Vocational Values | Craft vs. Lifestyle

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PORTRAITS BY | THE COLAGROSSIS

Do you ever have that moment riding in the passenger seat of your friend’s car, when out of nowhere they put words to something so perfectly you just want to explode? Those “oh shit, yes!” moments are some of my favorites. It’s like an exorcism of this thing inside me that I desperately want out so I can dance with it.

Well, now it’s out. So let’s dance.

LineToday, my friend said this: “I’m scared that I don’t love the craft. I love the lifestyle, but what if I don’t love what I’m doing?”

This might sound like one of those cliche, “I’m entitled to a job I love!” speeches we twenty-somethings are famous for, but it wasn’t that. It was the honest confession of a twenty-something wrestling with some gray-area questions. And she’s not alone.

Vocational values are complex. Are we supposed to love what we do? Is it ‘settling’ if we don’t? Is it a betrayal of ourselves if we don’t? Will it be obvious to the people hiring us if we don’t? How can I ever excel at something I don’t love? How will I ever make a difference if I don’t excel? Is it important to make a difference? Is it even possible? What if all I ever make is a living? Is that enough?

LineWhen I started designing, I never asked whether I loved it. I just did it. It was natural and satisfying, and I always wanted more. When design started paying the bills, I got scared. Technical proficiency wasn’t good enough. You had to have “that thing,” this elusive x-factor—inspiration, passion, soul, authenticity, originality. And now it seems like every employer in every industry wants you to have “it.” It all seems to come down to this love of your craft—this supernatural certainty of who you are and this thing you do. If you don’t have it, or lose it, you’re found wanting.

I don’t feel ENTITLED to love what I do. I really don’t. I feel REQUIRED to love what I do. I’m scared of losing this love for it that I’m honestly not sure I ever had.

I wonder if it’s a common fear. I wonder how many people feel this pressure to love what they do. How many people feel like they can’t compete in an industry with other people who love it more than they do? I wonder how many people are exhausted trying to love the thing they naturally fell into.

LineThe purist in me wants to love my craft first and foremost…to never sell out. And I’m honestly afraid if I do sell out, I’ll be exposed as a fraud, and never get hired again. But, here’s the deal, I’m also in love with a lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle my craft makes possible today. If I can love both my lifestyle and craft, great. If I can’t, I have a choice to make, and the gray-area values start competing for head space.

There’s a part of me that begins to see I can’t always have both in my life. I see others struggling with the same dilemma, wondering whether to choose a lifestyle or a craft, or wondering what this love of a craft even feels like. We seem to be a generation pressured to know who we are and what we want most, and able to make a living that fulfills us doing it.

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t have any answers, but I love us—our band of confused twenty-somethings, our international tribe of new adults. I know this pressure, and I have the internal conflict. I want to show compassion for the dilemma we’re facing. Most of us are just trying to make a life with some integrity and maybe a little conviction, and more joy than suffering, without failing too hard or disappointing too many people. Be gentle with yourselves darlings. I see you and I’m here with you.

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48 Hours in Hocking Hills

We took advantage of the Memorial day weekend to sleep on the ground, put a little stress on our bodies, cook and eat around a fire, and simply be in some of the most beautiful natural space we’ve seen in a while. Sometimes, a brief trip with simple fare and accommodations are just the challenge and stimulation our souls need.

Hocking Hills | Ash CaveHocking Hills | Morning CoffeeCamping4 Hocking Hills | Cedar Falls Hocking Hills | M + M Hocking Hills | #mcm Hocking Hills | Devil's Bathtub

Being Enough in the Creative World

Enough | Photo Credit: Yaro Photography
PORTRAIT BY | YARO PHOTO

Can we just get super uncomfortable together for a minute? I need to get some yucky stuff off my chest, and when that happens, there’s just no way to avoid the awkwardness that comes with it. I’m willing if you are. Here we go.

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CONFESSION 1.0I really want to be unquestionably awesome.

I am an analytical person who highly values self-awareness, intentional living, and brutally honest constructive criticism. I also care about things being rarely beautiful, transcending the mainstream and the common. As an observant, aware person, who wants everything in her life to be lovely, I can’t help but notice that it’s not.

One would think that everything from my clothes, to my food, to my house, to my entertainment, would be uncommonly beautiful since I value making each choice with such integrity and intention. You should be able to snap a photo of any corner of my life at any given time, and drool over its raw and honest yumminess. Other people have lives  like that, right? My Instagram feed is full of them.

I want to be one of those undeniably awesome people…bad.

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CONFESSION 2.0Apparently awesome artists are super humans with copious amounts of money, free time, taste, popularity, and friends.

The online world reveals this super impressive picture of what awesome is, in case I wanted a standard to measure myself against.

First of all, awesome people are creative, and make beautiful shit…like for a living. It’s expected that awesome artists go to art school, study graphic design (or another discipline), get a degree, and have an award-winning senior thesis, and then work in the field for several years (all of which I did, even before I knew it was a prerequisite for being awesome). In addition, awesome artists dress a certain way, listen to a certain style of music (on vinyl, obviously), eat organic, shop local, drink and mix alcohol like a pro, blog and Instagram all of it, and still maintain super intentional relationships, travel the world, and are eventually self-employed.

And that’s where I fall off the measurement scale.

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CONFESSION 3.0I am not that, so I don’t feel very awesome.

I feel like a total fraud calling myself an “artist,” as I have since I started working as one in 2007. I’m starting to realize “artist” is no longer a word that clarifies the kind of skill set and training I have, or the type of work I do. It has become a totally loaded label, dripping with all this awesome that I TOTALLY CAN’T live up to with any kind of integrity.

For a hot second, I thought “Shit! I totally stumbled into a tribe that everyone else wants to be in, and I didn’t even mean to! This is awesome.” Until I realized, I definitely don’t fulfill the criteria.

I have never designed for an ad agency. My existing clients aren’t edgy apparel brands, creative entrepreneurs, political figures, or neat-o tech companies. I’m not a proficient hand-letterer, and I don’t code websites from scratch.

The reality is, my three to five clients are wonderful non-artists who want really functional work done, so they can do their worthwhile work better. Most of my job is just visual clarification and organization—web design I do on a wysiwyg platform. Super practical stuff. And by the way, since I became self-employed, I don’t even work as a designer full-time.

I’m doing the best work I can AND even living the best life I can, but it’s probably not as impressive or beautiful as anyone’s ideal, not even mine. I do like eating local and organic, but I can’t always afford it. I do like listening to music that hasn’t been overplayed on the radio. There’s even a little something satisfying about listening to it at home on vinyl, but the fact is I usually listen to music in the car on my iPhone, and mainstream artists have their place in my collection. I love nice clothes that fit well, are made well, and are sold by visually conscientious brands, but I’m trying to be content wearing what I already own too. I am also an amateur at styling and photography, so even if I was a super human, I might not be able to convince you of it on Instagram.

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CONFESSION 4.0 | I am on the fence most days about whether to fake it till I make it, or embrace my limitations and choose to believe I’m enough anyway.

I just feel this angst boiling up in me every time I’m tempted to put something “impressive” on Instagram. I’m almost there. I could get a good app and practice a lot…and buy new dishes, and only take pictures of my awesome outfits, and hand-letter for an hour a day to get better, and…WHERE IS IT COMING FROM? What the hell am I trying to prove?

I just want to hustle hard, and be too busy doing the things worth doing to share them or worry that other people are noticing. I want to be known for my consistency and for what makes me different, not for how well I imitate the ideal. If people notice anything, let it be that I try and don’t give up, and am okay being MY BEST even if it’s not THE BEST. (Brutally honest note: for a girl who likes to be better than everyone else, that is my biggest struggle.)

I really do want to be in the tribe. I want to live a beautiful life worth sharing. And I really do believe living well is an art and a discipline WORTH sharing, but capturing and sharing it aren’t as important as doing it (let’s just ignore the sexual connotation of that phrase for the next paragraph or two), and I’m still too challenged with doing it to capture or share it well. Plus, even if I was the best stylist and photographer in the world, I’m one of those people who might get so caught up in capturing and sharing it, I’d neglect the doing it part anyway.

I’ve got to live my life, as hard and as bravely as I can, with enough humility to admit sometimes I’m wrong, and sometimes my best is just sub par, and most days it isn’t pretty enough for Instagram. And maybe, I can still be awesome anyway. Maybe it’s enough.

It’d be easier to believe it and keep living like that with a tribe though. It’s hard work to do on my own. Anybody out there wanna get at it with me?

 

 

Currently Crushing + Cherishing (V.1)

I was inspired in March to create a capsule wardrobe after reading un-fancy.com and really feeding off Caroline’s vibe. I’ve been motivated to simplify the daily grind (deciding what to wear, what to eat, what to buy), so I can spend my energy on some other things I don’t seem to get to. That’s her whole message. She wanted to stop impulse buying, stop feeling overwhelmed by too many choices, and take less time on the whole closet affair, while still honoring her love for fashion, SO she could be more in other areas of her life. HELL YES SISTER!

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So far, just the wardrobe, has made a huge difference! Instead of shopping on the weekends, or getting sidetracked while running errands to “have a quick peek at the sale rack,” or spending a day doing laundry, or simply 5 minutes too long deciding what to wear; I’ve had time to work on a writing project my dad and I started three years ago, invest in some new relationships, get more focused with my math tutoring student, and spend some higher quality time with Mitch. It’s so important that I be mindful of those things that a project like this makes possible. Having a streamlined wardrobe is nice, but kind of a superficial end goal. It’s what it makes room for that matters.

It has really compounded my feeling of “enough” because I have a complete wardrobe with all I need, and I didn’t have to buy anything. The things I do want to buy are very specific, and chosen with a longer term of enjoyment in mind. I don’t need them, but I feel good about wanting them. I’ve loved the less urgent and impulsive process of researching and shopping for them online as I have time and energy, and coming at it from a place of contentment to begin with.

In that spirit, I wanted to compile my small wish list (I’m proud of my little research and curation project), but also share some of the things I’ve been super happy about ALREADY having lately. I think this will probably be a series. I like the idea of coming up with an equal amount of cherished items for each crush.

Current Wish List | Madly by Maddie

1. T-bar Earrings   |   2. Joggers   |   3. Watch (similar A // similar B)   |   4. Slip Dress
|   5. Makeup Bag (alternative)   |   6. Tattoo (love this floral specimen with reference number)
|   7. Black Handbag (similar // alternative)

 

It’s not even all about material things. I like this kind of a practice for goals, book lists, places I want to travel, etc. I’m all about falling in love with new things, I just want to be mindful of all I have, and how it’s always enough. That balance between desire and contentment, is a good place for me to be right now. Right in the center. The way I stay present, is to stand in the gap between what the future holds, and all I’ve been given before, remembering that urgency isn’t always necessary. Accumulating will not bring contentment on its own. Getting places, or achieving goals, or acquiring anything FASTER won’t make a difference. I have time, and I’m learning to enjoy it and all it brings.

Current Cherished Items | Madly by Maddie

1. Soy Candle   |   2. Jo Malone Perfume   |   3. Homemade Open Wardrobe   |   4. Espresso Pot
|   5. Outlander (book // show)   |   6. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer   |   7. “Thou Mayest” Tattoo

 

It’s Not About the Damn Salad, Man

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It’s safe to say I’m the type of person that gets super caught up in results. I like to check things off my list. I like to have proof to show that I’m accomplishing things—sexy things. I want to be impressive, to matter. Incidentally, I think I do a pretty decent job of deciding what to do. Like: eating healthy, doing yoga, buying quality over quantity, decorating the house, scheduling a date night every week with my dude, doing passion projects, and kicking ass for my clients. Not too shabby right?

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Here’s the thing though, since I became my own boss with the privilege of deciding what makes the list, Mitch and I have honestly been as drained as ever. I totally thought deciding how to spend my time, deciding what was worth it, and getting it all done would make us feel way more fulfilled. But, it hasn’t. Mitch, expressed it perfectly. We’ve both been totally obsessed with achieving a bunch of things, being totally worn out as a result, and on top of it, super disappointed that it doesn’t feel worth it. How confusing! How is it that doing all this great (*cough* impressive) stuff wasn’t making us feel awesome?

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Well, the other night, we decided it’s bullshit. Our mutual epiphany (which had us both bouncing with giddiness in the end) went something like this: It’s not about the damn salad, man.

Let me explain. So, you and I both know (or maybe are) the people who make intentional life decisions, and share them, like eating healthy or working out. Great, inspiring stuff! Physical wellness is such a worthwhile pursuit…but uh…it’s not the end goal. Nutrition and fitness are worthwhile because they fuel and enable people to make memories with their kids, focus on an amusing book, dance, hike, communicate, grow up, and grow old. Those are the end goals. If the salad/health metaphor isn’t your thing, try a beautiful home or travel log. People invest in and post this “super impressive” stuff on Instagram or Facebook every other day. The same principle applies. What the hell is the point of having the beautiful space or visiting the destination if you don’t live a beautiful life in it?

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This seems so simple, but it was a huge wake up call for me, and a great weight off my shoulders. There are so many worthwhile pursuits in this life, but it’s exhausting trying to keep up with it all, and ultimately so disappointing when I lose sight of WHY it’s all worth it. The end goal is not the impressive, sexy thing on the surface that you can snap a photo of. And if it is impressive, it should only be as a small token—a superficial manifestation—of much greater things going on.

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Even the times when I have the greater end in mind, I often make the mistake of assuming that X-means is going to equal Y-end. And sometimes, it just doesn’t. Sometimes, the superficial goal doesn’t produce what I’m really after. Like, having quality items doesn’t indubitably equal fulfillment. I’ve splurged on a quality pair of shoes that hasn’t taken me the places a shitty pair has. To take this even further: I can create something beautiful for a client and make some money, but if I am just as content without the money (and potentially more stressed having earned it), I should scratch “makin’ bank” off my list. Making beautiful art for a living only matters if that living is part of creating a beautiful life.

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I’m starting to realize I have all I need. I have enough. I am enough. And everything I do from here on out is just whipped cream on top. Some of my end goals are already mine (represented in the photos above), like amazing relationships, and family, and time, and freedom, and a miraculous machine of a body, and a beautiful city to live and play in this Spring. It’s changing everything. My “To Do” list is a “Want To” list now—stuff I want to do to fuel the truly rewarding things that are so worth it. And when I don’t want to, I don’t.

I’m done being stressed about checking shit off my to do list. I’m going to focus on and celebrate WHY I’m doing them in the first place, remembering they’re just a means to a better end. And if I can enjoy the end without the means, forget the salad man. On its own, a salad isn’t impressive. What’s impressive is enough strength and energy on a consistent basis to do the work I love, and be there for the people I care about, and keep showing up to take risks and learn and give a shit. I’m going to make sure I actually DO the things I’m supposedly making possible, instead of spending all I’ve got to get a winning horse, only to stop there and not even race it.

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#MUA | Makeup Artist

www.yarophoto.comwww.yarophoto.com

A major perk of self-employment is doing all kinds of creative work. Today, creative work was making gluten free chocolate chip pancakes with my niece and nephew. Last week it was designing the personal brand for a fellow entrepreneur and building her website, and some weekends it’s being a makeup artist.

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Today I wanted to share some fun I had doing the makeup for a photoshoot a week or so ago. I absolutely LOVE doing event and photoshoot makeup. It strikes a different kind of creative chord in me, but one I just have to play on now and then. I had the opportunity to work with Ruth of Yaro Photo on one of her editorial shoots. She shot me some inspiration looks, told me what she was thinking content-wise, found an incredible location, and booked a babe of a model—one, Maggie Emerick.

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This girl has some seriously amazing brows, the only part of her look I cannot take credit for. The rest is me. I used Mary Kay liquid foundation and Makeup Forever concealer for her base, the Anastasia countour kit and MAC’s blush in Gingerly to give her dimension, and the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette for her dramatic eye look. Her lips were a combo of a MAC’s eye pencil in Coffee rigged as a lip liner and Urban Decay’s Naked 2 lipstick. I absolutely love how all the neutrals came together for an incredibly defined look.

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A couple tips when doing makeup for the camera:

1. Keep the face matte. Unless the model is supposed to look dewy, make sure the face products are matte, without shimmer or shine. Powder a liquid foundation unless it dries matte on it’s own, and avoid high shine lipgloss.

2. Use a primer. I came along for the shoot to make sure Maggie didn’t need any touch-ups. I didn’t have to pull out my kit once. Primers keep the products in place on the face.

3. Finish with a setting spray. I use the Urban Decay All-Nighter. It’s like hairspray for the makeup. It’s a final step to help all the makeup melt together with no separation, and it keeps the makeup from moving or sliding around on the face.

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It was so fun to work with Maggie for the first time, and Ruth’s stunning photography style was perfect for this look. I’m in love with the images she created.

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ALL PHOTOS BY | YARO PHOTO

 

Boudoir and the Feminine Soul

Disclaimer: The content of this post is mature and sensitive in nature. It is very dear to me, and also a bit controversial. I share it with the utmost respect for the private sanctity that is sexual intimacy, and with sincere love for artists who boldly dance the line between capturing something raw and exposing something that should remain private. I want to state up front, Destany produces boudoir work, not as pornographic or sex-focused content, but out of respect for the souls of women, revealed in the sanctuaries of their own homes.

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My friend Destany of The Colagrossis requested that I pose for her boudoir portfolio recently, and I said yes. It’s an intense thing to agree to, and even more so, since I am allowing her to share the photos. Yet, I agreed. Here’s why.

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To start, the first time I saw Destany’s work, it was her college senior thesis—a series of three images of a nude female form presented in the most interesting way (extreme close up, high contrast lighting, suggestive more than obvious, black and white). Her thesis statement focused on the importance of capturing something raw and uncensored, of respecting the human body for the work of art that it is, appreciating it for all that it is, not just one half of a sexual experience. That’s when I became a Destany fan girl. While not a new concept, it was such a moving and technically excellent execution of the statement, and it struck something in me.

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Fast forward 5 years. I have always believed in modesty, in the power of allure through the exchange of ideas and the ability to communicate and be compassionate, rather than through exposing a great rack or wandering about in translucent material. Even in my own home, I have had an interesting relationship with lingerie, Victoria Secret, and anything I felt commercialized or compromised the organic nature of human sexuality. So, why on earth did I agree to be photographed in my underwear? Well, for starters, it was MY UNDERWEAR, not a pink or red lacy thong from a department store. It wasn’t nylon thigh-highs, stilettos, pearls, false lashes, or a push-up bra (nothing wrong with any of that, it just wouldn’t be authentic for me). It was MY INTIMATES—the comfortable staples I turn to, when I don’t have to worry about modesty. And that’s what we set out to share. An uncensored piece about comfort and home and sanctuary, not necessarily the go-to wardrobe to seduce your partner. That’s why I agreed, and that’s why I’m so pleased with the results.

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The work is bold in nature, but the style is so respectful, it becomes more subversive than outright rebellious (subtle, soft, on the edge, tense, imperfect, complex), perfectly capturing the essence of femininity. It’s a fine line to walk, because part of what makes this kind of work beautiful, is that it is so intimate. It has to be, and that’s why it means so much to me that Mitch was supportive and that Destany was delicate—both remaining sensitive to what lies between Mitch and I that is sacred, while also honoring my own relationship with my body and my identity as a woman among other women.

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I’m proud to share them, because I believe this kind of work takes a lot of skill on the part of the photographer, and it also requires a level of trust between her and the subject. Destany’s perfect balance of delicacy and boldness as she shot made this such a liberating experience for me. I felt beautiful and feminine and unashamed. Honestly. That’s rare for me, and I think for other women as well. So, I’m sharing these to honor that. I don’t want to be ashamed of crooked teeth, thick thighs, freckles, unwashed hair, a lack of red silk in my closet, or a dimply backside. I want to own this beautiful machine of a body of mine that breathes, and digests food, and carries babies, and laughs, and dances, and cries. I hope that the female body can be appreciated as that, as much as it is appreciated for its sensuality.

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In the interest of avoiding duplicates, you can check out Destany’s post if you’re interested in seeing the rest of the collection.

ALL PHOTOS BY | THE COLAGROSSIS

 

Lovely Lens Ladies | Ruth

I’m continuing my series with Ruth Yaroslaski of Yaro Photo.  Ruth and I were childhood friends, and have turned into adult neighbors, co-creators, and chums. We were having tea at her place late last week.  While we were catching up and nerding out about our current passion projects, Ruth took it to the next level and exclaimed, “I know I’m being a total geek right now, but the light in this room looks so perfect, I have to photograph you!” So she did. The results were a serendipitous surprise, and a testament to Ruth’s artistic energy and edge.

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RUTH YAROSLASKI

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PORTRAIT BY | THE COLAGROSSIS

Ruth has a fine artist’s eye for composition and contrast for sure. While she does an excellent job of capturing moments and making them beautiful (her wedding photography portfolio is gorgeous), I love her more styled work best. She’s amazing at direction and sees one shot from so many different angles, it’s inspiring to watch. I can see her framing and editing in her head as she goes, and she gets so excited as she sees the shots hit the view-finder. Ruth is the kind of gal I’d love to work with on anything high fashion, editorial, or landscape/location focused. She can take something dull (like me in a cardigan on a flat background) and create dimension, movement, and intensity with it. This unique ability to create content and interest, seemingly from thin air, is Ruth’s signature style and I love it.

Yaro Photographywww.yarophoto.com

Yaro Photography www.yarophoto.com

Yaro Photography www.yarophoto.com

Yaro Photographywww.yarophoto.com

Yaro Photographywww.yarophoto.com

Yaro Photography www.yarophoto.com

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I’ve just finished collaborating with Ruth on a new editorial piece where we both got to work with a local model—she as the photographer and I as the makeup artist. I’m super excited to see the finished results and look forward to working with Ruth on tons in the future.

Ruth is booking wedding, lifestyle, and editorial sessions for 2015. Contact her here.

 

 

Lovely Lens Ladies | Another Maddie

I have a couple lady friends whose creative pursuits are ridiculously impressive and inspiring. They each have their own styles and strengths, but commonly share some mad photography skills. I’ve had the privilege to be each of their subjects at one time or another, and have decided to feature them. I’ll be sharing what I adore about each in a series I’ve titled LOVELY LENS LADIES. First, I’m going to introduce you to another Maddie.

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MADELINE MARGARET DEUTER

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PORTRAIT BY | STEPHANIE PANA

I’m, by far, most familiar with Maddie’s work because she’s photographed me most, and we went to school together. What I appreciate about Maddie’s photographs is the texture. The content is just so rich. While most of her published portfolio falls into the style/fashion category, my favorite genre she shoots is journalistic/documentary type content. She is amazing at capturing all of the grit—the stuff and guts of life—that’s hard to put into words, and mostly exists in our memories only. (This is why I commissioned her to do the photo essay I published along with my story last May.) Her stills have amazing contrast. Light and focus are elements she plays with. While she is incredibly intentional, she’s also super organic. The authenticity in her approach comes across in the work. She continues to polish up more and more and evolve as an artist, but I think that special something that sets her photographs apart is consistent: an uncompromising approach, lack of fuss, and commitment to capturing the layers and depth that exist in real people living real lives. I’m proud to show her off.

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Maddie is currently taking clients and still has openings for 2015. If you have some moments worth capturing this year, book her now.

www.maddiedeuter.com

Stay tuned for another Lovely Lens Ladies feature coming soon.

 

Serving the Boss

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It’s day three of self-employment.

Basically,  I’ve abandoned a steady and (relatively speaking) impressive salary for the luxury of a flexible schedule, so I can spend time doing what serves me. Ultimately, I want to be better for me, so I can be better for the people in my life.

So, how am I doing so far?

If running around like a mad woman re-organizing every room in her pajamas is killing it, then go ahead and mail me the KILLING IT AWARD.

I have literally no idea how I am going to achieve all I want to day-to-day. I’m learning quickly that I’m going to have to set some standards for myself and build some kind of routine, or else, go insane. Here’s the thing, I mostly neglect me, not the house, and not my work. Just me. So, I’m setting some intentions. To be the best boss I can be, I have to take care of the boss! I know I’m not going to be able to make all of these reality every day right away (my girlfriends who work for themselves are all shaking their heads at me right now), but I need a target to aim at. Don’t laugh ya’ll. These are things I’m struggling to make time for so far, and if I can get to the point where these are part of the boss’s routine, you can keep the killing it award, and mail the BAD BITCH BOSS AWARD instead, which I’d infinitely prefer.

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G E T T I N G   D R E S S E D

Getting Dressed

Yup. Turns out when you have nowhere to be, it’s hard to be motivated to dress yourself. I spent the day yesterday up until the afternoon in pajamas. The thing is, outward appearance is so connected to inward feelings and identity. I am excited about my life and who I am becoming. I’m 100% invested in the time I have, and being present in it, so I want to get dressed for the occasion!

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D O I N G   M A I N T E N A N C E

Doing Maintenance

This is disgusting and embarrassing, but my face and hair have each been washed once in the last week. This is where valuing yourself enough to be hygienic is important. No one else will be looking at my greasy hair, it’s true, but why should I put up with it?!

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J O U R N A L I N G

Journaling

This is something I was able to keep mostly on top of even when I was working non-stop. Even with way less time, keeping a journal is essential for my sentimental soul, and my need to process things through words. With all this time at my disposal, there’s no excuse, yet I’m falling behind.

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B E A U T I F Y I N G

Beautifying

Again, it’s hard to be motivated to spruce up, but I feel so much better when I do. Makeup is something I love, a total creative outlet. I don’t want it all to sit in drawers unused. It’s just like getting dressed. I want to show up for my life dressed and made up for the occasion.

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R E A D I N G

Reading

Somehow, I feel like I’m wasting time if I spend a couple of hours with my nose buried, but this self-investment is so crucial to living and creating well. It’s been missing in my life for awhile. All of these are magnificent.

1. The Body Book   |   2. Kinfolk   |   3. It’s All good   |   4. Outrageous Openness

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E A T I N G   B R E A K F A S T

Breakfast

This does not mean scarfing down a few calories and guzzling coffee before becoming productive. This means mindful preparation of something sustaining and energizing that will help me get going during my most murderous mood of the day. Thanks to some recent nutrition and wellness research, I’ve discovered Buckwheat, and it is blowing my mind!

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P R A C T I C I N G   Y O G A

Yoga

This cannot get integrated into the routine soon enough. I’m desperate to get my blood flowing in the morning, to breathe mindfully, embrace potential for my day, and find a place of peace and gratitude before I tackle anything.

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These are the luxuries I left my job for, and if they’re being neglected, what was the point? The difficulty is that I feel guilty for making time for these things, especially when I feel like my “work” is being avoided. There is so much to do for my clients and the house. That’s where scheduling is going to be my new best friend. I’m just going to take it day by day. With these intentions to SERVE THE BOSS, I’ll get up each day and find what works.

Clearly, I’m in the beginning stages. This is the best thing ever, and I’m so grateful. I’ll never have this much time or freedom again, most likely. I’m soaking it up, and determined to NOT take it for granted.

Any tips or tricks you want to offer would be welcome.

 

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