When Things Fall Apart

'Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it.  Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we like to dream about'. - Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart


My world is falling apart. Again. But this time, I had a realization. And it was huge: It occurred to me that life is constantly falling apart; sometimes in grandiose ways and sometimes with almost imperceptible ripples. And then I put it together again. And then it falls apart. Again.

This pointed me in the direction of the root of my suffering: trying to stop things from falling apart! I can't. I need instead to focus on learning the lesson that the falling apart is trying to teach me, and face the habitual patterns that are invoking some of those major melt downs.

 I will be 40 next year. I tell myself that at this age I shoulda coulda woulda, but all that does is put me down when I see that I haven't didn't am not. Maybe that wasn't the path for me. Maybe there are reason why I am not there, some that I can work with and some that are totally out of my control. I have this idea that you can "manipulate" your life (and yourself), that you can make your life be whatever you want it to be if you care enough and do the work. And that may be true, but it is a painful process, and a nearly impossible one if what you want your life to be is at odds with your circumstances. Then it is VERY painful, and the more you try to avoid that pain the more you will fail, the more you will deviate from living that life, and the more your process of building that life will look like a series of unwanted falling apart experiences.

It may sound that not having a project, not wanting to build your life into anything and just letting it run its course is not painful. But things will still fall apart, and we'll still need to learn to stop trying to make it stop doing so.

I don't know yet if this realization will take me down a path a reinventing my life yet again, maybe this time with better objectives and a better grip on my habitual patterns, or if what I need is to face my life as it is and start living it. Some more retrospection is needed. But no matter what I do, I need to be A LOT more gentle with myself, and work on the small changes of mind that will allow me to enjoy what I have and what I do and who I am, and either sit with it or use it as the base for my next leap. And expect the fall out. And continue being gentle through it all.

 Piece of cake, right?  I can do this.

Contemporary Portraits: Emily

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There is so much I want to write about this session. About the subtle connection between Emily and John. About his relaxed style and speckled shirt, and her hip haircut and busy life. But I’ll just share with you how Emily’s struggle with something as simple, and as complex, as being in a frame illustrates beautifully why I do what I do.

I approached Emily at the restaurant where she works in town, one of my family’s favorite spots to grab a bite. She was behind the bar, rushing to get orders in, big-framed glasses masquerading her lively eyes, huge hoops dangling from her ears. I could see a bright, energetic woman and I wanted to get her in front of my lens right there, right then. Shining through the heaviness of her odd-hours job on her shoulders; with the strength of her young years, a strength she doesn’t even know she has. I waited for a moment where she grabbed a sip of water and I extended my card to her. I gave her my speech, smiled, and walked away. I can tell she was surprised, most women are when I tell them I want to photograph them, like if they can’t believe that they are worthy to exist in photos.

When we met for our consultation, I run several scenarios for her: come over with friends, her partner, create a situation that felt safe, non-awkward, which I sensed was necessary for a mind like Emily’s to go forward. But she was excited, and brave, and we scheduled the session with the option of her man joining her at the end. I wasn’t that surprised when she called to cancel a couple of days before we were to meet at the studio. She told me her mind was not in the right place to feel beautiful and enjoy the experience. So I stepped aside, and graciously gave her the space to feel what she was feeling. I let her know I was on board if and when she was. I wanted to show her so desperately what I saw, which she couldn’t see, but I had to give her the time she needed to get there herself. The morning of, she texted: “let’s do this”. Or something to that effect.

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Sometimes our minds take over the reality of our precious lives. We are bombarded every day with messages that put us down, tell us we are not worthy, make it sound ridiculous that we would have images of ourselves, images that look back at us and remind us of our beauty, our value, our worth. I am in awe of every woman who steps past the enemy lines and agrees to be herself, to be photographed as she is, to make friends with that moment of doubt.

Emily is one of those women.

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So You Know You Can Dance

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Calling all dancers!

If you dance, whether you have experience, formal training, or neither, we want to hear from you. Lightfolly Portraits is looking for a dancer to lead our "So you know you can dance" campaign, launching this July. All ages and styles will be considered.

To participate, please go here and fill in the form with your information. Include a link to an up-to-30-second video of yourself doing what you know how to do. Because you know you can dance, right? Everybody can. Alternatively; send us an email to contact@lightfolly.com with your name, email address, phone number (use your guardian's info if you are a minor) and a brief note describing your relationship with dance: why you dance, what training you have, and why you'd like to be our campaign dancer. Include a link to your video.

The selected participant will get a complimentary photography session with us, digital images from his/her session, and a discount on future purchases. All participants will receive a discount to be used towards a future session. Applications will be accepted through June 17th.

Contact us with any questions, and share this post with any dancers who you think would like to participate. I can't wait to see you move that body of yours!

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Be a Boss Lady

April is the month I turned 39. Holding fervently to my 30s, and looking back at all that has happened in my life and my business, I couldn't help it but look forward at my plans for the coming year. April is also the month I gave myself to think about small businesses, including my own, and how I couldn't have done made Lightfolly what it is today without the support of all the strong women in mine and my company's life.

One of the greatest pleasures I've had in the last four years is to have had many of those women in my studio. When compiling my Personal Branding portfolio recently, as I prepared the campaign for my upcoming Head Shots Marathon (on April 24th; have you booked your spot yet?!) I realized that many of these women are business owners, and/or represent a brand/organization, and I was privileged to create their head shots, whether they booked a Personal Branding session with me or not. That's the magic of what we do at Lightfolly: book us and you'll walk away with a variety of images, that you can keep as personal keepsakes and professional images.

I want to share these boss ladies with you today. They are the joy of my business.

 Trey Sherwood, Executive Director @ Laramie Mainstreet

Trey Sherwood, Executive Director @ Laramie Mainstreet

 Jessica Brauer, Communications Coordinator @ Laramie Mainstreet

Jessica Brauer, Communications Coordinator @ Laramie Mainstreet

 Vanessa Stines, Baker @ Sweets Cakes and Pastry

Vanessa Stines, Baker @ Sweets Cakes and Pastry

 Lori Kirk, Owner @ Cowgirl Yarn

Lori Kirk, Owner @ Cowgirl Yarn

 Megan Jhonson, Owner and photographer @ Megan Lee Photo

Megan Jhonson, Owner and photographer @ Megan Lee Photo

 Audrey Jansen, Market Researcher @ SBDC

Audrey Jansen, Market Researcher @ SBDC

 Melodie Edwards, Reporter @ Wyoming Public Media

Melodie Edwards, Reporter @ Wyoming Public Media

 Rebecca Cassity, Owner @ Serendipity Confections

Rebecca Cassity, Owner @ Serendipity Confections

 Diana Elterman, Owner and Yoga Instructor @ Ahimsa (previously Hot Power Yoga)

Diana Elterman, Owner and Yoga Instructor @ Ahimsa (previously Hot Power Yoga)

 Katie Hogarty, Program Director @ Climb Wyoming

Katie Hogarty, Program Director @ Climb Wyoming

 Rachelle Barkhurst, Owner @ Rachelle Rose Design

Rachelle Barkhurst, Owner @ Rachelle Rose Design

 Emily Brown, Co-owner @ Dirtbags

Emily Brown, Co-owner @ Dirtbags

 Kodi Davis, Head Baker and Owner @ Sweets Cakes & Pastry

Kodi Davis, Head Baker and Owner @ Sweets Cakes & Pastry

 Carly Ann Carruthers, Historic Preservation Specialist @ Laramie Mainstreet

Carly Ann Carruthers, Historic Preservation Specialist @ Laramie Mainstreet

 Shelby Page, Baker @ Sweets Cakes & Pastry

Shelby Page, Baker @ Sweets Cakes & Pastry

 Robin McIntyre, Hair Stylist @ Luna Salon & Spa (and Lightfolly)

Robin McIntyre, Hair Stylist @ Luna Salon & Spa (and Lightfolly)

 Devon O'Connell, Attorney at Law @ Pence & MacMillan

Devon O'Connell, Attorney at Law @ Pence & MacMillan

Head Shots Marathon

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Our Head Shots Marathon is coming to you Tuesday, April 24th, and we couldn't be more excited! Get all the beauty of our Personal Branding sessions, for almost half the price.

How does it work? Choose a time from 11:15 am to 2:30 pm and call us (307-703-8118) or contact us to book a slot. The first 45 minutes our stylists will do your hair and makeup to enhance that look of the boss you are. For the next 45 minutes I'll direct you in front of my lens, and we'll get that confident inner you to shine through. Each Personal Branding mini session is $247 and it includes a consultation soirée, the hair styling and makeup artistry, 2 retouched digital images of your choice, and a $100 credit towards additional purchases. Which means: bring your little black dress ladies, because there will be time at the end of your Head Shot shoot to get that piece for your mantle, and you will want it!

These sessions are for you, who hate that image of yourself that uncle Bob took and you are currently using on your website. For you, who are ready for invest in your new company but don't want to break the bank because you are just starting. For you, who has been trying to decide between a Personal Branding session and a Contemporary Portrait of yourself. Call us today and book your slot for April 24th, and get your brand to the next level. You deserve it.

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Intimate Portraits: Kodi

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Glasses are sexy. Curves are sexy. Getting out of your comfort zone is incredibly sexy.

Kodi had been thinking of getting some intimate portraits for a while, and when we announced our Valentine's Minis at the beginning of the month, she jumped right in. She wanted to give her hubby quite the surprise, and oh boy, did she! Not because he doesn't know her, or her beauty, or her body. But because when you have a family and you run a business and you are a badass of a lady, it is so easy to put yourself last and to celebrate everybody around you before celebrating yourself.

If you are struggling to find the time, the confidence, the way to put yourself at the top of the priority list, take a look at these images that Kodi has graciously allowed us to share, and then grab a pencil and move your name all the way up there, above the diaper changing and the networking meeting for once: you deserve it.

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Intimate Portraits: Erin

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I am at the threshold of my 40s. Every new decade seems so promising to me; I rarely struggle with the transition but rather look forward to the possibilities. And that is how Erin is facing her 40s. She has two daughters, a red-furred dog, a quaint little house in the tree area, and she decided it was time to exist in photos and unveil her beauty.

I always delight in women who just are. She was wrapped in white cotton, quietly laying on the mattress while I tested for light, and she would look up at me and blink a couple of times as I gave her directions, then she would pause and smile. "Relax your mouth" I'd say, and she would just be, she would simply exist for that second, crystallized by my lens with the light on her hair, and I could not contain my own smile as I looked at the back of the camera and saw her being, her eyes smiling back at me.

Be like Erin; come celebrate your entry into the 40s with us!

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