inspiration and to one day show my floral collage designs. This was not easy to keep up because floral design is not in my day to day or even week to week activities and I didn't want my feed to be just flowers. I wanted it to be about all the things that inspire me where I live. (Technically, I mean I still don't even feel like I have a super clear direction but it's getting more defined as I go along). Well, anyway, when I started to change the types of pics I was sharing, I definitely lost a lot of people who were probably following me because they liked seeing pretty flower pictures. At the same time, though, I felt like my feed was a lot more authentic because I'm not really this flower girl whose life revolves around flowers (but I do include flowers often).

which sucks but honestly if you have good light it doesn't matter too much about the quality of your camera. I would love to upgrade to the 6S or even just the 6 but I'm not working right now so I've gotta use what I have and make it work.

I would love to takeover companies that I admires feed for a day or two. I am also trying to integrate some of my family lifestyle photography into the feed so that potential photography clients can find me as well. On a personal note, once my feed is big enough and pretty enough I want to make some cute coffee table books with some of my pics. Some of what I would like to accomplish with IG is based my unknown creative endeavors - I'm not exactly sure what projects I want to do but it would be good if I had a following that might be interested in buying when the time comes.

Here's a cute shot of Hilary from her website:

Check out my Instagram and be sure to follow along!

What are some of your tips for using IG? What are some goals that you would like to accomplish with your feed?

Thursday, October 8, 2015

How your words become reality

It can't be said enough, choose your words wisely. It can be very easy to start talking negatively about anything but for the purpose of this post I am going to focus on talking negatively about other people. Throughout life, I've noticed that when I speak negatively about anyone that those words and ideas can have the power to change how I see a person. Whether true or false. My negative thoughts have the power to shape who that person is in my mind. It's a slippery slope and one about which I choose to stay very alert.

Think about it.

Sometimes when a person is speaking negatively about someone else, what are they really saying? Is it rooted in jealousy? Is it rooted in their own insecurity? Is it rooted in plain ignorance? Because those negative thoughts that you want to say about someone really do shape your entire relationship with that person. You start to take on those negative conversations you've had about them as your truth about that person. It dictates your thoughts, attitudes and interactions with them. It creates an invisible wall. On top of all of that, it effects how others may view the person. Negativity breeds negativity. It is ugly and heavy. Even if some of the negative things are true, if you talk about it multiple times, it becomes a big, ugly cloud over your relationship with that person.

I want to be intentional with what I say. I want to create positivity about others. So I'm choosing to stay more aware. To hold my tongue if it doesn't have anything of value to say.