Hi wonderful people! Happy July. It’s officially summer here in my city and it couldn’t have come any quicker. I hope it stays for quite a bit but knowing Chicago weather, we will skip right over fall and it will be winter tomorrow morning. I don’t want to jinx it, so in order to keep the balance here’s a fresh new Swopes Note. Hi!
June started off beautifully with my second monthly partnership with Facebook for our photography masterclass with some of my favorite kids from Off The Street Club. This round we taught them about perspective and how to use your body to frame a shot, whether it be getting low to the ground, or finding a high place to shoot from, they really enjoyed the concept and shot some amazing work. I’m always so proud of them!
I’ll be honest, I’m not much a festival goer, and if I am, I’m quite bougie about it. My boyfriend and I drove over to Manchester, Tennessee in a car given to us by Fiat. They paid for our hotel and food and provided us with VIP/Photo passes to Bonnaroo, a festival located on campgrounds. Being the photographer couple that we are, we made our way to places outside of the festival to get the more visual side of Tennessee. Old Stone Fort Waterfall at the State Archeological Park was definitely my favorite additional adventure. As well as trying Waffle House for the first time. A few of my favorite performances were Paramore, Eminem, Future, and Gogo Penguin.
Through the blistering heat, we also ended up linking with Chance The Rapper for most of our days out at the festival. One of my longtime friends, Kirsten, is the mother of his little girl Kinsley so it was so fun to have friends out there. We have known Chance and them for a long time, but it is still really crazy to see how people are when it comes to seeing him. But I’ll tell you what, the best part was seeing how much fun him, his family, and his whole team have, and being able to experience the festival in the bougie way I like, because without their golf cart rides from stage to stage, and air-conditioned tour bus, we probably would have died a hot death.
In the summer there are always a plethora of influencer parties and events, so that means free drinks, tasty bites and interesting experiences, for better or worse. June proved no different, as I got to experience a brand-new rooftop bar at the top of the Peninsula Chicago on Superior. It was really beautiful and cozy and offered really nice drinks. My favorite part is that the managers there reached out after and thanked me for my visit. I love a good management! I’d recommend having a cocktail while overlooking the city. It has a gorgeous view!
Yayoi Kusama is known for her infinity art rooms and intriguing patterns and finally one of them are passing through Chicago and I was invited to a preview of it. The piece, “Festival of Life,” will be displayed at the Wndr Museum. They haven’t given me any details of when it will be ready, but you should sign up for their newsletter because there will be some really insane exhibits inside this museum between end of July and August. You’ll definitely see me in there a few times this summer.
If you haven’t heard yet, I had my second Apple Talk! If you missed it, don’t worry. Good things will be coming where you can see me speak and learn how to edit on your phone. It was so much fun. The team at Apple are so kind and excited for me. It made it that much more worth it, to know that you’re being supported by a company that has paved the way for me to do what I do every single day. I was so surprised by the amount of people who showed up on account of the rain, but if you know anything about how I work, I tend to thrive in the rain, so I had some really great lessons to teach people about shooting in puddles. It was perfect, and I can’t wait for a third.
Teaching is something I am pretty passionate about and it would make sense because my dad is a teacher himself! As of recently, I have been doing a lot more workshops to kids about the importance of mobile photography and how to build a business for yourself on your phone. With kids being so obsessed with their phones, I can relate, but I know that they could use it to their advantage the same way I have. Through these workshops, I have been able to even teach kids who go to the high school I graduated from. That’s a beautiful full circle to me!
As if June wasn’t wonderful enough, I was surprised with a work trip to Copenhagen, Denmark with Visit Copenhagen, their tourism board. The flight was a quick one compared to a few I have been on at a small 8 hours and I slept through pretty much all of it without the few breaks here and there to catch a free movie. Copenhagen was so damn beautiful! I have to thank my new friend Kenneth Nguyen for showing us around while we were there. He truly helped us get more comfortable with the drone flying and provided great friendship along the way. I’d have to say a few of my favorite things we did was go to the Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park, sail a boat on the canal, buy weed in Christiana, explore the rooftop of the Opera House, and eat amazing vegetarian food at spots like Kalasat, Musling, and Sidecar. I’d like to believe I pretty much conquered Copenhagen the best way I could, but there’s always a next time.
Thanks to AirBNB for sponsoring a sailboat ride around Chicago’s lakeshore to end my June off right. I have never watched the summer fireworks from the lake, so it was definitely a treat. Through their AirBNB Experience section, you can find a bunch of classes and fun things to do from local hosts. You maaaaaay see one from me in the future…
In any case, thank you for always being so supportive and interested in what I do. Please enjoy my 10th Swopes Note made just for you below. Expect some really wonderful things to come soon when it comes to IGTV for me! And as always, keep your imagination alive.
I'm currently in the process of producing an online class for you guys, so that means my tutorials will be on pause for quite some time, but don't worry - it'll be worth the wait!
Elizabeth De La Piedra
As you may have noticed so far when it comes to my Artist Features that I admire beautiful women who make a name for themselves with their natural passions and glow. Elizabeth De La Piedra is no different. I met her through my friend Jetzi, though I swear it feels like I have known of her for so many years. She’s the type to make you remember her, but for good reason. Elizabeth was born in Peru but moved to Sydney, Australia when she was just two years old and grew up there. She eventually moved to Chicago eight years ago and is now a married mum of two. She’s a photographer and creative director, and her hobby includes thrifting. Her style is out of this world, her body is crazy, and her soul is a radiating forcefield of kindness and gratitude, and I could not be more excited to give you a tiny glimpse into the goddess that is Elizabeth De La Piedra.
What are five words that best describe you?
Assertive, loyal, old soul, fun,
What’s it like being a woman in the world?
I feel blessed to have had my experiences in the world and find great strength in my womanhood. it is intrinsically linked to my intuition and empathy, so I am grateful for that.
What’s your dream project?
I love narrative projects that center around the human experience. I would like to tie this more into a historical context and do more work with indigenous communities including my own in Peru.
Best advice you’ve learned in life?
Be patient and kind.
Visit her Instagram, Twitter and Website.
health is wealth
You’ve managed to score a new opportunity, but you feel like you tricked your way to the job and aren’t deserving of it, or maybe you’re a guest speaker at an event, but you don’t think your story is worthy of a packed room. You, my friend, have Imposter Syndrome. Something that I too struggle with from time to time.
The term Imposter Syndrome was coined in the 70’s and is defined as “a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success”. The thing is, perfectionism and Imposter Syndrome are almost one in the same. Most high achievers struggle with it. Most normal people struggle with it. It’s a real thing that affects real people on a regular basis and can be a serious detriment to someone’s goals and dreams if not approached correctly, but lucky for you, you’re here with me and I have some tips to share on how you can get through those future questionable times.
One of the most important things through all of this is to be honest with yourself about it and to separate yourself from what your mind is feeding you. Start by acknowledging that you have the feeling of in adequacy or that dull feeling of being out of place. The first step to accomplishing anything is admitting you need to work on it and honestly, it’s the most important choice next to actually taking the physical or mental steps.
Your brain is a muscle and it’s wired to grow and change forever. So, it’s funny to me when people say, “I am” this or that. When in reality, we are ever changing. That leads me to my second tip. It’s important to know that you can change the way you interpret your own thoughts and the way you handle them. A lot of people assume that because they think something, it’s what they should say or believe because why would the mind tell them something they don’t need to hear? Well, it does. It does it all the time. In fact, the mind is made is problem solve and the minute we give it something to do, it’s going to hone in on that specific thing and find all the problems with it and most of the time, if we aren’t careful, it will tell us all the wrong information. Changing the way we assess our own thoughts can dramatically help us with feeling inadequate or trying to be perfect. After all, no one is perfect and we all continuously growing.
Now, while I love listening to HUMBLE. by Kendrick Lamar, I can’t help but wonder if sometimes we can be too humble and that it goes to show by our thinking habits. Sometimes it’s important to sit back for a second and take note of our achievements, and while we know nobody is perfect, I believe we are perfect at one thing in our lifetime and if we take note of the little things it takes to get there, we would see that personal development is key, but also you’re pretty amazing and can conquer anything life tosses you.
Last but not least, the key thing to remember through anything is that you are not alone. You are not the only person who has struggled with Imposter Syndrome. You are not the only soul in this world who wants to be perfect and be the best person you can be. I promise through understanding this wholeheartedly, you can move forward without a victim mentality. The world isn’t against you, it was made for you and you deserve all the things you dream of. It just takes a bit getting used to the idea! But once you do, there will be no stopping you.