the twirling leaf, or creative photography for a spiritual entrepreneur

the twirling leaf, or creative photography for a spiritual entrepreneur

Dry leaves are rustling under my feet as I make my way deeper off the paved path, where sunlight does not reach the ground because of the thick foliage above. It looks like someone spilled a giant bucket of sepia to cover this part of the park canvas, with the exception of a few resilient greens that are making their way to the skies. A good way to ensure not getting a spider web on your face is to extend your arm in front of you and wave it in the direction in which you are going ...

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Goddess Photoshoot with Nora + behind the scenes magic

Goddess Photoshoot with Nora + behind the scenes magic

"You will recognize me by a green top and I will probably have my nose in the book" - these were my cues for identifying Nora whom I was about to meet for a pre-photoshooot consultation at my favorite French bakery.

Nora's Goddess is Brigid, the patroness of poetry and inspiration, the ruler of creativity and ...

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Japanese-inspired photoshoot

Japanese-inspired photoshoot

It all started with an idea to just get out and do a little photo shoot. Where? Morikami Park, since I had never been there. The ambiance should have been enough of a theme in itself, but developing the idea further, the model who volunteered for the project - Nelly Iskhakova (one of my favorites!) - happened to have a Japanese-looking top, so it was decided to compliment it with geisha-inspired makeup with a modern twist to it. The images below are what we came up with! 

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self-portrait

self-portrait

After I created this self-portrait I realized that the inspiration for the idea came from my daughter! On the conscious level I was experiencing what I call artistic hunger - not having an outlet for my creativity due to not having shot in over a month. My husband had given me a dozen red roses for our fourth-year anniversary and I made up my mind to photograph them. Since I am not as keen on photographing objects as opposed to people, it struck me as a brilliant idea to do a self-portrait. No makeup, but luckily, freshly washed hair, a nursing bra stained with breastmilk, I set up a tripod while my daughter was napping in a swing. I threw

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tough stuff

tough stuff

"Give me some time to get into better shape and we will do a photoshoot", were his words before I left for a long vacation spanning two countries. Having come back hungry for work (photographing places and things does not give me the same high as a photo session with a person, a photo session with objectives to capture a certain mood, or something special about that person), so I was very psyched to have an opportunity to photograph Kerem. 

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the gift of Yemaya (Goddess Photoshoot essay)

the gift of Yemaya (Goddess Photoshoot essay)

Yemaya has been there all along - watching, waiting for us to notice, but we get so wrapped up in ourselves, in our daily routines, in our personal hopes and dreams, that we miss out on the obvious: The ocean of joy, the ocean of timelessness, the blue-green sparkling jewels cast upon our shores every day.  

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how I became Francesca Bliss

how I became Francesca Bliss

My parents named me Masha, or Maria, which are the same name in Russian. My given name was something that I lived with for many years, never hating or loving my name, just being ok with it, I suppose. I was also ok with who I was, but not in total acceptance of myself and full of fears and limitations. One day, when I was working at a language school where I got to meet a lot of people from different countries, I met a young woman from Argentina. She came in with her boyfriend ...

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Marny as goddess Isis (Goddess Photoshoot report)

Marny as goddess Isis (Goddess Photoshoot report)

Had an amazing photoshoot with Marny just a few weeks ago. Marny took such great care in preparing for the shoot by finding the perfect dresses and accessories. (Properly selected outfits are one of the steps that ensure a successful photoshoot!) Marny embodies the energy of Isis, the Egyptian Goddess of magic, motherhood, healing and rebirth. 

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fun couple shoot

fun couple shoot

Always experimenting and pushing outside of your comfort zone is a great way to stay inspired and to grow as an artist. I was fortunate enough to come across a couple who was willing to be experimented upon and trusted me in choice of poses for them. While doing my research in preparation for their session, I came across photos of Adam Levine and his Russian supermodel girlfriend Anna Vyalitsina for a recent issue of Vogue.  Kerem and Elia, my models, ...

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one woman's story - why I chose to do a Goddess Photoshoot

one woman's story - why I chose to do a Goddess Photoshoot

My recent Goddess Photoshoot with Francesca Bliss was the culmination of several important themes in my life. For many years, I’ve studied Women’s Spirituality and Goddess Archetypes as a way to access the innate divinity in myself and other women. I believe that what you worship and what you defile say a lot about a person. For instance, in Western culture, why is God a man, and woman his submissive? This dynamic shapes not only religion, but the relationship between the sexes, and ...

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why I chose to do a Goddess Photoshoot - Christina's story

why I chose to do a Goddess Photoshoot - Christina's story

When Francesca Bliss first mentioned the ‘Goddess photo shoot’ concept,  my sensible self replied,  “How silly!” And within a nanosecond,  my adventure-seeking self said, “I’m in! When can we start?”

You see, I’m at that stage of life where being sensible and responsible are not only goals, but necessary qualities. Yet, I can’t deny it. My appetite for adventure has never diminished. 

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fascination with hats

fascination with hats

I have always been drawn to hats and lately had a chance to photograph many women wearing them. There is something about hats that just transforms you into an elegant classy lady or a playful sassy girl. My friend Claire (in the first two portraits) has tons of hats, from fancy to cowboy and beach hats, and after our photo shoot she said that she might transform her style and start wearing hats all the time and become known as That Lady Who Always Wears Hats. Why not? And the Russian beauties...

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follow your bliss

follow your bliss

I always dreamt of being a photographer and have been fascinated with photography for years. In May of 2012, when I realized that I can have the life of my dreams if I dare to do the things that bring me joy, I bought a camera and resolved to learn photography. Having acquired the most important piece of equipment for the task, I signed up for two classes at a local art school (Boca Raton Museum of Art School) - Introduction to Digital Photography and Photoshop for Beginners. I learned a lot... 

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