Natalie and Joe, @nattycontreraartistry and @joemaccreative

I cannot believe I never posted about my first photoshoot, now shot years ago. It’s been in my drafts all this time. I don’t know how that happened, but I want to release it despite the lateness because I fought through a lot of self-doubt to finally do some modeling. Plus Natalie and Joe are fantastic people and I’m so happy I met them. The cafe I used to work where I met Natalie isn’t even open anymore, but it’s nice to look back at all the connections I made and opportunities that came my way from just serving people coffee all day.

To stop myself from letting this drown in my drafts again, I’m not going to try to update and edit it. So it’s written in the present, when the present was like three years ago. Sorry, not sorry.

 

Sure I love coffee and making pretty latte art,
But my favorite thing about working at a cafe is meeting and connecting with all of the creative folks in town.

I don’t know what it is about coffee shops that draw in artists, but I’m certainly not complaining about the connection between the two.

 

My cafe has not only coffee but the added benefit of a full bar as well. So we even get the night owl, alcohol-inclined artists in addition to the caffeine-addicted creatives.

My shop brings all the art to the…counter…forgive me, I’m gonna stop.

One night when I was working behind the bar, two people met up with each other for drinks and some food in our upstairs loft seating. After their meal, they came downstairs to pay. The guy paid his half and left, and the girl stayed behind to use the restroom. When she came out, she gave me the disclaimer that she was not just on a Tinder date. She’s a makeup artist, and she was meeting with her photographer friend to plan some shoots.

She told me that I would make a good model, and asked if I had ever considered it. Sure I had, but I didn’t know where to start and it fell by the wayside as I developed other focuses. So we followed each other on Instagram, said she’d be in touch, and gave me a couple photographers to follow.

And in touch she was! Natalie planned a shoot with photographer, Joe Mac Creative, and jewelry designer, Honey Accessories.

We walked around South Street and found nice backdrops to shoot, and the photos came out great! I’m a hard critic on myself, but even I have to say it wasn’t half bad for my first photoshoot. Natalie made up my face beautifully, and she and Joe pieced together my look. They both gave great direction, which helped ease my nerves.

It was a blast shooting with such talented artists, and you should definitely check out their work. Natalie posts on her site regularly with beauty and skincare tips and reviews. Joe is always shooting somewhere, and has a beautiful couple portrait photo series that I love. Helena has some beautiful pieces in her Honey collection. Check them out!

 

 

December 1st

When people ask me what I do, it’s sad that writer has grown more and more distant from my identity in the past few years.

I’ve been stuck. I have been so stuck. Writing is such an extension of yourself. To put your mind garble into words and publish it takes a good amount of knowing yourself. A sureness in what you’re saying. Well, I’m starting to realize that I’m not sure if I know what my point is anymore. I’ve lost that sureness within myself.

And how unfortunate. You can’t just get it back. I can’t read over my past writings and hit a resurgence. That’s a version of me stuck in time. We don’t relate anymore. I can’t borrow old confidence. I have to find new confidence in who I am now. But like…where?

I’ve come a long way as far as character development over the past few years. I used to be very closed off from people, the world, and my own emotions. And today has become one of those times where I’m reminded of a big catalyst of that development for me. Today, December 1st, marks the day one of my best friends died two years ago. He meant more to me than I completely understood until I lost him. And without that friendship, I’m not sure when I would have shed my defenses. It’s possible I’d be that same hurting, boarded-up-heart to this day.

I like the person I’ve come into. I wouldn’t wish to go back to who I was before. But, this is where I find my thoughts at odds. Lost in between 1.) being proud of the progress I’ve made in love, managing and expressing emotions, sympathizing and empathizing with others, and 2.) setting myself up to be constantly hurt and disappointed because the world functions on another selfish, inconsiderate, and hostile axis. I feel like I was happier being an asshole. People didn’t take my kindness for weakness. There was little to no risk of losing people and things because I poured very little of myself into anything. I considered friends more like human resources for whatever worth I gave them, and they were dispensable. I was comfortable. I was in control, but it was so empty.

Now here I am in all my personal growth from that emptiness, trying to love unconditionally in a cancel culture. To put it simply, I’m facing some serious discouragement and defeat right now. I posted about it before, how 2018 felt hopeless and miserable because the progress I was making was more loss and clearing my life of things that weren’t good for me, and fewer gains. I felt 2019 was a big turn around. I thought I was finally seeing my future coming into place and I was getting excited to step into it. Now I’m hitting some changes that have killed that excitement and left me in the same small, crushed, and questioning state I was in two years ago.

My friend Mateo was such a dynamic individual, I struggle a little sometimes thinking y’know, I wish we traded fates because he would’ve done so much more with this time than I have.

I know that’s no way to think. I’m trying to not let that be the stopping point in my streams of consciousness. So what is next?

I first heard this song on an airplane heading from Morocco to France for a layover before heading home. Anderson .Paak wrote it as a tribute to Mac Miller, who’s death occured within the same year I was mouring Mateo’s death. The moment just stuck with me as I was looking out of the window from the sky and hearing the lyrics,

I’m workin’ on a world premiere
And I could see the world from here
They ask me where I’m going from here
Shit, anywhere long as the runway is clear

It was so fitting. I had it on repeat for the whole flight. And I’ve gotta realign my mind to think like that, I’m working on a world premiere. And I’m rebuilding that confidence to share it, even when I’m shaky on the delivery.