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

photography

If I were truly Brave…

Posted on by Gigi in My Life 2 Comments

If I were truly brave, I would pursue fashion photography and travel photography, but I’ve been telling myself I can’t because I’m to OLD, I don’t have enough experience, I don’t know the right people, and it would probably never eva happen. Really, though, the worst thing that could happen is I would fail, not get any commissions, hmmmmm go on a fabulous trips and take pictures.

BALI

 

My bravest friend, Molly would tell me to go for it, what do you have to lose? Your kids are grown, and you are at a place where you can take risks with no consequences. And at our age it takes a lot to break us down, so just go for it! And you are in a position where you don’t have to work a job that is not related to your passion…you are fortunate that you can do what your love everyday.

But I’m afraid other people, like “some established photographers” will say you don’t know enough, you don’t have the skills or experience or contacts. This is a young photographers “game” or a photographer with a solid track record in the industry and there is NO WAY you can break in…it’s to late for you!

Gigi

If that happens, I’ll respond by saying, I can try and do some “free” work for some up and coming designers that may need a look book, I can reach out to some fashion bloggers that may want to be photographed (working with one in March), I can set up sessions with models that are looking to build their portfolio, I can take images when I travel and start building a portfolio (I already do)  , I can reach out to online travel sites that hire freelance photographers.

If I want to begin pursuing fashion and travel right this minute, I can set up some sessions with a couple of models that reached out to me on instagram. Then, over the next few months, I can take pictures on upcoming trips, and start building a travel portfolio and fashion one as well. Even if no one ever hires me or gives me a chance, I won’t give up because the worse thing that can happen I’ll just be shooting gorgeous pictures for myself! I love to travel and I always take pictures anyway. I love going to fashion week and shooting just because, so I really have nothing to lose!

If you were truly brave what would you do? And what steps would you take?

XoXO,

GIGI

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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


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


Passion

Posted on by Gigi in Inspiration Comments Off on Passion
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quote

What gets you excited about life? Finding your passion is like finding the love of your life. You may have some false starts, a divorce, a second  or third marriage, a live in lover, or maybe you are still searching, and  that is okay. When you find it, you will know and there will be no doubt.

Photography is my passion! I love what I do- there is something magical about documenting a moment, a smile, a connection in someone’s life- or snapping a stranger on the street and looking at that photo later and being moved for some reason.

Gigi

Gigi

Once you find your true calling, it is always there. My passion warms my soul and gives my life purpose. I wake up thinking about something photography related everyday. I drive around and I’m always distracted by something on the street that I want to photograph, and next thing I know I’m taking a detour.

I’m so fortunate to have a supportive partner, who gets it, one that has made it possible for me to make my passion a reality with no restriction. Without my husband Reggie none of what I’m doing would be possible.

Finding your passion does not mean you have found your nirvana, it is a growing process, that at times you will question, like when I don’t have a client for weeks, or I can’t master that lighting like Annie Leibovitz. But then there are those days when you put a woman in a ball gown, and she transforms into a princess and you know you have changed her life, watching her discover her beauty that she had been discounting for the past years, because society told her that middle aged women are not beautiful. I shoot for those moments.

If you too are fortunate enough to have found your passion, be willing to share and give to others. Be willing to inspire someone else in their journey.

And if you have not found your passion, don’t give up, like me perhaps you will finally find it in your 50’s and that is okay, just as long as you find it and embrace the process and let it seduce you…

What are you passionate about? How and when did you discover your passion? Are you still searching for your passion?

Happy Tuesday!

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


Gigi in Atlanta

Posted on by Gigi in photography 4 Comments
Gigi & Tea

Gigi & Tea

Happy Monday! Hope you had a wonderful weekend. I’m traveling solo this week. I’m at a photography trade show in Atlanta, a city I have only visited a couple of times. Although I looooove traveling with my husband and family it is nice to travel alone occasionally. I decided to go to this conference at the last minute, not realizing that all the host hotels were sold out, so as a result I am staying at  the Ritz Carlton, which is away from all the activity, which is kind of nice.

My Room

My Room- serene-

Ritz

Thank goodness for my big coat!

The weather is really cold- freezing and windy, but I’m prepared for the most part. I don’t have a hat, but my hair is not really hat friendly.

uhm- not hat friendly at all

uhm- not hat friendly at all

I don’t know anybody here, so I’m floating about anonymously, which is kind of nice. I can be an observer and concentrate on absorbing the knowledge I came here to receive. I have all my electronics with me so I have plenty to keep myself busy.

One of the highlights of the day was the keynote speaker, Amy Purdy, the young woman who at age 19 contracted a form of meningitis and as a result both of her legs had to be amputated below the knee, she lost both her kidneys, and her spleen had to be removed.

She is an actress, model, world-class snowboarder and 2014 Paralympic bronze medalist, professional speaker, clothing designer, past contestant on Dancing with the Stars, and author of On My Own Two Feet: From Losing My Legs To Learning The Dance Of Life.

She made me realize there really is no excuse- we all have the ability to do and be successful at whatever we envision no matter what blocks may be in the way.

Check out her Ted Talk…and you will see what I mean.

Well I have to be up early to start my classes, so signing out-

xoxo,

Gigi


QUOTE

Posted on by Gigi in Quotes Comments Off on QUOTE
Quote

Quote

This quote speaks to me, every time I pick up my camera and look through my lens, I know the history of all the images I have viewed, everything that has ever inspired me and influenced me is captured. This brain of mine has years and years of information stored, memories cataloged, and my own personal itunes library there as well.

Do your life experiences creep into your profession and influence your work?

Photographer Gigi

Photographer Gigi

Happy Wednesday!

Xoxo,

GIGI


QUOTE

Posted on by Gigi in Inspiration, photography, Quotes Comments Off on QUOTE

Love this Quote

YES!

YES!

You may get tired of this reoccurring theme in a lot of my posts, but it is so true, and once you embrace this concept you will see how life changing it can be. It does not have to be a different career, it could be something simple like going to a show by yourself, taking up a new hobby, a yoga class, going back to school,  just as long as you are doing something that you have “always wanted to do”. The real beauty of this is that if you do something and realize that perhaps it “is not all that” at least you tried and you had that experience.

I always loved photography, and always had my little point and shoot camera with me, nothing sophisticated, just an inexpensive camera I kept in my purse and pulled it out daily to capture moments and observations of my day and the kids and all the “cute” things that they did, btw this is before digital, so I have boxes and boxes of snapshots for each year…another project I need to address one day.

When my brother was alive we took a photography class together about 13 years ago, I remember because Amani was 10 and Reggie was 4 and at the time I could not juggle everything and it was not my time, so I dropped out of the class, however my brother became a professional photographer and changed his life. He departed earth almost 4 years ago, so I know it was my time to pick up where he left off, I know he is smiling looking down on me saying something like “You got this Sis, you can do this”…

GiGi

GiGi

So my friends, go do something YOU always wanted to do…let me know, I’d love to hear from you.

XOXO,

Gigi

 

 

 

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LIFE IS A SERIES OF SNAPSHOTS

Posted on by Gigi in American Life, My Life 4 Comments

I’m at an age where my friends parents are advancing in age and starting to have health challenges. This CANCER beast is out of control, touching everyone I know in some way. It certainly makes me appreciate every day my family and I wake up. I try and engage my life in a meaningful manner, stopping to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

Alaska sky

Alaska sky

Being a photographer I know life is a series of snapshots, images that represent a moment in our lives that will never be repeated. I’m obsessed with documenting life as it flashes by. My son used to get annoyed with me and say “Can’t we just do what we are doing? why do you have to take a picture?”.

For me relationships with my family and friends are so important. I may not have always been the “best friend” or family member, but I am always willing to work things out and apologize and move forward.

Yes, I love some material trappings like pretty shoes, leopard prints, sparkly baubles, and such, but at the end of the day it is the relationships with loved ones that really matter.

A few weeks ago my mother acquired some pictures from her cousin in San Francisco. I’m the default historian in the family and have always loved old photographs. Here are a few snapshots of my ancestors. I’m not sure of the identity of everyone, other than that are family members from my mother’s side. I hope 75 years from now there are families that will be sharing images that I captured through my lens…

my mom circa 1938

my mom circa 1938

This is my mom and her only brother and their aunt who took care of them for a few years. They were living in Mississippi during the Great Depression.

My mother's grandparents

My mother’s grandparents

This is my mom’s grandparents on her father’s side, the Elston family.

cowboy

cowboy

I’m not sure who this cowboy is, doing a little research-I love this picture.

family

family

I love the expressions, smiling on pictures is something that came about much later.

mom's family

mom’s family

Love the hair and the dress.

my mom's father-my grandfather

my mom’s father-my grandfather

My grandfather moved west via Mississippi do to some sort of scandal. He settled in the small town of Oroville   in northern California. I would love to know the story of how he and his family migrated to the bay area.

I hope 75 years from now some one is looking at my images sharing moments of a bygone era. I’m excited and looking forward to do family portrait sessions and capturing memories.

Happy weekend,

XOXO,

Gigi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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STREET PHOTOGRAPHERS

Posted on by Gigi in photography 3 Comments

I love street photography, perhaps it is the mystery of who are these people in these shots, and what were they thinking as they were captured by the lens.

I would love to dabble in street photography in the future, I’m intrigued by people, and could sit for hours in outdoor cafes observing people as they cruise by. There is truly an art to capturing someone for that perfect shot. I wonder if anyone gets upset when they discover they are being photographed. I’m not familiar with the legalities of street shooting, or if you have to get a release on the spot or what. I guess I will have to do the research and find out.

Enjoy…as some of my favorite street photographers talk about their favorite shot…

I plan to play around with this on my vacation this summer, stay tuned…

Xoxo,

Gigi

 

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I WANT A FLOSSY CAMERA BAG…

Posted on by Gigi in Fashion, photography Comments Off on I WANT A FLOSSY CAMERA BAG…

 

As you know, I love photography, and I love fashion, beauty, baubles, trinkets and all things sparkly, so you can imagine how much I dislike my camera bags, and I have a few, 2 which were freebies with a purchase and 2 that I purchased. So I said to myself I can’t be the only photographer who would like an “IT”  camera bag, something that does not scream expensive camera gear, especially when traveling and not wanting it to be so obvious that I am a tourist. So I did a little research and discovered a whole new camera bag world. Now I can’t decide what to get, here are my favs, perhaps you may find one that suits your fancy.

 

 

Chanel Bags

Chanel Inspired camera bag

 

Chanel Bags

The Bossi Bag color Gravel

THEIT; Bossu Bag 159.00 www.lovetheit.com

Love the “Chanel” inspired style. It holds camera body with grip, 2-4 lenses, flash, battery, phone, and of course lip gloss. manmade polyurethane also comes in black.

Pompidoo Bag

Pompidoo Cologne Bag

Pompidoo; Cologne Bag 282.66 Euro 370.00 US Dol www.pompidoo.com

This little bag could be the “going out on the town bag” it come in a host of colors, everything from apple green to hot pink and it is made out of leather. You would have to make some decisions as to what lens you wanted to use, but as you can see it can hold the 70-200 and a little lens or flash.

Jill E

Jill E

Jill E; Camera bag 209.99 www.jill-e.com

This bags have a nice “tote bag” look, fabric with suede and leather trim. Holds camera body, long lens and medium, or 2 -3 regular lenses, flash, batteries etc.

Kipling  Camera Bag

Kipling Camera Bag

Kipling Camera Bag

Kipling Camera Bag

Kipling; Style Scrapbook Camera Bag 92. Euro 150.00 US 120.00 www.kipling.com

I love this little bag, the problem is where to find it in the US. It is so adorable and holds camera and small lens. So chic…I want one for going out.

Kelly Moore Camera Bags

Kelly Moore Camera Bags

images-6 images-7

 

Kelly Moore; Bags range from 199.00-249.00 www.kellymoorebag.com

I absolutely love this line from the colors to the large size, they are fabulous! Most will hold a 15″ laptop in addition to pro camera body with grip, 2-3 lenses, flash, batteries and personal items.

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