Inspiring

What If Cabo

It’s hard to wrap up into a blog post what happened during the What If conference. I knew I’d come away inspired, encouraged and ready to tackle some big projects, but I had no idea that my life would be turned upside down! The community that was built during the 5 days we spent in Cabo was just mind-blowing to me, someone who has never been to a photography “industry” event before. The photographers & innovators who were our speakers for the week are some of the most accomplished leaders in the photography world, but there was no ego trip or speaker / attendee divide. We all hung out together, ate too much chips & salsa, danced all night, laid out on the beach, laughed a LOT, cried together, and exchanged ideas of pushing each other to fulfill our dreams.  Each of the people we were privileged to meet were so humble and passionate about their art. I felt so lucky to be surrounded with such an amazing group of people!

Sarah and Chris Rhoads (of We are the Rhoads) totally inspired me. They are so young, and yet making things happen on a huge scale! I loved how they showed us their personal projects turned into the fun commercial work they’re known for. Jesh de Rox showed us how to communicate with couples on a deeper level than just capturing what’s on the surface, and continuing to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Steve and Jen Bebb, who were the inventors of this conference, are some of the coolest people you’ll ever meet. They encouraged us to not let any excuse get in the way of following our dreams, and to constantly ask the question “What If?” Dan O’Day, besides having a cool Aussie accent, encouraged us to shoot for ourselves — do personal projects to keep our work fresh and inspired. Jesse and Whitney Chamberlain of Our Labor of Love kind of blew our minds with their smartness, hah. They’ve created an entire network of businesses to surround themselves with other creatives, which I completely loved. Justin Lyon (the producer of Yo Gabba Gabba…for real) really challenged us to give back. His stories of working in Haiti alongside refugees were touching, and I think even the guys in the group were sniffling a little bit. 😉  Of course, each of them went into much greater depth, but the emphasis was the same: be successful so you can give back to the world — whether it be your time, money, art, or story.The funny thing is, after I got home and checked out all our new friends’ work…oh my gosh. They are all so talented! I love getting to follow their work, inspire each other, and plan reunion trips 🙂

 

If you are a photographer or any other creative: GO TO THE NEXT ONE. July 23-26th in Portland, OR is going to be insane! I can’t wait to reconnect with new / old friend, meet tons more inspiring people from around the world, and be seriously challenged in my creativity. Sound cool? Check it out more HERE! Also, it’s not open to the general public until Feb. 14th, but if you want to sign up now, just ask me and I’ll send you the link 🙂

Illustrating Jesh’s deep-stare-into-your-soul techniques 🙂

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Inspiration.

People often ask me where I come up with ideas for photo shoots.  The answer? Truthfully, it’s YOU!  Meeting a couple for the first time, you can just see the energy between them and the love they share RIGHT away! By the time I get around to asking what you love to do together & what hobbies you share, my mind has already been racing a mile a minute picturing you laughing walking in a field…you smiling into the side of his face…him picking you up and swinging you around…Ooh! and incorporating this awesome detail I’ve been dying to try…as the warm sunlight surrounds you….an awesome light flare coming down from above that old barn I’m envisioning the shoot taking place in…And the list goes on 🙂

Yep, this is all going through my head during our very first meeting together!! The key to inspiration is VISUALIZATION. I’m always striving to do new, creative things in each session and wedding I shoot, but the shoot is a success from being able to visualize the end product.  The smart and ever-wise Shawn Covey, who wrote the book Seven Habits for Highly Successful People, wrote this as one of the main principles in life: Begin with the End in Mind.

Your shoot? It’s important to me.  I spend hours thinking about it. Visualizing it. Picking out the perfect props, location ideas, outfit choices. I love love, and I love capturing it! Inspiration is just the tool I use to get there. 🙂

And because a blog post is never as fun without a picture…here’s a new inspiration board I put together for the lovely Erin Mustain and Jay Merrill, winners of the free engagement session contest! I can’t wait to turn this vision into reality 🙂


Sunny beaches, cruise ships, & tropical islands….

So!  For those of you who have never been on a cruise…IT’S TIME TO GO. they are fantastic and magical and theeeee most relaxing week you’ll ever have.  Plus, you get to see 5 islands in like, 6 days. Which is pretty stinkin’ awesome! I didn’t bring my good camera & lenses along the trip, but the scenery was so awesome that I managed to get some sweet shots in spite of it. 6 of us went and had an amazing time around St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, Grand Turk, and Nassau. And I only got seasick twice! (kidding.) (But seriously.)

Here’s a little bit of sunshine for this wintery day!


this is why i love summer

The sunsets around my house have been incredible lately! Just wanted to share these two photos with you. Happy Tuesday!


Santorini (aka paradise)

Our trip to the island of Santorini was in a word, heavenly.  This was the most beautiful, unusual island I have ever been on, and was so worth the 8 hour boat ride from Athens.  Santorini was actually where Mama Mia and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants were filmed (holla!!), so if you’re a fan of those movies, you’ll love these pictures 😉

Fira, the capital city

The view right outside our door

Kalimera beach, aka the "Red Beach"

the looooong hike up to the red beach

church in the town of Oia

Mirrored surfaces are just begging to be photographed 🙂

Oia

Our beautiful villa's pool

little boy fishing at sunset...i kinda love this shot

village of Fira at sunset

Breathtaking sunsets every night

They really use donkeys for transportation here!

yes, please, I like this view.

The volcanic part of the island!

The island's mandate is that buildings can only be painted white, blue, pink and yellow. but mostly blue and white 🙂

I kinda loved this door 🙂

oh heyy, ANTM

Squid!

CLock tower in Oia

Straight out of My Big Fat Greek Wedding!

Looking out on our front porch

The ferry ready to take us back to Athens...

We'll be back, Santorini. We'll be back.


Ooooooooopah! (….that’s in Greek :) )

Sorry for the lack of blog posts the past month!  The internet over here in Athens has been super sketchy, so I didn’t want to overload it with my massive files.  Greece in one word…AMAZING.  The islands, the people, the food, the music, the culture….it’s absolutely wonderful.  I’ve been taking a photography class over here for the month of May and had the chance to travel to ancient ruins, beautiful beaches, and famous historical sites.  Our trip to Santorini was definitely a highlight, I’ll probably have to do a separate blog post for that alone.  If you ever get a chance to go there in your life…GO.  you need to see this place 🙂  Here’s a snapshot of my trip through photos (parts 2, 3 and 4 to come soon)….

Temple of Apollo in the Agora

The view from Mars Hill looking at the Acropolis

The oldest theater in the world

this thing was massive!

Ancient marketplace on top of the Acropolis..there were too many people around to get a really good shot, but this place was incredible

THE PARTHENON!

I really couldn't believe I was standing in front of it.

The Corinth Canal...3rd deepest in the world, bright blue, and insanely cool. People go bungee jumping off of here all the time

My friend/travel buddy Sara and I on the bridge over Corinth Canal

Lemon trees grow everywhere.

Lemon trees grow everywhere.

Ancient Corinthian wall decor

never did find out what kind of tree this was, but its awesome

The Temple of Apollo at Corinth...they had a lot of temples to Apollo, apparently. haha

The main road through old Corinth

the road through ancient Corinth

Sara and i out shooting in Athens...

We were out one afternoon in Syntagma Square in Athens, and saw a bunch of guys break-dancing on Parliament steps

these "worry beads" are sold everywhere in athens

Athens marina. This ship had a legit pirate's plank 🙂

Cloudy day at the marina

little square by our apartment

side street

Welcome dinner for the class

Acropolis lit up at night

Street art

little kids play music for you while you eat, then demand money. sorta cute, mostly annoying after a month of it, haha.


Art for Hearts benefit show: Greenville, SC

I had the privilege of attending the Art for Hearts benefit show this past weekend.  My sister, Jessica Libor (www.jessicalibor.com) is an amazing artist located in the Greenville, SC area.  Her, along with Lily Stratton of Lily Stratton Pottery and Christina of Christina Nicole Studios, were the featured artists at the show.  Sponsored by G Magazine and the Greenville Children’s Hospital, the evening was a smashing success!  I was so proud of my sister–it’s not easy to be a freelance painter, but she is so inspiring: she is living proof that if you want something enough, you are totally gonna make it happen.  I love going to galleries, art shows, and benefit shows like this because of the creative people I meet.  It always inspires me and challenges me to make my own art form a little better.  Here’s a few of my favorite shots from the night at Zen:

I ate waaaay too many of these. 🙂

Gorgeous jewelry by Christina Nicole Studios

…and even more gorgeous headbands!

Me and the artist 🙂

I absolutely love the detail on this one!

I made my friend Beca pose under these sweet lights 🙂  She’s an awesome wedding photographer located in Georgia, check out her site at http://www.rebeccacerasani.com!