Friday, January 31, 2014

Beauty Photography - Selfies Dove Campaign: Beauty Is #beautyis

I love how portrait photography has the power to help women feel more confident and realize how beautiful they are. These days, DOVE is coming up with awesome Beauty Self Esteem Campaigns. This is one of their most recent videos that I stumbled upon the other day. I take selfies all the time and more often than not, I end up taking 20 pictures just to get that one that I really like. How picky we are!! I'm a big fan of the selfie in the mirror haha because I can actually see what I'm taking a picture of. Today, at lunchtime I went into the bathroom mirror and snapped away on my iPhone until I created an excessive collection of beautiful me-photos. I've added a fun filter but I didn't do any retouching - not that I need it ;) You can check out my selfie photo shoot below. Geeze we're a strange generation haha. Check out the video and go snap your own selfie my friends!

And of course, I can never resist a good retouching session so I let my crazy retouching skills loose on my own selfie. I'll admit it is very fun to see all the changes I can make in Photoshop - totally transforming my appearance into something totally different. In the retouched photo, I just did the stereotypical magazine types of retouching — smoothing skin, enlarging eyes, slimming face, lengthening limbs, slimming waist, etc.... I was totally happy with the way I looked in the originally and although I admit it would be nice to shed a few pounds, even after seeing the overly-retouched me, I'm still feeling very content with the original version...thankfully.

Strange though... at first, the retouched one looked so unnatural to me - maybe that's just because I'm not used to seeing myself so "lean"! But then.... the more I stared at it, something in my mind started to change. After writing this blog post, I thought the retouched picture definitely looked better. It was an adjustment - like how we've all adjusted to seeing supermodels in magazines as a "normal" body. At first I thought I looked too skinny in the retouched photo but only 5 minutes later and I'd adjusting to thinking that version looked more normal and better!

Of course, there is a part of me that wants to look like the retouched image because it reminds me of what I'd see in magazines / TV. But that's just the insecure part of me that wants to look different and lose weight and be admired by all. I have to keep reminding myself that at first glance, the first time I saw the retouched photo, my first thought was "I look like I'm sucking it all in." LOL :P What a joke! Media imagery is so messed up!

Share your selfie and hashtag #beautyis!

Monday, January 20, 2014

{Grateful on Sunday} Rainbows, Commuting, & Burgers!

This week I'm grateful for the ring holder that my grandma gave me for Christmas, 

 beautiful sunsets, 

tasty salad bar lunches with Miggy,

a birthday date (gift from my mom) to the Ulalena show & dinner at the Lahaina Fish Company,

peaceful libraries, 


and more rainbows, 

my lunchtime walks that take me up into the hills,

homemade cheesecake,

walking in the waves, 

buganvilla bushes,

palm tree forests, 

morning walks on the beach before work, 

 watching the sunset from the deck at Starbucks,

our cute little car,

my beautiful commute everyday, 

editing more photos from the Starbucks deck,

my commute that takes me through tree tunnels & gives me great views of the mountains,

the new baby (wild) chickens in the neighborhood,

getting organized,

green smoothies from Wholefoods (tastes so healthy!),

my new GIANT jar of pretzels (I'm my grandma's granddaughter haha),

our current obsession with burgers,

having a fridge full of food.

What are you grateful for this week?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Maui Beauty Portraits in the Buganvilla Bushes

Jenny found me for her beauty portraits through a Craigslist ad that I put out to the island of Maui asking for women to volunteer for photo shoots. I have all these ideas for fun places to photograph women on the island and my #1 goal since the day I arrived in Hawaii was to get the buganvilla bushes involved. These gorgeous colorful flower bushes grow alongside all the roads all over the island. They come in pink and cream and orange but the vision brewing in my mind was alllll about the purple! Around the corner from our house is an entire wall of purple buganvilla bushes so when Jenny met me at the beach last Sunday, I had it all planned out. We curled her hair, drew on the eyeliner, pulled on a pretty white sweater (trying to not to mess up her hair) and slid on some golden bangles. All ready to go! (Eventually, the sweater came off and we wrapped her up in a white lace scarf.) We crossed the road and got out pose on in the bushes! We had a sweet old man walk by and offer to take our photo together. haha At the time I explained that it was a photo shoot so I didn't really feel the need to jump in front of the camera but in retrospect I totally wish I had just said yes because that would be a fun photo to have. That's definitely a life lesson I've been learning a lot recently - 99% of the time it's worth saying yes, even when you feel like saying no. Anywho, I'm super stoked about Jenny's portraits. She's such a beautiful woman (I loved her curly strawberry hair) and I finally get to check 'Buganvilla Bushes' off of my to-do list - woohoo!! :D
Chamonix Thurston-Rattue — Beauty Portraits
Chamonix Thurston-Rattue — Maui Portraits
Chamonix Thurston-Rattue — Maui Portraits
Chamonix Thurston-Rattue — Maui Portraits
Chamonix Thurston-Rattue — Maui Portraits
Chamonix Thurston-Rattue — Maui Portraits
Chamonix Thurston-Rattue — Maui Portraits
Chamonix Thurston-Rattue — Maui Portraits
Chamonix Thurston-Rattue — Maui Portraits

The fun didn't stop with the Buganvilla bushes — Jenny and I had more adventures together in the forest across the road. She was climbing up trees and posing inside palm trees. Check back later this week for the rest of her photos!

Want more? Check out my last blog post which was all about my wonderful daily commute in Maui that makes me smile :D hehe

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Appreciating My Commute & Contagious Smiles

My favorite part of my day is my commute. Not something you normally hear people say, right? But it is. I live in Maui and I spend most of my time behind a computer or asleep in a little studio without a view. But when I'm commuting to work or to photo shoots, I'm breezing along in my convertible with the Hawaiian sunshine above me (and sometimes the Hawaiian tropical rainstorms drenching me until I'm sitting in a puddle. I love the breeze in my face and looking up at the palm trees that line the sides of the road. I can listen to music or audiobooks and lately I've enjoying silence. It's my time to be quiet and think. I have beautiful views of the island as I zoom around and I'm usually out driving just after sunrise and before sunset so the colors in the sky are beautiful. 

Tonight, on my drive home from work (in silence with my head full of thoughts) I was behind a big pick up truck. In the back of the truck, two women were riding together and chatting the whole way from Wailuku to Kihei. The closer we got to my street, the more they laughed. They were smiling and gesturing to each other in a way that made me think they were teasing each other. Because of those two ladies who were enjoying the company of friendship, I smiled my whole way home. Smiles are contagious. 

Check out my last blog post: Three Generations of Men in a Woman's Portrait Studio

Friday, January 10, 2014

Three Generations of Men in a Women's Portrait Studio

Earlier this year, I photographed my brother, dad & grandfather. I was in Seattle at my parents house and my grandfather was visiting us from England for a few weeks. I'd been photographing multiple generations of women a lot at that time and we realized that when you have multiple generations gathered together it is important to make sure you put the camera to use. Don't miss out on these fleeting opportunities to photograph families together. The men didn't take much convincing but they also didn't exactly skip into the studio with pigtails and balloons. The three of them sat on the couch, staring at me, wondering what to do. I had no idea what to do with three men. They were after all sitting in the middle of a women's portrait studio. I had one vision in mind — I wanted them all dressed in handsome black suits with white shirts. It was important to the three of them to be photographed together in their cricket sweaters. So we did both. I pulled out my black backgrounds and grabbed a swiveling piano stool. The men were wandering around the studio trying to tuck in their shirts, fasten ties, and pull on socks — we photographed them in socks, no shoes, because I knew I'd be cropping off their feet. ha! There was a lot of joking around but in the end we managed to woe out their inner supermodels.


Thank you so much you three for putting up with me and my 'creative vision'. I'm so happy you like your images and I'm thrilled that you've had them printed and framed! Now we can enjoy them forever with wonderful peace of mind!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Business Books for Photographers — The E-Myth Revisited

The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber is a MUST READ for business owners. In fact, I might even go so far as to say you should NOT start your business (or continue to run your business) until you have read this book cover to cover! 

What really hooked me was the first few chapters that explained how most people go about starting & running their new small businesses. I felt like Mr. Gerber had ripped some pages out of my journal or printed off some of my blog posts. Everything I'd been through during my first year of business, all the feelings of fear, intimidation, excitement, confusion, overwhelmedness (whats the noun for overwhelm?) and hopelessness.... he painted a perfect picture of my experience. Word for word sometimes. I figured, if he knew my past so well, he probably has something very valuable to say about my future. So, I kept reading.

For three days, I laid beneath a palm tree at the beach near my house and read with my notebook nearby. Half way through the book, I created an Excel spreadsheet to bring some order to all my notes and thoughts. By the time I closed the cover, I had developed a preliminary (though extensive) outline to two businesses! This book held my hand and guided me from a state of overwhelmedness (it's officially a new word now hehe) to a state of clarity and confidence. I now know exactly why I want to be in business, how big my business will grow to be, how much I need to charge for photo shoots and what I need focus my energy right now. Thank you Michael Gerber! 

Have you read The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber? 
Was it helpful for you? 
What are your thoughts?
Do you have a business book you prefer to The E-Myth Revisited?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

{Grateful on Sunday} Lying Beneath Palm Trees

I've had a bundle of days off these last few weeks for the holidays and I have loved spending my days lying outside on the beach enjoying the beautiful Maui weather. I've been diving into my business books and audiobook novels too! I'm gradually working my way through The Count of Monte Cristo on audiobook. :) Other than that, I've been busy photographing weddings and portraits on the beach. 

This week I am grateful for, rocks that are warm in the sunshine,

a late night dinner date with Miggy, 

my favourite spot underneath the small palm tree at Waipuilani Beach Park,

Waipuilani Park - right next to my house, 

staring up at palm trees leaves blowing in the breeze,

my green juice :D

this book :)

my friend Naomi :D

working in the office with the doors open and feeling the wind blow in :D

What are you grateful for this week?