literally and figuratively, these are powerful words from a working mama of two with her own thriving and rewarding business. for kara marie, a photographer who spends her days celebrating the modern woman through black and white photography while delivering a therapeutic photo shoot experience, this means hitting the road to gather photo inspiration, or finding the means to help another mother’s child in need. this season, we’re choosing to interpret her words to mean make the leap. whatever it is you’re on the precipice of, consider this your final (gentle, supportive) push:
“fall is my favorite season (i know, how basic of me). i love the smells, i love the layers, i love the food, and i love that my darling children go back to school. call me crazy, but i always welcome getting back to routine. i find myself the most inspired to work in the fall after a jam-packed summer of hanging with the kids, wrapping up projects, traveling, and not experiencing nearly as much of the mythical summer downtime as I tell myself i will.”
“it’s probably no surprise given i’m a photographer, but i’m a very visual person. i’m constantly inspired by photographs—my Pinterest boards overfloweth. sundays are my mandatory “off” days, and those are usually spent pantsless on my couch with my cozy blanket flipping through photography books and Pinning images that inspire me. i also keep a running note on my phone that i input literally anything that inspires me, so on the days when i find myself desperately needing help creating, i can look through my mood boards and visit that note. i also make a promise to myself to travel somewhere new every year. travel is instant inspiration for me and i will always and forever carry my camera with me even when i’m supposed to be “off”. my best ideas come to me when i’m on the road and i’m always excited to get back to work.”
“outside of my career, and as unromantic as it may be, i adore lists. to-do lists, to be specific. i’m talking color-coded, chronological, categorized, and really obsessive looking. one of my lists is titled “To-Do-Good” and anytime anything pops into my head that i can do for someone else, i put it on the list. whether it be a thoughtful present for a girlfriend, a genuine compliment for a stranger, or a pick-me-up for an acquaintance, it goes on the list and i check those boxes off like crazy. i also dedicate entire weeks or months to kicking this into high gear. for example, my birthday is this month and i have a bad habit of feeling down around my birthday. i’m not sure why that is, because i genuinely am not bothered by growing older, i just feel kind of…blue. so last year i swore that this year i would focus my whole birthday month on brightening other people’s lives in some way for the entire month of August. i’ve been delivering thoughtful gifts to women in my life that inspire me, i’ve been committing to one random act of kindness a day, i’ve been seeking out to surprise people with “just because” notes and presents, and i have to say it feels amazing. it’s a practice i should have been doing all along and i will absolutely continue to do so for blocks of time until it becomes something that is part of my daily routine.”
i am also currently focusing on the Bali Children Foundation through whom i sponsor a young boy’s education. he otherwise would not be able to attend school due to his family’s disadvantages. when my youngest boy was done with preschool and getting ready to attend a public elementary school, i decided that i would take the money we were saving on his preschool tuition and help another child in need. what hit me hard was that one month of his preschool tuition would cover 2 YEARS of education for any of the children in one of seventy-six villages in Indonesia, including school supplies, uniform, and grooming products. i’m on my second year of sponsoring him and i love receiving his drawings and thank you letters. he wants to be a police officer to help keep his village safe and he wouldn’t have been able to do that without finishing school. i’m currently planning my first visit to the village to meet him and to assist in any way that i can while there.”
“right now i’m all about the JET SET TROUSER. these pants are SO incredibly comfortable, chic, and versatile. they’re easy for me to do photo shoots in without feeling constricted, and i can also wear them out with heels or with a casual top and sneakers when running errands. and i’m going to go ahead and add in THE ONE CROP and the EVERYDAY PANT as additional favorites. i really just love every single époque evolution piece i own, no smoke blowing. everything goes with everything and fits like a glove. i’ve never experienced another brand that I’ve never had to return my online purchases from.”
“i’ve made it my mission, one woman at a time, to help develop a greater sense of self awareness, self love, strength, and confidence through a photo shoot experience with me. i want to see more strong women, and more women supporting other women and i hope to accomplish this as an educator, sharing my mission with other like-minded photographers and coaching them through the business of women’s photography.”
“find the good light. always.”
"i've said it before and i'll say it again: capsule wardrobe."
"am i allowed to say sex?"