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Hula Hoop

Hula hoop photos

 

Hula Hoop // Playful lifestyle editorial

For the past five years, it has been an immense pleasure and privilege to tell everyone else’s stories – their love stories, their wedding stories, their family stories. But now it’s time to start telling some stories of my own.

I have no idea how this works for everyone else who is a creative, but for me there is often a soul-crushing gap between what people are willing to pay me to photograph and what I want to create for myself. And because of this, I’ve reached a tipping point: I can no longer live with the unspoken rule that the stories in most of our lives that matter are about getting married, buying houses, starting families. Those are lovely stories, but there is so much more that I love about life that my heart yearns to share in photos and in words than will fit into the wedding and family stories I’m hired to tell.

A few years ago, I sat in a workshop where the teacher asked us about a time that we remember choosing to be happy. One where the situation we were in maybe wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows, but rather than succumb to the feelings of drowning or overwhelm…when did you choose to be happy?

I think I might be in one of those times right now.

I need to know that there is more fun to be had in life than only just weddings and kiddos and falling in love, and we need things in our lives to remind us of the big happinesses, but maybe even more important, the little ones too. The happy moments we get to see every day, or maybe just the ones that we see in passing and want to keep forever. My heart is open to making it, whether I make it for myself and share it with you or we get to make it together.

Here’s what I know to be true: even though I get to spend life with a person and two cats that I love to pieces and we enjoy owning and renovating a house and thinking about kids someday, those big stories have mostly turned out well because I/we choose joy in the little moments. And sometimes, I have to fight for that joy. I don’t win this war with my emotions every day.

But what I found this year is that in the moments when stress and anxiety feel like they are closing in (and there have been so many moments like that), I have a happy place I can return to. And I need to tell you the stories that live in my happy place, because I hope that they bring more good things into the world, one small image at a time.

Most of the stories I want to tell have a bunch of things in common: warmth, bright colors, playfulness, humor, movement, flowers. But also, self-love, femininity, inclusivity, diversity, and strength. Some have origins in childhood, or books, or travel, or yoga, or in the thoughts and musings of other people.

This one came out of a song that got stuck in my head, one that I heard during a workout – something I learned how to do for happiness and mental clarity this year, not just for coercing my body into what I think it should look like – and that song made the workout (and then the rest of the day after) feel so much more cheerful. It also takes me back to being a kid, hula hooping with friends in backyards and kitchens and basements, and watching my sister make our entire elementary school laugh at a talent show by hula hooping while simultaneously doing the chicken dance. And then it was inspired beyond that by visiting the birthplace of hula dancing, where the pineapples and palms and sunshine abound. Bits and pieces of all of these things can be found like treasures hiding in these photos.

Pouring my heart into bringing some of these ideas into life is where my intuition is telling me to go in 2018. It’s a shift – one for which I’ve been clearing space for months – and what I’ll be working on while I’m traveling for the first part of the next year. The past few months have been full of learning to say no when I feel like I don’t have a reason, taking a leap that financially things will work out, and trying to tune out the noise of my ego that is fueled by validation and mindless entertainment by listening instead to the secrets I can only find in the quiet places of breath, heartbeat, and stillness.

I’ll be sharing more of these personal things here and on instagram (and when I’m here less, I’m usually there more…mmm, like pretty much all of this year)…and can’t wait to see what the new year’s adventures have in store!

(PS. Speaking of store…there’s a completely NEW print store!! Just click on the *Shop* link up above, or click here to get cheerful art for your walls!)

 

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Model: Morgan Gingerich
Hair & Makeup: Andrea Mitchell

Pool Party in the Desert // Palm Springs photographers

Pool party in the desert

 

Pool parties in the desert always seemed kind of oxymoronish to me. I’m not sure if you know this, but if playing in the water is your idea of fun, the desert isn’t exactly the place you’d think to go. Or so they say. Maybe they haven’t been to Palm Springs, where a pool party in the desert is very much the legendary thing to do.

And yet, it seems like the desert should get a chance to play too – the actual desert, not the man-made one – so we ditched the hotel pool for just a bit to make sure the desert got its turn. Got all dressed up and literally took the pool party to the desert…and tried to make it look just as fun. (And those pool floats? They magically fit in my carryon…but not so much in the trunk of our little beetle convertible.)

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What I’ve learned from photographing yoga // Annapolis yoga photographer


Courage. It takes courage to try something new, to do something outside the circle of comfort, even just to get started.

Over the holiday break, I sat in my hammock chair and made goals for the new year. To find a community. To find new things to photograph. To use the quiet winter time to stretch (literally and figuratively). To do things that nourish my soul. One of those things was to find a way to photograph some of my other passions…like yoga.

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Leaving Space for Magic

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I spent last week swinging in my hammock chair ruminating on the year that ended and dreaming all the things for the one that just began.

It was the first time in over four years that I’ve had an open space in my schedule for just thinking, hoping, and dreaming – no shoots, no weddings, no work really at all.

It was completely and utterly magical. Maybe simply because it involved a hammock chair. 

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