A look into my daily routine with photographer, Kimberly Davis.
As a person who spends a good amount of time behind a camera, I'm surprisingly shy about having my own picture taken. When I was approached recently by a firm doing trend studies on natural beauty influencers I was more than a little intimidated. They wanted to send a photographer to my house (yeah, the one with a three year old living in it) to take photos of my life.
The initial shot list included a few particularly terrifying requests, such as a look inside my refrigerator (gulp) and a photo of my closet - showing off some of my favorite clothes. The truth is, my closet is crammed to the hilt with baby stuff, and while I do have some pretty cute clothes in there, I haven't fit into any of them in a while. Pregnancies take a toll on your body (even those that don't result in babies). I look forward to the next phase of my life where an interest in fashion can be nurtured again.
For now, I feel pretty accomplished when I put pants on and brush my hair. The irony of being a beauty writer and having next to zero time to invest in self-care is sometimes front and center. But I try. I still do my best to dress up well when an excuse comes along. For example, I'm heading to Blogher 17 at the end of the month and I can't wait to wear "outdoor clothes" for three days straight. Plus, sleep! All. The. Sleep. I feel almost guilty about how excited I am to go on a trip alone. Sorry, family.
By the way, if you are going to Blogher too, please please say hello!! Meeting other bloggers is seriously inspiring to me, so I'd love to get together. Drop me a line and let's do the IRL thing!
But I digress. The photo shoot did end up happening - despite my fears. And it went from scary to fun the moment my favorite photographer, Kimberly Davis, got involved. Kimberly and I have worked together on two books. I adore her work, and I adore HER. We make a great team and I knew that she'd be able to create a series of snapshots from my life that would make me proud.
We decided to focus on a few personal niches in our home, my garden, and my daily routine as a DIY writer. Kimberly followed along as I worked on a real blog post (published last week!) for Marigold Facial Toner. I started by snipping marigolds from our garden out front. I dead-headed a bunch to use as ingredients, then picked some prettier blooms for my own photo shoot.
While I did tidy up a bit in the places where I knew we'd be shooting, we tried to keep things realistic. I've hardly ever shared pictures of my home here on MMG. It was actually a lot of fun (and kind of exciting) to see theses places I pass by every day through Kimberly's eyes. Seeing myself through a camera lens was a little less exciting, but loving myself for who I am and what I look like here and now is something I work on a lot. Getting my picture taken is a great opportunity to practice.
One thing I learned during this shoot was that I look much better in form fitting clothes than the saggy, baggy blouses I've been hiding myself in lately.
Look at that! You can see my shape, and it's actually a lot nicer than I thought it was. I feel like I've been hiding the weight I've gained over the past couple of years more from myself than anyone else. Like anything, I'm sure the first step to taking control of this aspect of my health is having the courage to accept where I'm at. Otherwise, how can I move forward?
How did I not realize that hairband was neon pink?! Ai yi yi. In my defense, I think I got a whole three hours of sleep the night before. How do kids always manage to get sick on the nights you really do need sleep?
So there you have it, a blog post from start to finish - in pretty pictures that probably make it look a lot easier than it actually is! In reality, posts usually take several days to create. Between working out the recipe or project itself, doing a test run (when necessary), making a hero, taking photos, post processing those photos, writing the actual post, then publishing and promoting it once it's up, I'd estimate that between five and ten hours go into a typical DIY post.
I also tend to work in bulk. Since I have childcare on the weekends, I usually formulate recipes and shoot photos as much as I can on those two days. I spend the rest of the week post-processing, writing, hustling for more work (ALWAYS hustling for new work. Phew.), shopping for supplies, accounting (Blah. The ugly part of freelancing.), and of course, working on social media. In addition to all this, I work as the editor for The Natural Beauty Workshop AND oversee social media marketing for From Nature With Love.
In case you're wondering - no, I don't sleep much, have days off, or make boat loads of money. I sometimes joke about being a compulsively creative person, but it's really not a joke. I could never stop working by choice. I need to make, write, and share. It's how I'm wired and if I don't have time to do these things I become unhappy. For me, having a creative career is absolutely necessary to my well-being. I feel grateful to be able to do what I love for a living - even if it isn't making me rich and famous.
But who cares about blog posts anyway. I know what you really want to see - and that's chickens!! These little lovelies are much bigger now, but just as cute - as is their coop!
Credits: All photos for this post were taken by Kimberly Davis
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