The beautiful displays at the Wedluxe Bridal Show by Wedluxe Magazine inspired so many, including me. Florals. Gowns. Sequin walls. And so much more!Read More
Join me in meeting Brow & Lash Guru (an gorgeous business babe) Kimberly Buckley. Kimberly is the owner of the London West location of Waxon Bar and a woman I admire. I recently had a chance to hear her speak at the Blushing Babes Society’s Blushing Babes Brunch.Read More
Beauty is about so much more than what we see on the outside. It's about who we are. What we believe in. How we treat others, How we overcome struggles. It's about how we love ourselves. Beauty is so much more than a pretty face, great hair or a perfect figure.
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I'm excited to bring the Beauty Is portrait project to life here in London, Ontario. Stay tuned for more about the project and for amazing stories of strength and beauty from these amazing ladies!
Ever wonder why some people see beauty everywhere while others never seem to see it?
If we cannot find beauty within ourselves, how can we recognize and appreciate the beauty around us. There is beauty in your kindness. Their is beauty in your love. There is beauty in your movement. There is beauty in your strength. There is beauty in your vulnerability. There is beauty in the simple rhythm of breaths in and out. There is so much beauty inside each and every one of us, if we only stop for a moment to see it.
As I dive deep into the Beauty Is project, I see more and more that our ability to see beauty in others and in the world around us is so closely tied to our ability to recognize the beauty in ourselves and love ourselves for it. As women step in front of my camera for a portrait, they are vulnerable in that moment and trusting that I can see and capture that inner beauty.
What is one thing you think if beautiful about yourself? (hint - you don't need to look in the mirror for this one)
In our busy lives we are always looking to hustle harder and do more. Often we just don't know where to start.
This is where I have found myself lately - so much I want to do.
In my journey to do more, accomplish more, and make things happen I got a little overwhelmed. And when I get overwhelmed, sometimes I just shut down.
Then someone shared this quote with me. I may not know every step I am going to take but it's time to lift up my foot.
This past week has been a week focused on creating content for upcoming in person events and videos too. I have been giving a great deal of thought to the topics I want to discus and the length of the talks too. How many topics should I fit in? How long should each be? If I am given a 90 minute time slot, how much should I cover and when is it too much? I came across this quote in my researching this week from Winston Churchill about giving speeches.
At first I just had to laugh, I never would have thought about it quite like that but then again he has a point right?
To me, there is so much more this could be applied to. Speeches, videos, blog posts, sales pages, emails meetings and even conversations. You always want to appropriately cover your topic and the info that needs to be shared while still keeping it interesting and leaving room for questions - how else will you engage and know what your intended audience needs?
We are going to take it down a notch and get serious today.
Yesterday I stepped out of my comfort zone and on to the stage at the Mothers Advocating Mental Health (MAMA) Project Conference. I shared the struggles I have faced, and for the first time publicly shared and named the struggles my daughter has faced this last year. Anxiety. Depression. Eating Disorders. Suicidal thoughts.
I was there to talk about art as a form of expression and coping, and I did, but I was also there to reach out and let others know they are not alone.
As I finished up my talk, I shared this poem from Rumi that I was first introduced to by my mentor Sue Bryce.
This poem hit me right from the start. My initial reaction was something like "What? You want me to invite all those crappy feelings in? Are you nuts?!?!?" but as I walked away from the video it was shared in, I began to remember others things I have been taught that gave me the same gut reaction but have changed the way I think. I gave the poem another chance.
In life, we are going to be confronted with good times and bad. Emotions we enjoy, and emotions we don't. We have an instinct to run away from or avoid those things we don't enjoy. To do everything we can to avoid pain, sorrow, sadness.
We need to recognize that the good comes with the bad. That we can look at those moments and say 'oh, I know you, come on in' instead of fighting it (which just causes us more stress, pain, and anxiety). Every emotion is a house guest, they will not stay forever. Appreciate them while they are there - they are teaching you something, and wish them a fond farewell when they leave, knowing they will return.
This past weekend my husband and I packed up the car and took off for one of our favourite places, Tobermory, for a weekend. We were there for photographic learning and geeky-ness with one of Canada's award winning outdoor photographers we have the pleasure of calling a mentor and friend, Ethan Meleg. (Check out his work at www.ethanmeleg.com)
Two summers ago my husband Ross and I attended Ethan's Landscape Photography Workshop in Killarney and it was amazing! Beautiful landscapes, great people, and some time to get back to the love of photography.
This time we joined Ethan for something a little more detailed, wildflowers. The first thing I learned...we have a heck of a lot more beautiful wildflowers growing naturally in our province then I ever knew. Like...more than 50 varieties of Orchids alone with 40 or so of them calling the Bruce Penninsula home. I never would have know that if not for this Wildflower Photography Workshop.
From there it was about getting back to basics. Unlike a wedding day or studio portrait session, I could not move my subject to get the lighting or backdrop I wanted. I had to look around me and find the best options based on the position of the flower. I also had to explore things like...
- my vantage point (which flowers should be photographed side on? which ones look better photographed straight down on? which angle gives me the best background and lighting?)
- my depth of field (how much of the background do I want to show? is it adding to the image or distracting from it?)
- and so much more!
It really took me out of my comfort zone but in some ways it took me back to basics.
I am excited to share more about the weekend and the awesomeness that happened there. For today though, I hope you enjoy this little video of some of my first images from the weekend.
So many people see a list of things I have accomplished and thing I am strong and brave. They even go so far as so call me superwoman.
Now, I truly believe that each and every woman has a strength and beauty that makes her a Superwoman in her own right, but, I am still working on knowing and loving my own internal Superwoman.
Brave is not a word I would use to describe myself. I am scared of rejection. I am scared of failure. I am scared of my own shadow half of the time. In the past Brave would not have been anywhere on my list of words to describe myself but, it's time for change.
This past year I have stepped out of the shadows and been brave. Brave enough to be noticed and unable to hide when I changed my hair from my natural colour to a bright purple. Brave enough to launch a new line of services I hold close to my heart that I hoped others would love as much. Brave enough to reach out to the media to help share the news of my new portraits and even appearing on live TV. Brave enough to book my own portrait session, flaws and all, to celebrate who I am.
"The Brave May Not Live Forever, But the Cautious Do Not Live At All" - Meg Cabot
How are you being brave today?
For all the Planners out there - I'm with you!
Many people spend time in Decemmber planning out their 2017. You are setting goals. You are planning out your calendar. You are figuring out what you can do to achieve those goals. You are reflecting on what was good in 2016 (so you can have more of this) and what wasn't so good in 2016 (so you can avoid more of it if possible).
As you set those goals and plan for a fabulous year, I challenge you to do one thing.
Whether it's for one goal or for all of them...'Shoot for the Moon, Even if you Miss You will Land Among The Stars' We both know we can't always achieve every goal, but, if you make your goals bigger and better - even if you don't make it, how much closer will you be than if you keep your goals only as big as what you think you can achieve?
Believe in yourself and dream big my friend!
Good Morning and Happy Motivation Monday!
In today's crazy busy world it's easier to keep your eye on the prize and focus on the ever growing to do list in front of you, but, what would happen if we all took just a few minutes every day to think about the other people around us? To focus on what we could do to improve their day?
What if we lived in a world where these acts of kindness were the norm and not the exception to the rule?
This month I am focusing on what I can do for others on a daily basis.
Let's face it, I would love to make huge donations to charity, to volunteer 20+ hours a week to helping others, to find a safe place for people without a home to go to, and so much more but like you I am one person with responsibilities to my family, my employer, my business and limited means. That, however, doesn't mean I can't make a difference.
I am committing to doing my part by doing at least 5 random act's of kindness every day!
Not sure where to start? Here are a few Random Act's of Kindness ideas to get you started...
- Smile at a Stranger
- Hold the door for someone
- Give a compliment
- Buy someone a cup of coffee
- Send a thank you note
- Send someone a text message to encourage them
- Make a funny face (when you see a friend looking a little down)
- Share a cute picture or quote with someone you know
- Call just to say hello
- Give a random high five (especially effective with kids)
- Give a hug
- Share a sweet treat
What will you do today to make someone smile?
I will start off by saying one thing - this is not the post I had planned for today. Not at all but, yesterday something happened and a friend (looking at you Allyn) shared this thought with me and I knew it was what I needed to share with you today.
Whether you are a bride planning your wedding day, a newlywed couple working to build your marriage and life together, or a photographer and/or business owner building a business...at some point a mountain(or even a whole mountain range) will show up in your path unexpectedly.
When that happens, you have choices. You can...
1) You can stand at the bottom of the mountain and cry about it being there 2) You can crawl up the mountain moaning about it all the way (it's so unfair!) 3) You can conquer that mountain - moving it out of your path, on your own or with help, and try to be grateful for the experience and the lessons you can learn from it. Becoming stronger because of it.
To be honest, I have done all of these. I would love to say always jump right to number 3 on the list but it's not that easy. Some days all you can do is sit and stare at the mountain and cry. It's ok! It's okay to not be okay sometimes. Other days you know you need to move forward but it's just so dang hard! But sometimes, you can pick yourself up, call on a friend and battle up and over that mountain or just shoving it out of your way. You may still stumble along the way, but you can do it! Sometimes you have to work through all of these on one mountain - and that's totally ok!
Just know that you can do it - there is no mountain you can't conquer and just by doing it - you show others it can be done.
Good #motivationmonday to you!
A couple weeks back I recieved an email from Shaun Novak at HitTheGem.com ask me to be the #GemOfTheWeek for the Gem Nation. (If you don't know about Hit The Gem you should go learn more about Allyn Lewis and her Gem Nation at www.hitthegem.com right now. It has been soo amazing to hear another business owner speaking up about mental health)
As much as I was honoured by this, being the Gem of the Week also meant sharing some of my own personal and business struggles both past and current. Anyone who knows me well knows, I love to help other people whenever I possibly can (and even sometimes when I should be saying no) because that's who I am and that's why my business was created. (Don't get me wrong, I love the art of photography but I really started my business to be able to meet and support people and an important time in their lives so they can create those happy memories and the foundation of a strong marriage)
One thing I'm not good at, admitting my weaknesses, sharing my struggles, or asking for help. Ever. In any area of my life. It's not that I think I am above it, or want to have a superwoman appearence. or anything like that. I mean heck, not only do I downplay my struggles...I also downplay my successes. Why? I don't want to inconvenience or worry other people when I am struggling. I don't want to make someone feel bad when I have success either because what if they are struggling? I just wanted everyone to be happy and successful.
I have to say, as much as it has been scary to share all this and more with the Gem Nation community, it's been an eye opening experience too. It's felt so good in my heart to be able to say...I'm scared but I'm going to do this anyways and then to see the response of others saying 'I know exactly how you feel', 'how can I help', or 'I thought I was the only one'.
I look forward to opening the doors and sharing more of exactly who I am, what I have been through, and what I believe in with you too. It's going to be baby steps at first - I think that's best for all of us. I don't want to overwhelm you but I really do want to let you in because at the end of the day, maybe you're like me and just need to know you're not the only one who faces these struggles. I want this amazing online community to know me, Rebecca, not just my photography.
How has your intelligence been having fun lately?
This week it's all about creativity and hustle hanging out at Team Salvatore headquarters in O'Fallon, Illinois (just outside St Louis) with friends and colleagues. It's great to change locations, bounce ideas around with new people, and test out new ways of doing things. It's about keeping things fresh!
What do you do to keep creativity flowing?
Tell me about it in the comments below!
Some days it easy to complain about all the reasons we can't make our dreams happen. All the things that stand in the way.
Today, look at all the things that are going right. Look at the ways you can make it happen not because of what is happening around you but instead because of who you are. You can do it!
Okay, so if my husband was the one posting this #motivationmonday post I'm pretty sure that quote would have read...
Do or Do Not. There is No Try.
But thankfully, I'm not quite that much of a geek (or maybe I'm just a different type of geek)
At the end of the day, we throw around this word Try a lot.
Is there a place for it? Absolutely!
But is it really the right word? In my opinion, No.
It's easy to say I tried, it's a lot harder to say I did it.
Today don't try to be awesome, just do it!
Ok, so this book (You are a Badass by Jen Sincero) took me way longer to read then normal.
I am so used to picking up a book and honestly, just devouring it. This is why a book that takes me 3 weeks to complete (and is way smaller than the complete works of William Shakespeare) it catches me off guard it usually means that...
- The book is boring as all get out
- My schedule is insane (or I am sick) and I just have no energy left to read in bed
- Something in the book is challenging me in a new way and I need more time to digest it
This book definately fell in category #3 for me.
There was just so much to think about, to consider, and to have to take a deep breath and admit...dang it, she's totally right! (but more on that later - once I digest a little more)
Today I wanted to share this quote. Why? Not because I sit firmly on one side or the other of the fence of Manifestation, but, instead because I believe that a positive mindset and belief in yourself is important if you want to achieve anything in your life. I also believe that you cannot sit back and wait for the universe to do everything for you. You need to believe, to put the intention out there, and then show the universe (...Soul, God or whoever you believe will help you achieve it) that you are willing to put in the work too.
As Leonardo Divinci says in Ever After...
You cannot leave everything to Fate, boy. She's got a lot to do. Sometimes you must give her a hand.
What are you working towards? How is it going?
Tell me about it in the comments below!
Monday Mornings are always the hardest aren't they?
After a fabulous weekend with my studio mate Erin and a fabulous couple, Laura & Dennis, in Parry Sound to celebrate their wedding, sometimes it is hard to come back to the day to day but we all have to do it (and don't get me wrong - I love every aspect of my day job and my business but being lakeside has me in summer mode already).
Whenever I am having a rough day, Monday or otherwise, I try to put it all in perspective realizing that I always have something to be thankful for. Take a moment, right now, to think of all the things you have to be thankful for.
I will go first. Today I am thankful for...
- Amazing couples who allow me to be part of their wedding and celebrate their love with them. It's a real honour!
- Colleagues who like me, see other photographers not as competition but instead as collaborators. I am always honoured to be asked to work with them on a wedding day.
- Living in a place where I can follow my passion to create, to meet awesome people, and to share my experiences with others so we can all grow and learn
- To have a supportive family that, though they don't always understand it, always support me in following my dreams.
- My health - and the opportunity to continue on the journey to by best health inside and out.
- Amazing resources including books, audiobooks, webinars, conferences and more that make it easier than ever for me to learn new things in my business, my photography, and my hobbies too (I'm working on my calligraphy and my watercolour painting right now)
...and so much more!
What are you thankful for today? Share it in the comments below and you might just inspire someone else to see the brighter side.
Growing up this was definitely one of the most common phrases out of my Dad's mouth.
Whether on a morning we didn't want to get up or on a day when we just didn't want to do much of anything (or more often than not with me, when I didn't want to start on a project because it wasn't due yet) Dad was always reminding us that "It's the first day of the rest of your life".
I always knew he was right, I mean after all it literally was the first day of the rest of my life right? But...that never particularly motivated me to action as a kid or a teen. I mean, I was young so I had forever to figure things out or get things done. Tomorrow would be the first day of the rest of my life again, right?
I won't go so far as to say I'm old but life has taught me a lot of lessons since then. Like it or not, I've grown up, matured and am expected to 'adult' most of the time now. Along with the lessons learned, comes a little bit of wisdom too.
My dad was right, it is the first day of the rest of my life. This is my chance to build my dream sooner so I can enjoy it for longer. This is my chance to appreciate everything I have now, not later because who knows when it will be gone. This is my opportunity to believe in myself, to invest in the people and relationships that mean the most to me.
Today is the first day of the rest of my life and I'm going to grab it!
I'm going to make sure I say 'I love you' and spend time with the people who mean the most to me. I'm going to take time to appreciate everything I have. I am going to take time to create. I'm going to take steps to get a little closer to being the wife, mother, friend, business owner, photographer, and person I want to be.
It's the first day of the rest of your life, what are you going to do with it?