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

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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

MERAKI

Posted on by Gigi in My Life Comments Off on MERAKI

 

Gigi

Gigi

I’m a word junkie, I like discovering new words. So my new word that I discovered that I just love is MERAKI.

“Greek. maraki {may-rah-kee} (adjective) This is a word that modern Greeks often use to describe doing something with soul, creativity, or love — when you put “something of yourself” into what you’re doing, whatever it may be.”

I feel this way about my photography. Discovering what one is passionate about is not easy, I did not discover mine until about 3 years ago. Yes, I have aways liked taking pictures all my life, but I never thought it would become a career that I absolutely love.

Over my life I’ve been sort of ADD with all my passions, in the past I would lock into something that I thought was the one and then the interest would wane. Self doubt would creep in making me question my purpose and if I am good enough to be doing this or sometimes I would just loose that initial excitement.

I dabbled in interior design for a few years, loved it, did the program at UCLA, worked at the Pacific Design Center, did a few clients, opened a home decor boutique and something happened where my enthusiasm was no longer there, I realized I just wanted to design my own space and buy things that I loved personally.

I was passionate about my brownie business, did it well, developed it from the ground up with my best friend had a lot of success, but then I got married and had Amani and my interest shifted to other things.

When I changed my diet I became obsessed with the vegan lifestyle, I started being an educator for others, hosting cooking classes in my home, living breathing everything vegan…and then I went to France and had a little piece of cheese with a glass of wine and I have been going back and forth trying to recommit.

And then there was my knitting binge, where I would knit nonstop, buying yarn from all over the world, reading knitting magazines, totally consumed, and then I would stop just like that and pack all the yarn away.

I could go on and on in all my distractions and paths my passions have led me on only to end on a dead end road.

So there are times when I wake up in the middle of the night, and I think “I’m a photographer” a sort of historian for others, capturing and documenting their lives, and what I do is valuable and I love every minute of it. Knowing that keeps me motivated and excited – it may have took a half a century to discover but I’m at a good place and the time for me is now.

So back to my word, maraki here is my sentence using my new word:

My meraki is in everything I photograph. What are you passionate about?

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Happy Thursday,

xoxo,

Gigi

 


Summer To Do List

Posted on by Gigi in My Life 2 Comments
Gigi

Gigi

Every year my family and I have been fortunate to take a family vacation- a destination selected and planned by me without many restrictions, the only one being, that travel takes place in August. We usually alternate years with an exotic trip abroad with something in the states the following year. This year we will be going to Kauai and Maui.

Hawaii is a special place for me for 2 reasons: 1. Kauai is where Reggie and I got married way back in 1989.

Wedding Day july 23, 1989 1 week before 30

Wedding Day july 23, 1989 1 week before 30

2. It is the first place I traveled alone as a child.

My girl scout troop went to Hawaii when I was in the 6th grade. I remember the trip vividly, my mom gave me $30.00 for spending money and I was going to be there for 7 days which was about 4.00 per day, by the way most of our meals were included, but I wanted to bring all my family members a souvenir back from this tropical paradise. So even back then 30.00 did not go far, so my 11 year old brain decided that I could shoplift the 5 gifts I needed for my family. There was no rhyme or reason to what I stole just the right opportunity, I just could not return empty handed, so hence my gifts were a collection of oddities but never the less a gift from Hawaii.

Now that summer is here, this is my

list that I would like to cross off by the time Labor Day arrives.

  1. Take advantage of our Cali beaches
  2. Host a couple of fun dinner parties.
  3. Give a face lift to my back yard.
  4. Create a studio space to “paint” some portraits.
  5. Hollywood Bowl summer nights.
  6. Scrubs at my favorite Korean spa.
  7. Paddle boarding
  8. Mermaid shoots.
  9. A boudoir b-day celebration with some of my BFF’s
  10. Fix and or get a new bike and start riding again
  11. bump up my workouts so I’m not hiding behind a coverup on my Hawaii trip
  12. Try some new outdoor brunch spots that are veggie friendly

What’s on your summer wish list? I’d love to know-

Xoxo Gigi

Gigi & Tea

Gigi

 


Timelessness

Posted on by Gigi in Aging Comments Off on Timelessness

Gigi

Timelessness is what I am striving for- age is becoming like a friend that I have a love/hate relationship with. The friend that you really love, the one that will “check” you when you are wrong and “call you out” we all have one. I can’t outsmart my age- it is what it is…I’ve never been interested in guarding it like a top secret pass word protected number (“56” soon to be “57”) shhhhh. I know some like to elude to being a younger age that has past many moons ago, and I get it, there is a lot of age discrimination going on out there especially in the work place.

Some of us grew up with moms that taught us to hide our age, and most of us have been told “never ask a lady her age” because it is not polite. Not polite because? I wonder when that phenomenon started- denying ones age? It is just an arbitrary number that rises once a year, a time that I look forward to celebrating being me and my existence.

Beauty does not have to be defined or constrained by a number- even if we live in a society that gives out expiration dates. Being a photographer I have captured numerous young gorgeous ingenues. I can photograph them at high noon, late night , early morning and they always look beautiful, I on the other hand have to be a little more particular about the light I’m photographed in and that is ok. The important thing is to do what gives you pleasure- explore, never stop learning and continue to be the best version of you.

Celebrate your “good” whether it is your career, fabulous body, personality, family, loving eyes, compassionate spirit, yoga moves, etc. just remember you are your number 1 fan.

Happy Tuesday,

Gigi


Happiness Seeker

Posted on by Gigi in My Life 2 Comments

 

GiGi

A year ago I was in the throes of my son’s high school graduation, transitioning to being an official empty nester, as my son prepared to depart to upstate New York for college while at the same time juggling my young photography business. I’ve been thinking about time and how we can mark our lives by these little landmarks. Birth. Preschool. High School. College. Career. Marriage. Children. Repeat the cycle with your own kids and add in some unfortunate mishaps such as, death, illness,  unemployment, aging parents, addiction, divorce, etc. and you have this thing called life.

I’ve learned that it is those unpredictable moments that keep life interesting- those moments when you feel literally on the edge, those moments where your heart just drops to the ground with no warning, moments where you wonder how will you go on? Like your son coming home after Thanksgiving and not returning to school, or a friend unbeknownst to you is suffering from depression and decides to check out permanently. These moments reinforce how important it is to embrace each day and live your life to the fullest.

Deleting what no longer gives you pleasure and restructuring your life to the best of your ability. Like when my son came home from school I encouraged him to take some cooking classes, which he did and as a result he catered a dinner party for 16 people a few weeks ago, discovering a passion that he did not know he had.

I’ve always been a “happiness seeker”. I don’t function well under duress, matter of fact I shut down totally, rejecting the source of madness. This started a long time ago when I was a child, my mother and father would argue most of the time, loud screaming matches and I remember going into the closet and hiding until it was over. I was also the person, who would walk off a job not knowing how I was going to pay next month rent because I was not “happy” with the situation.

I will always continue to grow as a woman as long as I am on the planet- embracing my passions, regardless of naysayers, willing to take risks, willing to change something that is not working, understanding that failure is a big part of the growth and is a good thing.

Happy Monday! I know it has been a while –

Xoxo,

Gigi


My new year…

Posted on by Gigi in Aging Comments Off on My new year…
Gigi in Bali

Gigi in Bali

So in a little over 3 months I will celebrate another birthday. Yes, I’m getting older but I am happy to be here to celebrate. For me, my birthday is a lot like New Year’s, I start preparing for it in advance, my own personal year end. Typically it begins with the intense recommitment to my workout program, which I have been slacking on lately, along with a revamp of my diet. Next I come up with an event, or gathering I want to do, and then the planning for that starts. Then, I come up with the lists of what I what do for the following year, career goals, things I want to learn, places I want to go etc.. And lastly, the appointments, I have this thing that I want to have all my personal maintenance done, such as fresh hair color and cut, maybe a facial, trip to the Korean spa, all of this the week leading up to my birthday, which is July 28.

Growing up I had a few birthday parties, one at 6, a slumber party when I turned 12, a little beach party at 18, a 25th birthday party given by a boyfriend, ten years would pass till the next party at 35. From 35 on I started celebrating every year making up for all the ones I felt I missed.

This year I won’t have a party, maybe a small dinner at home with a few friends over, something with my girlfriends, and perhaps a weekend away with Reggie somewhere local, like Santa Barbara.

How do you celebrate your birthday? Are you the party type or do you like to have quiet celebrations and not draw attention to another year gone by, and another number added to your age. Please share I’d love to know…

Gigi @ 25

This is a pic from my 25th birthday party- I remember being so happy that day- My boyfriend at the time hosted a party for me- I felt so grown up!

Gigi @ 40

This is from my 40th birthday- I remember feeling so old once my 30’s were over…now 40 seems so young!

This is from a 40 something Pole dancing party I had with my girlfriends-

This is from a 40 something birthday Pole dancing party I had with my girlfriends- and my long dark hair…

Gigi with flat ironed hair

My 50th Birthday party- was a blast! Now 50 even seems  “young”…

51

For my 51 birthday I had a pool party-

52

52 hmmmm I was is a real pink phase- dinner party 

Gigi breaking the speed limit-55

Gigi breaking the speed limit-55

Have a fabulous Monday- embrace today by recommitting to something- join me in bumping up your workout if you have been slacking off like me…

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


Recalibrate- Post Bali

Posted on by Gigi in Travel Comments Off on Recalibrate- Post Bali
gigi

gigi

While I love traveling, coming back home and getting back to “the routine” can be difficult. We were in Bali for 10 days. Our trip was a dream! For 20 plus years I had been wanting to go there and finally the time came, just Reggie and I- sans the kids.

Funny thing is that this trip started off as a underwater photography workshop that I was going to attend with an accomplished underwater photographer that I admire, Jenna Martin, unfortunately Jenna is pregnant and had to cancel the trip, and we decided to go anyway.

Our days were filled with sunshine and sandy beaches, delectable delights and lots of exploring, sprinkled with a little shopping. Here are a few of my favorite pics from our trip.

Amandari

Amandari- This is the resort we stayed at in Ubud- All the rooms are villas and some of them have private pools- This is the main pool and I just loved the reflections.

visiting the temples

visiting the temples- everyone had to wear a sarong to enter the temples- Bali is a small island and 98% Hindu, there are 1000’s of temples and we visited quite a few.

LocaVore

LocaVore– This was a passion fruit based drink that I had a Locavore, a restaurant in Ubud that I was lucky enough to secure a reservation prior to arriving- everything they serve is from local farmers- our lunch was beautiful and delicious.

Our villa in Ubud

Our villa in Ubud- The resort is designed like a traditional Bali village in the middle of the jungle-There are about 40 rooms all gorgeous.

Reggie Bond-

Reggie “Bond”- On the way to Bali we had a day layover in Dubai, so of course we took advantage and went into the city for dinner at Atmosphere which is in the tallest building in the world-Burj Khalifa.

beach at Nusa Dua

beach at Nusa Dua- southern part of Bali-

I am looking forward to a weekend at home taking time to recalibrate and move forward on numerous projects and lists that I created on my 24 hour flight. It is amazing how being away from all normal distractions can really clear your mind. Bali is a magical place and the Balinese people are so happy and content with a very simple life, it was humbling and a reminder of what is really important at the end of the day…

Have a wonderful weekend- I will be “working” but I really looove doing what I do- so it really isn’t work.

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


My Professional life

Posted on by Gigi in My Life Comments Off on My Professional life
Gigi

Gigi

Now that my “professional” life has begun, after 3 decades or so of wandering, I feel desperate to be somewhat successful, to make up for lost time. I don’t have regrets for my past, but I’m reminded so often when I meet peers close to my age or more often read about them in publications, it is at those times I feel behind.

I love what I’m doing, being a photographer, even if my work is not hanging in a gallery, I’m not a keynote speaker at WPPI, nor am I doing assignments for Vogue or NY fashion week. I am capturing and documenting the existence and beauty of women who trust me with their soul and vulnerabilities.

When I imagined my new life as a photographer, I never thought about my age, or what others were doing, it was my passion and I was not concerned where it was going to go or end.

I’m grateful that I am in good health, that I embrace my 10 extra pounds, I have a supportive husband, my kids are navigating and figuring out their purpose in this world and life for the most part is really good.

I believe everything happens when it is supposed to and I have to trust that this is my time. I’m 5’6″ (I wish) 56 years old and my life is just that my life, the one with my quirky family, surrounded by my kitties, hopelessly shoe addicted, camera toting, complicated, kinky curly hair wearing, loving, traveling, stressful and 98% of the time happy woman.

Happy to be back after my 2 week hiatus-

Xoxo,

Gigi


Giving up? Or have you had Enough?

Posted on by Gigi in My Life 3 Comments

“There’s a difference between giving up and knowing when you’ve had enough.”

One thing about the 50’s you know when you have had enough. Perhaps it is because you know you are on the other side of that half of a century mark and you know while some people make it to the ripe old age of “100” most of us don’t…

You realize that you are responsible for your life, and your life is the one you have created for yourself…the good the bad and the ugly. If you have been living someone else’s life for the past 50 or so years, you know it is time to at least entertain a change, a little shift in your priorities.

Take that passionate leap and go for whatever- take a chance, especially if you have been consumed with obstacles that have prevented you in the past. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, failure can be a good thing. I have forgotten half the things I failed at, but what I do recall is that I was not afraid to try- and I have a garage full of remnants of past ventures that fell by the wayside.

Surround yourself with those that uplift you- let go of those that bring you down. Find the “right” people who will inspire you to be your best. If there are those in your life that are causing you anxiety, back away or if it is one of those complicated situations figure out a way to make a change. Embrace change and navigate it and know it is for a reason- don’t stay and be stagnant.

The good thing about being on this planet for a long time you have witnessed a lot and hopefully you have learned something. For me I always check my happiness meter and if it starts going in the wrong direction I quickly evaluate and make adjustments quickly. In my past life, I was notorious for ending relationships abruptly, walking off jobs, moving suddenly, all for the pursuit of happiness and sometimes to maintain my sanity.

So, when do you know you have had enough? I’d like to know.

xoxo,

Gigi

Happy Gigi

Happy Gigi

 

 


Do you feel good enough?

Posted on by Gigi in My Life Comments Off on Do you feel good enough?
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Quote

Do you feel good enough? In your profession? In your personal relationships? In your life?

We are in a world where it is easy to feel as though you are constantly being judged. Judged about everything- your appearance, your weight, your clothing, home, car, partner, education, children, the list goes on and on.

Gigi

Gigi

In my profession, photography, your work is constantly being judged. We live in a visual society, where we are bombarded nonstop with images. Instagram & pinterest are leading social media with the imagery that is posted every second.

I can’t help, that I too get caught up in the competition game of judging work of other photographers, or images I see in magazines. Fortunately, I quickly am able to put things in perspective and continue to work on me and where I am on my creative journey.

To stay on track and keep the negatively at bay, that can sneak up on you- here are a few tips on keeping those negative vibes at bay..

1 Remember your journey is just that “yours”- work on you and don’t worry about “them”.

2 Everything happens for a reason. I have to believe there is a reason I began my professional photography career in my 50’s.

3 Find and maintain your own inner happiness. There is always going to be someone “better”, “richer”, “skinnier” etc., whatever that thing is that gets under your skin, trust me, there is someone out there doing it.

4 Everyday you rise, choose happiness over negativity.

5 Work daily on your goals- you will make progress little by little.

6 Don’t get stuck in the “what ifs”- Just Do it!”

7 Be passionate about life and your pursuits.

8 If you want something bad enough you will figure out a way to make it happen.

9 You are stronger that what you think you are- you can overcome obstacles that may be troubling you now.

10 Never stop trying- your setbacks will make you stronger.

What makes you feel “not good enough?” How do you deal with those feelings? I ‘d love to know.

Happy Tuesday!

Xoxo,

Gigi

gigi

gigi


Is busyness an illness?

Posted on by Gigi in Life Style 1 Comment
#17 gigi

#17 gigi

Is busyness an illness?

Yes! Busyness is an illness and I have it bad. This photography business is what has taken me to the edge. There is always something to do, something to finish, someone to call, someone to photograph. Although I love every moment, at times it is a bit much.

I sometimes yearn for those days prior to my photography gig, I can’t even recall what my life was like back then. What was I doing with all my time? I realize now that time is a real luxury item, and being a lover of luxury, I am going to have to figure out a way to tap back into those leisure days.

I don’t like getting sucked into that crazy busyness that causes anxiety and stress. Time is precious and I don’t want to miss out on the simple things that busyness blocks. Like my blog space, I made a commitment to be consistent this year- and those of you that follow, know I have made good on that promise. My blog is my guilty pleasure- I do it no matter if one person stops by or a bunch.

So, I’m going to restructure and figure out what works for me, which is going to look like a max of 8 clients per month- a number that I can give an incredible experience from start to finish and still have my life and time to do what I want to do…a selfish move but at 56 there are so many more important things that I don’t want to miss out on…

How do you manage you time? Can a person have it all? Do you have the busyness disease? How do you treat it, I’d love to know…

Happy Thursday!

Gigi


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