06.06.17

I am awesome

I am awesome. Those were the first 3 words that came out of my mouth when a new friend wanted to interview me. I think he was taken back a little; his reaction seemed a little off and almost 10 years later, he still tells this story. What could it have been? Was it too Egotistical? Too Confident? Too True? These thoughts would often race my mind as I would refer back to other family members and close friends joking that I 'have a big head' - it was even in several of the toasts at my wedding. I love a good laugh and it is all in good fun, but I began to question myself and often times put myself down so that the notion of being too confident would never cross anyone's mind. My thoughts began to break me down and I began to hide some of the real me for fear that somebody would take it the wrong way and think negatively of me. Self Criticism is so unhealthy for the soul. We all should feel free to share our beauty, our kindness, our awesome with the world.

When I said I was awesome, I meant it, but maybe it wasn't heard the way I intended it. I believe everyone should love themselves and if you don't, why the hell not? I'm a good person, and if you've met me for more than a minute, I wouldn't have to explain why. Just put it this way, it has nothing to do with my art or my work and everything to do with being me. Of course I have flaws, just like you, but I don't need to point those out, I just work on them everyday. Even at 40 years old make bad decisions. Often. And I have to take responsibility for them when I'm around my little ones to show them first hand that we are all flawed.

A decade ago, my partner Maria Chang and I joined forces and pioneered the 'Couture Boudoir' - a day of glamour and passion with an award winning hair & makeup artist and equally acclaimed photographer. At the time, Photographers were not yet offering Styled Shoots and Boudoir definitely felt like taboo no matter how beautiful we made it. It was amazing, but I was so afraid of what people would think that I didn't blog about it or post it on social media, and I never admitted what I did when I first met someone. Fuck what a shame.. But I think if I didn't feel this way then, I couldn't possibly feel the freedom that I do now. When moving to Kansas I was worried I would be kicked out for the work I did. While I didn't do much local work during our stay (I traveled home for shoots often) I was greeted with some of the kindest people on the planet and never once felt judged. Although there was one BIG thing I still didn't share with most..

My husband says he knew right away, but maybe it was because of the guy I was dating.. I've always been incredibly responsible and driven, pretty much every job I've ever had, I've taken the place over. I've got my shit together, but for most of my adult life I've kept a secret for fear of not being taken seriously, or being labeled a criminal or druggie or letting my parents down. I've got a conservative but understanding husband and I can count on one hand the close friends that will join me, but for every other aspect of my life, I've hid it. I've felt shame. I've always been different than the other girls, usually labeled the crazy one who talks about sex, shoots naked chicks and smokes pot. And I am crazy, but in a wholehearted, antagonistic way. For me, Cannabis calms my mind and arouses my creativity. The legalization of Cannabis has opened the doors to a brand new resource that can not only produce medicines, but paper and goods and art and enjoyable edibles :)

Maria and I have embarked on a new adventure photographing & marketing for Cannabis Lifestyle Brands & Products. Our mission is to kill the stigma that's associated with Cannabis and curate a Positive Image of Women & Cannabis. We want to promote self-love and empowerment and show that Cannabis isn't just about 'Bongs & Thongs' for women. Cannabis has no face. We are lovers, mothers, healers, professionals, sisters, artists... and some of us are fighting for our lives.

A couple of weeks ago, Maria & I were asked if "we even smoked weed?!" What does that mean? Is she falling for the same stereotypes that others do? Were we too put together or too successful to be stoners? I don't really know. Maybe I looked too square. I chose not to answer. I don't have to prove my weedness to anyone. But what I do have to prove is that Cannabis is not a bad thing, it has healed many many people, it's far safer than alcohol or prescription drugs and it is a sustainable product - it can make so many things! The legalization of Cannabis will change our world!

So where am I going with all of this? I'm feeling pretty alive right now and I'd like to share it with you however I can. Ladies, let's stop beating ourselves up and let's practice lifting one another up instead. It's pretty obvious that it is up to us to start changing this world. We are the ones raising our youth, educating them. It is our job to be the constant figure in their lives, to advocate for them. To advocate for us.. Stop competing with each other. If you see a girl working her confidence give her a hell yeah! And please.. the judging. this is so hard I know first hand, but let's practice opening our hearts and our minds to something that may be different that what we already know. I believe we have so much to learn from other people, share yourself with them and be loved.


For more up to date info on our new Cannabis Projects Follow our Instagram @MJLifestyle

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05.18.17

INTIMATE PHOTOGRAPHY RETREAT
October 22-25, 2017

Women, let's experience what it feels like to actually love the skin you are in. It's been said that one must love herself before she can truly love anything else. My art is my voice from the inside and most often it is ever consuming. In my journey to loving myself & sharing my vulnerability, I'm discovering my purpose. It's my job to create beautiful work, but it is my reason that keeps me moving forward. Documenting every curve, observing the way she moves, there is nothing more rewarding than releasing those inhibitions and witnessing her fall in love with herself. She is my reason. She is why I was given this gift. This Intimate photography retreat will strengthen your creative voice, awaken your desires and elevate your art.

I'm so excited to announce our new Boudoir Photography Retreat coming this October 2017. This will not be your typical Photography Workshop and we couldn't be happier about it! We intend to gather, love the way our bodies move, and explore where our art may take us. Join Myself and several other amazingly inspiring women, in a private estate among the beautiful Santa Rosa Hills (meals + accommodations included). We will be hosting you with delicious healthy food, relaxing morning yoga + meditation, lifestyle + self-love guest speakers, intimate + bonding conversations, and of course... lots of fun!


REGISTER HERE


This retreat is for female photographers focused on building alliances and a sisterhood of creativeness, collaboration, empowerment, and sensuality.

#boudoirworkshop #intimatephotographyworkshop #northerncalifornia
#learn #educate #bayareaboudoir #photographyworkshop #photographyretreat
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04.17.17

Gypsytrap Farms
Cannabis Lifestyle

With Self-Love, Female Empowerment & now the Legalization of Cannabis happening, it seems only fitting that we would embrace it all. With our art & collaboration, we can help kill the stigma behind Cannabis. It's far safer than alcohol or prescription drugs, and people who medicate themselves with Cannabis shouldn't have to feel ashamed or looked down upon. Not everyone who uses marijuana is a 'thug' or a 'pothead'. Cannabis has no face and the stereotypes are false. We believe in love, we believe there are far more good people in this world than bad, and we believe in following where our hearts lead us.

Recently, Maria & I headed out on the Sierra Foothills to follow along in a days work on the farm with Gypsy Trap Farms. Let's just say, we never wanted to leave! This lifestyle they have single handedly created was so inspiring, and while we know so much work has been put in to get here, they make is look so easy!

This duo prides themselves on farming organically and producing clean products for their boutique clients to enjoy. I was in complete awe of not only their dedication and hard work, but their knowledge on the flower, growing & benefits of Cannabis. Maria & I were commissioned for this project to document their work on the farm as well as capture lifestyle images to represent their brand. We've got more on the website, but here's a peek into our newest project - to see more visit our new Instagram @MJLifestyle


PRODUCTS

Wardrobe was a mix of Free People & Vintage Pieces
@badbackglass glass pipe & mini dab tube
RAW rolling papers, rolling tray & double barrel
Subpac Bass Pack to embrace yourself in music when leafing or trimming
Harvest More for Trim Tray
Greenhouse by GrowTech, Lights from Nanolux, Swamp Boys Seeds genetics & DNAgenetics
Hidden Peak Teahouse tea pot, tea table, and panchan lal puerh tea
Orin Swift Wine

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personal branding, brand, girlboss, women in business, cannabis, lifestyle, photographer
fashion, stylist, portrait, california, bay area, dabbing, badbackglass, peace, love, business
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03.31.17

Camp Do More // Boudoir Conference

I am so freaking excited to announce that along with 9 other leading Boudoir Photographers, I will be speaking/teaching at Camp Do More 2018! Hosted by my beloved lovers over at the Do More Wear Less nation. We're bringing the Do More Photographers together for community, education and so much hot ass boudoir! Plus camp fires. You can purchase a CAMP PASS for just the fun stuff and/or add on educational classes to get the most out of your experience.

I will be offering 2 Intimate Workshops and Private Portfolio Reviews throughout our stay. Space is limited for each class, so be sure to reserve your spot asap!


BOUDOIR STYLING & STORYTELLING
June 12th, 2018 at 9am

Do you feel like you are shooting the same scenes over and over again? The artist in me isn't satisfied with always shooting the same scene. Intimate Photography doesn't have to be limited to the bedroom & lingerie. With Boudoir Photography, we can do ANYTHING. Seriously, Anything. Using our client as our muse, we design our shoots with personal elements, old + new fashion, and the surrounding scenery. I will share some of my favorite styling techniques and processes to getting magazine worthy images for our clients. This is a 3 - hour instructional & participation based workshop. We will talk Fashion, but also discover the infinite possibilities for Styling Boudoir Photography. Space is limited.





LIVE BOUDOIR SHOOT
June 13th, 2018 at 4pm

Get hands on experience with my team & I at this 3-hour live boudoir shoot & demonstration. Using some of my favorite shooting & lighting techniques, learn how we style, direct and photograph our on location Intimate Portrait Shoots. Most importantly, I want to share how we shoot & direct with fluidity, creating a more comfortable environment for the client and achieving authentic movement & expression. You are encouraged to bring your gear & get some killer shots for your own portfolio. Space is limited.




PRIVATE PORTFOLIO REVIEW
by appointment only

I believe that we often can't see our own potential and being entrepreneurs we don't have a boss to lead us in one direction or the next. Portfolio Reviews give you the opportunity to understand an outside point of view and allows you to make changes if your message isn't coming across how you intend for it to. With a background in Marketing & 2 decades of re-branding myself, I'm confident that together we can navigate towards enhancing your brand specifically to you and your work. Booked in increments of 30 minutes.

More Detailed Information and the CAMP PASS is available for purchase at PhotoCampDoMore.com

My Classes may be purchased by visiting my Boudoir Site

I hope to see you there! Please email me if you have any questions!! xx
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02.28.17

My sissy's having a baby! Again!

My beautiful baby sister is having her second baby and we couldn't be more excited! However, the little sh*t isn't finding out until the baby comes and we are DYING to know if we will be blessed with another mini-Drew or if we will get a sweet little-lindsay to love. As I write this, she is just 4 days away from her due date and she is doing everything she can to evacuate this lil bundle. I'm hoping she just relaxes for a few moments longer until baby is good and ready to be here because life won't be this quiet for quite some time! lol

We started out my sister's shoot at her house, where we took a couple of candid shots of the family. Hudson, my darling nephew who recently turned two acted his age and reminded us of how much easier our first maternity photo shoot was. I love his little mischievous expressions he gives and I know exactly how to play him and make him think it's his idea to give me loves. I seriously can't tell you how much I love being an Auntie!

After grabbing a few shots at home, we headed north to Walnut Creek to visit the Ruth Bancroft Garden, a stunning historic cactus and succulent garden. This place is breathtaking! Too bad, the minute we rolled into Walnut Creek, a storm had rolled over. We waiting for it to let up and because Linz and Drew are such troopers, we bundled up Huddy and went on to shoot. The staff there was more than welcoming and we can't be more pleased with the outcome of these images!

Now if only our little prince or princess would arrive!
























































intimate photography, maternity, pregnancy, photographer, lifestyle,
portrait, california, bay area, family, succulent garden, ruth bancroft
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