Posts Tagged ‘hope’

New beginnings, fresh photos

I don’t have to tell you the last year has been nothing short of surreal. But with my COVID-19 vaccination process nearly complete — plus the arrival of spring and a shift in my mindset largely shaped by everything that’s transpired over the last year — new beginnings are in bud. What better way to mark the milestone than by commissioning some fresh photos for my website, my social media pages and wherever else strikes my fancy?

LAF Lines Photography, aka lidija, has been my go-to photographer for every photo shoot I’ve ever done. Full disclosure: lidija is a dear friend. But she also happens to be an outstanding photographer. Her passion is natural light and she understands it in a way Georges Seurat would appreciate. During our shoot, she pointed out how simply changing how much a window blind was opened could shift the color in the room: reddish when the blinds were fully open and the bright light was bouncing off a neighboring red-brick wall; more yellow when the blinds were partly closed and the light was reflecting off the interior space. I think natural-light photography is a big part of why her portraits capture people as they really are. That and her knack for making people immediately feel at ease so their true self shines.

I’ll unveil my updated website and photos soon, but I wanted to pass along this sneak peek: a blog post from lidija that shares the experience — and a sampling of photos — from her perspective.

As far as I’m concerned, a photoshoot with LAF Lines Photography is like playtime. Although this was our third photoshoot in my home, she still found clever new places to capture different moods and moments. As always, I had curated music that makes me feel great, but it’s the creative collaboration with lidija — filled with lots and lots of laughter — that makes our photoshoots such a delight.

There’s something else, too. It was the first time I’ve had a friend in my home in a year. Because of our vaccination statuses and protocols, it was also the first time I’ve been able to hug a friend in 12 months. Just writing that makes me teary, in a good way.

It also gives me hope. We’re not out of the pandemic woods yet, but we’re getting there. This past year has taught me many valuable lessons about myself and life in general, and the arrival of spring makes me believe better days are ahead. You can see it in the photo I shared here, on a sunny spring day with the breeze in my hair. I have reason to smile. This past year hasn’t been easy for anyone, but in many ways it’s reminded me how lucky I really am. That, in itself, is a life milestone worth commemorating.

Get a preview of the results of our photo shoot over at the LAF Lines Photography blog.

Inspiration, made in Detroit

All over the world, people are predicting Detroit’s imminent demise. But they don’t get it, because they aren’t here to see for themselves how much good is happening in the city. They just don’t know what we’re made of.

TEDxDetroit2A day spent at TEDxDetroit, hearing the stories of innovators, entrepreneurs and visionaries — from established business leaders to high school students just getting started — gave me a much-needed jolt of inspiration. Even more important, it was a welcome reminder of all the great things happening all over Detroit, where people are determined to rebuild the city. It’s already happening.

The hope is unmistakable.

I wrote about my experience at TEDxDetroit for Eclectablog. You can read all about it below.

TEDxDetroit puts positive stories about Detroit in the spotlight.

Choosing hope

New beginnings are around us everywhere, every day. Even when we think all hope is lost, we’re reminded there’s always a chance to find something new, something to inspire and reinvigorate us.

In recent weeks, I’ve watched two people I love start their new life together, a bride and groom confident in their partnership and their future. I celebrated a friend’s first pregnancy — one that did not come easily, and is all the more appreciated for it.

By contrast, I saw our country’s divides grow deeper over issues like race, choice and equality. My heart ached as Detroit declared bankruptcy, proof that a city holding a lifetime of memories for me is struggling to survive.

Choosing hopeBut I choose hope. I choose to reflect on the new beginnings I’ve witnessed. I choose to do my part to contribute to a better future for those just starting out — new couples, new babies, new businesses, new dreams.

Can America overcome what divides us, to stand united for the good of our country and each other? I believe we can, if enough people want it and work for it. Can Detroit rebuild itself and become a great city once again? I have no doubt. In fact, the seeds of that rebirth are already there, in the businesses and residents moving into the city. They’re choosing hope, too.

No one’s saying it will be easy. Even the most joyous of new beginnings — a wedding, a baby — has its challenges. Emerging from bankruptcy or overcoming decades of division are tasks that will be years in the making, but absolutely worth the effort.

Sometimes, it can start with the smallest of seeds, A kind gesture, a purchase at a local business, a thought of forgiveness for someone who doesn’t share your views.

Hope can even lie dormant but it’s always there, like the lily that blossomed in my house after two years without flowering.

Hope is always there. You just have to believe in it.

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