How Instagram Has Stunted My Growth

 Lately I've noticed something - instagram has stunted my growth as an artist. Or rather, I've willingly allowed it to keep me from creating what my brain naturally designs. I hear it shouted 24/7 "you need to have good branding!! you need a color scheme!! you need captions that make people comment!! don't get too weird!! post only at optimal times a day!!"** (also hear people making fun of when I do post little glimpses of my "weird", like this photo..but that's a bitter cuppa joe for later.) While all of those things ARE important for follower growth, they often inhibit who we are as artists. Branding in the sense of who you are is one thing, but the rest is a different story.

 I get it. We all want people to join us on our journey, to like our content, etc. but when that starts preventing you from posting the damn photo you like, or captioning the way you want it, that's when the authenticity stops. I have removed so many posts over the past few weeks for feed consistency & talked more about fashion (which I genuinely don't care about, bee-tee-dubz. catch me in a giant sweater + the same pair of dirty boots every day) because I thought that's what I HAD to do as a blogger/photographer. It's all dumb & I want you guys to know the real Kizzie, quirks 'n all.

 You are what you eat & I just wanna be a lil flower, growing amidst a society obsessed with self glorification. My challenge to myself to do what whatever I want & to stop using hashtags & being "THAT instagrammer."

**I greatly appreciate people who have mastered the art of insta-branding & who do that as a business. I am in NOOOOO way saying it's a waste of effort or uncool, just not how I'm ever going to be honest with myself + my art.

Lemme tell you somethin'

 Like most people, I've struggled a lot with feeling less than beautiful physically. I have a slightly lazy eye, I have an athletic build rather than petite, my cheeks are pretty round, I didn't get acne until I hit my 20's, & I could probably continue this list for a few paragraphs. When expressing my insecurities to my best friend Grace, she left me with this beautiful piece of advice..

"When it comes to insecurity I think it isn't about how we get over it, but how we allow it to feed us. Putting that energy into something else, something that lets us use our hands to where we can see that we are more than beings that need to be validated for our physical appearance. You know? Putting that energy into something YOU can appreciate more than anyone can ever appreciate your body." 

 PHEW. It's so easy to forget how amazing our bodies are - for far more than their beauty. Our bodies can heal many injuries, they can feel heartbreak from losing a loved one, they can reshape based on how we feed them, they can show us what's going on inside ourselves, they can build things, they can make humans (still freaks me out - I don't do pregnant tummies so don't show me), they can create SO MANY INCREDIBLE THINGS. You are more than the skin you're in. If you're a generally healthy, able person - celebrate it. If you're living with an illness (visible or invisible) - celebrate how strong you are. 

I hope in this space we can build each other up. Regardless of gender, personal beliefs, status in life, etc. - we are all human & we're all in this together (cue High School Musical being stuck in your head for the rest of today). 

Celebrate you, friend.

shirt: gap
overalls: boohoo
shoes: nordstrom rack

I'm "pumped" about this change.

Get it? Pumped, because there are gas pumps behind me? okay.

 I have been #blessed to be able to provide traditional, natural light photography services for so many of you since 2009. Everyone has been incredibly patient with me as I've shifted styles/business plans throughout the years - there are not enough thank you's in the world for how much that means to me. Because of your support, I'm brave enough to start this new adventure. 

 My super cool husband, Ben, encouraged me to quit my "real" jobs & pursue my dreams full-time - but I'm 100% type B. There is not a single "organized" bone in my body. I do everything on a whim - self started (That's a bad quality, folks, but at least I've made it this far). I'm laid-back, emotional, & quirky as possible. Which brings me to this new project.... blogging. I've tried blogging for years, even had a blogger I worked with for 2 years help coach me, but that type B kicked in heavily & I quit every time. 

 I still plan to do photography for my incredible clients. I've even added in a few new services - creative consulting (i.e. how to make your brand authentic, etc.) & set staging. Thank you for believing in this little weird black haired kid. Thank you for encouraging me to be my authentic self. Thank you for not letting me run away from my dreams. YOU GUYS ROCK.

t-shirt: nordstrom rack
pants: lizard thicket
photos: Ben Warren, my instagram husband

(fun fact: I saved in a note on my phone "Kizzie, you like the windows at a place on 6th ave s. Take photos there" sometime last year. Finally found it. Thanks, Kizzie of the past!)