A Girl Named Leney


Artists In Film | Anna of Experimental Vintage in Portland Oregon

for quite some time now i've been holding this idea of doing film photo essays on various artists i love and admire and sharing them here on the journal. 

film is a format of photography that i increasingly fall in love with as the years go by.
indeed, i often prefer it over its digital counterpart. while i shoot digitally for work most of the time, there is a mystical, etherial and nostalgic way about film that just can't ever quite be replicated with digital images. 
for these reasons, as well as the often imperfect and one-time-shot aspects of the medium, i have come to treasure my film photos in a way i'm not sure i'll ever feel about any other kind of photo.

yesterday i re-shared this post of photos from Anna's home in Portland Oregon, but it wasn't until recently that i developed the remaining rolls from this trip. so in addition to her lovely home, here you can see some vignettes from her studio space as well. 

what struck me most about first meeting Anna, and spending time in both her studio and home, was the seamlessness of her spaces. both conveyed her lifestyle, values, goals and taste in an interchangable and genuine way. she has since become a dear friend and has remained a huge inspiration to me in this way. for my various art forms and work are indeed my life as well, and as such i want my life to speak of that, in whatever outlet or avenue people encounter it.
not in an artificial "branding" or for "asthetics" purposes kind of way, but rather as an intentional and authentic thread that speaks to how much we artists truly do live, breathe, and believe in the art we put into the world.  
which is namely the inspiration for this series. 
showing artists in the spaces in which they not only make their art, but live it. 

i hope to feature more artists soon, from past studio visits as well as future ones from my many planned travels this year!
but to start of the introduction of this series, please enjoy the beautiful Anna of Experimental Vintage.

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Portland Oregon | Anna's House In Film

this is, admittedly somewhat of a small re-post as i did share some of these photos in A Small Collection of Photos That Make Me Happy around this time last year. however, i recently developed some more film, and among the images were a few more of Anna's beautiful home that i really wanted to share (besides, it's been a year, so most of you probably haven't even seen these). so i am compiling and re-sharing them all again here, along with the somewhat repeated adage of how happy it makes me to scroll through these photos. 

film is truly, increasingly, becoming my favorite format in the way of image capturing.
although i do use my iPhone to take photos on a daily basis, as well as my big digital DSLR camera for the majority of my work related shoots, and cannot deny the ease and convenience and indeed my own kind of love for both of these formats of taking photos, film will always stand alone as a special, nostalgic and one-of-a-kind way of documentation for me. 

hoping to share more film photos in the coming months as i start to sort through and develop various rolls that i've let sit for far too long.
i will in fact be sharing some super dreamy film photos of Anna's studio space for her business Experimental Vintage tomorrow, so check back for those!

oh, and those beautiful flowers on the table? see more photos of where those came from in my post An Oregon Urban Flower Farm In Film. Yep. Melody has a mini flower farm in her yard and it's amazing.

if you'd like to see more of my film posts you can check out the tag here.

and now, please enjoy Anna's beautiful home and be sure to follow her instagram.

leaving here a small collection of imperfect photos, taken with expired film, that make me happy.
perhaps exactly because of their imperfection. 
and perhaps also because of:
walls with faces.
a counter with late-night-suburban-foraged apples.
a dog that follows the yellow brick road and her ornery friend, a crossed eyed cat.
glasses of red wine.
brown booted friends treading on perfectly worn rugs.
music and candles and lights-left-on for those going away and coming back. 
saturated mornings.
and a kindred spirit found in an ethereal soul who i often wish didn't live on the exact opposite coast from my coast.  
shot with kodak gold 200 and Kodak gold 400 35mm film in Portland Oregon

For One Who Is Exhausted, a Blessing

the following words are by John O' Donohue from this article which quotes a piece from his book: To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings.
i came across them at the beginning of the year while listening to Krista Tippett's podcast On Being and they've stuck with me ever since. 

there is both a soothing and invigorating quality about these words. i have yet to read any of O' Donohue's books, but i can assure you that several are now on my book list.
i wanted to share this here in case it could speak similarly to any of you. i can recount so many seasons in which i felt exactly like this. indeed, have just been released from such a season. so i hope, if any of you are burdened and weary in such a way, these words bring you some encouragement and motivation to keep moving forward.

if you find them meaningful and choose to share them as well, please be sure to credit the author. as an artist myself, i believe that is is so very important to credit and source the art of those we admire properly.
especially in this easily shareable/tweetable/copy-and-paste society we reside in.

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight.

The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.

The tide you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken in the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

Slow Living | Travel Essentials

i have been on the go a lot over the past few months, and though i've been a traveler for years, i feel like i am just now getting to a point where i have the whole packing just-what-i-need thing down! 
so today i wanted to share a little bit about how i implement my slow living mindset into what i pack when i'm traveling. starting with some of my toiletries, because i noticed that's where i have the most opportunity for setting the tone of my trip and implementing a healthy and intentional mindset.

• for starters, i am a minimalist when it comes to products.
i don't wear a lot of makeup, or use a lot of things on my face, because over the years, i've realized that my skin is much happier with less on it and less done to it. not to say i won't get glammed up every so often because, hello, being a girl is fun, but for the most part i stick with a few basic essentials. especially when traveling, and my face and body are already battling with the grit and grime and lack of rest that traveling can entail. 

• second of all, i try very hard to use natural and organic things on, and in, my body as much as possible. i actually made most of what you see here (which i might share recipes for if there's enough interest!) but if i didn't it was made by someone else with natural ingredients (see full list of items below). it's hard to be 100% about this all of the time of course, as with anything, and i give myself grace because honestly *what you do every day matters more than what you do every so often*. so i try to remember that and when i use l'oréal shampoo at an air bnb, i don't give myself a hard time about it (mostly because i pretty much never pack shampoo because i'm lazy/would rather have the space in my bag for extra books that i always over estimate i'll have the time to read). 

• third of all, i love bringing only what i need when i travel and eliminating excess. this does not come naturally for me, i have to work at it. i am a life long chronic over packer but being on the go so much in recent years has taught me the importance of traveling light so i am working on being better at it! it's definitely become easier with practice. 

• and finally, i love reusing things and being able to eliminate waste. you will notice that most of my products are stored in what are, yes indeed, a small glass ketchup jar, jam jars and repurposed essential oils bottles! i used to use tiny travel sized toiletries bought specifically for traveling but i always felt a little off and i realized it was because i didn't have the things that i was used to and part of my daily routine. so now i bring them, but only just what i need instead of the whole container. 

pictured here:

-a vintage leather shaving case that i keep my makeup in (makeup brushes wrapped in a clean bandana each trip)

-lotion i get from the bulk section at Ellwood Thompson's (though i want to start making my own! anyone have a favorite lotion recipe they want to share?)

-travel clothing spray i made for wrinkled clothes

-jojoba oil for a face moisturizer

-refreshing lavender hair spray i made

-witch hazel i use as a toner or makeup remover (i like this brand)

-coconut oil (which has many uses...)

-dry shampoo i made

-mouthwash i made

-an Olo fragrance made primarily from all natural ingredients. this one is Lightening Paw (which i love mostly because the description of it includes "free spirited" and as The Traveling Photographer you know i'm all about that)

-ZuZu Luxe all natural mascara (RVA people you can get it at Ellwood Thompson's). i tried to make my own mascara once. it did not go well. you have to pick your DIY battles. i love this one though and it's honestly my favorite mascara i've ever used and stays on even when crying watching This Is Us.

-vitamin E oil because it's good for your face/highlighting those cheekbones. i have even been using it on my eyelids lately in lieu of eye shadow (i like this brand)

-a wooden comb. wooden combs have all kinds of benefits for the hair as i wrote here. this one was made by my Father aka Tumblehome

-lavender essential oil. i'll usually travel with at least one essential oil because you can use it for basically everything and just smelling it calms me.

-face wash i made

-a bandana. usually what i use to wrap my toothbrush but also has many other uses! i am a bandana junkie. i'm never without one.

-Schmidt's deodorant. i'd been battling the whole natural deodorant thing for a while. it's so hard to find one that works and DIYing this was also a fail for me, but i love this one! thanks to my friend Maddie, @lostandfoundhome, who recommended it.

-a Radius toothbrush that is made from recycled materials and the handle is reusable so you just have to replace the heads! i love the bamboo ones that are out there more, but this one is a little more cost effective and potentially has less packaging waste involved since i can't find the bamboo ones anywhere near me and i prefer finding things in local stores vs. ordering online. mine is made from paper but they also have ones from recycled wood and money.

there you have it!
just a few of my favorite essentials.

how do you implement a slow living mindset when you travel?
do you have any all natural beauty recipes you'd like to share?
i would love to hear your thoughts! comment below, send me an email, or message me on instagram!
these kinds of conversations are my favorite.

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Iceland | Halldóra + Hobie

meet Halldóra and Hobie. the sweetest and kindest spirits in the most beautiful landscape.
they gave me such a wonderful experience and introduction to Iceland, i loved seeing the country through their eyes and their stories.
and speaking of stories, i'll leave you with this:
a California boy falling in love with an Icelandic girl from across oceans? talk about a love story. 
you can actually learn more about their story on their website because Hobie and Halldora are also photographers!
their work in Iceland is just as you would imagine it to be in such a striking country.

but for now, enjoy a few of my favorite images from a wintery afternoon with them.

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New York City | PlantShed

you all might remember this post from last fall involving my work with the dreamy Upper West Side plant and flower shop, PlantShed.  

i have since had the privilege of working with them again and, for the foreseeable future, will be continuing to do so! 
to say that this is a dream job is an understatement. being able to work with plants and cool people in one of my favorite cities? yep. all the makings of a dream job.

if you're in the city, you should definitely go by their shop, located at 209 W. 96th Street, New York, NY 10025. everyone who works there is so much fun and they're some of the most knowledgeable people i've met in regards to plants and how to take care of them!
i learned how to better care for my future fiddle leaf fig for example (thank you again Dahlia...). they also make some of the most beautiful arrangements (which you can see heaps of on floral designer Casey's own website and instagram!) and with Valentine's Day coming up... well i don't need to finish that sentence.
i think one of the highlights from this last trip though, was seeing the old photographs that Eric, the owner, pulled out from when his family opened the shop in the 1970's and from being in the flower business decades before that even! i absolutely love the family owned and operated aspect of a business. it makes your experience more personal, not to mention the story behind knowing how something started and being able to see where it is now is such a cool evolution and timeline to witness.

and, for the record, it's truly only the fact that i wouldn't be able to get any of those huge cacti onto the bus/plane/train with me back to Virginia that i don't adopt every single one of them... 

if you don't have the opportunity to visit them in person, definitely check out PlantShed's website and all of their wonderful floral bounty here and be sure to also follow them on Instagram!

here are just a handful of my favorite shots from January's shoot! 

P.S. if you liked all of that, maybe you'd also enjoy watching THIS video i made while in the greenhouse!

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Iceland | Grotta Lighthouse

a place full of wander and wonder.
i'm finally going through the many photos i took in that ethereal place, and here are the ones from visiting the Grotta Lighthouse my first day there. jet lagged, cold, most likely hungry (because i'm always hungry) but so, incredibly, alive and happy. 

i'll go back one day.
but for now, reliving these adventures through these photos is pretty close to being just as good.

too see more posts on Iceland check out the tag here.

That Thing

that thing. 
the identification of which everyone always talks about gloriously obtaining when you recognize that thing is the thing that you love doing more than anything else. 
or, at least, more than most things.  
the discovery of which, allegedly, comes when you lose track of time doing said thing.

well, i think i've been doing just that thing for the past few hours.
three hours straight, give or take a few minutes.
three hours without moving.
three hours until 4:25am (and counting).
four in the morning.
and i am, by no means, the night owl i used to be. 
in fact i was telling my Mother (yawning while doing so) at 9pm just the other night how it was very well past the time i usually slipped into bed and started reading before calling it a night.
i do not remember the last time i stayed up until 4am.
(watching that meteor shower last month was probably close, but i didn't stay up for that, i went to bed and then set my alarm to wake up...)

all of that is to say...
pay attention.
oh pay attention, you. 
pay attention, me.
to that thing. 
that thing that you do and you lose track of time when you're doing it. 
that is a tell, it really is.
i don't think that using that, losing track of time, as a measurement and validation of your passion is a cliche.
or, if it is, it's a cliche worth embracing.
spend more time, time you don't realize you're spending, on that thing. 
it's worth while.
it means something that you lost track of time. 
that you forgot where you were. 
that you were that singularly focused and driven towards its production and outcome.
that you weren't thinking about tomorrow. 
that you weren't thinking about yesterday.
that you were just exactly here, doing exactly that.
that thing.
that's enough you know?
you need to let that, and the losing track of time, be enough. 
because it means that that thing is intrinsically tied to a part of your inner clock, it has such an impact on it that it muddles the arms and hands of it, and the sort of linear wave and anchor to what is your normal perception of time in the outside world.
and that's because it goes right past your inner clock and straight into the centermost part of you from which your essence and passion and dreams come from. it taps into that. and when you tap into that, you're acting on some sort of divine in you. a thing that was placed there from your inception and that you were, to some extent or some capacity, made to do. 

that's what i think anyway. 
(that, and that the outside world plays too much of an influence on what we think, but i digress)

if you don't think you have a thing like that, or if you've never experienced the losing track of time in a way that feels good, well that's okay. it just means you need to create space for it. 
if you're so full to your capacity all of the time, and on and in and out and up and down every minute of the day, well of course you're not going to lose track of time doing anything.  
because you don't have any time to lose.
so find some to barter with.
create some space.
sit in it.
be in it.
especially be.
just be.
and then try new things.
or, maybe, some old things. some things you used to enjoy doing but got put on the back burner because the outside world told you X, Y and Z were much more important. 
start there.
do that until you find that thing.

Camping In Ireland

tiny houses, simplicity, intentional living, minimalism -- all types of limitation that bring freedom. all topics that have been on my mind for a while now, but ever pressingly this week.
i loved coming across these photos again, from an adventure in Ireland in 2015 where i had the privilege of staying in this cute camper in the middle of The Burren. the contemplative space that the month of January usually brings with it has had me looking back into various archives and it's been a happy and welcome time of recollection and rediscovery. 

in fact, looking back, i recognize this experience as one of the earlier placed logs on the ever growing fire that is my desire to live more simply and intentionally.

i think this place will forever remain as one of the more cherished and sacred places i've been fortunate enough to experience. 
Ireland felt like a kind of home to me. 
a home i hope i can return to soon.

Moon Musings

beautiful new moon
you are a welcome face
at my window.

you greet me always with a consistent serenity
pure of face and,
should you have one,

(though perhaps suggesting you have such a mercurial organ is a defilement to your etherial and constant nature)

oh to be as sure in my body as you are in yours.
whether bold
    round shape. 
    curved crescent.

teach me your ways, 
for though the night cloaks so many of my fears,
     the sun
                           each morning
                                                 what i can no longer hide from.