Migration :: CO

26 Jun
Migration :: CO

Migration :: CO

“It’s your pasture now, and it’s not so big–only three thousand miles from east to west, only two thousand miles from north to south–but all between, where ten thousand points of light prick out the cities, towns, and villages, there, seeker, you will find us burning in the night” -Thomas Wolfe

To me, this photo is one of journey and transition, like the snow melt’s path down the mountain. Similarly, like many Americans, I’ve been deeply troubled by the recent zero tolerance policy at the border that infringes on the human rights of children. Am I glad the practice of separating families has stopped for the moment? Yes. Am I concerned about the welfare of the 2000+ children in detention facilities since May? Yes. Am I worried the most recent executive order flies in the face of the court precedent preventing detention for longer than 20 days? Yes.

Do I have a solution? No.

I do know that thinking in absolutes is dangerous though. Very little in life is 100% black and white, and this idea that to be strong, we must give up compassion is immature. Compromise is a way forward. Understanding is a way forward. We are a nation of immigrants, many of whom were seeking asylum themselves. It’s foolhardy to label all asylum seekers as dangerous criminals and its unethical to treat people as animals or monsters. While I agree crossing borders illegally is, well, illegal…I also recognize we have a complex and confusing immigration system.

Do I want safeguards and background checks and asylum hearings in place? Yes. But I can I understand the urgency of some refugees situation that puts them in the difficult position of choosing to cross illegally? Also a yes.

I don’t know where the middle ground here is but my heart tells me without any doubts that our morals and ethical standards, and our compassion for people in need, should not be forsaken. I hope our Congress (contact your reps) can have some meaningful conversations in the coming days and get those children reunited with their families soon.

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Fairy Falls :: CT

19 Jun

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“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” Roald Dahl

This particular morning, nothing went according to plan. My Milky Way shot failed. Clouds rolled in and I thought I could recover the trip with a beautiful sunrise. Instead, I got a waterfall. But oh what a lovely waterfall it was!

Personal Growth and Being Our Bsst Selves

14 Jun

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“Be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire”

This is, admittedly, not a photography post. It’s a post about life.

About a year and a half ago my life changed drastically. It was painful and difficult and left me in a rut. I needed something to get me going in the right direction. On a whim, I asked a few friends if they wanted to try salsa lessons. Note: I had two left feet, and the grace of a newborn foal. (Lots of legs and elbows going everywhere, with no coordination.) But I have always told myself we are our own biggest limitation, and so I set out to prove to myself that I could do this.

Fast forward 11 month later and I did something terrifying (for me). I got up on a stage and danced. Before the performance I was shaking and my heart was racing. But after months of practice, I knew I didn’t want to to let my fellow dancers down. I went out onto that stage and hoped that I would make them proud.

238DCC72-1156-47B3-9FF5-8500A5C433D6Trying something new and scary as an adult has been challenging but oh so rewarding. I’m so grateful to our teacher for believing in me enough to let me dance his choreographed routine, and for the patience and support he has shown me. I’m grateful to Melissa @melequine for her willingness to try new things with me and encourage me to grow. I’m grateful to Cricket , Sarah, David, Monica and Waldo for their friendship (along with all of the other rad people that I’ve met through dancing). And last but not least, I’m incredibly grateful for Jorge , the best dang dance partner a girl could ask for. You push me to be better in all things and forgive me when I step on your toes. 😋

FD098C90-1F14-46EC-8D6B-C88842B4ADE3Opportunities to grow are all around us, you just have to be open to them. Be brave, try new things, make beautiful memories and live your life to the fullest. In the end, we can’t keep the money or the cars or the stuff….but our experiences and the way we choose to live our lives will be with us forever. ❤️

Photos by Melissa Couture.

 

 

Exciting news!

12 Jun

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Eye spy, with my little eye, my photo on the cover of the newest Light and Landscape magazine! 😊

If you have an iOS (iPhone or iPad) you can download the app for free through the App Store. Make sure to check out the newest article about the benefits and pitfalls of tourism and landscape photography!

The Walk to Eternity :: CT

6 Jun

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In most areas of the East Coast of the US, light pollution is so prevalent that many people have gone their entire lives without every having seen the Milky Way. They don’t realize what they’re missing because to them, that’s just normal. Because it’s normal, they also don’t realize all of the problems that come along with light pollution- disrupted circadian rhythms and the health problems associated with that, disruption in migration patterns and growth cycles for flora and fauna, behavioral changes in animals, etc.

In a discussion I had with another photographer recently, another tragic consequence of light pollution is that people don’t get to experience the feeling of connection and perspective that comes from looking up at the night sky and realizing we are just a small part of a massive universe. We are beautiful specks of Star dust who have been given a precious gift – the opportunity to live our life on a rare habitable planet – and we shouldn’t take that for granted. Rather, through the stars, we should be reminded to live our lives as fully and beautifully as we are able.

This particular shot was taken last week in a little swath of dark-ish sky in CT. I had the joy of teaching night sky photography, and watching my student’s love for photographing the night sky grow in front of my eyes. It was a lovely experience. ❤️

12 Tips for Productivity

29 Apr
Wild Beauty :: CO

Wild Beauty :: CO

 

So much of running your own business is about staying motivated and focused on your goals, and about time management.  It’s pretty common for the people around me to express surprise or admiration about how much I manage to accomplish in any given week.  It’s come up enough that I thought I’d share a few tips I’ve picked up along the way.

  • Self Care: Your body is the vehicle that you use to accomplish tasks, and treating it right will go a long way towards maintaining your energy level and focus.  Eat right.  Sleep well. Work out. Drink a lot of water.
  • Peak Performance Times: Everyone has their own time of day when they work best.  Some people jump out of bed ready to tackle the day.  Others (me) are sloths who don’t feel awake until about 10 AM.  Once you start to realize your brain functions best at certain times of day, it’s an easy leap to realize that you will benefit from scheduling the more complicated, deep thoughts or creative tasks during that time frame.  For me, after a long day, my creative juices just stop flowing so I try to get the difficult stuff done either in the morning, or after my afternoon break when I feel refreshed.
  • Know How Much Your Time Is Worth: Narrow your to-do list down to things that really matter.
  • Have a System: Everyone has a process that works best for them.  Find yours and use it.  If you go into each day organized, with attainable goals and a system that works for you, you’ll see productivity soar.
  • Set Deadlines: It’s so easy to fall into the trap of procrastination.  If you set yourself deadlines to accomplish tasks, you have a clear way to stay motivated and hold yourself accountable.
  • Is There a Better Way?: If you approach the world with the attitude that there is always something you can learn, then you’re bound to find ways to be more efficient at your job.  Continue to educate and improve yourself.
  • Why Is This Important or Necessary?: If you can’t answer that question, there is a good chance you aren’t spending your time wisely.
  • Stay Positive: Negativity can kill motivation quickly.  Yes, there will always be people better than you at XYZ.  But what other people do doesn’t define your journey.  Know that your efforts are enriching your life, and surround yourself with people who value what you are contributing to the world.
  • Take Breaks, but Make Them Reasonable: We only can stay focused on something for so long.  It is completely reasonable to get up from your desk, stretch your legs, clear your mind and come back re-focused.  The trick is to keep the breaks manageable, so that they don’t become a distraction.
  • Evaluate What’s Necessary and What’s Distracting:  One of the biggest secrets to my productivity is that I rarely watch TV.  I’m not opposed to it, per se, I just see it as a waste of time when I could be working on something else…like a productivity blog. 😉  Once you’ve identified whatever your distractions are – TV, social media, etc – limit them when possible.
  • Get Involved in The Community: We are stronger as a group, and networking can have a huge impact on how effective and efficient you can be.  I’ve frequently met people who had a skill I didn’t know I needed until I needed help with it.  Getting involved in your community is a great way to make connections, and build a client base at the same time.
  • Stay Up-To-Date on Changes in Your Town/City/Community/News: Staying in the know can prevent you from having to do double work when you belatedly find out something impacting your project has changed.  Always stay informed, especially about laws or regulations that may impact your work.

 

  • Bonus Tip: Create a lifestyle of learning and productivity outside of the work environment.  Beyond just running a photography business, I’m also dedicating time these days to salsa dancing lessons, horseback riding, travel (aka experiencing new things) and writing classes.  I’ve learned to play instruments and sing (poorly), I’ve taken kickboxing classes, and I’ve tried learning to cook and attempted to learn new languages (also poorly).  None of those things are necessarily related to photography, but all of the them strengthen the brain or encourage creativity.

Firestarter :: Iceland

12 Apr
Firestarter :: Iceland

Firestarter :: Iceland