Why are some people mean?

Why are some people mean? I'm not talking about a little mean, but bazaar, go out of their way to be mean. Recently I've encountered a few mean people, I remind myself that these situations will make me a stronger Read more

Maldives

Our last trip of 2016 was to the Maldives. Last year was one full of excursions, We traveled to Cameroon, Paris, Bali, Hawaii, New Orleans, New York, Chicago, Lake Tahoe, Atlanta, Napa, San Francisco, Dubai, and I must say Read more

Quote

It's okay to venture out of your comfort zone... Lately I've been doing it quite often. This weekend is going to be one of renewal, my personal Super Bowl. What are your plans? I will be working today and tomorrow. Happy Read more

Do you enjoy yourself?

Both of my kids are in New York, my son is in school in the Hudson Valley and my daughter is living in Brooklyn and working. So we are officially empty nesters, and have been so for a while Read more

February 1, what happened to January?

January is in the past! We so eagerly celebrated and welcomed the New Year and now it is just a memory. Some of us have already fallen off the new commitments we made and that is okay. Just start Read more

Plus Size, Curvy, 67%- interview with JJ Malone

Posted on by Gigi in interview Comments Off on Plus Size, Curvy, 67%- interview with JJ Malone

JJ

With Ashley Graham being the first plus-sized model to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated, Maxim and British Vogue, perhaps we will see more plus-sized beauties on glossy covers. 67 percent of the women in the US are plus-sized, however even with Ms. Graham, there is such a small representation in the media of curvy women. It is better than what it used to be, but considering the numbers it is not even close to representing the 67% of women out there. Never mind many designers do not even make clothing above a size 12, leaving a large percentage of women with limited choices.

JJ

So when plus-sized model JJ Malone contacted me about doing an underwater session, I was ecstatic. She shared with me that another underwater photographer she contacted told her that they did not do “plus sized” models. I have never thought about turning a client away based on their size. matter of fact, so many clients will postpone their session due to wanting to “lose weight”- my advice is document your life today, where you are this given moment, let me do my job and pose your beautifully.

JJ

So after JJ braved the cold water on a day that my pool heater decided to act up we did an interview and here’s what she shared with me about the LA plus modeling world.

Gigi- How long have you been modeling?

JJ- 4 years

Gigi- How did you get into modeling?

JJ- I have my Masters degree, and I am a family therapist. So one day I noticed a Lane Bryant ad, and I thought, I would like to do that. At the time my self esteem was low, and I did not feel pretty. So I did my research on how to get into modeling, and I started going on calls, and learning everything I could about the industry.

JJ

Gigi- What is the term that you prefer? Plus size, Curvy or just model?

JJ-I prefer plus size model I don’t have any problem with being called  plus-sized.

JJ

Gigi- Do you think the fashion industry is still afraid to embrace inclusivity with non traditional models?

JJ- Well doors have been opened to a certain degree, however there are limitations compared to straight sized models. There have been shows where hair and makeup did not do the plus sized models, or problems with getting paid for shows little discrepancies on occasion..

Gigi – What is the LA model scene like for plus sized models?

JJ- I am part of a network  of LA plus sized models, where we get together and support one another.

Gigi- After Ashley Graham’s Sports Illustrated cover, have things become easier? Since there are more “name” faces i.e. Precious Lee, Jordyn Woods to name a few, has it opened more doors?

JJ

JJ – Actually yes and no, there are a lot more models going out for the same jobs, and every plus sized girl is assuming she can now be a model regardless of her experience.

Gigi- Any advice on body positivity in this size “0” obsessed society we live in? Especially for the young girls? I know you have a young daughter.

JJ – I’m a therapist, so I deal with clients that have horrible self esteem . I try to instill the message of “don’t compare yourself to images that are not even real” “Accept your flaws” . I ask my daughter “Do you feel beautiful?”

It is important to validate our young girls so they can mature into confidant women, secure in their own skin.

Gigi- What advice would you give to up and coming non-traditional models?

JJ- Be nice. Do your research.  Be accommodating, know your craft, be able to do your own face and hair, be prepared- own your beauty, be confident and develop a good reputation, the modeling world is small .

JJ

 

You can follow JJ on IG@jjmaloneplus

How do you feel about your body? Do you ascribe to a certain “weight” or else? Do you let weight gain interfere with your life? Did you grow up in a family that was supportive of the physical you and made you feel good about yourself? Please share…

XOXO,

GIGI


Are you doing something that you love?

Posted on by Gigi in Aging, photography Comments Off on Are you doing something that you love?

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I’ve been working as a professional photographer for a little over 3 years, on my own for barely 6 months. It took me a long time to figure out my true passion, but it was well worth the wait. I tired a lot of different things over my life time, interior design, a chocolate brownie business, working with my husband, although I enjoyed those interests for a while, nothing felt like the “it” thing.

There are times when I think about what would I be doing had I discovered my true calling 30 years ago. Would I be burnt out, ready to retire like some of my peers that have been in the professional world for 30 years and are now transitioning to another phase of life. Or maybe I would have been a trailblazer, an iconic photographer in the field, traveling all over the world giving seminars to up and coming photographers.

My journey has not been easy, there are many challenges in a field where everyone is walking around with a camera in their hand. I’m at an odd age sort of, I’m not young by no means, I’m kinda old, even though I don’t feel really old. I am constantly studying and working on my craft, there is so much I want to learn.

Some days I wonder to myself, what am I doing? Maybe it is too much, and I should just chill and relax. Perhaps at my age it is a bit much to be an artist and run a business. Maybe I should just be a hobbyist, and just take pictures of whatever inspires me.

Why do I stay up late most nights working on photography related tasks? It comes down to I absolutely LOVE what I do! I really love taking portraits of women, transforming them and showcasing their beauty. Beauty they had put on the back burner, I love giving my clients an incredible experience and capturing that genuine smile.

In our society there is so much imagery in the media that does not represent true beauty, between all the filters, and the way photos are manipulated via photoshop there is this imaginary bar that many women are trying to reach, that does not even exist. I love being able to take the best portrait of a woman and being able to show it to her without deconstructing her, just capturing her authentic self.

Gigi

I know I am fortunate to be able to pursue something that I love…What are you doing that you love? I’d love to know…

XOXO,

GIGI


What are your favorite things about yourself?

Posted on by Gigi in My Life 1 Comment

Gigi photographer

Have you ever noticed, myself included how when someone gives you a compliment you downplay the compliment as a way not to seem full of yourself? Why is that?

Do you have conversations like this:

Friend- “You look really good, you lost weight!”

Me- “No Way, I’m at an all time high hahahaha.”

or

Friend- “Your curls are jamming!”

Me- “No, look at this part right here, it is all dry.”

or

Friend- “I love your shoes!”

Me- “These old things…”

or

Friend- “Your makeup looks good”

Me- “Oh no, I have on a ton of concealer on , see look at all this discoloration…”

So I started thinking about this, not accepting compliments, especially  genuine ones. We all know the other kind like…

Friend- “Oh my goodness, you have lost a TON of weight- What did you do?”

or

Friend- “Do you ever get your hair DONE?”

or

Friend- “You should really look into BOTOX, it would take years off you!”

So I’m going to take a moment to share what I love about myself, no apologies.

  1. I love that I have embraced my natural hair and after many hours and numerous concoctions later, I have it down.

    Gigi January 2016

  2. I’m proud that I have reinvented myself and that I am pursuing my passion- photography.

    Gigi

3. I love that I am an open book and that the older I get the more authentic I am…4. I love that I always look for the good in every situation and everyone.

5. I love meeting new people.

What do you love about yourself? Are you a good friend? A great parent? Are you a natural athlete ?  This is your time to share… I’d love to know.

XOXO,

Gigi


Back to Practice

Posted on by Gigi in Well-Being Comments Off on Back to Practice

yogis

I’m back on the mat and I’m starting to regain my balance. Over the years I have had an off and on again relationship with yoga. Once I’m at the studio, everything is fine, it’s my happy place, its the getting there that sometimes can be a challenge, especially with vinyasa hot yoga the practice that I like. Doing hot yoga, I have to drive a little ways to the studio, I have to shower, address the hair, get out of my soaking wet clothes, its a lot of steps to incorporate my practice in my life. It helps having a husband who will go with me a couple of time a week, he sees the benefits as well.

yogis

Why do I like yoga? Of course as I get older, I want to remain flexible. I like the challenge of the flow, doing or attempting to do the postures. I like the feeling of being drenched midway through the class. I like the rhythm of my breath as I inhale and exhale.

Chair Pose

Gigi yoga

But more than the physical practice I like the spirituality, the self reflection I get from my practice. I am able to tap into my authentic self, stuff that would normally annoy me doesn’t when I am practicing on a regular basis. I’m honest. I’m able to see things differently, rise above the craziness, and pay attention to what really matters.

My practice is not about getting into a complex pretzel poses, or headstands, it is about  being good enough for me- listening to my body everyday I get on my mat. Not having any judgement and most importantly allowing me to be present for others.

Do you practice yoga? What brings you peace?

Love these mats

Namaste,

XOXO,

Gigi


Formation Ladies…

Posted on by Gigi in friendship 2 Comments

I did not pledge a sorority when I was in college. Most of my friends were in one, and although I was not we still all socialized  together. I have always had a large community of girlfriends, going all the way back to my childhood. I was not the most popular girl by any means, but I made friends easily.

Currently I have quite a few women friends in my life. I belong to a book club, I have a group of girlie girls  that I ski with, I have a movie, wine tasting group of girls, girls of summer group, Jack and Jill moms, my travel girls, and a few that are not in any of the above mentioned group that I socialize with as well.

Gigi’s Book Club

I love hanging with my ladies. the best thing about my women friends is that you can talk about every and any thing, beauty, fashion, hair, sex, politics, your fears, business, men, aging parents, marriage, lashes, brows, aging, hormones, illness, you name it…

Gigi girls of summer-

Granted some relationships are complicated with our female friends, but the older I get the more understanding and tolerant I am of differences. You understand that you may only see one friend every 6 months, and another friend you may chat with 2x a day and that is okay, as long as both friends are on the same page.

Ski girlies

 

Ski Patrol

It is comforting to know that you have women in your life that if you called one in the middle of the night you know she would answer, and be there for you. It is nice to share with a friend, that you know you are not going to be judged by, no matter what craziness you have gotten yourself involved in…

Beauty box at the Hollywood Bowl

Girls just want to have fun…

Do you have a girl posse? Or do you have more co-ed friends? Or do you have 1 or 2 BFF’s that are your ride or die type of girls? One last question to think about…Do you think it is harder to make new friends as you get older?

XOXO,

Gigi


How to Make 2017 The Best

Posted on by Gigi in Holiday 4 Comments

Gigi 2017

“I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me.” – Anais Nin

It’s Tuesday, January 17th and I am posting my first post of the year, actually my first post in a while. I’m cleaning my slate and refocusing my purpose, not making the ubiquitous resolutions, but taking inspiration from the Anais Nin quote as my guide. Making each day matter.

I’m always working on self, constantly pushing myself to be stronger, always striving to be the best version of me that I can be… not always easy. I’m back to my yoga practice, which is a good thing, those couple of hours on the mat makes a difference.

My photography is progressing, I’m growing as an artist, searching for my voice, balancing clients with my personal work. I’ve come to the conclusion that I will never be caught up and that’s okay, to be in a continuous state of “work in progress”.

Gigi photographer

So back to the question, How to make 2017 the best?

  1. Start by doing as much good as you can.
  2. Stop doing shit you hate.
  3. Love your body more.
  4. Make time for yourself- be selfish
  5. Forgive and Forget

    Gigi Maldives

    2017 a year where I slowly peel away little pieces of the life I desire. At my age there is more life behind me than ahead of me… that’s a fact.

    Did you make any resolutions ? I’d love to know…

     

“You make a life out of what you have, not what you’re missing.” -Kate Morton, The forgotten Garden

Xoxo,

Gigi


Wedding Words

Posted on by Gigi in Weddings Comments Off on Wedding Words
jumping the broom

jumping the broom

A few weekends ago we trekked to northern California for our nephew’s wedding. We decided to make it a road trip, typically we never drive anywhere more than 2 hours. We arrived to Livermore, a little quaint town in the wine country, after 6 hours on the road, to an activity filled weekend, celebrating a birth, a nuptial  and a bridal shower, btw all these were for different family members.

I love weddings, I love everything about them, the flowers, invitations, the gowns, rings, decor, themes, colors- I love all of it! Not enough to be a wedding photographer, I’m content at being the guest with a camera.

My anniversary is around the corner, we will be celebrating 27 years on July 23- so after witnessing the exchange of vows of this young couple I could not help but to reflect about my own marriage and all of our experiences.

Like most modern wedding ceremonies, the couple wrote their own heartfelt vows, expressing their love for one another. I thought about my own marriage and my commitment regardless of the challenges we encountered over the years. When we got married we did not write our vows nor did we have a traditional wedding with all the trimmings, we eloped to Hawaii and had a simple ceremony.  Being the romantic I am if/when I decide to renew our vows with a ceremony I have a few poems files away for that special day hmmmm perhaps our 30th since we missed the 25th.

Wedding Day july 23, 1989 1 week before 30

Wedding Day july 23, 1989 1 week before 30

“Our Union” by Hafiz

Our union is like this: You feel cold, so I reach for a blanket to cover our shivering feet./

A hunger comes into your body, so I run to my garden and start digging potatoes./

You asked for a few words of comfort and guidance, and I quickly kneel by your side offering you a whole book as a gift./

You ache with loneliness one night so much you weep, and I say here is a rope, tie it around me, I will be your companion for life.

A & A wedding

A & A wedding

The Journey by Nikki Giovanni

It’s a journey…that I propose…I am not the guide…nor technical assistant…I will be your fellow passenger…

Though the rail has been ridden…winter clouds cover…autumn’s exuberant quilt…we must provide our own guide-posts…

I have heard…from previous visitors…the road washes out sometimes…and passengers are compelled…to continue groping…or turn back…I am not afraid…I am not afraid…of rough spots…or lonely times…I don’t fear…the success of this endeavor…I am Ra…in a space…not to be discovered…but invented…I promise you nothing…I accept your promise…of the same we are simply riding…a wave…that may carry…or crash…

It’s a journey…and I want…to go…

the dance

the dance

He’s no perfect, by Bob Marley

He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, He’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.

Love this man

Love this man

Did you have a “reading” at your wedding?

Happy Monday,

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


Brown Mermaid

Posted on by Gigi in photography Comments Off on Brown Mermaid

IMG_1932.PNG

I have always loved the water, as far back as I can remember and that’s a long time. I was the kid that on family trips to the beach I stayed in the ocean the entire time, just riding the waves.  A year ago on a whim I took an underwater photography class and fell in love! Both of my passions together, what more could I ask for…

After taking that class, I rented the housing for my camera to try it out in my own pool and I was hooked, I knew I  wanted to add this to my slate of specialities. So I made the hefty  investment and have been going down under ever since.

 

gigi underwater

gigi underwater

I have done numerous sessions now and I am still fascinated with the variety of results I get each time I do a shoot. Sometimes I’m photographing a dancer or a new swimmer, regardless of the person’s skill set I love creating something unique and magical for each person. Depending on the time of day, weather, location in my pool, and my position, no shoot is ever the same. The light and shadows create a surreal little world.

Sara

Sara

I have quite a variety of “underwater outfits” that add to the experience, including shoes and various other props, everything potentially can go in the water…

"love of reading"

“love of reading”

Sessions go for 3 to 4 hours, I’m in the water the entire time, building a bond with my mermaids and sometimes mermen. I don’t use scuba gear I just free dive and am able to hold my breath for a really long time, allowing me to position myself to get the best shots.

"Red"

“Red”

"Cynara"

“Cynara”

I have even done a few maternity sessions which were really fun. My “mom’s to be” are so flexible in the water.

"Tea-Zap"

“Tea-Zap”

"Myriam"

“Myriam”

I’m dreaming about doing some sort of coffee table book featuring underwater images, another one of those bucket list items, so many of them. I have lots of sessions scheduled this summer and I know I will capture some incredible images- I’m also working on a new website to showcase my work so stay tuned.

Happy Tuesday-

Xoxo,

Gigi

quote

quote

 

 

 


Change

Posted on by Gigi in My Life Comments Off on Change
Gigi

Gigi

Being on the planet for more than half a century there have been people I have come in contact with that have inspired me and encouraged me to grow as an individual. Some of them are still in my life and some are not.

Change is a part of life and our growth as human beings. It is not always comfortable, matter of fact it can be painful at times. Part of this life journey is getting places we want to go. Setting goals and having a vision is only one part, you have to execute and follow through. Recently everyday I have been writing my elevate and execute tasks down in a notebook and it has really helped my productivity- like writing my blog daily again.

Figure out who you are and focus on your talents, no matter what your age is or where you are in your life journey it is never to late to explore another path. Limit your time with those individuals who feel they are superior to you the ones who you would like approval from, but sometimes these are the ones that will never see you as “good enough”.  I have run into photographers in my short career that love telling me how much I don’t know… I limit my interaction with those types in exchange for those photographers who are willing to share and inspire me.

As this month is rapidly coming to an end, I am embracing some changes in my personal and business life. I’m excited and will be sharing changes here as they develop.

Who or what  inspires you?

Btw if you are looking for a great book to read this summer check out the book my club is reading here.

Those of you that really know me – know that I am a cat woman- check these dolce gabbana cat-ture dresses out…and yes I would wear one of these-lol

IMG_1699-0.png IMG_1700-0.png

cat dresses

cat dresses

Happy Monday!

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


Relationship Goals

Posted on by Gigi in My Life Comments Off on Relationship Goals
Mr. & Mrs.

Mr. & Mrs.

I will be celebrating 27 years of marriage in a few weeks, add in the 2 years we dated that brings us to 29 years- a long time! More than half of my life. While no relationship is perfect- and if it were I think that would be quite boring. I was thinking about what makes my relationship rock? Here are a few things I came up with.

1. I know this seems like a no brainer, but we still sleep together in the same bed, same room. Not always the case. The other day a guy was sharing with me some doggie drama that now because of it his wife sleeps in another room with one of the puppies.

2. Don’t hold grudges. Speak your mind, have disagreements  and move on. Oh and COMMUNICATE! The quiet BS does not work if anything it just builds resentment.

3. Your spouse should be your best friend- the one you want to share stuff with- the good the bad and the ugly. The person you can share your fears with, the one that will not judge you- the one that understands you-

4. Treat your spouse with respect. Adore him. Adore her. Continue to give compliments to one another.

5. Do and try new things together. Travel. Bottom line continue to date, don’t let your kids, work etc. stop you from having private time together.

6. Always have some interests of your own- Continue to grow as an individual.

7. Remember why you fell in LOVE…

Happy Friday- What are your plans for the weekend? I will be working, but my Sunday will end at the Hollywood Bowl one of my favorite summer venues.

Happy Friday!

Xoxo,

Gigi

Our villa in Ubud

Our villa in Ubud


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