Being Anti-Vanilla Starts Today


Five letters arranged to form a word that holds so much promise for many. Today incites our minds to think and our bodies to act with the goal of making life better for ourselves, our families, our friends and the world we live in.  Today is my chance to take 24 hours and make some miniscule change that may go unnoticed by most, but if it impacts one, even if that one is just me, it was worth it.  Today is my day to do what I said I would yesterday.  As I type this first blog post, I’m reminded of all the todays that came before and how, for whatever reason, I didn’t do it then.  Today is my day to stop making excuses.  Today is the best day, because like a quote I read recently, a year from now, I don’t want to wish I started today.


I am starting today.

For about a year I have been romancing the idea of starting a blog.  I’ve been going on long walks with blog thoughts, and even writing love letters to my future blog.  Okay, not really, but seriously, I wanted a blog.  As a portrait and wedding photographer, I needed a blog to share my work  with the world because quite frankly, that’s what all portrait photographers these days are doing, right?  After every wedding or session, they write a gracious and endearing paragraph or two about their clients with images highlighting their story and how much they enjoyed photographing them.  If I was going to take up residence in Rome, I had to do as the Romans.

Without a blog, I sometimes felt like I couldn’t truly call myself a photographer.  So, I decided to research and look carefully at the blogs of other photographers.  As I read through blog post after blog post of photographers whose work I admire, surprisingly I found myself seeing the same thing over and over.  Yes, blogging as a photographer is important, but after a while reading how much each photographer “loves love” or was so honored to share the joy of each client, everyone started sounding and quite often looking the same…very vanilla.  If I must be honest (which I must), most professional portrait photography blogs seem formulated and not genuine. Yes, I’m a photographer who values my clients, and yes, there is worth in blogging about my work, but my life is so multifaceted.  (Did anyone else just think of a L’Oreal Hair Color commercial? No.  Just me.  Okay.)  As much passion as I have for photography, it’s only one thin layer of my earthly existence.  Still, I was a little torn and I didn’t want a “vanilla” blog with just a focus on my work, so, I pushed the blog aside with no immediate intentions or future date in mind.  I still booked clients, so I figured I would be fine, even though that desire to create a blog with flavor was still there.

Not Vanilla

This past November, I attended a book signing of a blogger I follow named Joy Cho, owner of the popular blog OhJoy! and author of the book Blog Inc.  After listening to Joy talk about her start in the blogisphere, having a conversation with her, and reading her book, I realized that it was okay to blog about more than just my work.  It was okay to talk about the bride and groom I photographed at last Saturday’s wedding, as well as the forty year old vintage Queen Anne chair bargain I found on Craigslist and had reupholstered.  If I wanted to write about awesome books I read that changed my life or were just great reads, all on the same blog, it’s all good.  After all, each post will have photographs taken by me, so it’s still relevant.  While I knew this was being done by others somewhere in the world, hearing first-hand from someone who was doing it successfully, was the confirmation I needed to be motivated again.  I can create a blog that shares my photography work with others and shares my life and that’s exactly what I will do!  TODAY!

The Starling Life will be an online photo journal of what I do, the things I like, the people I meet, those I love, and little adventures (and mishaps) in my life that are all a part of who I am.  My goal is to create an entertaining, engaging, inspiring and somewhat informative blog that is written honestly.  This is not a new concept.  In fact, millions of people are doing it, and although there may be some similarities and some shared life experiences, none of them can be me.

I started today.  What will you start today?