Loving yourself and reflecting it into others (A lesson from my portrait photography teacher.)

Today in my photography class the instructor gave us a presentation over the psychology behind portrait photography, and it really hit home with me.

Starting off, he showed a picture of David Beckham (Sexiest Man of 2015) and some really skinny brunette (Sexiest Woman of 2015) and told us that this is not the type of people we were going to be photographing in our lives (unless of course we work hard and become celebrity photographers.) But rather that we would be photographing “everyone else.”

This is true! Not much of the population has a team of experts to do their hair and make-up before every photo taken of them, but that doesn’t mean that “everyone else” doesn’t want to feel just as beautiful and confident in their portraits.

He went over techniques and suggestions such as getting to know your subject before hand, making small talk at the beginning of the session so that they are comfortable with you, giving specific posing directions, etc.

But the part of this presentation that evoked my attention the most was when he talked about us as photographers loving ourselves. What I took from his lesson is that we all have flaws, but it is our CHOICE whether or not to accept/love them. It is unrealistic to think that we are going to look like movie stars and the sooner that we learn that, the sooner we will take better photos.

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Looking at this portrait of me, I immediately pick out characteristics I don’t like. Big nose. More chins than the Chinese phone book……. I  obviously haven’t learned to accept and love every part of my features and our instructor pointed out that this lacking of acceptance will reflect in the portraits that we take of others.

For example, If I am not comfortable with my imperfections, I will notice the same imperfections in others. Even if it is subconscious, I’ll want to “fix” these on the person I am taking photos of. When he said that, I could think of a couple of times that I had done just that.

But what if your client loves and accepts their imperfections? Who am I to make that call? After all, this is part of a persons character and also what makes them unique!

Basically, what I took from this lecture was– don’t project your own insecurities onto other people through your photography.

The same thing can be said for other aspects of our lives. I not only want be comfortable in my own skin, but also love what is on the inside of me so that I can extend that love to those around me.

Moral of this blog post– build other people up, but more importantly build yourself up so that you can.

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Why having a best friend is the greatest

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A lot has changed in the 6 years between these pictures of me and my best friend, Haleigh:

I finally learned how to spell her name correctly, decided that blonde skunk streak in my hair was a bad idea, and figured out that buying clothes from the buckle isn’t what makes you a cool person.

We turned 18 and went off to college, turned 21 and started going to the bars (legally), and turned 22 which means we are now –unfortunately–trying this adult thing.

We’ve experienced heartbreak, lost friendships, and lots and lots of drunken nights together.

We have worked hard at our friendship–There has been awkward moments, but somehow it has always, always works itself out. And that is the greatest feeling in the world.

I know that pretty much any mistake I make in my life, she will be there for me. And she knows I’d do the same for her.

We moved in together in August and living with her has been awesome. I know I will look back 10 years from now wishing we could go back to these times.

Last night we sat on the couches talking (as we usually do) and then both fell asleep watching OITNB. I was on the short couch so I woke up quickly after and went to my bed. When I laid down in bed, I felt overwhelmingly happy.

How did I get so lucky? I know a lot of girls who don’t have a close relationship like this in their life. I joke around and say that Hay is my second boyfriend but… it’t not a joke. She really is. I ask her opinion on most things going on in my life, and I always will.

I am even more lucky that Haleigh isn’t my only best friend. I have multiple true friendships that I cherish now more than ever.

Put the effort in to keep these type of friends. They are worth it!

“Friendship isn’t about who you’ve known the longest. It’s about who walked into your life, said “I’m here for you” and proved it.” 

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Plaid & Leopard Print

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Mixing patterns isn’t usually my favorite. On the other hand, how super funky  & awesome is this duo?!

This entire outfit is online at lovecocos.com –> direct links below

Plaid Scarf $15 | Cheetah Sleeve Top $29 | Tall Black Boots  $69 | Beanie  $12 | Black Legging $19

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An Open Letter to the Boy Who Took The Easy Way Out

You broke my heart.

But that’s not what I’m still upset about; Time heals all.

You left me wondering everyday what I did wrong.

But you were so selfish that you wouldn’t give me any explanation.

You thought immediately erasing me from your life would rid you of any heart ache.

And you didn’t care at all about how that would affect me.

During our relationship you said “I love you” too many times to count.

But your actions after it ended did not support that.

You thought deleting me from your life was the only option, but it wasn’t.

I was close with your family. I was close with your friends. And they were close with me, too.

The way you treated me shouldn’t even have been an option.

So now it is clear to me that you are the one with the problem.

You, with the demons you don’t know how to deal with.

You, who doesn’t deserve someone with as open of a heart as mine.

So what I’m still upset about– is that I didn’t think I’d ever have to date someone like you.

The type of person who is so scared of dealing with their emotions that they take the easy way out.

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Meal Prepping Ideas

If you are as busy as I am, then meal prepping is the answer to all of your problems. It’s a great way to eat healthy despite your hectic schedule, but the best part about it is that it saves time! And who doesn’t need more of that?

Here are some of my favorite meal prepping recipes most of which are Paleo, too!

-Boiled eggs 

-Egg Cups (stir 6 eggs, 1 cup of chopped spinach,  6 peices of fully cooked & chopped up turkey bacon in a bowl. Coat a muffin tin lightly with spray oil & fill each cup halfway with the mixture. Bake it in the oven for 20 minutes on 350 or until they look done. I like to wing things when it comes to cooking)

-Greek Yogurt & Granola

-Overnight Oatmeal (combine 1 cup of oatmeal, 1 cup of coconut milk, a tsp. of stevia in a 1 serving size tupperware container and let it sit overnight in the fridge) I add blueberries to mine in the morning too!

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-Fruit (I love asian pairs, oranges, and apples. Another really yummy thing is to make a fruit salad by chopping up and combining different fruits. You can usually make two breakfasts with that–or eat the other

-Salad from a salad bar (the grocery store in Pittsburg has an awesome salad bar! If there isn’t one near you, buy all the ingredients you like in a salad and prep multiple salads out of it.) Be careful about what dressing you are buying! My favorite kinds are these:

 

-Turkey Meatballs (Mix 1 pound of turkey, 1 cup of GF bread crumbs, spinach, chopped onion, 1 egg, and a tsp. of garlic in a big bowl. Roll them into balls and put them in a greased pan. Cook them for 30 minutes on 350. Scoop them out and put them into a crock pot and pour your favorite bbq sauce over them. Let them sit for an hour or two then place them into individual containers that are easy to grab & go in the morning!)

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-Cold vegetables & Yogurt Ranch (Carrots, celery,  cauliflower, broccoli, red pepper, really any veggie you like)

food3To make the ranch you need 1/4 of  a cup of plain yogurt & a dry ranch packet. Add the ranch a little bit at a time until it taste the way you like it! It’s seriously SO good and only about 25 calories for 1/4 a cup instead of 150 in 2 tablespoons of regular ranch! Huge difference!

-Ground Turkey Tacos

Browning the meat is what takes the longest. Prepare it and chop your toppings ahead of time so all you have to do at dinner is warm up a serving and bake the shells!

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-Baked Chicken 

This is my favorite because you can choose to cook/use chicken in so many ways. I despise chicken breast because it’s always so plain and dry but I have figured out a way I  do like it.

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Chop up the chicken breasts into small chunks and marinate them in your favorite sauces. I get sick of eating the same things so if you use foil as a barrier so I can cook it all in the same pan. That also makes for extremely easy clean up!

Meal prepping is a great way to kick off the New Year and reach your 2016 goals–

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Long Cardis

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Totally obsessing over this long cardi trend! There are so many ways to style them. My favorite is with bootcut jeans & a fitted tank, but don’t they look awesome over a dress too? I am definitely taking the black & white Buddylove one to wear over my New Year’s Eve dress on Thursday. (It’s on sale for 40% off at lovecocos.com if you use the code “BUDDYLOVE” at checkout!!!)

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