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Runaways in Love (part 2)

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I finally bring you part 2 of our “Runaways in Love” series, AKA the Celestial Canyon campaign for Lovestrength! Josh and I both shot and modeled this together, and it was such a great opportunity to really capture our love. We put a lot of love and hard work into this series for one of our favorite brands, focusing on their motto “through love comes strength.” Those words couldn’t be more true, and it’s a truth I value greatly in any relationship!

Stay tuned for the beautiful video from this shoot, coming up next!

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Jungalow

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We found ourselves on set in a dreamy jungalow, somewhere up in the hills of Laguna. We were shooting the Spring 2017 / resort campaign for Sea Gypsies in a mini mansion, where around every corner was something beautiful and exotic. On every balcony was a lookout over a palm tree forest, gardens, turquoise waters winding through the house and yard, and the view of the colorful Laguna coast. It was almost too much beauty to take in, and I quickly got overwhelmed.

People probably don’t expect it, but I’m very sensitive to my surroundings and the vibes around me. People, places, and things can all either enhance or inhibit my artistic vision. When I’m shooting for the blog or for clients, I become very open. I’m creatively expressing myself through styling, directing the photography and video, and opening myself up as the subject and model. I’m in a situation where it’s personal, it’s art, and it’s also work. Unlike what a lot of people think, to be the creator on all fronts of my work takes a ton of effort and pulls a lot from me. I have to fight to stay balanced and focused, and not get overwhelmed with everything there is to do during a production. And I wouldn’t survive without Josh being my main support and partner in everything. He is photographer and videographer 80% of the time, and has to deal with my artistic personality on the daily! Insecurities, inspirations, and existential crisis alike. I don’t just float around taking gorgeous pictures all the time… I work, I create, I dissolve into each project. And with each new glimmer of inspiration, I come to life and evolve.

We explored this stunning location before heading to the private beach for the campaign, and I couldn’t help but capture some photos for the blog to share a little glimpse into my favorite spots. The outdoor lounge was straight out of a jungle dream, with high ceilings, palm trees growing along the walls, and shell curtains draping down each side. The river way of turquoise water had turtles and koi fish, which led us through the windowed house, through the garden, to the pool and a little treehouse. I didn’t even know where to start because it was all so amazing, and could barely capture it all and due the location justice. But here is just a glimpse!

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Runaways in Love (part 1)

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Just two strays, two runaways in love. Sometimes it’s okay to choose to wander, to search for more. Sometimes what you really need is to leave behind everything that tries to keep you from growing, and be a runaway. That doesn’t mean you’re running away from your problems, because being a wanderer isn’t an easy choice. You’re allowed to want more out of life, and you’re allowed to seek after it. I’m telling you to ignore those fears placed on you by others, that don’t let you live outside the box. Because you’re allowed to want something different, something new, something that hasn’t been cookie cut out by society for you.

“Plant the seeds of your dreams today, in preparation of tomorrow.” (-me)

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Film Journal

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There’s something about film that I’ve always loved. The way it captures the moment in it’s own unique way, seeing more of what the eye sees and recording a little bit more of the soul. Film photography works like this, the film is exposed to the light which exposes tiny crystals on the film to the image. It is recorded this way, and that is what the grain is, and what gives film that better than real life quality.

I used to shoot film regularly throughout college and years after, but didn’t have time for the process or means for the cost that goes into it. Josh and I have talked a lot about how much we want to make film a big part of the blog, and started out with some experimenting. We found one of our old cameras with undeveloped film in it and developed it in our kitchen sink, then scanned it in with a vintage film scanner. We were happily surprised by images from our road trip across the country and to our first Coachella Festival!

Then we started shooting some film at our blog and client shoots, developing the negatives and scanning them in the same way. There’s something to be said about letting it be what it is, and you can get really cool results with the trial and error method. Josh allowed the film to have light leaks, film burns, dust, and chemical burns to give them their own unique effect. We weren’t aiming for perfection with these shots, so I think they turned out sort of magical. Capturing something more tangible than the sometimes impersonal process of digital.

A lot of the time I’m rushing through photoshoots for the sake of clients, without as much time and love I’d like to put into it. It’s so important for me to have the freedom to be creative and not rush, because otherwise it makes it all meaningless. People sometimes forget that someone’s art is literally a slice of their self, and their soul, and can’t always be churned out like butter in a machine.

So taking the time, even just the extra moments, to capture these new film photos and process the old with the new, was something that reminded me of why photography is my passion. Getting to glimpse these moments burned into crystals by the light is magic in itself, and I’m excited to include a film journal on the blog as a new part of our story!

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Be a Pioneer

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“The empowered woman doesn’t wonder how she will fit in to society,
or if she will be accepted.
She stands apart, and she stands out.
She seeks after her heart’s desires,
knowing only there will she find a true life.” (-me)

I’m going to be honest with you, and share what I’ve learned recently.

I never fit in as a kid. My differences from all the other kids, even my friends, I attribute to being the artist that I am. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not only an Aquarius, but also an INFJ personality. If you have read up on the personality types, you’ll know that I’m quite an odd ball, being one of the rare less than 1% of the population. I saw everything differently than everyone else, whether it was peers or adults. And I still do. A lot of people aren’t familiar with my way of thinking, with what makes me me. So when they don’t know how to accept it, they decide it must be wrong.

Most of the world has decided what is right and wrong, how you should fit in, and where. They tell you what is considered failure, and they tell you what is success. They give you an illusion of happiness that you believe is the only option, and the only goal. But even more specific, they tell us how we should be to be accepted.

As someone who’s always danced on the outside, never quite understanding these limits put on us, I always chose freedom over this mental and spiritual enslavement. It was (and still is) in my nature to shy away from anyone who tries to change me, or tell me to do something that goes against my very strong inner compass. I don’t find any value in that kind outlook on life- forcing people into boxes. I was pressured into feeling accepted while growing up. It’s normal, I guess, we all experience it.

But the most important thing is to free yourself of that pressure. Whether you did that as a kid, or you’re in the process of doing so now, learning to be your own human is the first step to being free. And complete freedom……… is happiness.

Doing what others want you to do never fulfills. Trying to be accepted by everyone is impossible, and a waste of time. Worrying about failure is holding you back and keeping you in one place. You will never swim if you’re afraid of the cold water. You just have to jump in, and keep swimming.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that life IS failure. It is part of the ebb and flow of things. You have to get past those difficult times to move on to where you want to be. You have to take a step daily, consistently. If you’re afraid of failure, you’re afraid to live. And then you won’t be moving in any direction at all.

“Be brave, be a seeker.
Go out and do something new that you’ve never done before.
Don’t drown in a daily routine. Change your outlook, change your life.
Don’t settle for comfortable, don’t be stagnant.
Be an explorer, be a pioneer.” (-me)

And here’s a little secret…. if you fail, it’s not over. It’s not the end. It’s just another thing that you do, and you learn how to survive that, and you move on. I wouldn’t even call it failing, because it’s just learning! Don’t let society scare you into never going after a fulfilling life because of fear. You have to accept it, even embrace it. You’ll have nothing to be afraid of once you experience it and live through it.

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