take a spring break

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I embody multiple daydreamer cliches – the student gazing out the window, the girl staring at the clouds, the classmate doodling in the margins, and the hiker gazing over the tree tops.  The daydreaming comes with a bit of absent-mindedness here and there, but I’m owning it with pride.  Thing is, daydreamers have also have a propensity for creativity, empathy and — this one is all my own — taking pictures.
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The New Yorker expounds on the Virtues of Daydreaming for creatives, and the current issue of Psychology Today examines the direct relationship between daydreaming and empathy.  And the connection between photography and daydreaming? Well, that’s all my own – feel free to credit yours truly.
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During graduate school, I used to leave the library and study alongside the shores of Lake Michigan.  I would read and write until I lost focus and started daydreaming about this that and the other.  The daydream almost always ended with a tourist tapping my back and asking me to take their picture.  
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Before long, I found myself intentionally breaking to ask people if they wanted their photograph taken.  Have you ever asked a couple if they wanted a picture?  Or a family?  It’s a surefire way to make someone smile, and the question is almost always answered with an eager “yes yes – thank you!”
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I didn’t take many photographs of myself back then– I’m not sure why, but I had this feeling that my moment was coming soon — it wasn’t here yet, but it would arrive before long.  Does that make sense?
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We hiked a number of waterfalls this weekend, and each time we reached the peak I looked around for someone to take our picture.  I asked hikers and bystanders and doodlers if they would break for a moment and snap a photograph.  And you know what? It made me smile each time I did- it felt like whatever I’d been waiting for had finally arrived.

bee you tea full

i was raised to think about beauty in a different way. my mom never wore makeup, never went shopping, and always insisted that beauty is something that radiates out of you — something that you create by being kind, helpful, and friendly.  when i think about beauty, what impresses me is how it connects us to one another.  if beauty is inside of us, then it takes a relationship with other people to make it visible.  

i decided to visualize ‘community beauty’ by creating a series of portraits that demonstrate how we’re beautiful together.  so, minneapolis, here are your bee-you-tea-full pictures:
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and so, dear readers, whatever your age, size, or appearance, remember that you are:
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my friend robyn made all the scarves that i’m wearing for her new etsy shop, AllThingsAccessories. she is giving away a beautiful scarf to one of my readers.  to enter, simply send me a message (use the “say hello” tab), and tell me something that makes you happy.  we’ll announce the winner on friday 🙂  

step into my photobooth and show me your happy

Imagemy RAH RAH RAH (random acts of happiness) series continued today with a popup photobooth.  the idea for this project was simple – i would create a happy sign with arrows, and then ask people to ‘show me their happy.’  pretty efficient way to make people happier, right? sort of the whole ‘if you want to be happy, be’ mantra.  i began by making the most obnoxious neon sign possible:ImageImageImagei hung the sign in an alley off the popular Lake Street and BAM — popup photobooth is ready to go.  the more interesting part of this experiment came when i asked people if they would like to step into my photobooth.  i felt a bit creepy (wouldn’t you?).  despite the creepiness, the majority of people stepped inside and asked me to take a couple of different photos for them.  and, you know what? they looked pretty happy about it.  mission accomplished:ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImagethe popup phototbooth got me thinking about how nice it is to be happy on a monday. it seems like people spend so much of monday, tuesday, wednesday, and thursday waiting for the weekend. so much of the year waiting for vacations and holidays.  the thing is, all the waiting just takes away from the happiness of now.  that said, step into my photobooth and show me your happy (these two sure did):ImageImageImage