30 Days of Blogging

18- Put aside the math and the logic of it

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September of 2015 I fell in love with a country singer.

On stage, at a local bar I heard a beautiful voice over an acoustic guitar that I knew very, very well. A best friend I hadn’t seen in over a year was belting out these Hunter Hayes lyrics below. I’d known her for a long time. But this time, watching her, something was different. All of the sudden I felt like I’d known her my whole life and my heart started to beat a little faster.  I was struck with this certainty that she was going to be an important part of my future. And was she actually singing to me? I looked over at my friends and they were all looking at me asking the same question with their quizzical brows. Wait, is she actually singing to you?

“You know I’d fall apart without you
I don’t know how you do what you do
‘Cause everything that don’t make sense about me
Makes sense when I’m with you
Like everything that’s green, girl, I need you
But it’s more than one and one makes two
Put aside the math and the logic of it
You gotta know you’re wanted too
I wanna make you feel wanted”
Then later that night, she walked across the room and kissed me.
You read that right. She. At first when I saw her walking my way, I knew what she was up to, and I thought, ‘oh this isn’t going to end well, this is silly.’ This isn’t what I want for all my very-serious-non-existant-future-plans. Besides, can girls be in a for real relationship anyway? I honestly didn’t know.
With that kiss, and from that night on, every bit of my soul lit up. Like, oh that’s where you have been.
I fell completely in love with Caroline Angela that late Summer. Most of you who already follow me know her as Angie.
I am grateful to the Voice for choosing her at her blind audition. It’s one of those things that’s just meant to be. Yea, it was good for her career, but I think even better for me if I’m honest. It put a distant, important person on California terrain for months during her filming, allowing something so powerful in my life to come to be. Giving us the time together that I don’t know would have really happened otherwise.
 Angie was unexpected. In so many ways I will never be able to verbalize it, and it feels silly to try on flippant broadcasts but I still try. Here was my first post about us…..
Click above to read the whole thing.
Caroline, as I like to call her was God given light. Kindness, when in so many ways, I didn’t deserve it at that time. She sacrifices her time and love to immediately be next to you when you call her, and not just for me, but anyone she loves. In my dark times when I couldn’t sleep she would read to me at night, or tell me stories about us that hadn’t happened yet to calm me down. She let me get really upset with her, when she wasn’t who I should have been upset at. When I was embarrassed about behaving ugly she came to my rescue before I even apologized. “I know who you are” she’d say.
And she stayed and she loved me hard when I felt lost.
She saw me. She understands me. I owe her so much.
 And even more I think she is one of the most incredibly beautiful creatures that walks this Earth. (Or stomps around on it in her boots, if you know her you know what I mean. Watch your toes). Her mind is wired in a different way. She’s an over-thinker, a lost-in-thought-er, a do-er, a tinkerer, a problem solver. She can play anything, sing anything, fix anything, ride anything. She’s walking entertainment. But let’s be real she’s still human. Notice I didn’t say “drive anything” ;).  Her biggest fault in my eyes is that she stops and listens to every sales pitch anyone is willing to give. I know that seems sweet. And it is. But we both know we don’t need a six thousand dollar massage chair, and I have to pee, we were on our way to the bathroom Angie!
She’s ferociously stubborn but at least she knows it, and her fire makes her a light that guides other people’s’ paths. What’s interesting is that she doesn’t even realize it.
You are so incredible Caroline.
Like I said, all I needed was a muse, and to stop thinking I was in total control. To put aside the math and the logic of it.
I’ve pasted one of my faves below. A bit ago I was on a trip and missing home. I asked her to cover her this fave of mine. It was so thoughtful for her to stop what she was doing and do it for me… (then the next month Disney hired her to be their Magic Kingdom firework voice, total coincidence or a dream brought to reality? This Disney fanatic has to believe it wasn’t any coincidence).
Angie and I will be hosting an FB live concert in our living room tomorrow night from her Facebook page. It’s to benefit our dear friend and get her closer to her goal for MS. I would be honored if you joined us!!!

17- Marissa buys things and feels great and strange too….

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The first of what will be a million packages coming in the next month.

In running a business the past 13 years I’ve learned to be pretty careful about where I spend our money. To me keeping the expenses low meant we didn’t have to raise prices, and profits go into mine and my team’s pocket, instead of into expense oblivion, the black hole of the struggling small business. For us throughout the years, increased prices as high volume simply meant an increased marketing budget and or doubled marketing and branding efforts. And that just wasn’t sitting well with me to keep this high volume portrait studio running as I wanted it to.

Now in this season as we start an entirely new chapter of being low volume, a boutique, I really wanted our studio loft to feel different and outrageously chic. A nineties meets Guess, meets beachy Anthropologie style vibe.
To put a visual to it, Kurt Cobain marries Kim Basinger.

In order to pull this off I knew I would need to invest in some really high end, yummy decor and wardrobe. You would think that online shopping for this would be a blast, and it sorta was. Thrilling, but….. I think over the years I have become more frugal and safe with our studio’s dollars than ever before. If you watched me shop you would think that with how picky and discerning I am, that I think I’m Meryl Streep in the Devil Wears Prada.  I hate debt, in any form. I also want this exactly how I want this. A combo that makes that “checkout” button create a physical reaction.

Also though I do believe that debt is almost inevitable when starting a business. But what I’m doing now doesn’t really count to me as starting a business at it’s raw description right? I don’t want to be lenient in that area. So can I pull off doing this without going into debt? I doubt it. I just paid off my business loan from the first time I started. But I’m gonna try like hell to not.

See it’s not really the things I’m buying, it’s the business transition. That word that small biz owners totally understand….. cash flow. When it comes to a biz with lots of moving parts, longevity isn’t totally about incredible bookings, sometimes it’s just about cash flow when you need it most.

Come mid May the everyday shoots stop, and we still have full time team work to do changing things up. So technically all the expenses stay pretty much the same, with no income coming in until we get rolling again. I’m actually not scared of that, this is just one of those incredible opportunities where I need all the pieces to come together seamlessly. And I am not in control of that. I either have to pray that God brings it all together, or that I handle whatever lesson he has for me. Both are beautiful. I prefer the first.

At the end of the day I believe in our art and our unique experience, so the cards may fall super messy at first where our books are concerned. But because we always somehow attract the exact wonderful people who want to make magic with us, they will stack up beautifully- the cards and the books. And I’m comfortable living in the inbetween these days.

So after that rant here are the things I have been saving for and finally got the nerve to buy. One of many rounds. This first one I had to have quite a bit of wine to get me to pull the trigger on, but I am glad I did. I feel like if I show you guys these things, and you tell me how cool they are, I won’t feel like I just went on a bender and a shopping spree.

Isn’t she lovely? This 94 inch beauty is my inspiration for the main shooting room. My floor is similar to the one in the pic so that helped, and I’m in love with most all things dusty rose in color. I think only other photographers will understand the feeling when you get a new statement piece and you are dying to shoot on it. Once this decision was done, others were all the sudden easier. Below is a small sampling of the many, many things we will be using to make our new space everything we want.

Many of these items we purchased in multiple quantities of small, medium and large. We can’t wait to really, really style you gals for the boudoir sessions. It’s a nervous anticipation and I can’t wait for the day of our first consult to come!


16- Glad I said “ish”

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So we’ve moved into our new place, it’s so so cozy and perfect for us and this season. I’ve never lived in something so big, brand new, and nice. It feels like a beachy, industrial, artist loft. Kinda everything I’ve always dreamed about. We get to enjoy it like this (see below), with all our worn out, loved personal things until mid May, when I really get serious about making it everything I would want for my little creative headquarters. I think Max is really going to be bummed out when I fill my home with things he won’t be allowed to enjoy. Like a new couch and colorful rugs.

The studio is technically still up and running until the first couple of weeks of May and then after that we officially move here.  We had to extend the time in the studio because of how many people still wanted to get in! Exciting. But a lot of work. If my shoot today hadn’t cancelled I would be on a 20 day photography streak, minus one Sunday! I love it! But that’s definitely a record for me.

A few things have happened from this streak. I see myself improving drastically behind the camera. From a technical standpoint, but also in what I feel comfortable asking my clients to do. Pushing them a little harder to get more movement and emotion. I’m not afraid to have them repeat something over and over until I get that shot we both will be really happy with. And with this new tactic I feel myself goofing off with my clients more. Having more fun than ever before. Us both laughing when we realize twirling over and over in platform heels is a tricky business. In those moments I never pull the camera away from my eye. It’s always the shot of her cracking up from almost falling that’s the winner. And when she hears me laugh too, she looks at the camera and laughs harder. Like, “funny right?!” I find it interesting that this is how it always plays out. Everytime. We humans are all so complex and different, but it’s beautiful how similar we can be as well.

Another one of the moments I love is her cracking up because she feels a fool that I asked her to toss a pillow up into the air and catch it twenty times. Or some other odd thing I’ve thought up. I tell what I’ve said 100 times in the studio, “I think the sexiest pics I have taken as a boudoir photographer are in the moments that my client feels the nerdiest.”

I am also shooting less. Well, taking less shots I mean. I’m slowing down in between frames to really get it right. So less proofs for my clients, but better images. I think that’s a total win for both of us.

There seems to be a buzz in the air about our changes with the studio. Every client that I’m shooting brings up our move and seems to really be looking forward to booking a beach session. This makes me really happy.

All of this shooting, all of this “closing down the studio” is a busier task than I anticipated. I’m not really stressed, it’s just that I am finding it hard to sit and write. Who would have thought a blog would take so much time? I had this pretty visual of bloggers waking up in the morning, sitting down with their morning coffee and just letting their thoughts and words spill out into their laptop. It’s not so much like that for me. I think it’s because I’m not telling a story about what has happened. I’m totally in the story now. So most mornings I’m still trying to figure out what my priority is going to be for that day and if I can find time for it after shooting and running a studio.

So I’m glad I said 30-ish days of blogging in the first post. I knew that this would be a lot and there would be days when I would either drop the ball or choose some much needed me time instead of writing. But I thank you all for continuing to show up and read this. I’m amazed at the amount of you that are checking in.


PS. Also I’m grateful that I got time to steal a sunset view after a stroll to Beacon’s beach. San Diego hasn’t seen this much rain in so long, and the Spring bloom is enough to make me want to just lie down and bask in it. I wish I could record what it all sounds like when the wind hits it. Swirling, light little symphonies that we aren’t used to hearing here in dry-desert-meets-the-ocean territory.

beacons beach

14- It’s all a bit of an experiment

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Today I had one of my best friends since childhood come over to “experiment,” or test light on. I’ve moved into the new place, and while everything photography and decor wise is still at the studio until May, I wanted to test the lighting a little. Praying it was as good as I expected it to be, not an easy thing to find in the photog world. Thank God it was. And more so.

More than that though I asked Holly over because I needed someone who I could unapologetically steal beautiful energy from. She always gives it, and she has enough to go around. So I take it gladly. I told her about my “Rise” portrait sessions, and how I wanted them to be so much more than a portrait, and she had plenty of thoughts about how that could work. And even how she could lend her sage yogi talents. Which I also plan to gladly take in big doses.

What was even more special to me about this shoot is that my buddy since age ten came over when I had just “launched” my first official “studio” in 2004.  A bit of hodge podge garage set up in rural Ramona. My first go at boudoir as a real business. I had just painted a wall turquoise, I still remember the palpable fear in me thinking my landlord would see it (I planned to paint it back don’t worry) and I needed someone who I knew wouldn’t judge for me for my new crazy idea and lack of a complete plan. When I was younger I had a lot of nutso ideas, and it seems the friends that went along with these wild plans then, are somehow still my besties getting on board to this day. Gotta love them for that.

When we were younger Holly was the first loyal, ride or die, “no I don’t think you are a freak weirdo” friend. We got each other because she, too, lived on acres in the middle of nowhere. But somehow managed to be way cooler than me. Our first ever conversation was over tiny desks in class and about how we liked to play outside more than inside. And that we were nervous about rattlesnakes.

Today we realized that growing up we lived about 3 miles apart in rural Ramona, California. And now in coastal Leucadia we still live 3 miles apart.  Which, to my new found horror, still has rattlesnakes. “Look at what we’ve done she said.” I just smiled. She was so right. I knew she was saying that we were exactly where we were supposed to be. And still together. Gratitude just bubbling up inside me.


I mention this because the universe meets you. God brings you sweet confirmations that only you can totally appreciate. Holly reminded me today in my tardiness and minor chaos of “testing” that I had done this before and it had been successful. How 13 years ago “I took a photo on that chair right there,” she said, pointing to my make shift dining room, and “look what’s happened.” She grabbed the chair and we reenacted the original shot for old times sake.


We talked about it being okay to not have an exact direction at first, and that experimenting on people who won’t judge you are the first steps. Toy with ideas in safe environments where you can get real feedback. It’s a bit of a messy process. As the best things in life are.


Sure you can watch and then simply replicate in this world. There’s no shortage of “how to” posts or webinars. And that’s all good and part of it. But creating an authentic experience takes vulnerability and trials and error. And that’s where people who love you come in. Honesty is invaluable. And constructive criticism can hurt, but it no doubt refines.

Holly is onto bigger things in her life. So this shoot was perfect timing for both of us. She too is creating an authentic experience for people on her own. The only way to describe today was kismet. I am a very grateful.


PS. I may miss a few more consecutive blog posts here and there. It’s 11pm, I started working at 7:45am, and I LOVE my work.  But my time today reminded me that I need to take a little better care of myself. Tomorrow I will be hitting the yoga class instead of blogging. I’m sure you are all so on the edge of your seat 😉 so sorry to disappoint. Much love to you all you dreamers and doers out there.

14- Change is scary

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I’ve always referred to myself as adaptive. It was the highest sort of compliment that I liked to give myself. To me it meant that I could go with the flow, or I could make lemonade out of lemons. That I could be in a 3rd world country with just a backpack of my basics and feel comfortable. Or that I did my best to adhere to one of my favorite scriptures Philippians 4:10, “for I have learned to be content regardless of my circumstances.” Full scripture below.

So with all the massive changes that have happened the past few years I am revisiting that compliment I liked to pay myself. How am I really handling this? Especially in regard to that scripture? As I am in the middle of chaos in this transition, I know I need to meditate on those words as much as possible…because all of this truly has been scary.

Among many other things going on right now, closing down the studio to re-open it as basically an entirely different business- terrifying. More in the sense of it’s closing the doors of something totally awesome and successful all to move onto something totally new. But everything in me says it is necessary and the right decision. Once I had a vision for what the future could be there was no question about putting one foot in front of the other, checking off task after task, having hard conversations (especially with myself) and just doing what I had to do.

Even though this new endeavor has been one of the most challenging and time consuming of my life, I have peace with it. I have peace and I am scared. That may seem conflicting but I don’t think so. We are complicated creatures. I definitely understand that peace isn’t a destination I arrive at, set up permanent camp and sit back and relax. Peace is a moving thing and I fight to keep hold of it. It’s about believing wholeheartedly that God is in control and he loves me. The days where I feel it with every breath are amazing and joyful. And not always super common for me. I have to make choices to move myself into God’s peace and that takes effort.

The full scripture…


There’s no point in goals or creating art without hope and peace. Not even on my best days do I come close to completely embodying this scripture above. But on my best days I do remember it and hold it close. And that gives me the peace I need during trying times.

And I wanted to write this post because I know that some of you reading it have something you need to do that is downright terrifying. That will shake up your world and who you are. That will challenge you and push you so hard that you think you might snap at moments.

What vision do you have for yourself that brings you peace, calms your soul, but at the same time makes your heart race?

I dare you to make one big step today. Maybe it’s buying that new piece of equipment to get you started. Or putting a deposit down on that course. Or finalizing a budget and sticking to it. Or saying your dreams and goals out loud to someone you admire. Hiring a health coach. Or getting on your knees and praying. Maybe it’s booking a Rise session with me (to be released soon). The only one who knows what’s in your heart is you.

Make one big step. If I can do it you can too. Rise with me.

13- My love for video

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Ten years ago Kimberlee and I made our first video. It was her idea and I gladly jumped on board. This was before DSLRs had readily available video options, and she shot it handheld on a point and shoot. Looking back it’s the crappiest quality, but when we placed it on youtube (on a random account that I had because we hadn’t started our official one yet) it got a lot of attention. It got over 100,000 hits. Back in 2008 that was a lot!

This video was the start of it all for us. From then on we made sure to do more and more video. Upping our game quite a bit through the years. Have a bit of a laugh with us and check this out….


It’s because of the videos we have done, the more professional ones and even the ones on the fly, that we believe our boudoir studio was so sought after.  And now as a production company I am stoked to be offering this service on the regular. It will mean so much to watch what we create together take you to that next level. Whether you are promoting your personal brand, are an artist and you want a behind the scenes to tell your story, or you have a product to sell, video is a great way to do just that. I believe one of the best branding and marketing investments.

And I love shooting it.

Here is a recent promo video we did for Salt and Arrow. Styling and hmu by Southwestern Styling.

This website has been a bit of a work in progress and I hope to see it evolve more and more. As for now here is our latest addition to the site! And as a celebration we are offering 35% off to the 2 first people to book one of our new brand collaboration packages. The shoot would have to be set up for June or July 2017.

Thanks for stopping by to visit. About to hop on a plane to Austin for South by Southwest to see Angie play!! Please email me at if you want to get in on this action! I’m super stoked about it.


PS. I should mention that we opened up one more Mykonos photo shoot spot for July 5, 2017. And we can officially say that the group photo shoot excursion on Sunday will be a private catamaran to remote beaches and coves on the island! A photographers dream ladies!!! Call us- 858-485-0443.

12- I made you a playlist

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I mentioned in my first blog post that I kept seeing the word ‘Rise’ everywhere. I started to take serious notice of how powerful this word is, and I’m even creating a new portrait experience based on how much it has moved me. During that time I started to collect the songs that fit the mood I had been feeling. Feeling overly audacious and strong is not something I wanted to go away anytime soon. And nothing brings you back to a feeling like a song can.

So today I wanted to share those uplifting tunes with you! Happy Thursday everyone. Let’s make it a great one!

11- Getting in over my head

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Remember that post where I said when I started working from home I wasn’t going to over work like I did in the past when I worked from home? Well it’s been tougher than I thought.

Yesterday and today marked some of the first days I haven’t had a shoot in the studio on a weekday for quite a bit.  So I had every intention of just checking my emails at my desk at home in the morning, then working out, then showering and then going to the studio. An acceptable 10 hours working day once totaled.

But instead what happened was I sat down in my pjs as soon as I woke up on Monday morning and then didn’t get out of my pjs. Like ever. 15 hours in front of the computer. Ewwwww.

Then I did it again on Tuesday. Upping my game to at least a shower and workout clothes. Sans the workout.

I would like to think I will not let that happen again. I have identified the problem. I bit off a little more than I could chew. Which is true. But I’m going to chalk it up to the fact that I am closing one business (more work than I ever imagined) and opening up a new business (I knew this kind of work, also a ton).

In mulling over being in over my head, it made me want to share with you a recent ‘dare to dream’-esq project in which in over my head was putting it lightly. But the right kind of in over my head that I can deal with on the reg. Let’s just say self confidence when it came to photo or video projects was never something I lacked. My mindset was always to just jump in and then see if I could swim. I never think I’m something super special, but I do think I am always ready for the challenge. Dive in.

Becoming a production company meant starting to toy with creating projects that were bigger than anything we had ever taken on before. I love video, especially music videos, and had done a few simple ones in the past. I love a musician in raw natural light. Up close, shallow depth of field, a gritty look. Straightforward and intimate footage. I feel 100% comfortable shooting that. So when I was given the opportunity to shoot a much bigger project, I gladly took it knowing that growth would be the number one reason. It intimidated me, so bring it on.

The song is by Angie Keilhauer, I’ll be sure to talk much more about her in the future, as I keep mentioning her, and she deserves more than just mentioning. And the lyrics did not call for a simple video. “Caught me going 108 [mph].” Hmmmmm. Sounds tricky.

The final video is almost done and I am excited to launch it in the coming weeks. It still needs one simple re-shoot that we have to wait for Angie to be back in town for. Funny how a 5 second clip can hold you up  that much in this world of storyboarding.

This project stretched me. We had a very fine tuned shot list that had scenes listed for 3 different days with specific times. Every second of this video was pre-planned and then coordinated into an excel doc so we would shoot it at the right time given the light of day, the people/cars/trucks we needed and if Angie’s hair would be up or down. And as always nothing ever really goes according to plan. Thank God I didn’t attempt an outfit change. I’m not ready for that cohesive editing complication yet! We had a 15 page google doc of logistics from to-do lists, packing lists, itineraries, equipment to rent lists, random stuff to buy, items to ask for like generators, flat bed trucks, and the needs went on.

The day of the shoot was the most chaotic and one of the most fun days of my life. Managing a crowd of 50 people, getting on a megaphone to tell trucks and cars where to drive at dangerous speeds, being cameraman and director equals total nonsense. Nonsense I loved and learned from.

Three major things that I took away from this gamble:

  1. Don’t wait to take on something that feels impossible. This is the kind of thing I want to be doing. Projects that intimidate me. Yes it was a lot of work, but not only did I learn so much, I also have something I’m really proud to show off. And that I know will only help me take on other bigger projects.
  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This came together and happened because of my badass friends that knew I was throwing in everything but the kitchen sink to up my game this past year. And my God did they step up and help. They came to production meetings, they drove RVs that I rented and was to frightened to drive on treacherous roads, they drove hours multiples times into the desert. They held things, and ran back for things I forgot. They told me I was doing a good job when they could see stress on my face. They laughed hard at me when ‘Marissa who doesn’t cry’ cried when her wide angle lens (my old faithful of 10 years) broke at the pivotal wide angle fast paced ‘truck-doing-donuts-shot’ shot and I was beyond exhausted. I cried over a lost epic shot. Lol.  An incredible drummer played drums, a shy non-bassist faked playing the bass. Even strangers we don’t know putting in hard work (see the behind the scenes video). An event planner I just met on FB helped me coordinate some off road forum logistics that intimidated me. Professionals came all the way out to second shoot. Why? Because I asked them to.In texts, in forums on Facebook, on phone calls. Kinda mind blowing. People are so good and kind. And it’s completely humbling and inspiring that so many would say yes because they saw someone ask. And I really learned to ask. Something I’m not entirely comfortable with.
  1. Here’s my favorite lesson; betting on yourself and your strengths is the only kind of gambling that you should take. It’s thrilling. And in the end even if you lose you feel empowered. 

Here’s our behind the scenes video….

A very special thank you to:

Leah & Chris Depaola
Brandi Pim
Anna Johnson
Chris L Kuwahara-Smith & friends
Brant & Baylee Bolton
Brian MacKenzie
Josh Fisher
Heather Shanahan
El Camino Pete
Bret with the donuting orange truck
Justin with the flatbed and the cool trucks

And all of the incredible people we met on FB that came out and shared their time and vehicles and happy vibes! I can’t tell you how very much you made this such a surreal day.

Much love,

leucadia photographer

10-Find a muse

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Imagination is something I have always thrived off of. I grew up an only child living on 60 acres in beautiful inland countryside of San Diego. I had waterfalls, big mountains, and animals all around me. But not too many other actual kids to play with. On a typical Saturday I think you would find me barefoot climbing a granite boulder and talking to myself. Maybe once I reached the top laying on my back on the warm rock to absorb the last bit of the day’s heat. Staring off over ‘our land’ and feeling like I lived in a movie where the child was odd, but so content.

I think this is the biggest reason my imagination and mind’s eye became such a key part of who I am. The outdoors was my muse when I was younger, inspiring so many dreams about what I would create when I “became an adult.” So as I started to thankfully come into a place where I was ultra inspired again as I mentioned previously, I came to realize it was because I found serious inspiration to use my ‘really out there’ imagination once again.

I have two main muses in my life that make me to want to take their photo every time I am in their presence right now. One, as shocking to me as it might be to you, it was to me as well, is a country singer. And she is beautiful. I think she is the most unique, intriguing and disarming person I’ve known.  And I just love her so much.

I know right!? Who knew I liked country music ! 😉

leucadia encinitas

The other is Leucadia, California. A neighborhood in Encinitas, San Diego. It sits cliffside over Beacon’s and Grandview beach. It’s home to many beach bike cruising friends, artists, musicians, barefoot sandy surfers, yogis, dog lovers, farmers market shoppers, and some of my favorite mom and pop businesses listed below. I’m surrounded by artists who love to create and enjoy this community as much as I do. And it’s done something for me. It’s magic.

Here are some of my favorites, let me know if I forgot one!

Seaweed and Gravel

Surfy Surfy

Coffee Coffee

Beery Beery (also known as Regal Segal)


Vixen Boutique


French Cafe

Le Papagayo (where everyone knows your name)

Bergamot Yoga

Leucadia Donuts

T.F.R. Gallery

The Farmers Market

Also home to many artists who do epic things like this above …… follow @daniellamanini_art or visit

Leucadia’s locally known slogan that is posted up everywhere is “keep Leucadia funky” and I framed my own design and added it to my kitchen last week.  I was trying to  think of how to explain what that means exactly. And as I sit in my home office and look over my neighbors place across the street, I know that they are all about that slogan. An older home nestled in between equally unusual, artsy, million dollar properties. They have an overgrown yard with whimsical flowers and greenery, kinda an English cottage yard meets beach town U.S.A. In the middle of the tall lush green and colors is comfortable patio furniture that they sit at mid day reading in bright sunshine. That makes me aspire to be them even more. They still have Christmas lights and they proudly turn them on every night. And they have some sort of wooden signage that reads, “together let’s change the world.” They keep Leucadia funky. I wanna be like them. And I wanna keep it funky too.

Since this place makes me feel alive and inspires creative freedom, I want to incorporate it into our brand and experience. Shooting on it’s streets, and in it’s local hot spots and better yet on its beaches. I swear everywhere you look this place has an interesting backdrop.

I think that sometimes we think of a muse as a person who emboldens us. And I love that too. But perhaps we can think more outside the box? If we had something that made us feel alive and curious, and then we infused that story and influence into our work and brand… I think it would take us to an entirely new level of art and personal fulfillment.

I’ve felt more inspired than ever lately. And when I looked up the word again it reminded me of that young child I was that felt so very influenced by all the beauty around me on family’s ranch. I also very strongly believe in a creator of this magnificent universe. I’m going to wind up this post with this specific definition that stirred me, since I think I used the word ‘inspired’ like a 100 times in this post.

#9- Easing up a little and trusting

By | 30 Days of Blogging | 3 Comments

I meant to have this for you bright and early as a fresh message to kick off the week properly. However, in this insanely busy season of my life, I have to give myself a little grace when things don’t go perfect according to the plan. Or when I get a little stuck in the desert. Literally.

On Saturday morning, what felt like my first non-rushed day in a long time, I sat down to journal. It had been a really long time since I’d done that. I wanted to write out how grateful I was for all the encouragement I had been getting in this new season. So many kind words, and so much interest for our new business. Greece filled up in just two days, so we opened up one more spot! And people are already booking shoots for our soft launch, one gal even flying in for it!

After I wrote a bit I opened up on of my favorite daily reads by Iyanla Vanzant. It was particularly meaningful to me because it seems to go hand-in-hand with what I had just written my journal, and how I was feeling. Like I had struggled and finally pulled myself up to the helm of the ship, and now all I had to do was follow the sky to stay on course. I had had a really intense game plan, and yes it’s been so much work to execute it, but I still feel like some small miracles have happened since the launch. And I believe God really met me halfway with this whole thing. I’m simply feeling very grateful and while I still know that the calendar is jam packed and need to work hard and stay focused. I don’t feel overwhelmed.

I had my season of craziness to get to this point, this point where now I just stay on track, let go and let God do the rest.  This whole experience has been an incredible reminder that I just need to trust.

tenley molzahn

Yesterday one of my bests, Tenley, and I headed out to the desert to get some images. It wasn’t meant to be a 16 hour day but it became one, and we loved it. We chased the sunshine around the canyon floor, got my 4 Runner legit stuck in the sand, dug a little, and hung out in the moonlight to get the shot that’s at the top of the blog and here at the bottom.

The night was so beautiful, warm winds, howling coyotes, and the feeling that something big was stirring. It’s simply one of the best feelings ever.

Thanks again for stopping by.