A Collection of Introverted Thoughts

a collection of introverted thoughts

What exactly is this blog post? I’m not quite sure. Perhaps it’s a collection of thoughts of mine that have not become such a speech that I can write an entire blog post about one concept. But I am an introvert, and I am creative, and I am artistic, and I am a Christian. And these are the things I’ve written about.

I don’t talk very much. When socializing, I prefer to be with one person at a time. Social settings are simply not my thing. I don’t like to be in a room full of people that I’m expected to attempt to make conversation with. There is one friend of mine that I used to hang out with weekly. We had long conversations about many topics. When he invited me to hang out with his other friends, I did so, but I probably spoke about twenty words within those two hours. I simply didn’t find it necessary to insert shallow words into a random conversation. He mentioned later that he forgot I was even there. I concluded that that was not my comfort place. I like to be quiet. I like my words to carry meaning. I am okay with being silent until someone wants to speak with me.

Related Post: My Passion For Living

My boyfriend and I had a debate about coffee. His point was that coffee isn’t even worth debating (which was why he soon forfeited the debate), but I said some profound things. I pointed out that it wasn’t the physical beverage of coffee and sugar and cream that I appreciated so much, but rather the whole artistic world that it represents. You see, coffee is associated with watching sunrises on a chilly morning, and editing photos on my laptop, and reading a book in bed. I rarely go to a coffee shop for coffee. In fact, if I invite a friend to “go for coffee,” I am likely going to order a chai tea latte or a caramel Frappuccino. And I’ll probably eat an oatmeal cookie or a slice of cheesecake. I didn’t drink coffee at any point, and that’s because “coffee” is a relative term, representative of artistic and introverted activities. I feel like I’m making perfect sense, and that I’m not the only one who feels this way. I don’t start my morning with coffee so that the caffeine can wake me up. I start my morning with coffee so that I can wrap my hands around a warm cup and cover my legs with a blanket while I’m wearing pajamas and think, “This is wonderful. I think today shall be a good day.” And that’s a good attitude to start the day with, as opposed to stumbling into the bathroom, still squinting. Agreed? Okay, good.

a collection of introverted thoughts
I haven’t inserted this photo into this post for any reason other than the fact that I look so fresh faced and radiant without my makeup. At least I think so. Photo taken by Wynonah Loewen.

I have bad days, of course. And I have had some days that are simply… terrible. So terrible, I can’t even. When this happens, I panic. I over evaluate everything. I recognize that the rest of my life will be miserable and disorganized and I’ll never restore what I lost. I am sometimes that dramatic, honestly. Not often, okay?

What do I do when that happens? I have to talk myself through it. I have to tell myself it doesn’t matter. And that’s such a miniscule that shouldn’t even be able to help me, at all. But it does. I have to tell myself that I’ll find a way through it, that I have previously been able to do this same thing, and that this is tiny and insignificant in comparison to larger things. And then I make tea. And I sit on a couch and drink hot tea, and maybe cry a few tears. And then I carry on with life. And soon enough, before the day is over, I have either moved on or the issue has been resolved. I simply communicate with myself until it’s over.

Similarly, when I’m in a terrible mood, I will experience within six minutes all the upsetness that anyone else can feel within two years. And I automatically pick up my phone and text a friend about how miserable I am. Such a bad habit! And so embarrassing. And in the morning, I’ll regret whatever I said to that friend. So I’ve found a way to replace that terrible habit. Whenever I feel upset, I’ll pick up my phone and text my friend to ask them how they’re doing, or to mention something that I know they like talking about. I focus entirely on them, instead of on myself. When I feel like saying, “Life sucks” or “I’m in a bad mood, okay?”, I’ll rather tell my friend that I started watching that Netflix series they recommended. It takes my focus entirely off my own pathetic problems, and by giving my attention to someone else, I’ll soon feel better.

Related Post: Introversion Improves My Friendships 

This year, I started listening to God. Last year, I only technically passed for a Christian. But I couldn’t have claimed to be living like one. Now, I can be proud of the progress I’m making, and I am excited to continue pursuing a relationship with God. There’s this very common fear among Christians, the teenagers as much as the adults. It’s the fear of how much we’re going to have to give up for God. We fear what dramatic sacrifices he’s going to ask us to make, what he’s going to take away and what he’s going to replace it with, and what he’s going to ask of us. Like C. S. Lewis said, “We’re not concerned that God doesn’t have the best in mind for us. We’re worried about how painful the best will be.” That may be the hugest thing that we have to overcome. But once you’re past that, it’s wonderful how free you are! God did, in fact, scare me a few times, such as the time he asked me to step on stage and speak to my youth group. I really didn’t want to. I’m isolated enough as it is; I don’t like to socialize with groups of people. But then to have everyone’s eyes on me and their full attention on every word I said… seemed far too much. But I trusted that God would give me the strength to do it and to do it well, because he had asked this of me. And it went well! I received such positive feedback from many people! I was told that I “looked calm and comfortable,” that my speech was “well prepared,” that they were inspired. I was, and am, so incredibly thankful for that, and that’s just one example of how wonderful and fulfilling and secure life is when I allow God to take control of it. Also, as the Bible claims that God will “bring things to your remembrance,” so Scripture has been coming to my mind in the exact situation when I, or a friend of mine, need it most.

I love early mornings, honestly. I like to be up before the sun is. When I wake up at 5:00 A.M., I can get many things done before the day begins. At 7:00 A.M., I meet with my family at the table for breakfast, but within those other two hours, I can work out, shower, practice a monologue for speech class, and make my breakfast. It’s so convenient to wake up that early and get many things done in advance, and I like the silence. I like the silence when no one is singing loudly or playing the keyboard or calling for me to help them. I like being the only one awake. When I’m done doing several things early in the morning, I get to watch the sunrise while drinking coffee, and that’s a pretty wonderful way to start the morning.

I like doing coffee dates. That’s my preferred method of hanging out with friends. When a friend is visiting my area for two days, I’ll ask to meet them at Mi Encanto. Mi Encanto is my favorite coffee shop to visit. It’s comfortable and Paris-themed and maybe a bit elegant. Their menu is full of coffee-related drinks and sandwiches and crepes. The first time I tried their crepes, I ordered the combo of Oreo and sweetened condensed milk, and have not since then ordered any other flavor combo. Because that one is too perfect. I melt every time. They have the most wonderful ice creams: they remove the fruit of a pineapple, mix it with ice cream, and place it back into the pineapple shell before serving, and they do this with a few different fruits. You understand now why I love coffee shops, and love meeting with a person here? Okay, good.

I rather like who I am becoming. Within the last six months, I have become both more confident and more certain of things. I think powerful thoughts that get me through a rough day. I believe in certain concepts and ideas that I live by, and I care less about what people think of my appearance. I believe in myself, and take on some more difficult projects. There is always room to grow, of course, but I like what God has done with me. I’m getting there.

I hope you can relate to some of these introverted thoughts. Thanks for reading about my quiet self.

Convenient Facebook Resources

convenient facebook resources

Honestly, so much of my photography inspiration and knowledge comes from the other photographers I interact with on Facebook. And I would only be able to continue writing blog posts and learning about this blogger lifestyle, if I had other bloggers around me! So I’ll give you a few of my super convenient Facebook resources that helped to teach me and inspire me.

1. Build + Bloom by Jessica Whitaker

Link provided here.

First of all, Jessica Whitaker is such a huge inspiration to me (hearteyes). She’s got such a cute, vibrant personality (as well as, appearance) and she’s from Hillsong, so thank you! She created this group, which currently has somewhere around 35,000 members. These people are all photographers with a diverse style, and Build + Bloom is a place where they can all go with their questions and requests. When you’re asking a question to 35,000 people, you’re bound to get a thorough answer! Also, people share their latest photographs, and seeing these photographs is a major thing that inspires me to constantly be growing and improving!

2. LooksLikeFilm

Link provided here.

LooksLikeFilm is a group of 41,000 people who are all skilled photographers. Seriously, I don’t fit in there. The photographs shared are always captured with emotion and a story, as well as insane photographer skills and general perfection. Most of the photographs posted in this group are pictures with deep shadows and contrast. I’ve seen so many photographs of birth sessions and of boudoir sessions, as well as portraits of actors that have been my childhood heroes, and I’m in love with all the art I see. This group has definitely inspired me to better my photography.

3. Conceptual (Self) Portraiture with Holly Rose Stones

Link provided here.

The people in this group are so insanely creative and talented! There’s a portrait of a girl chained up the braid in her hair, and a portrait of someone with blue lightning crawling through their face, and a portrait of a girl with her wet hair covering her face and blood covering her mouth, and a portrait of a man holding light in his hands while balls of light float around him, and a picture of a hand reaching out from under the water, with a ship sinking in the background.

And all these pictures have such perfect composition and lighting that they evoke emotion and tell stories and illustrate the imagination of the artist who created it. I cannot recommend this group enough. The best photographs ever are posted here.

4. Creative Ninja Nation

Link provided here.

This group was made for the creative ninjas, as you probably gathered. It’s a place for creative bloggers, entrepreneurs, and side hustlers to ask their questions. A group filled with bloggers is the perfect place to go to ask all your blog-related questions. An admin will often, at the beginning of the day, ask a question to initiate discussion. She’ll ask something like, “What are your three goals for the rest of the week?” or “What inspired you today?” and I like to answer these and receive responses and see what others have answered. Creative Ninja Nation is a fun place to be.

5. Rooke & Rover Crew

Link provided here.

Rooke & Rover is a set of presets. I personally do not use presets because I don’t use Lightroom to edit my photos–I use Adobe Photoshop Express and GIMP 2.8 and Watermark!. But this group is also filled with many inspiring photographers who use the Rooke & Rover presets, and then share their final results with the group. They post such adorable photos of couples smiling at each other and looking into each other’s eyes while a sun sets in the background and gives the whole scene a golden glow. I love scrolling through the photos in that group.

6. BELOVED STORIES COMMUNITY

Link provided here.

Aside from how talented and vibrant the photographers in this group are, this group is one that provides for some extra opportunities! In BELOVED STORIES COMMUNITY, where photographers share photographs of adorable couples who are deeply in love, the admins will give you a chance to be featured on their website. Also, every week a “story” will be shared on their website, as an article. The photographs are the cutest!

7. Photography – Education – Heck Yeah!

Link provided here.

First of all, I appreciate how straightforward and summed up the pinned post is. Ben Sasso, the admin, very simply stated that you aren’t allowed to spam, advertise, sell gear, create follow trains, or create Instagram pods. You are very much allowed to be helpful, encourage art, and seek growth. Ben offers photography classes, as well as sells his own presets. Most of the photographs in this group are light and airy… not my style. I do dark and moody. But some of the concepts are so heartwarming and vulnerable, which is enough to make me stay.

8. Boost Your Blog

Link provided here.

Helene Sula owns this group, which is a huge plus right there. I’ve been following blogger Helene Sula for a while, and I love her Instagram stories as well as Instagram pictures! What I really appreciated was that she actually answered me when I sent her a DM on Instagram. People who have knowledge to offer you but ignore your questions are pretty useless, and Helene was kind enough to provide a solution to my specific problems. Anyhoozle, her Facebook group Boost Your Blog is very helpful for bloggers who need some support and love from other bloggers, to help build each other up.

9. Promoting Your Sales & Advertising Your Business

Link provided here.

Most Facebook groups don’t allow you to promote yourself, but this one does. It’s meant for people who have something to sell. Frequently, they have threads in which you get to share your Facebook page, like some other Facebook pages shared in that thread, and wait for some people to like your page. Some people will even start buying threads! In which they’ll purchase $30 worth of product from you, in exchange that you buy $30 worth of product from them. It’s very helpful!

10. Bloggers Supporting Bloggers

Link provided here.

Again, it’s so convenient to have a Facebook group full of bloggers that support each other! With daily threads, I can find people with engaging blog posts that I’ll comment on, in exchange that they’ll leave a comment on my social media posts. It’s a great way to meet and collaborate with other bloggers! This group also offers expert tips on blogging and shares links to blog posts that you need to read.

Related Post: Instagram Accounts That Provide Inspiration

11. Blog Booster

Link provided here.

Pretty much identical to the one listed before! A Facebook group full of bloggers who will support your content on your blog and/or social media, and will answer your questions, and will ask you questions that you have the opportunity to answer, and will share with you blog posts that have convenient resources and lists and ideas that you’ve never considered before. I appreciate groups like these so much, because I wouldn’t enjoy the blogger lifestyle very much if I didn’t have anyone to interact with. I have met up with other bloggers that I’ve collaborated with, and have enjoyed it!

12. Connect & Cultivate with Ivory Mix

Link provided here.

This one is similar to the two Facebook groups mentioned before this one, but even better! I love the graphics. Every picture included in an engagement thread is designed with the cutest flat lay and font, as well as aesthetic things such as flower crowns, Polaroid cameras, coffee cups, iPhones and earphones. The statuses are written with enthusiasm and friendliness, which only encourages a blogger that much more to take the time to support other bloggers and leave them some compliments. I love this group, for those simple little details that make it visually appealing! Make note of that.

13. Instagram Impact

Link provided here.

This is a very new one. It was created and is run by Helene Sula, the owner of Boost Your Blog. As I was scrolling through posts in Boost Your Blog, I noticed that Helene was inviting people who were specifically interested in Instagram to join her new group called Instagram Impact. And, since Instagram is my favorite and most-used social media platform, I requested to join the group, and am today enjoying it thoroughly! It’s very helpful to have many people around me who are willing to answer my questions about Instagram, should I ever have any.

14. TheLawTog – the legal resource for photographers

Link provided here.

This one is quite different from the other groups I am in. Despite the disclaimer in the description of this group claiming that nothing stated in the group can be taken as absolute truth about the law, this is the place to ask questions about what the law says about photography. Certain landmarks and architectures are not allowed to be photographed without special permission, and it takes quite a bit of effort to gain that permission. And this is the place where I can learn about such things.

15. LOOKSLIKEFILM LEARN

Link provided here.

The other group, called LooksLikeFilm, is only a group to share photos. No one gives CC (constructive criticism) in that group; they’re only allowed to tell you how much they love your photo or they can ignore it if they don’t like it. But in this group, the members are allowed to ask questions and answer questions and critique each other.

I hope you found this list of resources convenient! If you’re a blogger or photographer or Instagrammer, you may like to join one or more of these groups and interact with me there.

 

Road Tripping Through America

road tripping through america

Day 1:

Starting in Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua, Mexico–which is where I currently live–my dad and my brother and I hit the road and left for the border. We traveled through El Paso, Texas into New Mexico and eventually stopped in Durango, Colorado for the night.

At first, it was not enjoyable. All those turns and curves in the mountain brought me close to vomiting my breakfast. Very close, in fact. But I managed to survive, and the sights and smells on the way to Durango were pleasant. There was plenty of farmland on the way over, and for several miles we could smell alfalfa, and watch a golden sunset over the mountains.

road tripping through america
A pretty picture I captured of the sunset, on Day 1 of my road trip through the USA.

We listened to Twenty One Pilots for a large part of the road trip, and I was so happy to hear from my dad at the end of the day that he really likes Twenty One Pilots. As nervous as I was to share something I enjoy so much with someone who might have something unpleasant to say if he didn’t feel the same way I did, I was glad he liked their music.

Related Post: My Favorite Songs And What They Mean To Me

Durango, Colorado, is where the hippies are. And it’s also where the restaurants leave their doors wide open as the employees clean up after closing hours, and then wonder why customers walk in their doors at such a late hour. As I write this, I’m sitting in an adorable hotel room, hoping it’s soon my turn for the shower. That will be the perfect end to this long, yet successful day.

Day 2:

More driving! In the morning, we stayed in Durango, Colorado for a while, while Dad visited certain farmers to check out their onion fields and sweet corn fields, while my brother and I watched Pulp Fiction in the car. I recommend that film, by the way. It did not disappoint. For the rest of the day, we only drove from Durango, Colorado, to Salt Lake City, Utah. As we drove through the Colorado mountains, we stopped at a place where we had a clear view of the side of a mountain, from a cliff. I stepped out, set up my tripod, and took a few pictures of the view. I’ve decided that I love driving through Salt Lake City. Hence the lake, the city smells salty. Like a beach breeze. You’re driving through city lights and factories and skyscrapers and all of it smells like a warm, salty, beach breeze. That’s a perfect thing.

road tripping through america
The Colorado mountains are so gorgeous and so majestic. I captured these on Day 2 of my road trip through the USA.

Day 3:

Not very much happened today, meaning I didn’t take a whole lot of pictures. But we were allowed to sleep in longer today; we didn’t have to leave quite so early. I didn’t sleep in, however. I awoke at 6:00 A.M., since I knew that breakfast was first available at 6:30 A.M. I read books and made coffee and took breakfast up to the room. Dad had a meeting from 9:30 ish to 11:30 ish, and he knows what I love, so he left me at Barnes & Noble for those two hours. The girl who worked at the Starbucks in Barnes & Noble was so friendly! She told me about the book she was currently enjoying, and I explained how two hours isn’t enough time to read an entire book in one sitting but it’s also too long to browse the shelves, so I usually went for the children’s books and read multiple of those during my time at the bookstore. I’m smart like that. I also saw Lord of Shadows again and mourned the fact that I still haven’t purchased that book. Throughout the day, we drove from Layton, Utah, to Pasco, Oregon.

Day 4:

And we continue to visit only fast food restaurants. But that’s alright, I guess. We never do fast food when we’re at home, and this is only for eight days? Okay, yes, I feel guilty about these meal choices, but what else can we do when we want to get 13 hours of driving into one day?

Today was the day for photography, definitely. I had no idea that Oregon was as beautiful as Colorado! I took so many pictures of the river beside the road, of the waterfall, and of gorgeous Portland. I’ve always wanted to go to Portland.

I really appreciated the hotel we stayed at. It was a rather old-fashioned motel, but they put so much thought into the details of our room. The towels were all folded the right away, and the teabags had thoughtful words written on them. It felt homey and comfortable.

road tripping through america
This is the lovely river in Portland, captured on Day 4 of my road trip through the USA.
road tripping through america
I love all the colors and tones in this photograph that I captured on Day 4 of my road trip through the USA.
road tripping through america
I visited this beauty and took pictures, on Day 4 of my road trip through the USA.
road tripping through america
This mountain was the most photogenic natural structure of them all. I didn’t even have to try; it just posed for me.
road tripping through america
I took this picture and edited it and appreciated it, and loved it so much! And then I drove over the Golden Gate Bridge and thought, “Oh, never mind.”
road tripping through america
When one has the opportunity, she sets her brother down on a bench and creates a photograph of him without his head.

Day 5:

Hello, California! Today may have been the highlight of the whole trip. Unless visiting LA tomorrow turns out to be super awesome (I think that even if I do see any celebrities, I won’t know that they’re a celebrity, and will miss an opportunity because of my ignorance). As we drove toward San Francisco, I saw a beach on my front, almost concealed by a fog. I asked Dad if we had the time to stop, and he pulled the truck over beside the road. On the beach, I captured photographs of waves as they crashed, and of seagulls as they took flight for a few minutes and then landed on the sand again. I should probably be talking more about the Redwood Forest, but is it okay if I enjoyed the ocean more?

road tripping through america
This was the most successful picture that I captured of a wave, on Day 5 of my road trip through the USA.
road tripping through america
This is such an artistic picture, okay? My dad and brother were walking toward the seagulls. On Day 5 of my road trip through the USA.
road tripping through america
My dad and my brother were counting the rings in the tree’s trunk, in the Redwood Forest, on Day 5 of my road trip through the USA.
road tripping through america
Dad took this adorable candid photograph that Dad took of brother and I getting close to the waves and then quickly running away so the water wouldn’t catch our feet.
road tripping through america
The seagulls let me approach so close to take pictures of them.
road tripping through america
Dad liked to take my camera and hang it around his neck and take pictures of me.
road tripping through america
I noticed in this one how the back of my head looks very decent. My hair is growing out nicely in the back, even if it looks pathetic in the front.

Day 6:

And we entered celebrity country! Wow, my face feels weird when I’m not wearing my glasses. I think the bridge of my nose is tingly. I didn’t take any pictures today! Why? Because California isn’t pretty!

Okay, the beaches and forests from yesterday were super pretty. But the cities aren’t pretty. I’m unimpressed with the public restrooms, and everything looks so dry and yellow. BUT, that doesn’t matter because Cameron Diaz drove past me and we made eye contact. For lunch, we had a meeting at Panera outside of Santa Barbara with Dad’s business associate friends, and then brother and I yelled along to loud Twenty One Pilots music while we waited for Dad in the car. Also, I really want my hair to grow out, because it looks so awkward right now.

Day 7:

I enjoyed that trip, but it’s so good to finally be home. We drove a total of 76 hours over the course of one week. That’s an average of 11 hours per day. How even?

Breakfasts were served at the hotel, but as far lunches and dinners, every single restaurant we visited was a fast food restaurant, except for one time. And then with all those hours and driving and no hours of exercising… you can imagine how lethargic and inactive my body has been.

It took a while for Dad to convince me to come along on the trip. I would be missing a week at the gym, my appointment with my nutritionist on Thursday, youth on Wednesday night, and my meeting with the writing club on Saturday. I really didn’t want to leave. But Dad told me that we’d be driving through famous cities and seeing national parks.. and then he appealed specifically to me by telling me that I’d have something to blog about and that I’d take a lot of pictures. I did both. And I’m glad I went on the trip, because there really isn’t any point in my near future when I’ll be less busy than I am now. My schedule would continue to keep me occupied, and I simply had to make phone calls and prepare things in advance and decide to allow myself to relax as I took a few days off. It was a wonderful road trip.

Conceptual Photographs

conceptual photographs

One of my favorite sorts of photography is conceptual photography. As opposed to pictures with a pretty body and a pretty face and lovely composition and soft light, I love photographs that tell a story. As much as I love writing poetry and short stories, I also love portraying something without words. When not a single word needs be spoken, and everything in the story is displayed and explained and revealed right there within a small frame, I’ve created a masterpiece. And sometimes, I don’t even know what concept I am illustrating. Sometimes I do. I hope to photograph many more concepts. I have ideas for emotionally dark conditions such as anorexia, depression, and anger. As well as a music-themed shoot, very Ansel-Elgort-ish. And a shoot filled with rainbows. And a shoot with paint running down the face. I have so much yet to do.

1. Levitation Self Portraits

conceptual photographs
My brother stood behind me and tipped my chair back and held onto it. I was so nervous in the taking of this picture.
conceptual photographs
On the far left, there were three chairs stacked up. In the middle, there were two chairs stacked. Underneath my foot was a small stepping bench.
conceptual photographs
Roses are lifting me away.
conceptual photographs
I’m communicating with the flowers growing out of the wall. We’re close friends.
conceptual photographs
A broomstick cuts away most of my body.

I think self portraits are too much work because of all the running back and forth and trying to get into position within ten seconds, but I see so many Instagram accounts of people who have made masterpieces out of their self portraits. And it’s convenient! When I don’t have a model available, or the model isn’t willing to try my quirky ideas, I need to be my own model. My brother helped me out with these pictures. He held the roses in place or held my chair as I tipped it back. And I think the final results are adorable!

2. Telekinesis

conceptual photographs
With my magical powers, I hold a coffee cup in the air.
conceptual photographs
And a eucalyptus branch.
conceptual photographs
And a jar of pickles.
conceptual photographs
Shoutout to my cat for posing for me. She’s a babe.

Again, my brother helped me out with these. He held the items in place while I positioned my hands.

3. Lego Lifestyle Scenes

conceptual photographs
This is the best of them! Two Lego people are working in a cinnamon roll, harvesting cinnamon rolls. That’s perfectly normal, right?
conceptual photographs
Three Legos are sitting behind an iPhone charger, because that’s also a perfectly normal thing to do.
conceptual photographs
Three Legos standing on a tree branch, talking about birds and pinecones and stuff.
conceptual photographs
Two Legos sitting on a towel, likely drying off after an hour in the sauna.

This was the challenge in a Facebook group that I was in. The group was created to give weekly challenges to the members, so that we could grow in photography and try new things. We were assigned lifestyle scenes with Legos, and these are the fun things I came up with. Really, they make no sense at all, but they’re cute, right? My favorite is the one of the two Legos harvesting cinnamon rolls from a cinnamon roll mine. As for the picture of the Legos in a tree, you have no idea how many times I set them up so they wouldn’t fall over!

4. Emotionally Dark Photography with Johny

conceptual photographs
The hollow eyes of a demon. I was so extremely proud of this photograph when I first created it. I still love it.
conceptual photographs
I love how the lines in the background and the angle from above bring this whole picture together.
conceptual photographs
I feel like this is the most vulnerable face anyone can wear.
conceptual photographs
The perfect rectangular shapes were made by the light streaming into the hallway through a window in each room.

I think this was the most successful shoot out of all my shoots ever. Johny has been my model for quite a few shoots, and he knows what he’s doing on that side of the camera. Without trying, really. He played the right songs from his phone, that he knew would allow him to feel emotional, and therefore look emotional. Plus, the locations were a little eerie, as if they had stories of their own to tell.

Related post: Instagram Accounts That Provide Inspiration

5. Eva and Christmas lights

conceptual photographs
I still love how cute and funky Eva was being.
conceptual photographs
She knows how to be mysterious, honestly.
conceptual photographs
In this picture, she looks like a young child marveling over a new and wonderful thing. I love how she was able to play that role.
conceptual photographs
As completely opposed to the previous picture in this article, in this picture she looks like a mysterious villain, by looking at her reflection and yet hiding her face.
conceptual photographs
I simply adore how the colors are reflected onto her face, and how pensive she looks.
conceptual photographs
Honestly, so much credit to Brandon Woelfel for inspiring the world with fairy light photography.

Oh man, don’t ask Eva for the story of how hard I tried to find her house. It’s terrible. I couldn’t get there until she came to meet me halfway, and I could hardly find my way home either. But once we arrived there, we plugged in the pretty Christmas lights into the car I drove and stretched it out and took pictures on her wide, green lawn. The lights are so pretty.

Related Post: Why I Love Boudoir Photography

6. Eva in the water

conceptual photographs
Okay, Eva is a hottie on that side of the camera. She’s got this thing down.
conceptual photographs
She’s floating away in a river with her hands folded over her chest, as if dead.
conceptual photographs
And here’s another picture of Eva floating in the water with her hands folded over her chest.
conceptual photographs
In this picture, Eva is holding her breath underwater. It’s as if something is chasing her, but won’t find her if she keeps herself underwater, so she tries desperately to hold her breath.
conceptual photographs
I think Eva is so pretty, and so good at modeling. This photo shoot was so much fun.

I thought my pool was clean, but it turned out it was green and slimy all throughout. A day before the photo shoot, I texted my friend who was out of town to ask her if I could use her pool. She said I could, and Eva and I took turns slowly edging our way into the cold water and modeling bravely.

7. Jessica and Alfredo

conceptual photographs
I adore this photo of Jessica and Alfredo so much, because of all the negative space behind them! They stood on a bridge and I stood underneath it, and pointed my camera upward to take the picture.
conceptual photographs
I told them to slow dance. I believe they told me they didn’t know how to? Pfft. They danced so perfectly.
conceptual photographs
Isn’t this picture perfectly composed with the lines and the colors?
conceptual photographs
And he dipped her. I melted on the inside!
conceptual photographs
They’re so cute, I can’t even. To this day, I still adore these photos and the way they turned out.
conceptual photographs
I loved how soft the natural sunlight was on that day. The effect was so pretty.
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And this, likely my most favorite picture of the whole session, is a candid shot of them getting into position, and being adorable in the process.

The location they chose was so lovely, with all the textures and leading lines, and the sky was a perfect overcast grey, and they were dressed so nicely, and they were so cute and candid… this photo session was a perfect success in the end. We used a lot less time than we thought we would, because so many shots came out perfectly.

8. Dollhouse by Melanie Martinez

conceptual photographs
This picture depicts the lyric “Mom, please wake up…” and the next picture finishes the lyric.
conceptual photographs
This picture finishes the lyric “…Dad’s with a slut” from the previous picture.

I got the brilliant idea to turn songs into photographs. I started with the song Dollhouse by Melanie Martinez and used the lyric “Mom, please wake up/Dad’s with a slut.”

I guess that’s one place that I’ve learned to find creativity–music. I like to listen to lyrics and plan how I might change the lyrics of the song into a photograph. I’ve got plans for multiple songs by Melanie Martinez, for Intro by NF, for Honey Magnolia by Brian Fallon, and for songs by Twenty One Pilots. But so far I’ve only taken pictures for Dollhouse.

9. The Spirit of Rock & Roll

conceptual photographs
This is a ghost with a very chilling presence, who is into heavy metal. Credits go to Johny (the model) for coming up with the title The Spirit Of Rock & Roll.
conceptual photographs
In that same session, we took pictures with Christmas lights. With all the pictures edited, my favorite ones were the candid shots.
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I played around with colors and such while editing. I like the effect.
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In this one, the lights are in focus, instead of the model.

We drove out to a secluded hill beside the road that goes around town instead of through it, and there we set up the benches and small tables needed for the ghost photograph. Beside the road and in front of the city lights, we plugged in the Christmas lights and took pictures of those.

I hope you enjoyed these photos! I thoroughly loved taking them and editing them, and I believe I have the best job ever. If, within these photos where I couldn’t find a concept, you find a concept that’s been illustrated without my realizing it, comment and tell me what it is! I’d love to see something that you find. Also… do you want a tutorial on how I created these photographs?

Reviewing Fiction Books

I was proud of myself when I read four books last week. Four fictional books within one week. That’s impressive, okay? I’m going to review those books, as well as the one I am reading right now, and one non-fiction book that I was quite impressed with. The seven books I’m reviewing are Thr3e by Ted Dekker (who is my favorite of all authors), Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, The Martyr’s Song by Ted Dekker, Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks, The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks, Time Management Magic by Lee Cockerell, and Chosen by Ted Dekker.

SPOILERS AHEAD: Do not read this blog post if you are currently reading, or plan to soon read, any of these books.

1. Thr3e by Ted Dekker

reviewing fiction books
Thr3e by Ted Dekker. Photo provided by Wikipedia.com

First of all, Ted Dekker is my favorite author of all. Before him, it was Cassandra Clare, and I don’t think I’ve had any other favorite authors. Ted Dekker writes spiritual thrillers and supernatural thrillers, incorporating biblical truth into his stories, which makes for some interesting research into the Bible itself–mostly Genesis and Revelation.

I heard such wonderful things about this novel, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as others did. The interesting scenes were the ones of Kevin’s childhood: confrontations with Slater, as well as adventures with Samantha. Other interesting scenes were the ones of Balinda’s house and the distorted reality she created for her family. And the last two chapters–those contained the climax of the book.

I didn’t find it easy to believe that this could happen in real life. I felt the narration of the entire story was a perfectly accurate way to describe the perspective of a person with multiple personalities, a clear glimpse into their world and their life, where the people closest to them live within themselves. And yet, could one person’s mental condition create such chaos and panic that it would capture the attention of FBI agents and special agents? I always thought that it wouldn’t be so real to the rest of the world as it would be to that one person.

Then again, I haven’t experienced, or know anyone who has experienced, this sort of illness. So I can’t say. Anyway, you can use this link to purchase the book if you’re interested in reading it yourself.

2. Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

reviewing fiction books
Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. Photo provided by amazon.com

I don’t think I liked it. I guess I expected more of it. I mean, the following books are entitled Crescendo, Silence, and Finale. As poetic as they sound, I guess I wanted them to be something artistic and profound. It was no such thing. The back of the book made it sound like an erotica, and the novel itself was only as interesting as any other teen vampire romance novel… but with fallen angels as opposed to vampires. Nora and Vee of Hush Hush are identical to Vee and Sydney of Nerve. This “bad boy” vibe that Patch has is kind of cringe-y. And why even is his name Patch? Also, I’m not sure that any two characters had so much sexual intension without anything even happening, as Nora and Patch had. But, if you wanna read the book, you can purchase it here.

2. The Martyr’s Song by Ted Dekker

reviewing fiction books
The Martyr’s Song by Ted Dekker. Photo provided by amazon.com

I loved this book. It was rather short and I was able to read through it in a day, but it was so poetically written. It started off as a very ordinary everyday-life scene, and soon turned into something mysterious and curious. And I appreciated the perspective as well–to honor physical beauty as something worthy of being desired and worthy of searching for, instead of shaming it and shaming the girl for wanting it badly. The courage of the young birthday girl was truly inspiring to me, and the cruelty of the commander was truly horrifying. Yet I became a little emotional when I saw how that little girl’s strength and courage and fearlessness affected all the elderly people around her, until not one of them was afraid any longer. With all his captives willing to die and unafraid of it, the commander wasn’t sure what to do or how to threaten them anymore. And hearing this story was supposed to give a regular schoolgirl true physical beauty? I wouldn’t have thought of that. If you want to read this inspiring book, you can purchase it right here.

Related Post: The Books That Counted

4. Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

reviewing fiction books
Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks. Photo provided by nicholassparks.com

This book made me emotional. It made me hold my breath, and it made my heart race. On the very last day that I was reading this book, I went to bed at 9:56 PM, read this book until I finished it at 11:34 PM, and then went to sleep. I was sleepy, but the ending was too much for me to put down. I couldn’t wait until the next day.

I was very pleased with the pace at which Alex and Katie fell in love. It was patient and steady and gentle. I loved reading the flashback scenes of Katie’s life when she was Erin and she still lived with her husband Kevin. Kevin made me angry, and I admire Nicholas Sparks’ narrative style, for being able to evoke emotion in his readers. I can see how Erin turned into a Katie, considering the experience she’d had and the lessons she learned from it as well as the damage it did to her. If you’re interested in purchasing this novel, which you totally should be, because it’s so good, you can find it on Amazon here.

5. The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks

reviewing fiction books
The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks. Photo provided by goodreads.com

I didn’t like it. It was a good story and all, but it wasn’t a great story. There was no romance in their first kiss; it seemed like more of a kind gesture than romantic appreciation. There wasn’t either anything special about the first time they made love, or about all the times after that. And the way he faded away from her… I don’t know. It didn’t work. Something was missing in that part of the book. He didn’t have any explanation for leaving her, not even to himself did he recognize why he was distancing himself. It was simply cold and unexplained, and he didn’t have anything to say for himself even when she broke up with him. To sum it up, I was able to reach the end of the book, but I didn’t enjoy the process. It didn’t hold my attention or make my heart race. But if you’d like to read this book anyway, you can find it using this link.

6. Time Management Magic by Lee Cockerell

reviewing fiction books
Time Management Magic by Lee Cockerell. Photo provided by amazon.com

I have read so many leadership, personal growth, business, and spirituality books. And the problem that I’ve encountered throughout so much of them, is that they’re too general. Usually, I can tell by the title if the book is going to be another copy of everything else I’ve read. This book was different from all those, because it gave some very specific ideas and suggestions. As opposed to saying, “Save time by rearranging your schedule to perfectly coordinate others’ schedules with yours,” the author said, “I leave my house five minutes before Starbucks opens, so I can arrive there the minute they open their doors. That way, I don’t have to wait in line, and I can finish my breakfast in twenty minutes,” or “I schedule my appointments for 8:00 A.M.–the first appointment in that doctor’s day–so that they can be on time.” Very specific instructions! Lee Cockerell was specific, and was not vague. And I appreciated that so much. If you want to purchase this awesome sauce book, use this link.

7. Chosen by Ted Dekker

reviewing fiction books
Chosen by Ted Dekker. Photo provided by goodreads.com

I enjoyed this one! It was different from most of Ted Dekker’s novels. I usually read his supernatural thrillers or psychological thrillers, but this one was a little bit more like his Immanuel’s Veins–which, by the way, is the first and best novel that I’ve ever read by Ted Dekker and I really miss that book, Jeremy needs to give it back already–and I enjoyed it for that reason. Somehow it was a story of darkness and the battle of evil power, told so innocently that I could only adore it. Maybe this is because the protectors of legend are depicted as fluffy white bats that attempt to do karate and fall on their heads? The description is a little too cute to take seriously. Either way, I loved to watch how dynamic the characters were, how they discovered who was on their side and who thought only of themselves, and how it benefits one to think with the heart. Apparently this is the first of a series which is part of a universe, that I have yet to read. If you want to read this novel, use this link.

As you can see, I’ve provided for each book a link that will take you straight to the page where you can purchase that same book on Amazon! I hope you do, in fact, make the decision to read these books—at least the ones that I left a good review on. Read the other ones as well, if you like! And let me know if you find something admirable in them that I missed. If you’ve read any of these books before, comment and tell me how you liked them!

 

Introversion Improves My Friendships

Introversion Improves My Friendships

All too often, when I tell people that I’m introverted, they think I mean that I’m antisocial. I’m surprised I still have to explain this. Why does introversion get twisted so unfairly?

So I’ll explain.

Being an introvert means that I find my energy in quieter situations. If I’m stressed over something, I will not find relaxation in going out with my friends for an evening and leaving my problem at home. That will stress me out even more because I will not be able to properly enjoy my friends if I know I’m leaving something else unsettled. I will find relaxation in staying at home to read a book and drink hot tea. It settles me, and I’ll find a way to fix my problem once I’ve taken some time to relax.

Related Post: Why I Shaved My Head

I do not stay home alone and avoid people at all costs. That’s not what introversion is. The truth is, I can very well spend an afternoon with six or more people and laugh and enjoy it, but when I come home in the evening, I will often wonder what I did with my day that was so successful. But when I take two hours out of my afternoon to meet one friend at a coffee shop and talk about the progress we’re making in our careers and about our relationships and about the books we’ve been reading and about everything else, I go home feeling satisfied. I enjoy hanging out with one friend at a time. I lose appreciation for people when I am with several of them at the same time, but I draw closer to a person when I’m able to have real one-on-one conversations with them about the things that matter.

I can do groups of people. But I prefer one person at a time. I can do parties. But I’d rather do coffee dates.

I hope that makes sense to you 🙂

Instagram Accounts That Provide Inspiration

instagram

I go to Instagram for inspiration. Often I go to Pinterest… but Instagram supplies me with mind-blowing creativity when Pinterest cannot. I value my social medias because I need a place where people can join communities specifically meant to help artists grow and learn.

I want to tell you about several Instagram accounts that provide me with inspiration when I need it; Instagram accounts led by people who are ahead of me and who are my role model and who I am learning from.

1. agapealways on Instagram

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agapealways

David Rodriguez’s art is a series of masterpieces. Be warned: I might say that about every account I list here.

He may be a rule breaker or something–I noticed that the lighting in his photos aren’t what most photographers call ideal… yet it looks so good?! Also, several of his photos are intentionally grainy, and I love it!

I feel that most photographers feel they need to follow a strict set of rules and guidelines and trending brands in order to become the definition of a true photographer. Friend, please don’t. Create your own art and write your own rules.

David Rodriguez’s photos speak of sensuality and concept combined into a single photograph. He is truly talented. You can check out his Instagram page right here.

2. benjamin6754 on Instagram

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benjamin6754

I’m not even sure what words to use to describe Ben Lasky’s art. But his photographs make one feel a kind of way. Visiting his account gives me inspiration and ideas for another photo project I want to accomplish. He paints places and scenes onto his face and chest; he literally wears stories on his skin. He takes portraits of people during golden hour, when the sunset light filters through one’s hair so as to make a halo. I’ve been admiring him for a long time, and he was very polite when I messaged him. That’s another thing to look up to. Right here is a link to his Instagram page.

3. bleeblu on Instagram

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bleeblu

Nude people, and things. If you read this related blog post, you’ll understand why I love photographing nude people. Mark Del Mar seems to create lifestyle nude art… pictures of half-dressed ladies drinking their morning lemon water, taking a bath, writing a novel, or brushing their hair in the mirror. I find a lot more life in a photograph when it illustrates something a person does on a regular basis, as opposed to simply posing one’s body for a photograph. That’s why I love this photography account. Look at his photos here.

4. brandonwoelfel on Instagram

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brandonwoelfel

Everyone knows Brandon Woelfel. He takes pictures of fairy lights and city lights and glitter and confetti and smoke bombs. All of his photos have some shimmer and sparkle, as well as cotton candy tones such as baby blue and pink, and he often lets his models use those large, round glasses as a prop. His photographs speak of walks along a bridge at 11:00 PM at night and of ballrooms lit up with strings of Christmas lights. He recently released a photo book called Luminescence. I’ve seen only hints at what’s inside, but I’m dying to purchase the book for myself.

All the other photographers on YouTube are creating tutorials on how to edit just like Brandon, and I hope to soon have a Woelfel-themed photo session so I can try out the cotton candy tones as well.

He has only a few videos on his YouTube channel, but, like, you can still check it out here. And you can look at his collection of photos here.

5. damerogue on Instagram

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damerogue

Her name isn’t mentioned on her Instagram page, so I will refer to her as damerogue. I would say damerogue’s niche is boudoir photography, but she simply describes it as “sensualness sprinkled with cannabis.” So there are a lot of smoke clouds in her pictures as well. Some of her photographs speak of rebellion and carelessness, while others speak of romance and contemplation. Right here is a link to her Instagram profile.

6. danielinskeep and rachelgulotta on Instagram

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danielinskeep
instagram
rachelgulotta

I count Daniel and Rachel as a pair because they both run Mango Street on YouTube. They work together, and whoever knows one of them knows the other.

It isn’t their photos specifically that inspire me, but their attitude about their photos. I notice in their videos that neither of them attempt to follow the strict rules that define a photographer as professional or qualified. They simply use whatever camera works for them, whatever equipment works for them, whatever location and weather setting works for them, and then they shoot. I understand that they aren’t trying to meet anyone’s standards; they’re only being creative and making art.

You can conveniently access their YouTube channel right here. Prepare to meet Carlton. He’s a babe. Here are links to Daniel’s Instagram and Rachel’s Instagram.

7. dariach_photo on Instagram

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dariach_photo

Daria Chenikova’s photos are undoubtedly inspiring. I find that she captures people in their most vulnerable state, as well as their most honest and expressive state. Her models pose with all the grace of a ballerina, and yet wear their emotions all over their face and in their eyes. Here is a link to her Instagram account.

8. escapingyouth on Instagram

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escapingyouth

Natalia Seth’s photos are adorable! I remember that I’ve admired her Instagram account for so long, that she fills every frame with happiness and creativity and imagination and hope and color and vibrance and passion and excitement. Her photos are very much alive and… colorful, above all else. As if she were telling an extended story of Alice in Wonderland, with a series of photographs and visual arts. And she’s 17 years old? I want her to be my best friend.

Think of the moon watching over you as you sleep, keeping you warm and safe. Natalia managed to capture that concept in a photograph. Or think of books being so engaging and captivating that you can crawl inside them and they swallow you up. She created a photograph of that, too. I like to look through her photos and observe what is happening in each photograph. When I ponder over the actual activity happening in each photo, it’s only something ordinary and normal. But Natalia is able to, with color and imagination and a camera, portray the magical concept behind everything. Her art is so much of what I hope to be and do. View her Instagram account right here.

Let me know which accounts you love to follow for inspiration!

 

 

 

 

Your Questions Answered

On Instagram, I asked you sunshines to leave questions in the comments, and I’d answer them here. So, here we go.

Top photography / blogging tips?

The very most important thing I can tell you about photography is to interact. To be aggressive about growth and learning. To grow in photography, I watch a lot of YouTube videos by Mango Street, Jessica Kobeissi, and Jessica Whitaker. I follow a lot of photography accounts on Instagram, and I leave a comment on the photos that I love. I DM those photographers, simply to tell them that I loved their photos, and asked them how they added that certain effect. Sometimes they answer my message. Interact. Collaborate. Talk to people who are in the same category as you are. People who are more advanced than you, so you can learn from them.

As far as blogging, be authentic. Write about the things you actually love. No matter how much you try, you can’t be convincing or engaging about something you’re really not into.

How many hours do you spend on post production?

If the editing requires the simplest changes, such as saturating colors and changing exposure, it will take me two hours to edit 40 photos. That’s a pretty good estimate. If I’m adding some dramatic effects, it will probably take me three times as long.

Which lighting condition is the most challenging and how do you handle it?

Full, midday sunlight is the most challenging lighting situation. The sun will create unflattering shadows over the subject’s face. The nose, ears, forehead, and chin will throw shadows over the rest of the face, and it’s all wrong and uncool. I have not yet mastered a way to handle this situation, and that’s mostly because I avoid shooting at this time of day. But if I were stuck in this situation, my first instinct would be to find shade. I would look for shelter or at least for a wall to stand against. Shade softens light.

How do you plan what to blog about?

I am actually not good at that part. So, to be brutally honest, I go to Pinterest. And there I find suggestion for topics that lifestyle bloggers can write about.

Which one do you prefer?

When it comes down to one or the other, I prefer photography.

Related Post: Why I Love Boudoir Photography

What camera and equipment do you use, and how do you edit your pictures?

I use Canon EOS Rebel T6. My camera is a babe. As far as equipment, I only have two different lens. One very zoomed out lens, and one very zoomed in lens. I also use a tripod for self portraits and long exposures. I edit my pictures using Adobe Photoshop Express and Gimp 2.8

How do you keep being creative?

By putting thoughts into pictures. After all, a picture does speak a thousand words. If I’m not sure what picture I want to create, I will first find inspiration in words. I have previously transformed a song into a photograph, and I have multiple ideas for other songs as well.

I transformed Dollhouse by Melanie Martinez into a series of photographs. For the lyric, “Mom, please wake up/Dad’s with a slut,” I used my sisters’ dollhouse and dolls. I set up the young girl to be waking her mom from a nap on the couch, and in a separate room, her dad was sitting in bed with a blondie on his lap.

For the song Sippy Cup by Melanie Martinez, I would take a picture of an anonymous hand pouring syrup into a sippy cup.

For the song Colors by Halsey and the specific lyrics that go “You were red, and you liked me because I was blue, and you touched me and suddenly I was a lilac sky, and you decided purple just wasn’t for you,” I would take a picture of red boy approaching blue girl, then a picture of red boy touching blue girl’s face as purple begins to bleed into her from that point of contact, and then a picture of red boy walking away from purple girl weeping on the ground.

Turn songs into photographs. And quotes. And find any words anywhere to use as a prompt. Pick up the most random in your house and find a way to use it as a prompt. A mop, or a book, or a fork, or a scissor.

There is inspiration everywhere, and when I realize that, I am always creative.

What is your favorite thing to photograph?

Male models.

Granted, many guys do not like being on that side of the camera. They’re not into posing or smiling. But if he wants to model, he’ll model. And he’ll look good.

I think the best of my photo shoots are the ones with male models.

Related Post: My Friend Helped Me Win

What camera and/or lens do you recommend for macro photos?

When it comes to Canon, the 100 mm is a good macro lens.

Favorite lens?

I have only two lens that came along with my camera! One is very zoomed in, and one is very zoomed out. I am dying to try out the 50 mm, though. Apparently it’s everyone’s favorite, and I feel it may be mine as well.

How long have you been blogging?

About four months.

What’s your biggest inspiration?

Being original. I couldn’t live with myself if I never created something born of my own mind. I love copying other photographers’ style, but I need to create something that belongs to me. Finding alternatives to things overrated and overdone is one of my photography goals.

What do you like most about being a photographer?

My clients’ reaction is one of the greatest rewards of this job. A few things they’ve said which have made me feel like the most accomplished person ever are “Omfg. I’m gay for myself” and “They’re soooo good” and “Ohhhhh my god!!!! I love them so so so so much gosh you’re so good.” Not even paraphrasing.

I also love meeting other photographers. That’s a wonderful part of this job. Aside from paid shoots, I do a lot of collaborations with other photographers. We take pictures of each other, practicing new concepts and techniques so we can master it before we take it to the clients. This job would certainly be dull if I didn’t have other people around me who can relate to the joys and miseries of photography, and who I can learn from. #communityovercompetition

If you have more questions, leave them in the comments, and I’ll collect them for another blog post!

 

 

 

Giraffes and Tree Houses Won an Award?!

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1. What is the Liebster Award?

It’s a recognition award. It says ¨I see you, friend. You’re working hard, and we appreciate what you’re doing. I’m so excited for my blog to have received this award! I was nominated by Enlightened Survivor in this blog post.

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I was awarded the Liebster Award!

2. Q&A

Enlightened Survivor asked me several questions, and I’m about to answer them.

Why did you start a blog? Is it everything you’ve dreamed of so far?

I started a blog because I needed to share. I aim for so much adventure in life, that I needed a place to tell people all about it, and to hear from them as well! I wanted a community, and I also want to be heard. I believe I am well on my way to achieving those things! But it isn’t yet all I’ve dreamed of. I have bigger goals to accomplish within my blog and for my blog, and I have more people to reach. There will always be more people to reach! As for where I am now, I’m very thankful for all the supportive comments I’ve been receiving; they inspire me and motivate me to keep writing.

What have you learned from your blog?

I’ve learned about hard work. I’ve got to put a lot of effort into this thing to keep it alive. I’m glad I started my blog with that knowledge in mind, otherwise I would have been overwhelmed. But I’ve also learned that it’s so wonderful to have a place where I can be very honest and open… and heard. 

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

Oh, man. That’s difficult. It’s similar to asking ¨What’s your deepest, darkest secret?¨

So I asked two friends. One said he was surprised at how I listen to little things and remember them, and how I don’t forget but I always forgive, and how I have difficult moments but don’t give up on the people I care about.

And another person said he was surprised at my tenacity and motivation.

What is your greatest joy in life?

God is. He’s pretty rad, and he’s got those qualities I admire in a friend. Consistency, forgiveness, loyalty, and understanding. Living for him fills all the holes in me.

Second place would be my boyfriend, Jeremy. Sometimes I wish people would have a glimpse at what it’s like to be in this relationship, but they can’t because they’re on the outside. This is truly a very fulfilling and safe relationship… yes, even if we are 2,500 miles apart and we see each other every nine months ish. Jeremy is my best friend, has been ever so patient with me and my mistakes, and treats me like a princess.

 

 

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Jeremy and I.
award
Jeremy and I.

What’s number 1 on your bucket list?

I’ve got to say travel, because it sums up multiple things on my bucket list. I am destined to see the world, and the world consistently calls my name, so I am going to answer it.

3. Rules For The Nominees

1. Write a blog post accepting your award, link back to me, and answer the questions I’ve included

2. Nominate at least 5 other new bloggers with few followers

3. Include a list of questions you’d like them to answer

4. Notify your nominees

4. Who have I nominated?

Meet Christine Jamieson of Push25 Lifestyle. She is founder and CEO of Push25. I found her blog posts to be so thorough and useful! Her opinion is one I would definitely trust. Also, she sounds like someone who was motivated even at a young age to do more than the average person was; therefore, she and I have similarities.

Avion Wendy Anderson runs the cutest blog ever! Only because the word ¨tea¨ was in the title, I had to check it out. I was enchanted instantly by Tea With Peach! Her home page is full of dreamy pictures of tea cups and pastries. I applaud this blog.

The ultimate friendship goal is to run a blog together–which is what Vernika and Aashima did. Besties Notepad contains many blog posts about food and recipes, as well as about skin care products and decor. I’m enchanted by the idea of two friends running their own blog.

Family Earth Trek, you guys have been to so many places! I think this blog is especially applicable because any couple with a child would want to know how well a new country is going to treat them, before they visit. I love to visit a blog whose opinion I can count on.

A Northwoods Wedding is such a beautiful blog site! I love the photographs taken of couples; this sort of shooting and editing is everything I hope to be and do. What is gorgeous until you’ve seen this blog?

5. Questions for the Nominated

1. What mission do you hope to accomplish with your blog?

2. What is the least you want out of life? (If you could have nothing else you dream about, what one thing could you not give up?)

3. Name one of your struggles when it comes to blogging.

4. Who inspires you?

5. What are you passionate about?

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Friend Helped Me Win

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Photography is among my greatest passions. I love it; I love attempting something new and pouring all my creativity into a new project and making my models excited about looking good in a picture. I have a win that I want to share with you… something that still makes me excited.

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A photo from my session with Johnny at the tracks.

1. My Competition

There are so many photographers where I live. I’m pretty sure there are so many photographers everywhere. But to prove my point, let me tell you how many photographers I contacted within a few miles of my house when I wanted someone to take pictures of me and my boyfriend: fourteen. I contacted fourteen photographers who lived near me and who had great photographs and decent prices. Because there were way too many people to choose from.

Therefore, I have a lot of competition around me. And for the longest time, I felt like I was at the bottom. Maybe I was at the bottom. Not in a depressing way, but in the sense that they were all more advanced at photography than I was. Okay, they knew how to get clients! Like, they were actually taking pictures of someone at least once a week! I was literally doing one photo shoot every other month, I kid you not.

No one knew my services existed. They still don’t! But I’m confident that they soon will, and I’ll tell you why.

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A photo from my session with Johnny at the tracks.

2. A Creativity Win

I decided “screw money.” I just wanted to take pictures. I was desperate to take pictures and edit them and flaunt them and enjoy my client’s reaction. I just needed to do it again.

So I decided to take pictures for free. Even if no one wanted to pay me, I wanted badly to keep practicing. So I decided that if someone approached me, they’d pay me. And that if I approached them, I’d do it for free.

My friend Johnny and I decided to create “rockstar vibes.” So we bought him a pair of black skinny jeans, a white tee, and new shoes. He wore that along with his leather jacket, picked up his guitar, and we went to the tracks where all the graffiti was. We took pictures and I edited them, and he loved the final result.

That actually went well. A win.

Click this link to see more of the photos I took with Johnny.

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A photo from my session with Johnny at the tracks.

3. An Exposure Win

The next day, I was hanging out with Johnny and his friends. Nick said to me, “I need you to take my pictures, cause I’m so jealous of Johnny.”

Yes! Word-of-mouth promotion is effective! A win. Here’s the cool part: Nick would never have approached me, asking me to take his pictures. Because a close friend of his got his pictures taken, Nick was interested.

The next day, Johnny texted me saying that even more of his friends were interested. It made me so excited!

As far as where I am now, I have taken pictures of Nick, and I’m talking to Johnny and Nick about organizing a group shoot with the other interested people.

Moral of the story: Do what you love. Go after your passion, and good things will come to you. When I forfeited the desperate pursuit of business and money, and just did what I love, the clients came to me. That is a lesson I will always keep in mind.

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Nick and Johnny challenging each other in the rain. I honestly think this is one of the greatest photos I’ve ever taken.

4. A Self-Defining Win

It was not necessary that I advertise my services to pregnant mothers, engaged couples, and families with young children. They didn’t need me; every other photographer around here has the ability to do maternity sessions and engagement sessions. It’s their niche, and there was no reason for me to do the exact same and expect to be chosen above them.

What I am much more interested in than engagement sessions and maternity sessions and family sessions… is dark, grungy, moody photography, boudoir and intimate photography, and conceptual photography.

In a room full of teenage boys vaping and playing Grand Theft Auto, I found my potential clients. I didn’t find the mothers who would hold their bellies and wade into trickling streams… I found the boys who would lean against poles and exhale smoke clouds into the air.

And I got excited about it! I was able to offer something different!

Of course I’ll say yes to a client should they ask me for maternity photos or engagement photos, but I am focused on other niches that interest me more. And because I am the only one in my little town that does such photography, I have an advantage over the others.

Related Post: Why I Love Boudoir Photography

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Dreary, rainy vibes that I was excited to capture.

Go after what makes you excited! Practice it and find other people who are excited about it too. Find a passion that you look forward to, that thrills you even if it’s the simplest thing.

People see me holding a camera to my face, and that’s it. But I’ve got ideas compiled in my head, and I’m overjoyed to be able to bring them to life.

Comment and tell me the things that make you excited and the things that help you to exercise your creativity.