Crosstown Concourse | Memphis Photographer | Senior: Molly

Where do you go when its raining and you have the sweetest senior portraits to take? Welp, I joined the Memphis photographers, and headed to Crosstown Concourse. This place has been called a “vertical urban village”. It has multiple atriums that reach to the sky, each floor occupied by organizations, businesses, and apartments. There is a sense of constant movement as the main floor has a coffee shop, a juice bar, and many restaurants. Within crosstown, is Crosstown Arts. They have incredible art exhibits all surrounding a vibrant grand stair case.

Now, enough about the building, lets chat about the beautiful girl. Molly Stelling. We go back, big time. Our parents were dear friends years before children came into the picture. Molly and I are of the younger ones of the pack. I grew up coming to Memphis every other summer, looking forward to running up and down their huge carpeted steps, chasing through the trees in their backyard, playing polly pockets, and who knows what else. She sent me an adorable memory last week (haha see below). She found all these books we made over summers. We designed, tinkered, and created our little hearts away. Really, Mols, you have been such a friend. I’m so so so proud of you. High school is just plain hard. Learning yourself, gaining confidence, facing real-life challenges, and building a community is hard. I am so excited to see where the Lord is taking you, and how he will use you in this new chapter. I’m praying zeal, faith, and endurance over you. May He reveal himself in more ways then one. I hope we never stop being friends and reminiscing on our hysterical adventures as children.

Go take the world, my dear. <3 He has us in His plans. No matter how dark, how alone, how rough it can get, we know our victory is in Him. We know his strength and glory. <3 Never be a stranger.

 

thanksgiving | no phone, no laptop, just mountains + family

I spent most of last week with my family in a cabin tucked away in the mountains. I decided a while back (with much encouragement) to take complete holiday. laptop free. phone free. WORK FREE. It sounds simple, it really does. Even I thought it was kind of a small order, but as the weeks went by… the to-do lists grew and the editing pile built.

So, that week I learned two things.

1. It’s okay to sprint, as long as you aren’t trying a marathon at that pace.

2. Some times the second mile isn’t in reach, and THAT’S OKAY. You just have to let certain things go. You can’t manage it all. No one hates you for being a small person, with 24 hours a day.

After a long-haul 4 a.m workday/night, I woke up Wednesday morning and quickly packed. We hit the ground around 8:00a.m. At about 8:15, I deleted instagarm, facebook, and snapchat, and turned off notifications for emails, messages, whatsapp, and phone calls. I was officially off the grid.

The get-away was wonderful. I took about 100 photos the whole week… which is shockingly low in my books. I went on my first few hikes without a camera in years. Feeling a new sense of bravery climbing rocks and looking over edges with the lack of camera-anxiety. I wasn’t quite aware just how much I don’t try or do with my camera strapped to me.

Even when I wanted to, I couldn’t reach for my computer to check an email, or edit even when I was in the “mood.” Instead, I did lots of yoga, reflection, reading, and card-playing. I am slowly trekking my way through Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelley. Gosh, what spark to light before coming home! Seriously, this book has me dreaming big, ready for action! Highly recommend it even though I haven’t even finished it yet.

For actual Thanksgiving, we all slept in till our hearts (and bodies) desired. We aren’t a major traditional-food kind of a family, so we opted out of turkey and stuffing for our family favorite: Raclette, the description for which is:

“Raclette was mentioned in medieval writings in texts from Swiss-German convents dating from as far as 1291,[4] , it’s a particularly nutritious meal, originally consumed by peasants in the mountainous Alpine regions of Valais (Switzerland), Savoie and Haute-Savoie (France). It was then known in the German-speaking part of Switzerland as Bratchäs, or “roasted cheese”. Traditionally, cow herders used to take the cheese with them when they were moving cows to or from the pastures up in the mountains. In the evenings around the campfire, they would place the cheese next to the fire and, when it had reached the perfect softness, scrape it on top of bread.”

“A modern way of serving raclette involves an electric table-top grill with small pans, known as coupelles, in which to melt slices of raclette cheese. Generally the grill is surmounted by a hot plate or griddle. The cheese is brought to the table sliced, accompanied by platters of boiled or steamed potatoes, other vegetables and charcuterie. These are then mixed with potatoes and topped with cheese in the small, wedge-shaped coupelles that are placed under the grill to melt and brown the cheese. Alternatively, slices of cheese may be melted and simply poured over food on the plate. The emphasis in raclette dining is on relaxed and sociable eating and drinking, the meal often running to several hours.”

AND lastly, in so many words, these are a few things, this year, I am thankful for:

  • My family, including time with my brother in law, Josh.
  • Freakin Memphis and its amazing creators
  • Opportunity and the risk friends and clients have taken to support me
  • Planes and tickets that have taken me around the world this year
  • Best friends who don’t let Facetime feel less than an in-person coffee date
  • Memphis water
  • Friends’ babies that make me want to hold a baby. (that’s you, Clark Daniel and Liam Knightly!)
  • Evergreen trees + wildflowers that sneak up in places they shouldn’t
  • The Michalaks, The Mustards, Sprinkle of Glitter, Our Tiny Tribe, and Safiya Nygaard (to name a few of the youtubers who inspire me weekly.)
  • Butternut Squash
  • Twinkly lights and brick walls
  • My faithful car that has carried me far

Here are a few of my captures from Thanksgiving in the Smokies:

Bozwell + Lily | Memphis Maker + Pop-Up Shop

My friend Ben launched his brand Bozwell + Lily in early 2017. He is a passionate guy, driven by creative community and grit. I’m glad to have people like him here, with vision for Memphis to embrace the makers and creators. He’s created such a beautiful collection of items for the brand. I’m loving the pieces he keeps adding; it’s so evident Ben puts so much thought into each item.

He spent time this month designing, opening, and running the Brick and Mortar pop-up shop in Downtown, Memphis. Read more about it from Ben’s perspective: http://www.bozwellandlily.com/new-blog/2017/10/15/friends-and-family-email

Wishing I could have spent more time sipping Lowfi’s freakin’ incredible coffee, and chillin’ with Ben and Memphis’s best people. Check out a few shots I got of Bozwell + Lily’s great setup.

 

Proud of you, Ben. Keep killin’ it. Memphis is soaking it up!

I MOVED | WHAT- WHERE- WHY

So first things first: I moved. Don’t worry, I’m still in Memphis! This move is semi-permanent, in the sense that I know an end date for how long I’ll be here. I’ll probably be in Memphis afterwards, but you never know where the Lord will lead me. Here are some FAQs about my move!

What!

I know! eeeep

Where?

I now live in a pocket neighborhood behind Walnut Grove. I have some awesome new roommates named Bekah and Maggie; I already love living with them. They let me drink their coffee, so…it’s a good deal.

Why?

Pretty short and simple: it was an unexpected move.When I graduated from high school and decided not to go to college, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. As I’ve started learning how to work from home, though, it has become clear that it’s difficult to fit your bedroom and your office into one average-sized bedroom space. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t think size is always necessary–companies like IKEA can help you prioritize organization. I think it’s really important to live a minimal lifestyle in terms of organization and how much stuff you have. I strive to live a life like this, but even I began to feel claustrophobic in my own space due to all of the equipment I have. I haven’t narrowed down exactly where I want to

be–I mean, I don’t know if I ever will–I think I just know that I will always want to be creator. I don’t have a designated “creation” or outlet so to speak–I think in general it will probably always include photography, but I’m not confident enough to say that photography will be what I do for the rest of my life. Because of that, I have a lot of other art supplies including canvases, paint, packaging materials, and loads more in boxes I was never able to be unpack at my old house. My space at the new house is twice as big, with lots of additional storage space. Being able to find a place for things and store my equipment has been a huge blessing.

Did something happen with my roommates?

This is more of a personal note, especially for my friends and family who really didn’t expect the move. Before this, I lived with my best friends Hope and Katherine. Hope and I moved in together July after graduation from high school, so I really haven’t known living with anyone but her, and then Katherine joined us not too long after. To be clear: there was by no means any tension there. The move was not an emotional decision–it was very practical. There have been many tears shed after having separated the three musketeers. I will seriously hold dear the memories of living with Hope and Katherine for the rest of my life. I’m going to be always telling all of the crazy stories and talking about all the laughter and fun we had. We’re excited to learn how to be friends now– that is, how to schedule out intentional time together and hopefully that will go really well. It’s already been really strange not coming home to see them, so I am slowly learning and would definitely appreciate prayers in that area.

What does your new space look like? How have you set it up?

One thing that attracted me when I walked in was the beautiful stone floor and the exposed brick wall. I ended up painting the wall with white primer and I’m really happy with the results. My friend Emily Gluntz was the final push that convinced me to do it and we did it together with two gallons of primer paint. We did one layer with brushes to get into the mortar and grooves and the second layer was done with a roller–my new roommate Maggie ended up helping us roll too. In the end, we did it in four hours. I was actually moved in before then, but the space is big enough that I was able to move everything away from the wall before painting. On one side of the room, I have a standing desk that I got from Autonmous, and my bed is on the other. I decided to make the brick wall a feature wall mainly because I think it’s unique and it’s what makes the room really feel like a studio apartment. I have an awesome table that was built for my sister’s wedding by her husband Josh, who heads up Olive & Iron Woodcraft. He does some personal projects on the side so if you’re interested in getting a new piece of furniture built, let me know and I’ll send you to his inbox. I really wanted to put that table in here because 1. the space was available and 2. I want this room to be filled with art and artists, and I want to be able to share this space. I feel like I would never have dreamed I would be able to live in a space like this when I was 19, and I want to give it back to other artists as much as I can. Super excited about the future of it! On another wall, I have a seating area and my big ficus, and also a huge closet that has allowed me to expand and unpack a lot of those boxes I mentioned before. If you would like to come by and work and treat my place like a coffee shop, you are welcome to! I have been able to stay at home a lot more and work from home and I’m excited about that. I hope to continue to soak in the amazing opportunity to live here. What I’ve learned in this process is that the Lord is not held by leases– and when His will is to be done, His will is to be done and there is no fighting it.

How are you doing?

I am doing well! This space has been life-giving. There is space to create, breathe, stretch, and separate my work and personal life. I’m loving inviting friends and even clients over to have coffee. I am enjoying having an area for messy art while keeping my “work” desk clean (since there are two desks). I have felt growing pains, but I know His plan is greatest. Thanks for asking!

Here is some PICS from the whole process.

 

Some BEFORE and AFTER!

THIS IS MOVE DAY:

 

GETTING READY FOR BED IS LIKE THE BEST WITH FAIRY LIGHTS

+ WE HAVE TOO MANY SELFIE MIRRORS IN THE HOUSE (GUILTY

The lovely Jo of JoDarling Photography took a few photos of me in my room:

SHOP MEMPHIS | SHOP SMALL BUSINESS

NOTE: All of these products are sold by local or small businesses; Almost all of them are local Memphis businesses, and if not, they are small business online. I will include all of the links below! (cause I know you are gonna want them!!)

When I shop for friends, I really love to get them something unique. Sometimes, though, I find myself in that sudden crunch-time mode before Christmas or a birthday, and in those times the easiest route is going online to Amazon or dropping by Target. These are all chain places that have awesome designers and fantastic little gifts, but lack the person behind the product. To me it’s incredibly special and personal to get something from another maker. I know that their hands have touched it and there’s a unique reason behind each piece. It’s usually higher quality when each piece has been individually checked by its maker, and that it’s been created, priced, and sold by a person, not cooperation.

As a small business owner, I believe that a good, personalized service is worth the extra money that you spend. Being able to tuck in a business card and explain why you wanted to give someone this specific item and who they supported by getting this gift–is so special and cool. Each item below is something I either am currently, or would use. I personally messaged/collected the pieces below. They did not pay to be featured. GUYS! I just love the faces and hands behind their brands. I’m honored to live in a city growing in makers. My goal this Christmas is to gift smaller, more precious gifts to my friends and family. To support the story tellers and artists.

The main goal of this blog post is to give people are starting point. So here it is, a simple, straight-forward guide to local gift-giving. So I hope this inspires you support local and small. <3  All in time for small business Saturday!

 

 

COFFEE: REVERB COFFEE

http://myreverbcoffee.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/reverbcoffee/?hl=en

RED MUG: CHOOSE 901 (pop up shop)

Save The Date: Choose901 Holiday Pop Up Shop 2017

https://www.instagram.com/choose901/?hl=en

WALL ART: KATHERINE GEORGE ART

https://www.etsy.com/shop/KatherineGeorgeArt

IG: https://www.instagram.com/katherinegeorgeart/?hl=en

COFFEE: REVERB COFFEE

http://myreverbcoffee.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/reverbcoffee/?hl=en

MEMPHIS ORDAMENT AND MUG: SIGNET SEALED

https://www.signetsealed.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/signetsealed/?hl=en

COFFEE: REVERB COFFEE

http://myreverbcoffee.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/reverbcoffee/?hl=en

HAND MADE MUGS: BRUKIE STUIDO

https://www.etsy.com/shop/brukiestudio

IG: https://www.instagram.com/brukiestudio/?hl=en

 

CANDLE (Fraiser Fir) + MONEY CLIP: ASPEN BAY

IG: https://www.instagram.com/aspenbay/?hl=en

BANDANA (Cactus print): BOZWELL + LILY

http://www.bozwellandlily.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/bozwellandlily/?hl=en

LOOSE LEAF TEA: MAGGIE PHARM

http://www.maggiespharm.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/maggiespharm/?hl=en

 

MEMPHIS ORDAMENT AND MUG: SIGNET SEALED

https://www.signetsealed.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/signetsealed/?hl=en

 

CUPS: BREIANA DESIGNS

https://www.instagram.com/breiana_design/?hl=en

WREATH HANGING: RED HEAD THREADS

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Redheadandherthreads?ref=search_shop_redirect

IG https://www.instagram.com/redhead_threads/?hl=en

COFFEE: REVERB COFFEE

http://myreverbcoffee.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/reverbcoffee/?hl=en

HAND MADE MUGS: BRUKIE STUIDO

https://www.etsy.com/shop/brukiestudio

IG: https://www.instagram.com/brukiestudio/?hl=en

BANDANA (Cactus print): BOZWELL + LILY

http://www.bozwellandlily.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/bozwellandlily/?hl=en

MEMPHIS CARDS + CANDLES (mistletoe + white tea and ginger): FALLING INTO PLACE

https://www.fallingintoplace.net/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/fallingintoplaceshop/?hl=en

WREATH HANGING: RED HEAD THREADS

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Redheadandherthreads?ref=search_shop_redirect

IG https://www.instagram.com/redhead_threads/?hl=en

 

EVERYONE PHOTO FEATURED:

WALL ART: KATHERINE GEORGE ART

https://www.etsy.com/shop/KatherineGeorgeArt

IG: https://www.instagram.com/katherinegeorgeart/?hl=en

COFFEE: REVERB COFFEE

http://myreverbcoffee.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/reverbcoffee/?hl=en

HAND MADE MUGS: BRUKIE STUIDO

https://www.etsy.com/shop/brukiestudio

IG: https://www.instagram.com/brukiestudio/?hl=en

CUPS: BREIANA DESIGNS

https://www.instagram.com/breiana_design/?hl=en

BANDANA (Cactus print): BOZWELL + LILY

http://www.bozwellandlily.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/bozwellandlily/?hl=en

MEMPHIS CARDS + CANDLES (mistletoe + white tea and ginger): FALLING INTO PLACE

https://www.fallingintoplace.net/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/fallingintoplaceshop/?hl=en

WREATH HANGING: RED HEAD THREADS

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Redheadandherthreads?ref=search_shop_redirect

IG https://www.instagram.com/redhead_threads/?hl=en

LOOSE LEAF TEA: MAGGIE PHARM

http://www.maggiespharm.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/maggiespharm/?hl=en

CANDLE (Fraiser Fir) + MONEY CLIP: ASPEN BAY

IG: https://www.instagram.com/aspenbay/?hl=en

MEMPHIS ORDAMENT AND MUG: SIGNET SEALED

https://www.signetsealed.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/signetsealed/?hl=en

RED MUG: CHOOSE 901 (pop up shop)

Save The Date: Choose901 Holiday Pop Up Shop 2017

https://www.instagram.com/choose901/?hl=en