Category Meet Ups

And so, We Marched

Yesterday, like so many others, I marched. I could have gone north to Seattle and joined the 120-130K that showed up there (WAY TO GO SEATTLE!!), but I decided to go south. I headed to the state’s capitol of Olympia where I marched with 10,000+ other people. I got lost in a see of pink hats and rain jackets and it was powerful and beautiful.

Here is what I was a part of…. 
I sang, I walked, I wore my pussy hat, and a t-shirt with an image of Princess Leia and the words, “A woman’s place is in the resistance”. I watched as people helped one another pin buttons, make last minute signs, locate a lost friend. I read sign after sign after amazing sing that made me laugh, made me think, and made my heart fill with hope. I am NOT alone in this fight- I am far from alone!

And now I wondering (and maybe you are too), NOW WHAT??

We MARCHED, we showed up. And that is super duper awesome sauce, but yesterday was just the BEGINNING.

It was the warm up. It was the first step in our metaphorical couch to 5K (more like couch to infinity and beyond) and I am not quite sure what my training plan needs to be. How are we going to continue to flex our peaceful muscles and show that we are NOT going to be QUIET. it’s time to, as J-Lo says, “LET’S GET LOUD”!

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I have been doing some research and happen to have an amazing band of woman on line who have been passing along links and ideas and plans. I thought I would share them with you if you are also in search of your, Now What? If you have links and ideas to share on how to carry the momentum and the energy forward, I ask you to share with me (us) here in the comments!! Ready? here ya go….

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  • Keep showing up (again, and again, and again, and again) – Gang, if you are a local Tacoma or Seattle person you probably know about the “Sonics Guy”. Kris is THE biggest Seattle Sonics fan you have ever met and he has been sporting his Sonics gear, carrying a sign and BELIEVING in his cause (to bring home the Sonics) for a very long time. I loved his open letter yesterday that he posted on twitter. While the movement we are in might not have a uniform (other than our pussy hats) that we can wear everyday, what Kris says is important, “KEEP SHOWING UP”!
  • Take Action – if you aren’t sure how, here ya go.
  • Get involved – here is a good page for that and so is this one
  • Gather – get together with others. Create art, create good food. Create good conversation and a local action plan – if you can’t find what you are looking for in your community, this is YOUR answer! YOU need to make what you need, fill that gap!

Keep chasing that light and – FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!

Vanessa

Photo Lady Friends

I have been debating if I want to share these images and thoughts here. These photos and this weekend of photography was specifically for me. There was no client involved, wasn’t hired to be there. I could pick up my camera or not. I could use my iPhone or my polaroid camera, or not. I could just sit and soak up the conversations happening around me and listen to the wind (which, by the way, holds secrets if you listen closely enough). I could speak and have space held for my words and reminded that I am okay and worthy. PhotoLadyFriends_FIP (1 of 38)

The point of the trip was to refuel, to reconnect and to re-imagine all that I am and all that I can be (as an artist, as a mother, as a wife, as a friend).  Part of me wants to hold these moments and images close and not share. Because so much of what was shared is hard to explain, but then again maybe my photos can do the talking for me like they do so many other times. These women have traveled an amazing journey with me for several years via the magic of the internet. And now they are powerful forces in my world. I am honored to call them friends.

Find your tribe. Love them hard.- Danielle LaPorte

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Now You| A Gathering of Friends

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FIP (33 of 75)A year ago I participated in an online self portrait class. The class was for woman only, we would receive weekly prompts and then go for it by turning our lens on ourselves and remembering that we are enough, we are worth it and we will not erase ourselves from the family photo albums. I was doing a personal 365 self portrait challenge (one self portrait a day, using my DSLR (no iphone), for an entire year). I had taken a month long class created by the same instructors, and loved it. I figured the year long class would help give me inspiration during my personal project but, little did I know the tribe I would gain along the way. I can honestly say that I can go to almost any state in the United States and have a friend or a contact. I could also travel a good portion of Europe and do the same. It’s really amazing to know I have a literal web of friendships simply from one class where we were asked to be brave enough to take photos of ourselves.

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This spring, emails began to fly around the internets.  Would anyone be up for a meet-up? A retreat of sorts? That’s all it took, one of the woman has a family house in Manzanita, OR and we figured out a weekend that would work for a gang of us.  When you gather with a group of people that you haven’t met in person, it’s a huge leap. But one I was very excited to make.

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These ladies had not only shared their self portrait journey with me and each other, but gave each other support and love through the screen. If you would have asked me 10 year ago if I would have virtual friends, I would have giggled. How can you connect with people simply by typing words? How can you make real friendships with people you only see in a static image on the screen? I am here to tell you that I feel incredibly connected to these woman. We might all be different ages and in different stages of our lives-marriages-child-rearing, but we have held space, giggled, cried and become true friends.

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We gather that energy into a sweet little house. We piled into the living room and squeezed into one tiny kitchen (because we are all moms and we all want to help cook or make sure the dishes are done, even if there isn’t enough space to do so). It was incredible. One of the gals just kept looking at us and saying, “I JUST WANT TO PINCH you all, I can’t believe we are here, in 3D”! I loved watching each of these woman behind their cameras and light up inside when doing so.

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I don’t really have all the words I want to be able to describe how important the weekend was to me. Since moving away from Reno I have felt a little lost without my lifelong friends nearby. I know it will take time to build friendships and roots here in Washington. But after getting together I feel the growth happening. Fours of them are just an hour or two away, and that helps so much.

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Thank you each for being silly and wonderful ladies. Thank you to the creators of NowYou, Kristin and Meredith. And thank you to the 8 other woman who took a huge chance on the weekend and made it all happen.

 

Tacoma’s Stadium District

FIP (2 of 4)-2Can you believe this place is a high school? I felt like I was looking at Hogwarts or something, not a public high school building. Pulling out the 24-70 to get that ‘wide angle’ distortion sealed it for me here. Making those buildings look as if they are leaning in to one another makes this a little more surreal and magical.

FIP (3 of 4)-2Love finding California Golden Poppies up here in Washington. Takes me south for a moment or two.

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My son spotted this at the exact same time I did and told me,  “Mom, better take a picture”. I love that he is seeing things like this when we are out and about with our cameras. It’s the little details, the repetition and the everyday beauty that I want both of my kids to see in the world.

FIP (4 of 4)-2Attempting to make the Poppy “POP” like her new friend Katy showed her. FIP (1 of 1)-22I know she saw us, but I don’t think she realized we could see her up there as well. Catching someone in the frame like this is a little bit magic.

There Will Be Film

Seattle, oh Seattle. I really am liking you. While on the ferry ride during this visit, I had a feeling wash over me, “this is right where I am supposed to be”.  It’s weird, because I never really imagined myself living somewhere like the Pacific Northwest.  But now that I am here, it feels right. Being able to catch a train in to Seattle for the day, explore and catch it to come home is simple and much cheaper then gas and parking for the day.

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Here are a few other things that I am loving about Seattle…

Seattle_CSA (18 of 56) People, there is green everywhere. Not just where your sprinkler happens to hit, but everywhere. The lush of the vegetation is as blue as the high desert sky. Flowers? The PNW has your flowers, even some you didn’t even know you loved until you spotted them.
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There is the whole ferry business going on all over the place. Rides across the water to pretty and quaint little islands.
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I like the neon, old and new throughout the city. Its not all over the place like it is in downtown Reno, so when I do spot it, the tube letters and numbers catch my attention much more than they did back in Nevada. These may get printed and framed for the house.
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And then there is always good people watching, I could probably just sit and people watch for an entire day and not get tired of it all.
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The other great part about being here? I have gotten to meet more flickr friends in the past month than I did in a year. It is so fun to walk around with other photographers and play tourist. A big thank you to Staci and Andy for including Cara and me in their epic anniversary tour. Here’s the gang, it feels a little “Westside Story” if you ask me… good thing I am in their gang (The Hassie/Andy Gang).
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Yup, I like it here. Cara is also sharing her photos of our day on her blog.  Swing over and check out her view finder found.

A NowYou Luncheon | Lifestyle Photography

Last year I participated in a year long online photography class called, NowYou.  The class was open to women only and would guide us weekly to produce a self portrait based on a themed prompt. I had already taken a 6 week class from the instructors, the amazing duo that are Kristin Zecchinelli and Meredith Winn – but there was push to take a year long course. I had planned to start my journey on a self portrait 365  (one self portrait a day, for an entire year) settled it. I signed up.  I had already made some incredible connections in the first course and I knew that things would only grow from those seeds that were planted.

Shaking it with friends!
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Fast forward to 2014. I mention online that I would be moving to Tacoma, WA.  I received a Facebook message from one of the women I had met in the NowYou community. Deb was so excited to hear I would be nearby, to share her love of the Pacific Northwest with me, and then she invited me to come for lunch in her home located in West Seattle. But it got better. Two other women who were also in the Now You Workshops with us would be there, too. I am not sure I can really explain the connection I have made to people via photos and typed words, but it is truly something special.

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The class and the women who participated held space for one another. There was a level of trust, a safe place for us to be ourselves. And now, I would get to meet some of my sweet friends in real life. If you blog, or are in other social media networks where you have been able to ‘find your people’ you may understand a little bit more about the excitement of the day.

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Deb’s home is a beautiful, elegant space, yet is filled with so much whimsy and comfort. I felt at ease helping myself to something in the fridge and my kids took things one step further by instantly bonding with her five year old and playing circus in the living room. I was horrified and yet, giggling that I had found friends who had a similar believe about a house, it is where we LIVE, not a showroom.
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So, imagine three friends gathering for lunch who haven’t seen each other in a VERY long time. Imagine the goofy squeals and giggles that happen when old friends reconnect. Even though we had never heard each others actual voices, I really did feel as if I was coming home to old friends. There was delicious soup and salad, bubbly water and yummy dessert.

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Spending time with fellow creatives is pretty amazing. Thanks again to Deb for hosting such a lovely afternoon and to Cathy and Tonia for making the drive. It was a really wonderful afternoon and I am still smiling thinking about getting to laugh with all of you lovely ladies.

Community

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I never realized how much I had been missing a creative community until last year. 

I have been connected to amazing photographers and creatives for a very long time on the internet, and while I truly have made friends with many of these people, there has been a void. I didn’t have many people I could talk shop with or who walked around with more than one camera on them on a regular basis. I sort of figured I was a goofball because of my camera love. That is until last summer.  

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I was added to a local photography group on Facebook and my world changed. Sounds a bit dramatic, but it’s sorta true. I started meeting people in my own community who were as passionate (if not more so) about the art of photography as I was.  I networked, met up with, hiked (and fell on my face), joked with and I was able to “work”with a handful of them. And I put the word,work in quotes because when you’re doing what you love it’s not really work at all. I am lucky enough to have gotten to know several as friends and fellow photo-geeks.
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On Sunday evening, I went to a gathering under the guise of “off camera flash workshop” and was hit with such generosity and friendship. I was humbled. I hadn’t realized that so many of my fellow Facebook friends had been following along and that I had made an impact on them. I mean, look at me, I am kinda cra-cra.

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But you guys, they brought a GIANT cake, bacon wrapped something or others and then we went out and played with off camera flash. It was pretty awesome.
Thanks again to my Reno Photografriends. You all have no idea how much I have learned from each of you. I feel honored to be a part of your gang and to be allowed to stay despite my zip code change next week.

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Photowalkers

I have been fortunate enough to find a great group of photographers here in Reno. A few weeks back, four of us hiked in 3 miles to see a frozen waterfall. There were so many laughs, a few falls (ice and mud and backpacks full of photo gear really don’t play nicely together). The trip was so fun that we started plotting a second adventure.

20140107-20140107-IMG_3225 20140107-20140107-IMG_3219On Sunday we drove up to Virginia City and grabbed a quick bite to eat and then kicked up some dust and caravanned into a spot known as American Flats. Oh, and did I mention that part of the goal for the day was to get some killer bubble photos? I will let the images do the talking. Thanks again to a great group of people willing to be silly and awesome at their craft.

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And when your with other photographers its, “Shoot or be shot…”
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Comparing Android to iPhone.
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I like it round, and big….
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Quick draw
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 Triangle Pose – photog style.
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Getting Shot

Thinking about it, this should have been my first post in this series. This is the post where I finally share some of the crazy-fun women I met while while in San Francisco….

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After hugs were given and real names were replaced by our online handles, we got straight to doing what we all do best pushing that shutter button. I was shooting and getting shot from the left and from the right. The click-itty-click of the Bay Area Shutter Sisters in action was like music to my ears. Do you see all those smiles? Smiles big enough to spot even behind the body of a big old camera!

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SHOOT

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We shoot looking down and we shoot looking up…

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 We shoot through car windows and across streets.
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We shoot each other, shooting each other and we shoot ourselves.
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We shoot our feet when they are on the ground.
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 We shoot while trying to stay serious, then we throw caution to the wind and shoot as we laugh and allow our feet the leave the ground.
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weeeeee!