This lovely lady was referred to me from one of my past Senior clients. Alex is looking so amazing for being in that 34-36 week pregnant window of time, which is when I recommend expectant mothers to schedule their Belly Love Session.
It’s better to be a little early than wait till that last week because you are much more comfortable and confident… and you just never know when that baby might decide it’s ready to meet the world a little bit earlier than expected!
I love, love doing maternity portraits, especially for new clients because it allows us a chance to build a relationship of friendship and trust before that baby comes along. I am much more relaxed when I do a newborn session if the parents have been to my studio before. I have a better idea of what kind of images they like best, what backgrounds and colors and props they would prefer and it’s just more fun!
I really hope Alex is thrilled with the images because she said she wants to show them off this weekend at her baby shower… hopefully she has some friends that need pictures too!
P.S. Like I said before on my facebook page… she’s just so damn pretty it’s just not fair! 😉
I just realized I don’t think I ever blogged about this lovely wedding I shot at the end of October, last year. They got married on a Friday evening in the chapel at Grace Lutheran in Albert Lea, MN.
There was just a nice size group of close family and friends to witness the vows and then enjoy a delicious dinner and cake at Wedgewood Cove.
I am so happy our friends. They are a sweet couple and her two older children, plus their beautiful baby girl… just seems to complete the family.
I have known Nick for a long time, took senior pictures for his younger sister and photographed his baby girl and I was so thankful they decided to invest in having me do their wedding photography.
I was having such a great morning, I got my workout in, I finished a blogsite for my amazing husband http://www.andyhoug.com and had my homemade latte… but then things went downhill. This happens to me all the time lately, when it’s my slower season. Although I have plenty of work I should be doing, I found myself stumbing around on facebook after logging in to post on Andy’s new construction page about the first blog post I created…
I began getting distracted by all the newest posting from friends and it’s like falling down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland… suddenly I’m looking at a couple of my competitor photographer’s websites and feeling rotten about myself and so I took a break to go eat lunch and it was then that I realized. Hey! I don’t need to do this.
I don’t want to compare myself to other people. I really have no idea what the whole picture of their life is. And I figured there were more people like me out there that feel this way. So what did I do? I Googled it! 🙂
I have this love/hate relationship with the internet. I hate it for the fact that it causes me to get so far off track and creates these little vignettes of people’s lives that are so un-real… but I absolutely love it for the vast amount of information you can find.
So anyway, I Googled the phrase “Stop comparing yourself to others” and it came up with some seriously good articles, I couldn’t believe my luck! So I clicked on the Wiki-how site and just thought the article posted there was awesome. So awesome I needed to share it and my stinkin’ thinkin’ experience from today. I hope this helped someone else out that might have been experiencing those same feelings. I am now out of my funk after reading this article and doing what I can to help someone else, time to get back to work!!!
We are all different yet we have a tendency to compare ourselves to others. It's human nature, and while learning from others is an important part of critical decision making, if it is used to reinforce an unrealistic or negative self-image it can be an unhealthy habit to get into.
- Recognize that comparing yourself to others is a bad habit. Society often projects flawless skin, big eyes, full lips, small nose, pure white teeth, smooth and shiny hair, curvy body, and designer clothes for women and they portray them as being happy. They portray tall men with flawless skin, six packs, and designer clothes with lots of women, and they define that that is what makes a man happy. Society is extremely successful in being able to brainwash people into believing they should look a certain way, act a certain way, be a certain someone, when in reality every single one of us is different. What Society does is categorize people and they want you to believe that you have fewer rights to be happy because you do not fit an idealistic lifestyle. That's why lots of men and women resort to plastic surgery, hide away from society, and grow up thinking that there's something wrong with them. Comparing yourself to others, especially celebrities, is a fine way to throw your self-esteem down the drain as there will always be those who are 'better' than you, and those who are 'worse' than you. In the end you will most likely end up wishing you were different with thoughts of worthlessness. It takes you nowhere, wastes a lot of time, and puts you in a psychologically terrible place.
- Realize that everybody is different, because we are.People are born to be different; no two of us are the same. We have different mindsets, we interpret things differently, we have different experiences, we feel different emotions. Even identical twins are different from each other. We all will always have room for improvement; nobody is flawless, whether it is on the outside or on the inside. As much as some people may want to believe otherwise, nobody is perfect.It would be wise to stop letting people get to you, and be open-minded and aware of what you are doing to others. Something you can do is start thinking how different they are from you.
- Stop being afraid to be yourself.Whatever size, color, religion, gender, race, or sexual orientation, don't be afraid to be yourself. Nobody but you has the right to dictate what you do, what you think, and what you believe in. There is only one you; nobody has more rights over another person to live. Everybody comes into the world the same way; we all age, feel, analyze, and eventually die, so nobody is more special than another. We are all different. If you've forgotten who you are, find yourself again.
- Forgive and learn. Learn to recognize that holding a grudge only ties you down from what you really want out of life. Untie the knot and set yourself free. Better yet, analyze and learn what actually hurt you, and prevent it from happening again in the future.
- Understand that not everything is possible.You might have heard the saying, 'nothing is impossible'. In reality that's only denialism and false hope. You can't fly, change the weather, time-travel, change the past, live forever, make someone else change unless they are willing to, fit in with everybody, or be somebody else. There are many more things that cannot happen in reality. Be yourself and appreciate where you are now.
- Learn to deal with change and embrace it.
- Whatever makes you happy, whatever floats your boat. If you feel you need self-improvement and have set yourself an attainable goal, go for it. If you believe that you really need change, do it now. Be sure that you're doing it because it will make you happier, rather than impressing somebody else. For example, stop swearing if it makes you feel better. Learn to meditate. Start helping others. Learn a new skill. Improve your reading speed. Learn how to write poetically, work towards a better grade, be nicer to someone, try to be more outgoing, train yourself to run faster, learn how to wear makeup better, find clothes that will fit your frame, be a better wikiHow contributor, work harder towards that promotion, learn to better manage your time, change your habit of being a perfectionist, etc. Do it because you feel good about it, not because you feel bad about yourself. This is your life.
- Don't be afraid to put yourself first. You have needs, too. Take care of yourself. If you have a tendency to bend over backwards for others, read How to Stop Being a People Pleaser and How to Overcome Martyr Syndrome.
- Make some mutual friends.
- It's better to be the original you than to be a copy of somebody else.
- Learn to be patient and accepting with others. This can take a lot of training to do, but in the long run it will be beneficial for everyone.
- Realize that some methods can work for many others but not for you. When this happens, don't quit. Keep searching.
- Learn from your experience.
- If you don't have a solid way yet, find a way to let out your anger, frustrations, disappointments and concerns, a way that you can depend on - such as keeping a journal, making a blog, making music, talking or writing about it with someone you trust.
- It's better to do it now than think back sometime in the future and ask yourself, "what if?". It's better to get hurt then recover from it than having to accept that you lived a very dull life, realizing that you were the one who held you back.
- You can never be too old to dream, and it's never too late to achieve your dream, one way or another.
- Some things can be done and changed overnight; other things cannot be. Habits for example, can be extremely difficult to drop. Don't be discouraged. Comparing yourself to others is a bad habit a lot of people have. It can take some time to change. Don't give up. Think about it this way; if you don't ever give up, you can't ever fail.
- If you've ever felt like giving up on life but came back from the thought, it's because you have hope in you. Hold onto that hope. Always have hope in whatever you do, wherever you are.
- Beating yourself is a waste of time, energy, and self-esteem.
- Don't allow other people to compare you with others, either.
- Don't encourage others if you don't want to hear it. Don't make fun of yourself; others may start thinking it's acceptable to make fun of you.
- Don't accumulate unnecessary pressure. Let others do their part too. If they don't, make them. If they won't, just let it be. If you have too many responsibilities, chances are you won't be able to accomplish what you really want to, or even need to.
Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.
Well, my studio’s back room has been bugging me for some time. When I moved my things out to the new space, I just had no clue how I was going to end up using it, so I just kind of stuck things in haphazardly. (By the way, the picture and frames in the back are not for customers, just my own display prints and frames – Customer orders are always handled with lot of TLC!)
I’m a little embarrassed to share this before picture, but I must come clean! I am proud to say my lobby area is always very tidy and my camera room is a little messy at times, but never this bad. I love organization but it does not come naturally to me. I am not a Type A person. I thrive on creativity and being flexible, but I need a little structure to keep those creative juices flowing… too much chaos and I want to run the other way!
So, I dove head-first into a total transformation of the back room. I removed every thing from the cabinets and counter. It was then that I decided I must paint the space. It just wasn’t working for me with the off-white and tan. I needed something to motivate me! Make me want to work in the space.
I picked a deep-sea blue color that I already had from a wall I painted for a photography background. It’s one of my favorite colors, and I thought it would really be amazing with some white accents. I did leave the one wall white because it might have been too much blue and it lightens up the space.
Next, I found some shelves that I had used in our house to display pictures as people headed up the stairs into the old studio space. I had taken them down since and kept thinking I should use them… Well, they work perfectly in the back end of the room for my packaging folders! There were four different sizes and they work awesome. The rest of the folders I stored just below in the cabinet to replenish the ones on the shelves as need be.
Also, I needed a place to hang some bags, ribbon and my tissue paper. Well, I had already bought a wooden dowel to hang my tissue from, but hadn’t gotten around to hanging it up because I was waiting for Andy to cut it down to size for me. I just decided… what the heck, I can do this! So I went looking for a little saw to just hand-cut it, but settled on the pruning shears instead! I figured the dowel wasn’t any bigger than tree limbs I’ve trimmed with it and it was made out of really soft wood… and wha-la! Hung up with some little hooks and I’m ready to just grab my tissue and stuff some bags!
The little basket I hung up is from a set of baskets I bought a while back made for hanging a spice rack inside a kitchen cabinet and I wasn’t able to use it because the way it worked, the cabinet door in my kitchen wouldn’t shut… so it’s just been sitting around and I’ve been trying to figure out a use for it. It works great for the ribbon to dispense and also has space for a little box of gift tags.
I did buy this cute little cup brand new! I found it at Office Max! Isn’t it adorable? I had looked and looked for something I liked and this baby was just what I wanted and under $4. Score! I got two, just in case. I think I might need one on the other side of the room eventually.
I don’t know if you noticed in the before picture, but I had an ugly fuse box that was half-ways covered by a cute picture of little farm boys. That situation I remedied with a large bulletin board that I had stored away in the house. I think I bought that bulletin board when I made a display for my friend’s graduation party in like 2002 and it had been sitting storage since! I painted the frame to match the paint because I was going to hang it on the white wall, but I figured out how perfectly it covered the fuse box, so maybe someday I’ll paint the frame white, but for now it’s just fine. I plan to tack up my Thank-You notes from my customers on it. A little positive reinforcement is always nice! I added a pretty bow to the top to hang it from the pipe.
Then came the hard part… deciding what to keep and what to throw away of all the stuff I pulled out of the room. That wasn’t fun. I just don’t know sometimes, something might come in handy someday… or I have always had this plan of what I was going to do with it, but just never got around to it. I hate that stuff! So I got some nice clear, storage totes and the stuff that I decided was going to stay, but was a project that I needed to get done, went in the clear ones for sure! If it was out of sight, it was out of mind and I want to tackle these things – one at a time over the coming year.
It was amazing how little of space things actually took up once they were organized. I put things back and was so surprised at how many totally empty cupboards I have! It will be a good thing because the office I have in my home will finally move out the studio this spring in anticipation of us building a new home. (crossed fingers!!)
As a little extra something to myself, I hung up a chandelier I bought a while back for the studio as it was being built, but never figured out exactly where I should have it installed, so it’s just temporarily dressing up the back room now. I hung it right over my brooms and dustpan… It makes me feel like Cinderella! 😉
I know it’s not quite worthy yet of a spread in Better Homes and Gardens, but it’s definitely a start in the right direction. And seriously, I only spent less than $30 on new stuff that I needed… mostly on two of these bamboo drawer organizers from Wal-Mart.
I still plan on hanging up some pictures and adding more finishing touches as I get used to my new space, but I wanted to share right away so you guys would know what I’ve been up to. Now, go tackle a project of your own! I need to get ready for a session!