Welcome to the blog

A little peek at what I’m currently obsessing over.

To give you a chance at getting to know me better, I have been brainstorming ideas for a few new series. My style and taste trickles over into my photography, so I thought it only fair to share with you a little bit of what I am obsessing over right now. That way you can ogle and “ah” along with me! While this may not be everything I have in my literal handbag at any given  time, it’s a compilation of a few items and ideas I’m currently keeping close at hand. And every so often, when I land on a new or noteworthy trinket, I’ll be sure and update you on what’s made it’s way into my bag.

Let me just confess this right from the get-go, I am a sucker for cognac leather bags. I would literally buy every bag made out of this material from Target if I could. It’s just such a chic and practical material. You can take this bag with you to Starbucks or an interview. If you spill something on it, just wipe it off! And it will stay looking good as new for a long time. I have had the same crossbody cognac leather bag (not pictured) through several phases of fashion trends, and people always want to know where I bought it and then their face visibly drops when I respond, “Oh, I’ve had it for years!” I’m in love. There’s my speech. Go buy one!

Let’s hit the books. There are four pictured, and I love efficiency, so I just want to knock ’em out of the park. The sparkly, gold polka-dot spiral bound notebook is my journal. It’s one of many because I love to write. I have always been the one in my group of friends who documented each occasion meticulously. I love savoring things and not just memories but food, too, and people and feelings. Writing things down and, often, taking pictures to accompany my writings is cathartic and, to me, life-giving. Once you get what’s in your head down on paper, you’d be surprised what that does for your heart. You can organize and reflect which are two super important processes. Journals can be a great reminder of how much you have been blessed, how far you’ve come, and also a help to keep you on track with the dreams you have for your future. 

The book with Mindy Kaling’s face on the cover is her witty, refreshing work, Is Everyone Hanging out without Me? (And Other Concerns). I always love a good read, and lately I’ve been more into autobiographical novels, especially funny ones like this one and Amy Poehler’s gem of a book, Yes, Please (which, you must listen to in audio-book format). I think the reason I am really into these non-fictions is their real-ness. These are two women who have honed their craft and made a living out of it through persistence and good old-fashioned hard work. Even though they aren’t fellow photogs, their words inspire me to dream big, and their witty one-liners have got me rolling with laughter. Their writings read like a blog, and it’s food for my creativity and imagination.

There is also nothing that can spark my creativity like photographs taken by other people. I like to keep various magazines and also other photog’s blogs close at hand on days I need a little extra kick of inspiration. Seeing poses from different perspectives, getting a peek into new styles, and observing, first-hand, someone else’s work can be so mentally stimulating! Ever tried to solve a problem but couldn’t get past seeing it a certain way to figure out the trick? That happens with photographers too! It’s easy to find yourself getting comfortable with what you already know in any field. Browsing new ideas not only keeps your business but you, as a brand, thriving and just bubbling over with great ideas! 

The pink, smaller photo album is where I keep my cute, little instant photos. I recently purchased a Fujifilm Instax Mini while I had sent off my DSLR for a repair. It’s crazy how bare you can feel after toting something around for so long and then not being able to have constant access to it for a while! Well, I was waiting for it to return and got a little impatient. I loved polaroids as a little girl, and I’ve been wanting to try this new spin off the old classic. It’s been incredibly fun, and going back to a simpler camera has taught me about the importance of perfecting a shot and being choosy with what I capture. Once you click the shutter, there is no way to edit the image. Film is way more precious, and you spend more time thinking through details. It’s also worth noting I’m not super good with the camera. 🙂 I have tried to make it do what my digital can, and I’ve wasted a couple shots that turn out blurry or overexposed. It’s like it’s telling me, “Look for the big picture. Focus on simplicity.” And it’s actually proven to be a pretty good teacher.

I have found that colors are so important when it come to my mood. A warm, sunny day filled with vibrant hues can put such a spring in my step. And nail polish is a little way of bringing in a bit of sunshine and summer with me everywhere I go. I have always been a big fan of O.P.I. Nail Lacquer, and these shades happen to be my current faves- Bubble Bath and Live Love Carnaval. 

Speaking of summer colors, I have also fallen for my little friend, the succulent, which flaunts the most flawless color that has me swooning. This variety is called Harry Butterfield, and it was love at first sight when I picked him and his buddies up at Lowe’s. I have planted these guys in pots around my room, and they just make my day a whole lot brighter!

Thanks for stopping by to take a peek into my bag! Next, with school around the corner, I’m hoping to share some tips on organizing a small business while keeping your day job and uncluttering your space for optimal creativity. Check back on the regular for the latest adventure I’m exploring!

Until then, stay sweet, friends! You’re doing great things.

Posted in: Uncategorized

August 10, 2015

Hello, August | What’s in the bag?

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Nichole Lauren is a photographer & business coach in Greenville, SC & available for travel worldwide.

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photography + Education