Though I admittedly don’t travel down to Brooklyn nearly as much as I should, this borough continues to enchant me. It’s part of the reason why I love New York City. You can take a quick train ride down to an entire different city. It’s not just one neighborhood, or a few streets of different. Its an entire borough. Park Slope is one of those places that I continually find myself in, especially in the upcoming recent Spring weather.
Last year I spent a ton of my Spring free time in Brooklyn. Between Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (with all of the cherry blossoms) it seemed it was the only place I wanted to shoot. I am anxiously awaiting some warmer weather. Spring is my favorite season and spending it in Brooklyn seems like a pretty good use of time again!
It’s no secret that the brownstones are one of the most treasured parts about Brooklyn. From Park Slope to Cobble Hill to Fort Greene, they cover each block. These in particular caught my eye when I found myself in Brooklyn on one of the warmer February days we had. Don’t you love the pink brownstone?
Do you have any suggestions for things to do in Brooklyn? Let me know!
Though we finally made it into March, the grasps of Winter can still really drag you down. Lately I’ve been experiencing what seems like one issue after the other. Many of my friends can relate, and have shared their own stories of crisis and lack of self-awareness. Being a 20-something in an increasingly demanding society comes with a lot of expectations. Self care can’t be put on the back burner; and so here is my advice on the best way to take care of yourself when in times of crisis.
Currently, there are a few things that are driving me nuts. I seem to have low self-esteem surrounding my social life, my relationship, my overall life plan. Am I doing enough? Am I missing out on living the fullest life? I know that I desperately want to be traveling, but have a hard time finding people to go with. I know my negativity is holding me back but I also don’t know how to shake it at times. My anxiety is at an all time high. Sound familiar?
I recently had a detailed discussion with a friend about staying present and in the moment. Unfortunately in this world we live in we get caught up in social media and in expectations. What’s worse is that we willingly engage in social media and spread this joy (I’m kidding) back to each other. This only ever drives my anxiety up. The way to break the cycle is through self care and making sure to be present.
Below is my mass list of simple ways to practice self care every day. I am constantly updating this list. Because this isn’t something that should be skimped out on! Take a few for yourself and try them tomorrow. Each day is a new one.
Essential Ways To Practice Self Care
Go to a movie by yourself (one of my personal favorites)
Take a bath
Go for a long run (in the winter this can be the best way to get sunshine)
Treat yourself to your favorite restaurant
Find a new coffee shop to try
Take a class (not exercise related)
Put on a full face of makeup (even if you aren’t going anywhere)
Make a new playlist
Stay hydrated (not with wine)
Up your vitamin C intake
Face mask it up, and don’t forget eye cream!
Crack open a nice bottle of wine (duh)
FaceTime with an old friend to catch up
Plan something new
Try out a new museum
Maintain a set bedtime and morning schedule
Delete social media for a day
Read a recent magazine publication front to back
Cook a new recipe
Plan a future trip (even if you don’t have the details worked out)
Take a long coffee break (croissant or muffin included)
Try drawing or painting
Get out of the city (I’m looking at you New Yorkers)
I’m sure you guys understand: I’m currently DYING for some sunshine and an excuse to hibernate my heavy coats for the winter. This last part of Winter can really drag out. Although February was a short month for us it seems endless now that a cold and dreary March lays ahead of us. Spring has always been my favorite season. A chance to start new, a chance to get excited about Summer plans. Trying to freshen up your wardrobe however while knee-deep in the middle of Winter is a harder story. Here is how I emulate a Spring fashion look while snow still falls (yes it did the day of this shoot).
Let’s talk about this shoot for a moment: Gagosian gallery in Chelsea hosted an art exhibit by Tom Wesselmann and my bestie knew we had to go. Armed with my camera and hiding from the snow that day we had a great indoor shoot.
This coat has always been one of my favorites. I got it several years ago at H&M but it continues to be a closet staple and my favorite Winter transition piece. When looking to transition to Spring, put an emphasis on color. You may be wrapped up in a ton of layers, but adding light denim, white and camels to your outfit tells a completely different story.
In addition to coloring, changing up silhouettes can be a fresh welcome to the usual parka-plus-scarf-plus-hat combo we couldn’t live without in January. A wrap coat keeps you warm (you can wrap it up ultra tight) or lets you rock an open front look perfect for those not so cold days.
Though I make the trip down to Brooklyn once in a blue moon, there is something about the neighborhood of Gowanus that really captures my attention. It’s basically a haven of warehouses turned gentrified and could most likely be the epitome of why Old New Yorkers are disgruntled about this new city. BUT to be very fair the gems you can find in this neighborhood are unbeatable. From trendy BBQ joints, to shuffleboard clubs, to palaces of ice cream… this is the best of Gowanus.
What To Do
The Bell House: A bar with a stage and plenty to do, The Bell House is more of an event space. My friends and I attended a drinking game here where they acted out a movie and the audience (and cast) had to drink every time specific words were said. Clueless was such a fun movie to see here, highly recommend attending whenever you get the chance. Drinks are also cheap!
Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club: This place is such a gem and I’m surprised it took me almost 2 years to finally make it down here. A large venue with a fun decorated kitschy summer theme, Royal Palms is such a great spot for a game night or day drinking.
Mural Art Walk: Along the Gownanus canal on Bond Street you can find an endless array of graffiti, street art and murals. That is where I shot all of these featured photos! It was such a great day exploring amongst the warehouses. Grab your bestie and head down here for a photoshoot among the art.
What To Eat
Pig Beach: This BBQ joint boasts some serious good eats. I love how they have a huge outdoor garden, it would be amazing to attend in the middle of the Summer. Try the
Ample Hills Creamery: Ever since Ample Hills opened this two story palace of ice cream it has secured it’s spot as one of my favorite ice cream places in the city. Come especially during warmer weather so you can sit on the rooftop deck with lounge chairs complete with green turf! My favorite flavors include Salted Crack Caramel and The Munchies.
Where To Shop
Gowanus Souvenir Shop: This little store right next to the canal features tons of stuff by local artists; hats, T-shirts, you name it they have it.
No Relation Vintage: What would a warehouse neighborhood be without a good vintage thrift store? No Relation has a huge selection and definitely makes the trip worth while.
What would the Winter season be without an escape to a tropical paradise? Although I love living in New York City, this time of year can really drag me down. My boyfriend convinced me to book a tropical vacation months ago and I’m so glad we did. Punta Cana you really did not disappoint!
I had never been to the Dominican Republic before but many of my friends that I work with originally have family from the island. I had gotten an amazing recommendation for the all-inclusive resort Excellence Punta Cana and could not have been happier. Thank you to all of the staff that made our time there so great! The rooms felt brand new, the beach and pool were clean, the food was great and quite literally endless. On top of all of that the prices were extremely reasonable (almost shockingly so). I can’t wait to plan my next trip back!
As far as excursions go, we couldn’t wait to head out for some sailing and snorkeling. The company Happy Fish took us out on a catamaran boat sailing for around 2 hours. We then jumped in and got to do some great snorkeling and swimming. I could not recommend this excursion enough either. Overall the whole experience was about 4 hours.
There’s no doubt that getting to some warmer weather in the middle of Winter really helps lift my spirits. As we try to push on through the next few months of winter, I can attempt to hold onto my tan and dream about sunshine and paradise.
We have been so lucky to have such warm weekends on our hands. Though I’m headed out for a tropical vacation soon (so I won’t be around to post!) I was able to spend some time exploring and shooting in the Upper East Side.
This city has always been my favorite due to it’s accessibility. You hop on the train for a cheap rate and it can take you to a whole new neighborhood you have yet to visit. The Upper East Side has always been the neighborhood that I work in so I have hit or miss feelings about it. I think New Yorkers agree: you don’t spend free time in the neighborhood you work in. Just brings back too many memories. There are also so many other amazing places in this city to spend your free time. Of course there are exceptions to this rule as always. (My friends that live there of course!)
These are a set of some pictures I shot while wandering the Upper East Side!
With the passing of a new year comes new goals and new aspirations. Though I haven’t upgraded the tech aspect of my camera, photography improvement is not just about the camera. Here is my list of ways I want to improve my shooting in 2018.
Find a New Subject
Though your style may focus on one medium in particular breaking out from that mold is the best way to build new skills. If you are constantly shooting outdoors, take the train into the city for the day and have at it. Breaking out of your comfort zone is a sure-fire way to photography improvement.
Start a Portfolio
A portfolio can be a motivating project in that it gives you an end goal. Starting to curate your best work or focus a portfolio on a certain medium can not only boost your confidence but also spark new ideas and creativity.
Experiment with Night Shooting
Night shooting is one of those topics that some people will tell you to never attempt. Some of the best photography I have seen has been shot around dusk. Take your camera for a spin at sundown and see what happens! Again, breaking out of your comfort zone is the best way to improve.
Ask for Help
One of my favorite things to do is to take my bestie (who isn’t a photographer) with me on my days of shooting. She not only helps spark my inspiration but she provides honest advice about what she likes and what she doesn’t. I took her as my travel partner to Mykonos, Greece and was especially excited about the pictures I snapped there.
Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
Keep working, take your camera everywhere, and shoot, shoot, shoot. Most of the stuff you may take could be junk, but in there when you find the few gems it is going to be such a reward.
When I first started blogging almost officially a year ago, I was nervous about the possibility of people actually looking at my work. I had read and seen so many great blogs I couldn’t imagine trying to jump in. But like all things in life, the way it turned out was nothing like I imagined! This is the story of my inner voice.
Over this first year I really started to learn a lot about myself, and about the work I bring to the table. Photography can be daunting when you are first starting out. You don’t have the best camera on the market or the most expensive lenses. But as an art form, all photographers have something else that doesn’t involve equipment. Style helps put your ideas and inspiration to your own test. Style makes your work unique and your own.
I knew I wanted to do something different with my blog once I came back from my trip to New Orleans. I wouldn’t stand a chance between these lifestyle and fashion bloggers with their own professional photographers and whole team of support behind them. But I did know I could bring something special to the table.
That is when I decided that I wanted to be photoshop free and really develop my own style as down-to-earth and raw. This blog isn’t the story of competition, it’s the real story of the places I go and the things that I see. I am to capture life’s little beautiful moments. Having a style driving me and goals to aspire to are really helping set the tone for 2018. I want to make even greater strides this year
Here are just a few tips to help you develop your own personal style this 2018.
What do you want your readers to know?
All bloggers have an end game. The message that you want to get across is also the message you want your work to speak. Some people want to help manage money, document fashion, showcase a certain portfolio of work. Once you have determined you’re final end goal your set up for success.
Incorporate your personal taste.
People like to read work that is passionate, honest, and true-to-self. If you want to make your site full of bright pink lettering and images, go for it! If you think using a very minimal site to house your photos is the way to go, all for it. Find what works for you!
Determine your dislikes.
Self-examination can be the true key to just starting. You know what you want to do with your space, but what you don’t want to do can be just as revealing. This helps keep truthfulness to your work and helps take the stress out of competition.
This may be the most important lesson of all. No one is going to get it right the first time. Finding personal style is an ongoing journey that can take time. If something doesn’t work for you, change and change again. Sometimes the hardest failures are the best way to learn.
I knew on a recent day off that the West Village was the perfect place to explore for some low-key Christmas magic. This holiday season there is a lot to celebrate, and I can’t help but feeling each Christmas gets more special. Hope you all have a wonderful holiday and can’t wait to see what 2018 will bring!
2017 was a big year for me. I started into a new career that I love, I finally purchased my first camera, and I started this blog! I took my camera to New Orleans, San Francisco, Naples and Greece. I dragged it through subways, parks, over bridges and onto the beach. Overall I can definitely say this year taught me a lot. Here are some of the best things I learned from my first year of blogging.
It’s Hard Work
Blogging can be really hard work. You have to take the time to gather content, sit down to write, work through all of the pictures you take. It definitely hasn’t been easy but has been so rewarding.
Promotion, Promotion, Promotion
Though my blog always has been and always will be mostly for myself, getting readers to actually look through your stuff is much harder than it seems. I think this is also an area that even the most experienced bloggers struggle with. Hopefully 2018 will hold even more venues to get my blog out to viewers!
Website Building is so Rewarding
Building the actual website for me has been the most fun. Though I don’t know ANYTHING about coding or tech (thanks WordPress!) finally seeing the finished product as something tangible and on the internet is so cool.
You’ll Discover a New You
A couple months into my blogging I realized that the initial vision I had for the space changed. I started taking out any edits or photoshopping from my pictures; I actively chose to keep them all raw. Finding that inner voice and style in my photography has been the best part of starting this blog.
Set Realistic Goals
One of the fastest way to reach new milestones with something as daunting as your own personal online website is by goal setting. At the same time, developing voice and audience takes time. Don’t beat yourself up over unrealistic expectations.
Only Publish Passionate Content
This is the most important piece of advice! It doesn’t matter what the topic is, if you are passionate about something then it will shine through in your work. People want to engage with content that has passion behind it.