What I learned this year and what made a difference.

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What I learned this year and what made a difference.

It’s been a whole year since my last one of these. Holy frijoles. That means that it has been a little over a year that I have started blogging, writing, and sharing my creative learnings with all of you. 

Thank you. Thank you for being here and participating and sharing your own thoughts. I can’t wait to see how it grows in the upcoming 2019

I am going to do my yearly resource blog post, however I am going to do a bit of a twist to it. You can see my list of books, courses, and inspiring people from this year,  but also see why I chose to tell you about them and whether they are for you or someone you know. Cause…that’s what this whole thing is about…sharing what I learned to see if it is of any help to you. 

I will go through:

  • Books & Audio Books
  • E-courses I’ve learned from
  • Artists & Inspiring People
  • Other resources!


I want to give myself a virtual (or real) pat on the back. I’ve done a lot of creating and made a number of products for you all to enjoy (both free and paid.) Here is a quick round-up with links so you can check them out if you missed it:
How The F To Use This Camera extensive e-course.
How to Tell a Story with Photographs e-course.
Art Making as Self Care e-course.
Photoshoot Pep Talk ebook
Posing Tips & Wardrobe Tricks

I am excited to show you what I am planning in 2019! I have more projects and events and so much more content for the blog and images to share. 

Books & Audio Books

I feel like I can gauge my mental health by seeing how much I read in a year. The years that I am not doing so well, I don’t read anything. When I am feeling creative and happy, I read a TON. Here are the books that I read this year that stood out to me:

A New Earth: Awakening Your Life’s Purpose
This book is important. I will read and re-read it over and over. This book has helped me begin my journey with not identifying with roles that we place ourselves in- from social roles like daughter, career based roles like Photographer, or even the fact that your physical body does not define who you are as a being. I feel like there is so much in this book and that I will need to visit it again and again to get as much as I can from it.

Some wonderful quotes from the book:

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but you thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking.” 

― Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

“Whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you are withholding from the world.” 

― Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

The 4 Hour Workweek
I finally read this one! This book was full of useful information about wealth building, reclaiming your time, and ultimately your freedom. I will say sometimes I felt overwhelmed with the amount that is possible to do, but what is important is to take something from this book and apply it, even if it is the overall idea that wealth is more than the money you make, but the time you have and ability to enjoy your existence. 

Succulent Wild Love & Succulent Wild Woman
Both of these books were gifted to me from Mary, and seriously, what an awesome gift. We often grow up without some of the most important lessons on how to maintain and create meaningful relationships…with others and ourselves. We often are told that we are too much, that we should shrink and please only others, and that relationships always require constant compromise (which means no one really gets what they want). Turns out you can have what you want and so can the other person too! Plus, SARK (the author) is just amazing and the books are riddled with fun illustrations. 

“A succulent wild woman is one of any age who feels free to fully express herself in every dimension of her life.” 

― SARK, Succulent Wild Woman

Big Magic
This book is about trusting your inner self to lead you to do what brings meaning with creativity. I read this book at the beginning of the year and it definitely helped kickstart my creative furry that ensued. I  have done many things this year because I just did it. I had an idea and I was like, people may not like it, people might think that I’m arrogant, or people may not buy it or read my blog posts, or even care about the images I am making…but you know what, do it any way because it provides value. 

“Recognizing that people’s reactions don’t belong to you is the only sane way to create. If people enjoy what you’ve created, terrific. If people ignore what you’ve created, too bad. If people misunderstand what you’ve created, don’t sweat it. And what if people absolutely hate what you’ve created? What if people attack you with savage vitriol, and insult your intelligence, and malign your motives, and drag your good name through the mud? Just smile sweetly and suggest – as politely as you possibly can – that they go make their own fucking art. Then stubbornly continue making yours.” 

― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Choose Wonder Over Worry
I really loved this book. I had been seeing it crop up on social media and I finally decided to give it a go. The book is sectioned off into different chapters that are themed by a different worry. In each chapter the author, Amber Rae, is so vulnerable and tells how each worry has impacted her life and how she transformed it. I connected so much with this book and I would 100% recommend it to everyone.


Wonderlass’ 5 Day Profit Plan
Seriously, she is amazing and I appreciate her! I mean, she is a photographer turned blogger sooo….pretty relevant. However, her 5 day profit plan is how I moved from being insanely overwhelmed with no idea what to work on to having a clear vision of where I want to take my business and how to get there. I have been able to make sure that everything I am doing matches up to my goals and work on the things that matter…and save the rest of my energy for petting my cat, taking photos, and making delicious vegan food. Check it out. It’s a freeeeeee course!

30 days to 60k Email course by The Middle Finger Project
You might have heard me talk about Ash at The Middle Finger Project before, but her blog and she herself…is gold. I love reading her work, learning from her, and I can’t wait to see what she does next (rumor has it a book)! This drip course is 30 days with a tip each day to make your business better, from website updates to sales and networking. You can sign up for it on  her website (link above). She also has a package on sale right now for templates that you can send to clients and vendors to help you stop feeling like you have no idea what you are doing. Check out her business scripts.

Artists & Other Inspiring People!

I like sharing with you the new people I have come across this year and who is inspiring me now. There are a ton of new ones! I would love to know if you follow them as well or if you have any artists or people I should know about. 🙂 

Sorrelle Amore
I love her. Seriously. LUV. She is a self-taught photographer, full-time traveler, and dorky, fun content creator. She inspires me every time I check her channel, and keeps me motivated to start the video/Youtube game. I’m doing it this year! Check out her Youtube! 

Jinti Fell
Jinti is a super authentic and down to earth Youtuber. I found her when I started obsessing over vanlife, and have continued following her from travel full time, to staying stationary for awhile, and then building their customer bus to start traveling again. Her family often posts day in the life and heart to hears about appreciate the moment that we are in and just being. 

Gina Harrison
You may know her, if you don’t you should definitely check her out as her art is a.s.t.o.n.i.s.h.i.ng. I first became aware of her work through the Kat Von D Muses’ series and have been following her work ever since. There are a lot of seriously vulnerable moments in her work, where she discusses mental illness and embraces transformation. <3 Also performance art. 

Rachel Dashae
Funny, I remember meeting Rachel when I first got started in photography, but I was in no way confident enough to ask to book her at the time. She continues to make amazing artwork through her modeling but also as a photographer. I am contemplating having her do my new head shots!

That’s a long list! I am excited that there has been so much learning, inspiration, and growth in 2018. It has been a year of life, death, feeling stagnant and then experiencing rapid growth. I want to hear about your year! What relationships have you started or ended, how about the lessons you have learned? 

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