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I’m excited about this blog post and photoshoot, I had a lot of fun with my mom and Maren for it. Maren, my cousin, came over here to visit us last month to help us pack up our living room and kitchen, preparing for our remodel that’s finally happening. It was interesting, moving things and packing them up, and Maren worked pretty hard to help us, we we’re grateful to have her over. The two of us used to do these dance-off or music video types of videos way back in the day when we were a whole lot younger, like 2011 and before. One of the examples is on YouTube like this one, but we did a couple videos before that which I’ll eventually find (on my old laptop), and then I’ll post those on YouTube too. Anyway, so of course we had to do a photoshoot 10 years later when she comes to visit us here in Seattle again, so we went to a playground and got some good pictures. The lighting kept fluctuating so we have a few different kinds of lighting for this, but I love how the shoot turned out anyway. We all kind of took turns taking the pictures, standing on all the different playground things to play on. This was a good collaboration, I love what we did with it and how it turned out. The shoot was actually last month but I’m finally getting it up now, probably the last post I’ll do before I get my hair dyed again, so this is a good one. I’m catching up with all my shoots now too, once I get this up it’ll be a fresh slate for me to start shooting again, but I was taking a break from it for a while other than this one actually. We’ll see what comes next for the blog, but doing things like this one is always cool for me anyway, something unique that I can use to change up my perspectives. I don’t think I get too typical or repetitive with my shoots or posts, I think I’m always doing something new or good that I can use to frame myself better, but collaborations are always a unique icing for the cake that changes things up even more. They make it better for me to try with, something that speaks up differently and will never sound the same. I’m glad I’m finally all caught up with shoots this year, I’ve been behind for quite a while but I know exactly what to do next! Great news about this shoot with Maren, now let’s get into it finally.

So throughout this year I did a number of different shoots, each one with their own blog post for a while. I started doing that near the end of 2020 once I was finally catching up, getting the old shoots posted and out of the way, and then this year I’ve made it to June with already a full page of blog posts just from this year up, doing a couple a month for a while actually. I’ve been doing good with that, staying creative and knowing what to do next and get it up. I cut my hair on like New Year’s Eve and then started doing shoots in January with it like that, clearing the new year ready with the new haircut. I’ll watch it grow throughout the year and we’ll see how long it takes for me to get it longer again, finally. This is the last shoot and post I’m doing with my hair like this as I mentioned briefly, so I thought I’d write out the hair thing, going over to my other aunt’s and cousin’s place to get it cut that time. Now I’m just going to see my hair stylist later this month and we’ll get it changed up, or get it like how it used to be in 2018 or something. For now I loved the brunette -and-blonde thing Maren and I had going on for this, with our hair, like, the same lengths.

The circle-swing type thing was a cool one for us to sit on. We had these rad coordinated outfits going on too, with our simple patterns and how they reflect on us differently. I was wearing my vans with Linkin Park Underground 7.0 laces on too, which I of course chose to wear out of the box for these sneakers. My shirt is a Guess shirt that I got from Goodwill as well, and I think it went well with Maren’s striped shirt, mine tied in the back and hers tied up in the front. I love how we went together, she’s always been 4 years younger than me but we’re pretty dang good at our creative collaborations (that we’ve been doing for longer than 10 years, just been a while until we finally did this one) and one day I’ll blog all about our old music videos, where I was like 12 and she was 8 or so. We used to love doing things like that together, putting on makeup and dancing and all that. I’m glad we’ve done what we’ve done, creatively together, all this time, especially since like 2007 when we went to the Hannah Montana concert together…I loved sharing these things with Maren. So yes we had these cool blue things in the background at the playground for this shoot, and other than the sun shining differently we got a whole bunch of pictures (110 of them, 48 edited) that went together for this!

Then we got on a regular swing, which they only had one of, but that turned out fine because I just stood next to her. We even took turns with solo pictures on that swing, practicing with lighting and doing our best with that one angle or how the pictures turned out on there. Then there was the huge-spinning blue thing, another thing that was blue that we took pictures of, also taking turns on there but doing our best facial expressions despite the light directly in our faces for that. We got a few of those extra-well lit pictures in there, the kind that make us stand out and the others that make us look like we’re part of the shadows or whatever. A part of the playground, maybe, but we still stand out for the better. I’m glad we did this how we did, we drove for a little while before deciding on this park, but it was Maren’s idea. We thought swings would be what we were going for, and then there’s all these playground sets and toys with their pretty blue color and things that we got to model on, looking at the camera and to the sun for our directions. The collages ended up getting longer for these couple of things that we modeled on because of how many pictures we got on each, but I love how they turned out at both lengths. I’m glad our shoot turned out just like this, even though we couldn’t keep it that consistent I still adore this. Some of these pictures are really artsy and others don’t have as much of a difference to how the others are, but altogether we did this well and I’m proud at how the whole shoot turned out.

Our facial expressions really road the ride for this playground shoot, we got plenty of good ones even with the sun in our eyes. Our smiles together turned out pretty great, and so did our ‘seriously!’ type eye-looks with our pouts. We kept it simple with our jewelry, Maren had a simple pretty necklace one and I wrapped my 3-dangling quartz necklace around my neck so it’d hang like a choker-chain type necklace. I love that one, my stepmom and I just put it on a new chain recently, it was off of a chain for a while actually. I’ve worn that in a couple different photoshoots in my past, so it holds a significance with my associations, pulled into this new era with a new shoot to wear it in. Plus, that bracelet I wore worked too, another one that Jessie (my stepmom) made with charms on it. I even had the perfect bracelet to give to Maren, it has an ‘M’ inital charm on it and we got some pictures of it in the next collage. We both had like minimal makeup on too, mostly just mascara and my blush and all that, but I liked the simple look on both of us really. It made sense for the playground, little did we know we rarely went on playgrounds together when we were younger, just did fun things together or went somewhere with our families. The set of videos we did really speaks to me, we did those when we were so young, and eventually I’ll find all of them again and we’ll really be able to show what we did. It’s hard to explain why we were just doing creative things as kids and ignoring the stereotypes, but eventually I’ll really be able to show who we were together. Also that could help create an understanding for who we ended up as now.

There’s the small little collage of Maren and her bracelet, I took these pictures of her. I was trying to get in good with the bracelet, I can’t believe I had it for her. I used to wear it because of my ex-boyfriend, who’s name started with an M, but we’ve been broken up for so long and I just had this laying around so I gave it to her, perfect because she can wear it for her own name, so that worked out well. I think she looked really good in this photoshoot, I honestly loved her facial expressions throughout it and these were some good close-ups of her. The lighting just worked out fine for that set of pictures too, consistent this time. I like how this worked actually, the only problem we had throughout the whole thing was that my camera wouldn’t flash every time, so I kept trying to show my mom how to work it. I got it to flash most of the time when I was using it because I’ve been the one using my camera all these years (10+ actually) but it was so different when they were trying to use it. Almost made me laugh actually, but at least all these Maren pictures were consistent by the lighting. You can tell we got some really good pictures in here but not all were the same by the sun, so something interesting like that can change how we’re captured and we can really see our perspectives through how we show up in pictures. I hope Maren sees herself in this photoshoot, since she’s in it and modeled very well actually. I model for my camera all the time but it’s always different, even with all the millions of shoots I do in the same room at my moms. The same room we once did a dance-off video for, with crazy eyeshadow on, to a Miley Cyrus song, when I was like 10 or some crazy age. I can’t wait to find that old video again and blog about them. I like that we did this shoot at a playground at ages 18 and 22, because it speaks to me. I’m sure another year we’ll do a sequel, too!

Then my mom accidentally took a video, so I put that there after posting it (privately by a link). Such a great little clip that we got here. Strike a pose, is what mom kept telling us, like we had been doing that the whole time, practically. I love how we all are together, we even all went to the spa together after we did this shoot. It was pretty relaxing, and a good bonding experience for the three of us. We did so well with what we were planning to do with Maren up here for this trip, she usually lives in Texas now with her family. She used to live kind of over by this playground actually, and that’s why we used to hangout all the time when we were younger. We did so many cool things together, it was great having her back for a little while. We’ll find more ways to connect in the years to come, I just know that, or at least that’s a good goal to look forward to. I really appreciate things like this, collaborative photoshoots are one of my favorite things to do with people, but I rarely get to do them. Glad I got to do this one with Maren, it’s been a while!

What’s next for me is to re-landscape my social life up a bit in the mean time. This was a good collaborative shoot from last month like I’ve mentioned, but since then I’ve only hung out with like one or two people. I’ve been keeping to myself a bit, fixing all the little things in my life that I can while still giving myself a break, but I have a good idea now about where I’m at so we’ll see how long it takes me to get a social life going again. My guess is this year is a break year from people other than once in a while, because I have at least two friends I can hangout with so that’s something but that might be all for now. For example, who knows if I’ll ever do another photoshoot with Matt again or not since we’re at a weird place in our friendship, but he’s one of the only other people I can do blog stuff with that would help me with it in general. That’s okay though, it’s rare that I’ll ever get to see Maren but if she does ever come up here again (maybe next year) we could probably even do another photoshoot together. Other than that, I don’t really have a lot of people to blog with, but I think I’ll just reunite with some old friends or find someone else to do some kind of shoot with later in the year. We’ll just see, there’s always something that could be next, but for now I’m fine doing these all by myself and moving forward that blindly, it still works. I just know there’s more to do, and I’ll fix my social life up when I can. I know what to do next actually, with some people I still count on. I’ll find the right move sometime!

That second picture is one of my favorites of the whole shoot. I love it a lot, I even posted a little snippet of it on one of my extra Instagrams and Snapchat where I zoomed in on part of it. It was pretty cool looking! I’ll even show you what I’m talking about. In addition to that, there’s one more picture left of this photoshoot to post, and it’s another one on the bench from earlier up there. This bench picture was after we took that collage of Maren/bracelet pictures, so the lighting was way different than any of the other bench pictures, so there was nowhere else to even include that one. Now it just goes here at the end after this wrap-up paragraph. Good lighting, I actually really liked it. And I love that camera snippet too, I love Maren’s face in it and my booty looks really good there too. I think my tummy looked the best in this photoshoot though, I’m finally doing abs enough at the gym to where I lost some of the chub on my stomach area and flattened it by now. I’m proud of that for sure, but I don’t get to go to the gym as often as I used to. Eventually I’ll be back there as frequently as I was there, but for now I’m just doing good with what progress I’ve already made. I know what to do next with all that’s happened, and it involves a lot of what I have laid out for me next, like the next shoot I’m going to do after I get my hair done. The next day that I accomplish more than what I usually do, where I’m back to working out. The next person that wants to shoot with me, so I can keep up with both my social life and keeping my blog different with a few key things or ‘people’ to add to the mixture. I don’t really keep up with social media anymore by now, and I barely text anyone, but I just know this month will change something like that and then I’ll know what to do with my time once I find who my next friends would be. Maybe they would be the kinds of people who would want to do photoshoots or something with me, but for now I’m doing the best I can with who is still in my life and who could be eventually. Or like, I could hangout with these couple of friends that I have and find some great thing to link those experiences to my blog, like how I used to sort of do things. I don’t have that many people in my life most the time, but at least my family is pretty great at keeping me into things, that’s one thing I always have to help my drive and current flow. I know there’s always someone here for me. I’ll know what to do next with my life, I just will! I can’t rely on change to help me, so instead I just find new things to inspire me and it works most of the time. I’m grateful that I did this with Maren, I love making these types of connections. Whatever’s next for me is out there!