My First Side-Hustle Saturday

At the start of the new year, my husband and I set out to be more intentional about the way we spent our time. We both talked about how we want to focus more on what we want and what brings us happiness, and to try less to please other people at the cost of that happiness. Thus, Side-Hustle Saturday was born.

Jon and I both have ambitions and passions outside of our usual 9 to 5s. His deals more with theatre/arts, and my passion, obviously, lies in photography. One Saturday a month, we will spend most of the that day accomplishing side-hustle goals. Meeting with clients, making business plans, investing in equipment, researching articles and books, you name it, it’s gonna happen.

This past Saturday was my first Side-Hustle Saturday and man, did it light my heart on fire. I met with a potential client that morning and set up a meeting with another. I then made some business to-dos and set up a five-year plan. To top the day off, I met with another aspiring photographer, a dear friend of mine named Erin, and we spent the afternoon working on manual camera settings and just capturing some stellar images. Since I am still so new to photography, I’ve felt hesitant to collaborate with anyone, but I another goal of mine is to not let those fears hold me back. It was so incredible just to talk to someone else, frankly and candidly, about photography. We compared settings, talked about editing, and just starting taking some pictures. We were fortunate enough to have another incredible friend, Mary Kate, model for us. I love photo sessions that are full of laughter and just totally laid back. untitled-8531untitled-8533untitled-8545untitled-8546untitled-8563

It was a phenomenal day and I learned so much. In just one day, I felt closer to my goals and dreams. The sense of joy and accomplishment that brings me I can’t quite articulate. I can’t wait to see what the next Side-Hustle Saturday brings.

Love Thyself

I’ve been cooped up in the house for the day since the promised snow storm finally hit Omaha. School was cancelled, so I’ve had the day at home to fiddle around with my camera. I decided to take some self-portraits, and found it quite challenging for several reasons. I’m still working on the technical aspects of my camera, so trying to get the timer set and the lens focused was exceptionally difficult. I’m hoping to dig up some articles so I can better navigate that piece. I’ve also struggle with body-image issues most of my life, so repeatedly taking photos of myself isn’t something I’m usually excited about. After lots of attempts and fiddling and uttering of swear words, I managed to get a few good shots.

It was nice to edit some photos of just me for once. I was almost forced to compliment myself both on the image and how I looked. Sometimes it’s nice to just give yourself some praise and love.

Finding Calm Behind the Lens

Ever since I can remember, I’ve had anxiety.  I can recall a particular incident at the age of fourteen.

I thought I had missed a musical performance.

Hives spread across my shoulders and I couldn’t seem to stop trembling and weeping. It felt like an invisible beast had plunged its claws into my chest and was attempting to pull out my heart. My sister felt so concerned for me that she ran upstairs to get my dad. After almost an hour of calm reassurances from my father, I was able to move past it.

As an adult, I still struggle-quite often-to manage my anxiety. Today was one of those days. I found myself have a minor anxiety attack at work, one which spiraled out of control as I left the parking lot. A phrase that keeps being suggested to me is to find coping mechanisms to deal my anxiety.

Easier said than done. But…I think I’m getting there.

Today, instead of laying in bed and spiraling further and letting the monster clutch further upon my heart, I grabbed my camera. I took some pictures of my beautiful dog. She isn’t always the most willing model, but I got some good shots. When I threw my camera strap around my neck, I felt indescribably better. Like a kind of magic was infused with my camera. Even editing the few pictures I took today filled me with calm. I’m hoping as I grow as a photographer, I can continue to find my calm behind the lens. untitled-6466untitled-6471untitled-6474

Throwback Post: Sarah+Steve

One of my first photography sessions was very close to my heart. My younger sister, Sarah, and her-now husand-Steve, needed engagement photos taken. Sarah and Steve didn’t have many photos together and have never been interested in taking any. Given that they needed some for newspaper announcements and save-the-dates, they asked me to grab my camera and give it a go. We had fifteen minutes until we completely lost the sun, it was freezing cold, and her two dogs were NOT interested in being photographed. Nothing like a trial by fire!

We pulled into a little park and snapped some quick shots. It was awkward, rushed, and so much fun. Steve was a total hoot and watching him interact with Sarah melted my heart. They are such a well-matched pair. It was comforting to think, as I stood there snapping away, that this man was going to marry my sister. Their wedding day has come and gone, but I still love looking back at this amazing session.

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