Its been a year! I am totally sporadic with this blog but hey, sporadic is my middle name (owning that hehe). I have taken SOOO many pictures in the last 15 months! My comfort level behind the camera is at an all time high, and the feedback I'm getting from clients is unbelievable. I can now confidently say that I have a clearly defined photography style and I am extremely proud of the work I've put out thus far. As far as my vintage shop, I've been digging and have found the most amazing vintage clothes from here to L.A. My shop is dropping names like Christian Dior, Yves St. Laurent, Dianne Von Furstenberg and more. In the process, I have seriously developed my own personal style. Not to mention, I recently launched a website and acquired a photography studio space. Ok, obviously I'm not going to just breeze by those two MAJOR happenings in my life, so settle in; this is going to be a long one! I've decided to split this up into two separate parts, so welcome to Bella Amori 2016...Part 1- Something New.
Since I last posted, I have wrapped my head around the fact that I am now a professional photographer. The more I shoot, the more my passion grows. My advantage is that I have always been a person that sees beauty in much of the world. In May, I took a trip to L.A. to visit my cousin. Don't laugh, but that was my furthest trip to date. It was a lengthy flight, and I nodded of during the second half, traveling from Charlotte to L.A. Upon waking up, I glanced out of my tiny plane window to find not only sky and clouds, but below me was miles upon miles of desert. It was absolutely breathtaking and it definitely choked me up. In that moment, I felt such pure love and appreciation for our earth, for the universe and for all the beauty of mankind. Yes, it was that deep for me. In the future, I wish nothing more than to travel and photograph the world. Seeing and encountering different people and places is my ultimate dream. We are all part of the universe and we are all beautiful. It is so fulfilling to bring out a persons beauty in a photograph, my job is amazing. Without further adieu, Here is some of my work from this year!
BELLA AMORI PHOTOGRAPHY 2016
you are your own worst enemy
First, I have to say that I am continuing to meditate, I believe so strongly in the law of attraction. I believe that positivity is so essential but lets be honest, sometimes its so hard. Sometimes I still seriously doubt my talent, doubt the fact that I will ever be successful. On those days, I remember the words of Abraham Hicks and try my hardest to focus my attention on something that always makes me happy. Sometimes you form these unconscious rules behind your greatest challenges. Hearing others criticisms that an insecure part of you may agree with can hurt. Though you keep a brave face on the outside, internally you store those words away and they begin to eat at your confidence. People support you until its time to push to the next level and you find yourself back on your own, wondering what went wrong. But in reality, its not them. You are your own worst enemy. One of my favorite quotes that I heard motivational speaker Les brown say is "If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm."
Around the beginning of the year, I was doubting myself like crazy. One fruitless night, I hunkered down in front of the television and watched a documentary on Netflix called "Women's List." This particular documentary told the stories of several successful women, but one woman in particular stood out to me. Sarah Blakely, the founder of the now infamous women's figure contouring company, Spanx. She described how she as unhappy with the way her butt looked in jeans and wanted to figure out how she could make it look better. So she came up with this awesome idea for a type of footless pantyhose. Fearing rejection, she didn't tell anyone for an entire year. In that year, she developed a prototype for her product. When she finally decided to tell her family, they laughed at her. They said "if people wanted footless pantyhose, they would already exist." Not even her family believed in her. But she had already been at it for a year and she decided to push on. Now, she's one of the richest women on the planet, and in the process has helped women feel beautiful when they wear her product. Had she put weight into her family's reaction, Spanx may have never existed.
WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?
For months, I had been thinking of selling my vintage clothes on another platform besides Etsy. I yearned for my own creative space in which to sell my products. My own platform. But there was that nagging voice again... Could I really put together a whole website on my own? How would I find the time to get this done? Etsy was so easy, everyone knows Etsy, everyone goes there to shop and my store is just one click away on their website, was I ready to lose sales and essentially start over again? It would just have been so easy to stay there. However, that voice in my head just kept getting louder and propelled me forward. So in January, I took down all of my Etsy listings to save the inventory for my own site...Bellaamori.com. I began the process of going through my vintage inventory and keeping only the high quality, era indicative pieces from my collection and donated the rest. But I was missing something. Me.
My style has always been a blend of vintage and modern. If you have read my earlier posts, I grew up in a household that shopped in thrift stores and we "made it work." So I've always taken classic pieces and mixed them with modern looks. For some deep internal reason I may never figure out, I have to be different. I have always sort of felt like an alien wherever I am. I took that inspiration and played off of it. I decided to include some really cool, out of this world modern fashion in with my vintage pieces. So I found a supplier and ordered some rad socks, and I even made my own t-shirts that are very indicative of me as a person and that I hoped many weird/different people out there could appreciate. Below are some of the new products on my site.
INTRO TO PART 2 - MAKING IT HAPPEN
I started visiting the top vintage and modern apparel websites to get ideas on photography for the site. Clearly, I needed to set up a shoot dedicated solely to Bella Amori. I set a date, and I reached out to my model friends, fellow entrepreneurs and most importantly, friends and family. I styled and took pictures of every outfit to add to my itinerary, cataloged and bagged all outfits, as well as indicating how I wanted the make-up and what exact location we would shoot each look. My girlfriend Alissa and I took a few hours to ride around scouting locations and at the last minute, we stumbled upon the perfect location. It was a hidden public park right under the Jordan bridge and it was absolutely breathtaking. We found the spot. And that is where I will leave it. Please check in next time for my upcoming blog Bella Amori 2016 -Part 2 - Something New to hear more about what I have been doing this year!