Life is Beautiful. I love serving the world by capturing beautiful family memories, encouraging others to believe in life’s greatest possibilities, and inspiring others to realize their full potential. Everyone has a story... make it a beautiful one.
Today we live in a society that disease is on the rise. Common diseases include arthritis, heart, diabetes, cancer amongst others. When I was going through my journey with gestational diabetes, I became familiar with foods that are anti-inflammatory. Inflammation to the body is the root cause for a lot of known diseases and with the help of anti-inflammatory foods, they can help alleviate or combat the inflammation in our bodies. Learning about inflammation made me realize how I needed to take step back from unhealthy food choices not only for weight, but for my body to function as well. Incredible what our bodies can do for us and in return we need to be more mindful on how we nourish it. It’s powerful to know what foods play a role in our bodies.
what is inflammation? Inflammation of the body is a response that happens when your body is being attacked and it cannot function properly. Well just say that when the body is being attacked by invaders, antioxidant rich foods fight the invaders off. Sounds like a Star Wars Movie but in the body to me.
Moving away from overly processed foods like fast food, soda, refined sugars, and processed meets, to eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts, lean meats, superfoods, and whole grains are healthful to eliminate inflammation in the body. The produce drawer in the fridge is your best friend. Fill it with green leafy vegetables, celery, Broccoli, beets, fruits like blueberries high in antioxidants, citrus. Your pantry should be filled with whole grains like quinoa, farro, and nuts and seed like walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds. I drink a daily shake rich in antioxidants and perfect for helping with inflammation of the body.
Here is a list of more foods that can help with inflammation:
- Olive Oil
The nutrition plan that I have followed for last five and half years has helped me focus on putting foods rich in antioxidants and are anti inflammatory to the body. With being high risk for many diseases in the family like diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer , its been a priority for me to really hone in on these types of foods. I eat 4 cups of vegetables and 3 cups or equivalent of fruit daily. Sounds like a lot but in the big picture, I know that I am giving my body the nourishment it needs daily.
Our bodies deserve the best and from the best of the best of foods.
If you are interested to know more about nutrition and a food plan that is right for you, contact me here
Personality tests- I know this may sound silly but really they help! I have taken the Enneogram test that is really hot right now amongst all the personal growth community. It’s a priest accurate test. It’s divided into types and my top two are type 4 and type 3. Type fours are authentic, expressive and creative individuals but can be can get depressed easily. Type threes are leaders, motivators, and goal oriented but can be total work alcoholics. Knowing my type called me too see my many strengths, but to realize me weaknesses so I can better work at them.
Journaling- journaling is a great way to connect with your thoughts. To get thought out on paper wether they be positive or even negative. It helps you to understand what you are thinking. Writing gratitudes or even writing down our current struggles has been proven to increase our happiness levels.
Daily self reflection- when you look in the mirror what do see? Look in the mirror everyday and compliment yourself on something… doesn’t matter what it is. Tell yourself something positive like your confident or beautiful. It sounds weird and maybe narcissistic to some, but the truth giving yourself that positive affirmation everyday gives your brain a confidence boost!
Ask questions- ask yourself honest questions like “how can I improve today?”, “how can I serve?” These can be great journal prompts to do before you start your day.
Write down your goals and track your progress- tracking yourself will help you see how far you have come.
I sit here writing this post today in a very vulnerable state. I write this not only to tell my story but maybe perhaps one that reads this can relate and know that whatever you maybe going through right now in life, there is hope and many blessings that come along the way.
I was born into this world on August 12, 1984 which was a Sunday to be exact. I was born to a mom and dad and as a baby born I had no cares of the world. I grew up with no understanding of the life I was brought into. I don’t remember much about the divorce but I know it happened. I remember being raised by my mother who at the time was single and raised me in our family’s hotel with help by my grandmother. I always saw her as my second mother in life, and grateful for her. Growing up not knowing much about the divorce it seemed to be kept a secret, instead of it being something I used an excuse, I look at it as a blessing, that because of this man I hardly knew, a beautiful daughter, wife, mom and individual was born.
At the age of 5 my mom got remarried to another man that I would learn to call dad. He did so many good things for me throughout my life and he even went through the adoption process to make it official. I was still young, but I remember that day… Heck both my parents asked if I wanted to change my name just because I could but I loved my name so kept it. I did have a middle name Renee but dropped it in the adoption process.
Life seemed pretty good, though I remember lying in bed and thinking…. they are arguing again but I just ignored it. We moved around a a lot and remember I always had a hard time finding friends because I either got pushed out of the group for reasons unknown or we moved again. It was hard and confusing to find my place in life. At the age of 11 my father was in a massive drunk driving accident that led him to go through major back surgeries with him and my mom commuting back and forth from the bay area. I remember for a while that our living room was a at home hospital room.
This event took a huge tole on our family. The arguments progressed especially about money, the depression was more noticeable and I would take on a lot more responsibility as the oldest child of 3. The depression was the hardest thing to live with growing up. To see the pain and suffering it causes someone you love and unaware of it, it starts to creep on to you like slo moving snake.
Because of the depression, it lead to even more strife that would later lead to another divorce.
I love my parents and know they did the best they could with the circumstances they were handed. They taught me to be brave and overcome struggle to an exceptional person because of it. Because of the arguments of money, I am motivated to provide a life for my children were they don’t have to see mom and dad argue about money. Because of divorce I am a better wife and mom because I want my children to know what it is like to have a mom and dad who love each other unconditionally. Because of depression, I strive to be a better version of myself both physically and mentally for me and my family because depression sucks. It really causes more unnecessary pain and shame to ones personal life.
I have lived my whole entire 34 years of life pretending like this didn’t bother me, but the truth is, its held me back because of my own pain and shame I never new I had. I always tried to find love in all the wrong places, I was needing to achieve something to feel that love I was seeking, and I felt I was always seeking love from others that was never there that led me down a path of unworthiness in my self and feeling shameful of who I really was as a person.
We can find brave from our past. Our past doesn’t have to define who we are. We can learn break free from those moments that led us to believe we weren’t good enough. Without even realizing it, my past was holding me back because I didn’t know who the real me was. I was so in my head of worry and fear, I couldn’t get to know the real me because I was to busy inside my head. I’ll put it into perspective of how much fear I was living in, After a lump was detected in my left breast as I was preparing to graduate from college, I kid you not, I would feel my boob 20 times a day for 4 years. I was obsessive! And with every little freckle I had I start to freak out I had skin cancer!
I lived in so much fear and worry for so long. After hitting rock bottom after Nate was born, I was tired. Tired of living this life that controlled me who I was. Resenting and blaming the people I loved for the problems (my fault or not) that where holding me back in life.
Today I am in a place of seeing love within my self and compassion for others. Years of pain takes time to overcome, but I can say how grateful that my past has helped me to become brave. Each day is a new day to have more grace with myself and each new day gets a little better. Even in the seasons I feel stuck and like nothing is happening in my life no matter how hard I feel like I am trying to work hard at whatever I am doing, I am grateful. With each new season comes a new lesson and blessing to be grateful for.
I seek guidance from my Heavenly Father and know that he has given me these trials to be blessed by and I truly have. I’ve learned to appreciate my parents in a new way and know that they did the best they could. I’ve learned to love my husband in new light and for him sticking with me through all my deep darkness. My children are my greatest blessing even on the days I want to pull my hair out. They just add to the learning process of it all.
Find brave from your past. Your past and experiences aren’t placed in your life to define you, they are there to help you grow.
I receive inquiries all the time asking about how I edit my images for both my client galleries and my social media. I use the same tools for both since I am a creature of habit and just keep it all streamlined to keep it easy on myself. I do use phone Apps and filters on some social media but mostly in my instagram stories since those are real time moments or to do some minor tweaks to an image I edited on my desk top that I putting on my IG grid. My IG feed is the same editing process I do on client photos.
Over the years I have found ways to simplify my editing so I am getting photos done in less time. When I first started photography, it was taking me hours upon hours to edit one session because I would go through each photo and hand edit it in photoshop.
Today, I will guide you through my editing process that I do on all my photos. It might sound a little complicated to some who don’t use a camera BUT I will also give you some tips on phone photography too since we have our camera phones readily available anytime we need them.
Client and Social Media Feed Editing:
1. I take all my photos with my Nikon 750 DSLR camera. My Fstop is always at a 2.8 outside and a Fstop 1.4 or 1.8 inside. I adjust my ISO as needed depending on the lighting situation. Most the time it is at an ISO 200-400 but again it depends on your lighting situation.
2. I bring all my photos into lightroom where I collate through them and pick the best ones out of the session or the ones I want to showcase on my social media feed.
3. After I go through and pick the ones to fully edit, I then put a preset on them. Right now I am loving the Angie Manson Collection from Simplicity Photography. You can check them out here. I make adjustments to the image after the preset has been placed using the adjustment menu on the right hand side under the Develop tab. The adjustments I mostly use are: Temp, tint, Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, and clarity. Sometimes I will adjust the vignetting depending on the photo.
4. After I adjust the first photo, I can usually go to each photo and click on the previous button at the bottom of the menu bar and the same formula from the previous photo will be added to the next photo. A few tweaks here and there may be needed, but it makes the process go a a lot smoother.
5 After I go through my editing process in light room, I will then export it into photoshop to do final touches on each image such as cleaning up acne, taking out objects that were unavoidable in the background that might have been distracting to the image, tweaking the color a little more, cropping the image if needed and adding a little more contrast and then save the image.
This process may sound extensive, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes easier to do.
Now we will dive into phone photography. I use my phone camera mostly for my IG stories, but I know that most people will use their phone camera more for their social media. These are some tools that I have found to help me or have seen others use to help enhance their phone photography:
1. Lighting: again, I am a creature of habit so I play around with light like I would do with my DSLR. If I’m outside, I’ll play with backlight or if I’m indoors I find the best natural light just like I would my real camera. A lot of influencers/bloggers are using light ring kits to enhance their lighting too. You can get them from amazon for fairly inexpensive. I haven’t personally used one as of yet, but a lot of people swear by them.
2. Apps: There are so many apps out there for photo editing. My favorites are VSCO and lightroom. I mainly use VSCO because its so much easier than lightroom on the phone. Research the apps that best suit your style and wether your looking to spend a a lot of time editing or using it as a quick edit.
3. Presets: VSCO has their own presets that I usually use for the simplicity of it but there are presets you can purchase through etsy, the malibu app or you can research mobile presets to find the perfect one that goes with your stye and color preference.
This is my cliffnotes version of my editing process. I invite you to contact me here if you would like to know more on how I edit. I’d be happy to answer questions or give you a more in depth session!
Heres to a happy photo Friday!