Month: April, 2014
“One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, ‘My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. ‘One is Evil – It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. ‘The other is Good – It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.’ The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: ‘Which wolf wins?’ The old Cherokee simply replied, “‘The one you feed.’”
What is the part of you that you keep locked away? The intimate, secret place that you only let out into the open every once in a while? Like the story of the two wolves, in women, there are two sides to ourselves. We have the responsible, professional self which deals with the day to day adult things like going to work or raising a family, and the other side which is wilder, the part which longs to be free to live the life we’ve always dreamt of. It’s the mare in an enclosure who more than anything wants to run fast and hard toward the horizon, to feel the wind in her face, and know the strength in her muscles can carry her wherever she wants to go.
Yet, knowing this, we keep our wild spirit hidden away, locked in our boudoir, saved for an intimate moment with a special someone. And for some people this is a choice, we can choose to reserve our wildness for the opportune moment, but for many, the women who long to be free, this reservation feels like a prison, and we don’t know how to escape.
How to Feed Your Wild Spirit Contrary to what you have been told in the past, you don’t have to always do what you’re told. You don’t have to always make the “responsible”choice at the expense of your happiness, buy the sensible shoes or work in a job you hate because that’s what others have told you to do. You don’t have to keep your intimate, secret self locked away. You don’t have to feed the part of yourself that feels the need to conform, listens to harmful criticism, or tells you that you can never have the life your dream. Instead, feed the other part of yourself, the wild spirit who assures you that there is something more to this life than just doing what’s expected of you.
It’s a powerful, transformative thing when a woman recognizes her own value, and begins to treat her wild spirit as a sacred, motivational force that will launch her on the path she’s always longed to be on. For me, this is one of the best parts of Intimates and Boudoir Photography, watching woman bloom like wildflowers and reveal the intimate parts of themselves that they kept hidden inside, because they were afraid of what would happen once they let them free. And then, once they’ve released that fear and tension, their faces light up and they leave with a profound sense of confidence that’s untamed and incredibly powerful, and they are renewed.
There are some exciting new things happening here at boudoir Los Angeles that are feeding my own personal wild spirit. I have always been fascinated with lingerie, especially the fun and naughty side it brings out in me. So naturally being the entrepreneur I am, I can’t help but explore my fascination a little more. Over the last year I have been collecting a very exclusive collection of some of the more beautiful lingerie I can find around the world. The website is being built, the branding is in process and I can’t wait to bring exciting new business to life. I’ll keep you updated to when it will be live when I get a little closer to completion!
Do you have a passion project you have been putting off for a while? Forget all the reasons you can’t and listen to the one reason you can.
Lead with love, flirt with the unknown and be bold!
The Art of You: How to Shine and Stay Inspired
“Everything you can imagine is real.” ~ Pablo Picasso
Who are you, how do you how do you stand out, are you passionate about what you are creating?
If you are creative entrepreneur, you probably ask yourself these questions a lot! Even after 15 years of being in the photography business, I still do.
In fact, it feels like I ask these questions to myself daily. I’m always trying to challenge myself, always wondering what I can be doing better, how I can elevate my boudoir business to a new level, and create a stronger brand.
But the most important questions I ask myself are:
Am I in alignment with my purpose and guiding principles? and
What am I doing everyday to shine and stay inspired?
How to Shine and Stay Inspired
1) Realize that Defining Who You are Never Ever Truly Ends.
As creators and innovators we need to be constantly evolving, constantly learning, constantly expanding our craft. We should hone our skills daily, making incremental improvements. Like the trees grow upwards towards the sky, all the while changing while at the same time staying firmly to the ground, we too should stay rooted in who we are and what we believe, but allow how we define ourselves grow and expand with experience and time.
2) Be Willing to Push Yourself
Your comfort zone is not your friend, and you shouldn’t let it control you. Take risks, do something daring, be willing to push yourself. If you don’t push yourself, you’ll never know what you’re fully capable of.
3) Search for Constant Inspiration
This one’s a big one, because the more inspired you are the more you can create. Make it a point to vary your inputs, have new experiences, discover new things. Research people who are doing what you do, find out how they do it. Read everything you can get your hands on. Take long walks and observe the world around you. Inspiration is everywhere, but you have to actively pursue it in order to attain it.
4) Embrace the Ups and Downs
Life can be a roller coaster sometimes, but believe it or not some of your best work comes as a result of difficult experiences, and can even help you to overcome them. You’re going to have good days, and you’re going to have bad days, that’s a part of life. It’s what you do and how you react to these changes that will make the difference.
And remember, when things seem low and hopeless, that stars shine best in darkness. Find your light, stay inspired, and shine shine shine like the bright star you are.
Challenge Yourself: Always Push the Quality of Your Images
One of the keys to mastering any art is continuing to challenge yourself. You must always be pushing the bar higher, reaching for the next level of brilliance, and you mustn’t ever be fully satisfied in the quality of your boudoir images. Be pleased with them, but never be completely satisfied. I’ve always wanted to be the best. It’s just my nature. I’m much harder on myself than I should be, but it keeps me on my toes and always wanting to be a better artist than I was yesterday! You are only as good as your last shoot, right?!
If you stay hungry and committed you will continue to break barriers and elevate your art. Look at lots of magazines, read books, watch boudoir youtube videos, take classes, shoot everyday and don’t ever give up!
10 Ways to Push the Quality of Your Boudoir Images
Pay attention to how your subject fills the frame, use the rule of thirds as a guideline for how to position the feature of an image in relation to the amount of negative space. But as you’re keeping these things in mind, feel free to branch out and be creative. Challenge yourself to take risks, and if it doesn’t work out, at least you’ll have learned something.
Having a photographic voice is key to successful branding, and your unique style of photography is paramount to the development of that voice. It doesn’t have to be perfectly consistent for every photo, in fact, that would be boring, but you should be thinking about the mood and emotion you want to convey.
How you present your images is almost as important as the images themselves, and spending time considering this details will really help push the quality of your images to the next level. Using high quality paper and top of the line products, both digital and tangible, can make a huge difference in the success of your business.
Creative Use of Light and Control
Photography is the artistic capture of how light interacts with a subject or a scene, and creative use and control of light are what will distinguish your images from the rest. Really challenge yourself to pay attention to the interplay of light and shadow, and use alternative sources of illumination to control a scene if the thought strikes you. Be bold, make mistakes, and improve your mastery of the subject matter in your boudoir images.
Unless your images are predominately in black and white, color tones are going to play a huge role in the quality of your images. Avoid clashing hues and inappropriate levels of saturation, you want your images to look basically true to life but just a smidgen better.
Center of Interest
No matter what you’re capturing, every image should have a featured subject, a center of interest. The most striking images are the one that purposely draw the eyes towards a fixed point or portion of an images. This can be accomplished through use of leading lines, selective focus, etc. I like to walk a full circle around my subject. It help me see the light and the different lines I can work with.
It’s not just the subject that matters, but the location too. Prior to shoots, scope out locations in the area that will complement the emotion you’re trying to convey. If you have a studio, challenge yourself to use that space wisely. Invest in versatile backdrops or create new scenes, “think outside the studio” as it were, and come up with something all your own. If there is a location you have been dying to get to that may be a little far, plan an adventure, it will be worth it! If you usually shoot inside, go outside and play around. There are typically magic gems you might never have noticed before right around the corner.
Subject matter is the part of your photo that makes it interesting. You can photograph pipes if you like, and if you do it creatively you’ll become known as a leading “industrial photographer.” The subject matter of my work is predominately woman, and my message is empowerment through a realization of true self worth. Is your subject matter clearly defined? , Are you shooting a subject matter that inspires you and lights you up? If not, maybe it’s time to start a personal project.
Every image expresses an idea or emotion, and stronger images tell stories. Before you snap a photograph, or before you plan a session, determine what story you’re trying to tell. Becoming a better photographer ultimately means becoming a better visual story teller. Use light and motion to play with the mood. Become a director and don’t be afraid to take control! I use pinterest for story boards all the time. When I have a big shoot I create a mood board and layout images for the client. I helps them visualize and this also creates more trust with the client.
Styling is not style, it’s much more aesthetically inclined. If you’re a street photographer this won’t really apply to you, but if you’re a portrait or fine art photographer who is looking for creative ways to capture images, challenge yourself to pay attention to styling aspects. This is also where collaboration comes in mind. Details like hair, makeup, costumes, backdrops, props, etc. can be used to make a concept stand out, and will make a photograph more memorable. You want to make sure the hair matches the style of the clothes, lip color, etc… Details matter! If this is not your strong suite, maybe you can hire a stylist for your boudoir portfolio shoots to add that extra touch of fabulous!
I hope this inspires you to go out and try something different! I’d love to hear your thoughts or see your images if you do something you want to share! I want nothing more than you to see and shoot in a a constant state of wonder! What we do is magic, so stay inspired and create better boudoir images everyday.
Finding Your Unfair Advantage
In a time where photography has become more popular than ever, how to you separate yourself from the crowd?
This is one of the greatest questions affecting photographers today. The boom of user-friendly DSLR’s and technical schools available information has produced a crop of new, doe-eyed artists desperate to break into a field that seems nothing but wide open doors leading to nowhere.
Yet there are those who rise above the perpetual chaos, those who not only make a name for themselves but also run a successful business.
If you look in the comment sections of articles featuring images from these rising great artists, you will unfortunately be greeted with phrases like these:
“I made a picture just like that one” (followed by sub-par quality image of similar theme)
“I really like what he’s going for but the quality could be better (insert snarky and most likely incorrect suggestion about how to improve the photo) “Hello so and so I really like your work, everyone should come check out mine (insert link to personal portfolio“ I don’t see what the big deal is about this.”
Fairness is About Perspective
What these people are actually declaring in their all-too common and ill-advised comments is that they believe the attention that photographer XYZ is getting is unfair, and are looking for a quick way to gain their equally “unfair advantage”. What these people don’t understand is that there are a few legitimate reasons some photographers get noticed and others don’t. For example, those who get noticed have three prominent qualities:
- They Have a Well-Crafted Artistic Voice
- They Work Their Asses Off
- They Meet the Right People
Now, the order of this matters a great deal. If you don’t have a unique style, or exhibit something that no one else has, why would people notice you. Put in basic terms, if you’re standing in a room filled with people wearing red shirts, and only one person is wearing a purple shirt, the purple shirted person is more noticeable.
So here’s the fun part:
It’s time to grab pen and sit down and find what is about you and vision that can give you the edge that will separate you and your brand from the bunch. Look at yourself and your work thoroughly, examine the things that make YOU stand out.
What are they?
Once you have that answer, spend your time mastering them (work harder than you’ve ever worked in your life), and grow and grow your artistic voice, get noticed by the right people, and before you know it, you’ll have a so-called “unfair advantage” too.
Boudoir State of Mind: What Sex Does for the Brain and Body
“Sex is a part of nature. I go along with nature.” – Marilyn Monroe
More and more Doctors all over the world are recognizing and studying the incredible health benefits of everyone’s favorite pastime: sex! It’s been proved to improve lung health, decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease and breast cancer, reduce chronic pain, and even multiply brain cells. I apparently can’t get enough of it, so it got me thinking what else it can sex do for us:
What Sex Does for Your Brain
1. Creates Brain Cells
A study by scientists at Princeton in 2010 discovered that having sex will make your brain grow. This is because having regular sex decreases use of stress hormones, which restrict brain growth. Sex leads to low stress, low stress leads to bigger brains. Don’t you want a bigger brain?
2. De-stresses You
Having sex lights up areas of the brain that don’t often get used during non-sexual activities. This “complex” brain activity releases hormones that counteract stress hormones, comparable to an hour of yoga or a long run. Woo hoo! That’s fabulous news!
3. Does Wonders for Your Self-Esteem
Positive sexual encounters with an individual who loves and appreciates you, maybe even worships you, between the sheets can be an incredibly empowering experience and work WONDERS on your self-esteem.
What Sex Does For Your Body:
1. Boosts Your Immune System
Believe it or not (well, studies have been done, you should believe it), people who have sex once or twice a week get sick less often. This is because having frequent sex produces infection-fighting antibodies that do a one-two punch on common illnesses and increases levels of this magical stuff called immunoglobulin A (IgA) which takes care of nasty viral infections.
2. Lowers Your Blood Pressure
The American Journal of Cardiology published a study backing the idea that having sex reduces your risk of Cardiovascular disease. This because having sex releases sex a whole slough of amazing hormones which knock-out stress, lowers blood pressure, and decreases anxiety. Sounds like a win-win to me.
3. Counts as a Workout
A study conducted in Canada in January this year discovered the half an hour of sexual activity will burn more calories than half an hour on the treadmill, or the same time spent walking uphill, or even 40 minutes of yoga (which is why it’s such a great idea to combine the two).
I hope all this wonderful research inspires you to have more sex, it certainly does for me!