Everyday Inspirations

 
 

~ one year of inspiration ~


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Last year I was on Facebook looking through a friend's engagement photos and all I could think was, "Who shot these? They're amazing!" Us Utahns see a lot of engagement photos, and it becomes quite easy to pick out unique images out of a sea of "been done" poses.

I ended up sending the photographer, Morgan Trinker, an email gushing about her photos. I figured if it were me, I'd want to know someone loved my work. Morgan and I struck up a friendship and even had a lovely lunch at Salt Lake's Tin Angel Cafe early in the summer. I was bummed when she moved away from Utah, but I understood her need to live close to her family. Now we keep in touch online. She is out-of-this-world adorable, insanely talented, and totally inspirational. {ash}

{Morgan's Bio}
Morgan is a wedding photographer who lives in Birmingham, AL with her husband Jamie and hound dog Gretchen. She's gets her red hair from a bottle but insists she should've been born with it, and she watches way too many reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond and Friends while she works during the day. She also loves making new friends, so don't ever hesitate to send her an email and say hello!
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1. My leopard-print flats. I know that since I'm only 5 feet tall (even!), I should probably make more of an effort to gain an extra inch or two by wearing heels. But as gorgeous as I think they are, and as much as I hope to have a closet full of Kate Spades in my next life, I just can't bring myself to withstand the pain. What can I say? I'm a jeans-and-T-shirt kind of girl. However, I don't think that style has to be sacrificed for comfort, which is why I am in love with my leopard-print ballet flats. I'm discovering that leopard goes with pretty much everything and is just one of those timeless prints, and these look cute whether I pair them with a fun dress or just my plain ole jeans.
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2. Vivien Maier. As a photographer myself, I'm ashamed to say I'm pretty uneducated when it comes to the history of photography, having never been formally taught the art. But when, not long ago, my cousin sent me a link to a story about this woman, Vivian, whose enormous body of work is just now being discovered and archived, I was absolutely intrigued. She is now being hailed as one of the greatest street photographers of our time, but she just died in 2009 in relative anonymity. It wasn't until 26-year-old John Maloof purchased a tub of her negatives at an auction and began scanning them that her genius was uncovered. Looking through her photographs, I am overcome with emotion. To me, Vivian was a true artist, a master of capturing the most wonderful, intimate, interesting, heartbreaking moments on film, and I have to wonder if I too would be content to never to show my work to anyone and to photograph people just for the sheer joy of it if I had a TENTH of the talent she did. Her story has inspired me to really think about why I do what I do. If you want to learn more, you can check out this news feature: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWEDOnBfDUI, or follow John Maloof's blog here: http://vivianmaier.blogspot.com/
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3. The color aqua. It has always been my favorite color. To me, it just represents pure happiness. Seafoam, turquoise, teal... I love all the variations. It's a nod to mid-century design and fashion, a reminder of that famous Tiffany box and the ever-perfect Audrey Hepburn, and an invitation to swimming pools and oceans in the summertime. Also, much like my leopard-print shoes, I find that it goes with just about everything.
4. The Civil Wars. Have you listened to them yet? If not, please do so at your earliest convenience. John Paul and Joy make one dynamic duo, and their soulful Americana sound and gorgeous harmonies make me wish I had a front porch just so I could sit on it with a glass of sweet tea on a summer night and play this record. The fact that they went from relative obscurity to debuting at #1 on iTunes is a testament to their talent, but I also appreciate that they have handled their overnight fame with humility, grace, and the utmost in Southern style.
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5. Grilled cheese and tomato basil soup. Okay. I admit it. I have a serious problem, and its primary ingredients are carbs, carbs, and more carbs. I have recently rediscovered my love for this perfect food pairing, and boy oh boy, when a love like this is rekindled, any hope of moderation is thrown to the wind. I think one weekend, when it was particularly cold and dreary out, I ate grilled cheese and tomato soup for at least four different meals. I have a sneaky suspicion this will be one of those things that I'll wake up one day and never be able to eat again because I've overdone it, but oh well. You can never have too much of a good thing... right?... Right?
6. My dad. My dad has always been one of my biggest heros, which probably has something to do with the fact that we share the exact same genetic makeup. We're both opinionated, a little stubborn, and prone to idealism and daydreaming, which means that we understand how each other's brain works and know how to push each other's buttons. :) When my dad had a sudden stroke last summer at the age of 48, my world was shaken in a way I have never experienced. But he has faced his recovery process head on, and though there have been many times when it would have been easier to just throw in the towel and succumb to self-pity and bitterness, he has done just the opposite. One of my favorite parts of our visits to my parents' house is waking up to the sounds of him reading aloud from the Bible downstairs in the kitchen as a part of his speech therapy. His bravery and refusal to be defeated by this is so, so inspiring to me.
7. Portlandia. This is a show that just recently debuted on IFC, and the whole premise is basically poking fun at the curious habits of people who live in Portland, OR. The shows are comprised of various skits done by Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, and they are absolutely hysterical, mainly because they are true not only of Portlanders, but of a much broader spectrum of young, hip white people across the country. [see also: the book Stuff White People Like by Christian Landers.] I'm a big believer in being able to laugh at yourself now and then, and this show runs rampant with self-deprecating humor. A must-see for anyone who has ever found themselves inquiring at a restaurant about the exact farm their chicken came from or making an impulse purchase of something just because it has a cute bird on it. Check out more here: http://www.ifc.com/portlandia/
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8. Novels with young heroines. I majored in English in college and have always been a book lover, but there are certain novels that really speak directly to my heart. In particular, I have a fondness for novels with young girls as the heroines. My two favorites? To Kill a Mockingbird and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Both tales of idealist, free-spirited, big-hearted girls who, with the frankness that it seems only a child could possess, speak the truth about the injustices of the worlds they live in. So if ever name my daughter Scout or Frances... you'll know why. :)
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9. Mad Men. I know, I know. Who doesn't love Don and Peggy and Joan? But the attention this show has received, by audiences and critics alike, is every bit deserved. To say I'm a wee bit obsessed with the mid-century aesthetic is an understatement, so I find the spot-on styling and art direction to be jaw-droppingly gorgeous. But when you throw in incredible storytelling and pitch perfect acting? Well, that just makes for a force to be reckoned with. Here's to many more seasons of one of the, if not THE, most brilliant show on television. (Side note: the book in the photo, "Mad Men: An Illustrated World," is written and illustrated by Dyna Moe. It's delightfully cheeky and the perfect gift for any Mad Men lover in your life.)
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10. The feeling I get when I've just finished a shoot. It's the best high ever.

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{enter to win}
Psst... don't forget we're giving away a pair of handmade earrings and a handmade apron to our readers (one prize per reader, two prizes total). There are three ways to enter:
1. Tell us what inspires you in the comments section of ANY post, starting today through Wednesday, February 23. 
AND
2. Become our fan on Facebook and write about something that inspires you on our wall.
OR
3. Follow us on Twitter and tweet something that inspires you (make sure to include @365inspirations so we see it!).

We'll be collecting names all week for both prizes, so the more times you comment on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter, the more chances you'll have to win! Bonus--we'll be writing a special tribute post to our readers and your comment may just appear on it (we really want to make you a big deal... because you are).

One prize per reader. Open to U.S. residents only. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Twitter.

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