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Finding Balance In Bali

People in Bali believe you must always know where you are at every moment. The core of that is balance. If you lose balance, you lose your power…the power which is yourself. I spent weeks after we got home trying to wrap my head around this concept. How can I find my own balance? Considering my life is probably more chaotic than anyone I know, it was a toughy. But as days passed, I finally grew to understand. Let me take you outside of the box here for a moment..stay with me. If we think about some of our favorite celebrities like Lady Gaga or Jim Carrey, they came into fame being someone else. They came into fame wearing masks and meat outfits, but the world did not know who they really were as individuals…nor did they care. But what if you woke up one day and realized that if you died today…the world would not know who you were? They wouldn’t know your face, or what you love, or what you like to eat, or even what you look like on a daily basis. You were just this hollow body with a fake smile on your face? As artists, I think we fall into this pretty damn easily. I myself have fallen into this pit. When you begin making art, you want people to like it, and if you get a little attention (really even just one compliment of approval) you ignorantly start craving another and another…until you are creating work that you know people will love…but isn’t YOU. Don’t get me wrong…I fully understand that all of this has to do with success and money…but where is your balance? When is your time to take off that mask and show the world what YOU like to create? What interests you? What feeds your soul? Now jump back to Gaga and Carrey in 2017. Neither of them are dressing up or standing on a stage making funny faces. They have gone into spiritual healing and are now showing the world who they are with no costumes and no masks. Numbers show that their ratings have dropped drastically. People don’t want to know who they are…they want exactly what they’ve always wanted…entertainment. I remember having this same lightbulb go off when I turned 25. I was playing this role of being a 4.0 graduate who was married with her own house  working a 9-5 job and could get anything I wanted with a smile and a little Krista wiggle. My photography fell right into “what people wanted” instead of “what I wanted” and I remember waking up one day thinking that I was living in a lie. I was living a life that others expected me to live in, but that I would die one day and nobody would know who I was. Hell, I had so many chemicals on my hair that people wouldn’t even know what my real hair looked like! But who was I? What did I want if it wasn’t this? So for the next 2 years I went on a self enlightenment journey to find myself. I took off my mask. I quit lying to myself and everyone around me. I became the purest form of my authentic self. Not necessarily to the point where I couldn’t communicate with others or that others thought I was off my rocker…but I just quit faking my life and started respecting myself and standing up for myself. I think in most cases…the world has a mask. Hundreds of thousands of people walk around everyday in a fake world, wearing clothes they hate, talking to people they hate, eating food they hate, in a life they hate…just because they think they have to. They have on a permanent mask. Now redirecting back to Bali, I won’t lie…I judged when I got there. I was expecting entertainment. But after spending time there…I realized that Bali doesn’t have a mask. They are who they are. They haven’t ever tried to change with the modern world nor have they ever been anything but their authentic selves. They haven’t even changed for tourism, yet the tourists come flocking still. But why? I think it’s because there is a respect and a love for a place that can remain itself in this modern world we live in. And we as humans should take note of that and learn from it. When you meet someone new, treat them as if they are their own tiny country. Visit them, experience them, live in their world and let them teach you all they have to offer. And be the same for them. Let humans experience you in your real world. Let them respect you for who you are and teach them all of the things about you without any influence from your spouse, or kids, or family. Hell, RETEACH EVEN THEM WHO YOU ARE without their influence. Teach them where you are in this moment. Your family ratings may go down…but in the end they will know who you were, and what you stood for, and your little body country won’t be swarming with a whole bunch of tourists who just came for a good time. They will leave loving you. Just as we did Bali. Bali is about learning to love yourself. But you have to go out and find yourself first. You have to go out and explore. It’s not about what you can give right now, it’s about getting off the beaten path and going out to find it. There are so many hidden pieces of heaven there and it would be foolish of you to get stuck in your comfort cocoon. If you are brave enough to leave everything comfortable you know and embark on a journey…if you are prepared to face some tough things about yourself…then Bali is the exact place you need to be. The only way to heal is to trust yourself and your journey. If I have learned anything from myself or Bali, it is that I have the capacity to love the whole world and I am at peace knowing that the world can love me back…without my mask. 

A Bride & Groom Stopped Their Own Wedding

It is no secret that every wedding, no matter how well thought out or planned, will have something go wrong. We always hope for the best but literally anything could take a turn at any given moment…and it’s how graceful we deal with it that makes or breaks a wedding. One of my beloved friends Miller announced to me that she was getting married and I knew from that moment that this wedding would be nothing short of magical. Now that I think about it, I don’t think she ever asked me to shoot her wedding and I never questioned whether or not I was shooting it. We both just knew it was happening! Love her. Anyway, for months we critiqued every moment of her big day and mapped out every picture, in every place, with every wedding guest and we had it nailed to a T!! I arrived at her sweet little cottage down in Galveston and everything began to go as planned. We got ready, I spent a lot of time enjoying laughs with the girls as they got ready. My husband shot with the gentlemen at another location. We rode the bus to the wedding chapel as we toasted to a beautiful wedding day with a very special bride and it was time to walk this lady down the aisle!! Shooting so many weddings over the years, I kind of have these spidey senses when I start to feel like something is off or not going as planned. One way I know this is the Bride always looks at me or her Mom. I swear!! It’s the truth!! They kind of get this look that I can’t really explain, but I know it when I see it. So as the bride is standing up at the altar with her soon to be Groom…it happens. Her eyes switched from me, to her mom, and back again at me. This time though, it wasn’t just the bride…her groom did it too!! I didn’t know what was happening at the time, but I switched my camera off and dug deep into the moment to try to figure out what was wrong without looking obvious about it. Suddenly they both stopped the wedding. What?? This was a first for me. As everyone grew nervous, the bride, with her sweet little voice, announced that she had forgotten her bouquet. When she said this, the groom took the initiative to announce that he forgot the RING!! Haha!! Simultaneously, and with all of the understanding in the world… a cluster of laughter began to fill the room. It happens y’all!!! If you have ever been married you know the stress and jitters that come tied in a wedding. A bridesmaid ran to the bus to get the bouquet and a groomsmen ran the other direction to grab the ring and we were back in action!! As I think back to all of my brides and all of the weddings i’ve shot, I think Miller handled it more gracefully than i’ve ever seen and although this was a hiccup that couldn’t be hidden from the wedding party, everyone was so loving and we carried on like nothing happened at all. It really was a fairy tale day that ended even more perfectly than in began. The positive energy and love in that room couldn’t have ruined ANY wedding on ANY day. I am so thankful and honored to know Miller and her new hubby! They are pure joy to watch and be around and I hope they continue to laugh through the forgotten bouquets and rings we call life.

Below are a few of our favorites from their big day!

Did anything go wrong at your wedding? Share your story in the comments!

5 things to know BEFORE visiting Marfa

The idea of going to Marfa has been on my mind for years. I remember hearing about it when Instagram was born and flying through the Chinati hashtags like a crazed fool trying to see more, more, MORE of what it had to offer. I’ve always been mesmerized by how much art is out there in the world that I’ve yet to see. Marfa happens to be in the same state that I live in, but yet it still seemed far and out of the way. Almost annoying really. As many road trips that we take, it should have happened already…right? Well last week it finally did. 

Like most of our other trips, it always takes me a ton of time to process and evaluate the experience long after we get home. Being a natural “feeler,” I really like to indulge in how each trip made me FEEL. I guess with that takes time to sort out the feelings of excitement, the feelings of disappointment (if any) or just getting past the honeymoon phase of each trip to really know how I truly felt about it all. Marfa wasn’t going to cut the greatness short…but what is it about Marfa that is so great? And how exactly would it make me feel? 

Within a few hours of being there we instantly fell into the “tourist” life like scavengers trying to see what the hype was all about. Did you even see Marfa if you didn’t go to Chinati, or Prada, or see the Marfa lights? Geez! But honestly, I regret that now. I wish I would have gone to Marfa knowing nothing about it. It has soooo much more to offer than “where Beyonce took pictures at.” It’s not that I didn’t want to see these places at all, but I wish I would have been granted the opportunity to go with a fresh set of eyes and ears. Or even been able to stumble on these things while exploring this tiny town of magic. 

Originally, I wanted to write this blog on 5 reasons you should visit Marfa, and what exactly you should do while there. I quickly realized that that is exactly the same trap that I fell into and I don’t want to continue the trend. So I won’t. I will however, give you 5 bits of advice I wish I would have known before going that may help you have the best experience possible. 

1. My first bit of advice is just book the trip. Don’t read about it or look into it. Just go, and let Marfa tell you it’s own story. The town is filled with so much history and originality it’s hard NOT to learn something or surprise you with fun/quick knowledge. As we were walking down Main St. I looked up to an entire gallery full of Andy Warhol’s work. I had no idea his work was even there nor was this info included in any research I had previously done before the trip (cough cough). The best finds are never really on TripAdvisor guys…we should know better by now. Just go. 

2. Take full advantage of the quiet time. This sleepy town is small, and when I say small I mean a bicycle could get you from point A to point B in 10 mins max! I’m actually curious as to why any vehicles are needed there? Anyway. Most of the town closes during the week and their peak days are the weekends when tourists come flying through for their next best selfie. I beg of you, if you come to Marfa, take a full day of “quiet time” to yourself. We scramble day in and day out with our phones in our hands with absolutely no perception of time or space in our daily lives. This is the most spectacular place to just sit. Reflect. Sleep. Read. Mentally heal. Make life decisions. I’m telling you….and I know that each and every one of us need something like this. Get away from the world and just BE. You will thank me later. 

3. Get dirty…and then take an outdoor shower at El Cosmico surrounded by grape vines in the brisk cool desert air. Yes, this place is high on the tourist list, but remember its not about the place, its about the feeling. I need you guys to FEEL THIS SHOWER because quite frankly I’ve been thinking about it since we left. It was everything that everyone said it would be. The place was great, we met some super special new travel friends…(Hi Jessika & Peter!)…and it’s also a nice cool place to do #2 on our list =) 

4. Take this trip with friends. With the exception of your “quiet day” this is the perfect place to enjoy with loved ones. Explore together and get to know each other better. Play games at night and drink until dawn. We traveled down with 2 other couples to celebrate all of our wedding anniversaries. I am so thankful to have shared this trip with them. They really made it more enjoyable (and more funny) than I ever thought possible. If you do happen to go see the Marfa Lights (although I am not officially suggesting it) I would make sure everyone is nice and drunk so you can all scream out the X-Files tune every time someone THINKS they saw a light. 

5. I saved the best for last, find coffee!! I don’t know what these people put in their coffee but I am diggin it, and you will too! We were given a list of places to try for food/beverages back at El Cosmico. At first I was anxious to try them because I remember seeing them on the food network at some point and it rang a bell. However, the first place we went to (Marfa Burrito) on the list was closed so we were forced to stretch our wings and find our own place for breakfast. So glad that happened!! We ended up at Squeeze Marfa and OMG their coffee! French Press please! It wasn’t just this place…everywhere we went had fab coffee. Find it, drink it, and let the coffee gods speak the sweetest of things to you. 

6. Oops, I thought of an extra one. GO NOW! As original and great as Marfa is, we all know that things we love die hard in the world of humans. They get over saturated and ruined over time. Please go see it before this happens…I was kind of already feeling it when we were there. Although it can still be enjoyed, go FEEL it for yourself asap. 

Below are a few snaps from our glorious trip. I’ve been working on my craft lately and have somewhat pushed to switch up my shooting style a bit. Can you tell what I’ve changed? 

Enjoy…and book that trip!

Campsite: El Cosmico

Legit Bars: Capri Marfa

Legit Art: Ayn Foundation , Chinati Foundation

Good Food: Food Shark , Squeeze Marfa

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