The Emerald Girl

The Emerald Girl

life in seattle

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Loyal

This weeks Five Minute Friday blog link party word is Loyal. The theme of this link up is to write on the topic for five minutes.

I've been trying to think about what it means to be loyal and if being loyal to someone means not being loyal to someone else and how sometimes that line can blur. The easiest way to think about how to be loyal is how to be loving. Of course, in marriage, loyal means the obvious but when I think about other types of relationships being loyal looks differently.

People change and loyalties will change with them. People's perceptions of the relationships they have may differ from that of the people on the other end of the relationship.

When I think of loyalty I think of the Real Housewives and how no ones loyalty towards another housewife can stand the test of time. There's always hope for us viewers that maybe this friendship will last and we want it to but they never do.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Floral Shorts in Queen Anne

Shirt: Anthropologie | Shorts: Anthropologie | Necklace: J.Crew (similar)

Flowers make me happy. They are so beautiful and colorful it's hard to deny the simple pleasure of just laying your eyes on them. I love the ultra feminine look of combining the peplum top with the watercolored floral shorts. Each week I love to get fresh flowers from the farmers market and I was so delighted to bring these sunflowers home!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

3 Tips to Styling Prettier Photos

1. Use Great Light
Perhaps the most obvious but this is the most important step in creating gorgeous photos. For styled photos like these, I use window light. Watch the light coming in your windows throughout the day to see what window will work best. I took these on an overcast day in front of a large Southern facing window and used white poster board as a reflector. Light helps to define the details in whatever it is you are photographing. While you can increase the brightness or adjust your exposure in post, the quality of your photos will suffer the more you do.

2. Choose Your Props Carefully
This is entirely subjective but there are a few things to look for when picking your props, mainly quality. I like to photograph a lot of flowers. I try to use the flowers I buy right away because I want them to look as alive as possible. I wouldn't want to photograph flowers that had lots of brown petals and looked dead. In the case of macarons, don't use one if it's all smashed. When shopping for props, I often look for home decor items that I would use in my own house. Since I don't make my living off of styled images, it's important that I am not spending an exorbitant amount of money on props.

3. Photograph A Variety Of Angles
Photograph what you think would look best and then experiment with other angles. Move your body up, down, side to side, in and out. My main subject in these photos was the macarons so I wanted to make sure they were front and center. This tip is important because the more you practice the better you will become. So try different angles because you never know when you may discover a more beautiful approach.

Bonus: When you're all done you'll have pages to scroll through (if you shot with your iPhone) that will be so fun to scroll through.

I saved my snaps from the day and uploaded them to YouTube.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Team

What's a team?
A team is one or more people working together to achieve a common goal. Each person on the team needs to trust the others and needs the others to trust them. Trust is gained through action and not words alone. In fact, for me, I don't even need your words. Action truly does speak loudest and best. 

A marriage is the ultimate test of teamwork. My husband is an avid soccer fan. He grew up playing it and he is a season ticket holder for our Seattle Sounders. Sometimes I feel the only way I can explain to him about certain things I may be needing or that are lacking in our marriage is to describe us as a literal soccer team. We can't score a goal unless we work together. Strategize together. Celebrate together. Understand what each other needs. 


(photo by meghan klein)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Summer Blues at Parsons Garden

Casual summer style in J.Crew and Gap
Shirt: J.Crew (old) | Pants: Gap (on sale!) | Shoes: Converse | Bracelets: Kate Spade, Gap, Madewell (old)

I've been wanting to start a series about what I wore for awhile now. Since I work from home, I don't often have anywhere to go and my appearance suffers. This will be a fun project to at least put together a whole outfit once a week.

In Seattle, you gotta get your white shoe wearing days in before the rain comes.

Gap chinos are some of my favorites! One tip I've learned is to buy the size that fits snuggly when you try them on. These stretch out a lot and shrink back up when you wash/dry them. Once you wear them in, they'll fit more like the next size up in the dressing room. So try that size on if you want to know what the smaller size will fit like once you break 'em in.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Believing the Lie of Creative Entrepreneurship

For the last several years, I have been so caught up in all of the business motivation and marketing blogs that I truly, deep down in my sole, was obsessed and believed that this is what I needed to do with my life. That I needed to make it as a creative entrepreneur or else complete failure. That I was nothing if I could not be successful.
I have been believing a lie.

There are hundreds of blogs out there encouraging and sharing in the world of entrepreneurship and photography that it is very easy to get caught up in it and start thinking that this is the only way to be.

It's good to pursue hobbies and interests but that doesn't mean you have to make them a business. Because I genuinely love business marketing and motivation maybe one day I will but I don't have to. Every interest of mine does not have to be a possible business idea. I don't have to be the absolute best and I don't need to be dependent my hobby to make a living.

My husband just walked by and read the above. He says he thinks it's not a lie. He thinks I should keep pursuing my photography business.

So I should clarify. I'm not saying I never will. I'm saying that I don't need to have so many expectations on myself to achieve. In my last post, I've stated what my short term goals are. Those are the things that really matter to me right now. Being a well paid family photographer is not one of those goals. I like doing my contract work, spending time with my family and then enjoying a few hobbies without feeling like I need to be doing something productive to make my side business take off.

My hobbies: writing these journal-y blog posts, photography for social media and people photography.

I'm not letting them go. I don't feel like I'm giving up either. I'm taking time to focus on what actually matters to achieve my goals and letting myself be more where I am right now with my young children who need a lot of my attention. This is my season of life.

Now I'm feeling insecure about this post. Like, it must read as if I'm trying to convince myself. Words are powerful and maybe I am but it is a mind shift for me. I am not any less of a person if I don't own my own creative business right now. I don't need to feel less than when I look at other successful, creative people's IG feed or blog. I can enjoy and admire their work and let it inspire me in a positive way instead of lead to negative comparison.

I could go on but I feel as though I am starting to ramble.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Lift

I recently have decided to join a blog link party whose topic changes each week. The word of this week is LIFT and I will now write about it for 5 minutes.

Let me start this off by saying the immediate thought that comes to mind is hitchhikers. They need a lift. Hitchhiking is not something I have ever seriously considered partly because I have never needed to catch a random ride and partly because even if I did need a ride I'm not the adrenaline seeking risk taker that would dare hop in some strangers truck. 

I've been following a girl on Instagram who is hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. She started in April at the southern terminus at the Mexican border and a few days ago has made it to the Oregon border. This is wild. She needs a lift anytime she goes off the trail to a nearby town. This is frightening. A physical lift in which she can sit on a soft seat. She completely relies on the kindness of strangers and I can tell from her stories that the emotional lift she is given by these strangers is a gift she will carry with her for the rest of her life. 

That's my story for the week. Though I probably should have written about how God is my lift or something but I haven't learned to really lean into that yet and I've been letting myself sit in a place of negativity to be honest.