I've always found the best photos come when you shoot with a friend. Where he/she expands his/her craft, and you have a chance to just be you.
It's not about having a great camera, a crisply focused photo, the best pose, a perfect outfit... it's about you being you, the photographer being him/her, and letting that shine.
Outdoors is my favorite place to shoot. Natural light makes you glow (plan for sunrise or sunset for best light). I also find you can relax so much more outside than when you're sitting in a studio.
What you wear, your makeup, your hair... stop stressing about it. Wear something you feel good in, don't change your make-up routine just for a shoot (unless you're doing something really artsy), and pick a hair style that will last for hours. You want to know why a lot of my shots have my hair half back? If I leave it down, it goes flat instantly.
But most importantly, choose a photographer who you feel comfortable with, not intimidated by. This is the most important part. If someone is giving you too much direction or has unreasonable expectations... you won't look like you in the photos.
And getting great shots that represent YOU is the most important part.
Almost my entire Instagram page is filled with shots from a friend snapping a pictures in portrait mode on an Apple phone. It doesn't have to be a fancy, formal thing.
Like this! I wore this little black Caara dress to work, the same day my co-worker, Nay Renee brought her camera. The result? A really great time with some lovely prints to show for it.
Bonus Shot: Me and Marcel. My go-to digital / social media consultant.
Fortitude: courage in pain or adversity
Until last week, I hadn't thought much about fortitude. Then Holly Bertone, CEO of Pink Fortitude joined me for a Minute Motivation interview and I now vow to add fortitude to my vocabulary as much as possible.
"You can choose courage or you can choose comfort. You cannot have both."
Fortitude, courage, persistence... all words to describe Holly. Here's our full interview as she talked about beating breast cancer and fighting an autoimmune disease.
Plus! The clip from Get Up DC this morning on WUSA 9.
Rest in peace, my sweet Crosby.
Crosby came into my life six years ago when I needed him more than anything. I was a young journalist just starting out in Lexington, Kentucky and was scared and lonely.
I have dozens of journal entries saying “I don’t know what I would do without Crosby.” And I mean it. He was always the brightest spot in my day - literally jumping for joy when I would walk in the door from work.
We trained for a half-marathon together, he made many TV appearances in many markets, and he moved across the country with me from Kentucky to Texas to D.C.
Crosby made the lonely TV broadcasting life of picking up and moving every couple years, plus working opposite hours/days of most people so much better. I could cover horrible breaking news all day at work (the kind of news where you question if there is any good in the world) - and then come home to Crosby with his tail wagging the second I opened the door. I would see him for a split second, before he dashed off to his toy box to grab a toy so we could start playing.
Eventually, his anxiety and love of barking meant he needed a different living situation.
My heart broke when he had to go stay with my parents (who truly gave him the best life), but I am eternally grateful to them for taking him in and treating him like gold.
Your texts and memories of him have made me tear up every time. Thank you for reaching out and letting me relive all of the good times.
Crosby, you will be missed. May Bing be singing White Christmas to you right now.
When we don't see immediate results, what do we typically do? Quit. Slowly give up. Complain. Make excuses. Try the next quick fix... We so often fight against necessary tasks because progress is slow and the work isn't all that fun.
My sister inspires me in countless ways, but watching her go to therapy every week for 18 years after she was struck by lightning has been incredibly motivating. She doesn't always love therapy (unless it's massage therapy!), but she and my parents maintain her diligent routine.
Christina and I sat down over the weekend to talk about even small, slow progress is worth it.
I love sharing my sister's story, but having the chance to interview her for my "Minute Motivation" series was special because she is the driving force behind so many of the lessons and stories I share every morning with "Minute Motivation."
Let's start with this reality: people aren't paying nearly as much attention to you as you think. I promise you, they aren't.
They have their own lives, their own problems, their own dreams... They don't go home, sit on the couch and think about you.
So we need to stop giving other people's opinions and feelings so much weight in our lives. They say one negative thing to us - and we change our entire lives based on that comment. Meanwhile, they forget that they even said it.
Instead of giving other people the power in your life - hold it for yourself! And start using it today.
When I got these photos back from a speech I gave last week, I thought, "these don't even need a caption." I am so thankful to photographer Phelan Marc for catching moments of pure joy from that day... which is an accurate description of how I felt.
There is something special when you find a place you are supposed to be - and you start living there every day.
Thank you to AWE for letting me share that joy with you.
I first met Richard Dyer five years ago at a job interview in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was the General Manager of WLWT. I interviewed there a couple times actually, but never made the move back to Ohio.
Richard's personality and energy were impossible to forget - even after knowing him for just a couple of hours. And as it all turned out - I did end up working for Richard after all... when he moved to D.C., where he is our General Manager at WUSA 9.
His leadership is genuine and his desire to learn as much as possible is evident from the daily motivational stories he tells.
As a mentor to me and a guru of self-improvement, he was the perfect "Minute Motivation" guest. I'm so thankful to have this chance to share his stories of being told no, finding his path, and making the most of his time with you.
Plus! The segment we ran from Richard's interview on air this morning on Get Up DC.
Can you tell I listened to Jessie J on the way to work this morning? "It's ok not be ok..." I love that line. And it's so true.
Some days, I'm just not feeling it. Some days, the alarm clock rings and I want nothing to do with the day ahead. Some days, I'm just feeling overwhelmed and uninspired.
First - it's ok to feel this way. You are normal. We all go through bad days or even bad stretches of time.
On the days when I feel fear and anxiety overwhelming me, I find it's most important to take action. That means fighting against the urge to call in sick and so you can stay in bed. Or fighting the urge to isolate yourself from everyone and all of your responsibilities.
Sometimes all it takes is getting around other people or getting one thing crossed off my to-do list to turn my mood around.
And if that doesn't work, I just keep pushing through the day anyway. Things will turn around... maybe not today, or tomorrow, or next week. But they will. And in the meantime, know that it's ok not to be ok.
I like to know I am good at something before I do it. Who wants to try something new and fail?
If you feel the same, you're choosing to live in comfort. A place where you know you are good at what you do and don't have to worry about making a fool of yourself.
While comfort feels nice, you will never grow into your full potential if you stay there. Get out of that comfort zone. Try something new and fail. Anyone who's done anything important in this world started out by feeling like they were in over their heads.
It's time to get uncomfortable.
Angelica Talan comes from a place of yes, but she also comes from a place of genuine kindness. She was my first interview for taking Minute Motivation to TV - and I can't think of anyone better to be my first guest.
From building the successful online blog Clarendon Moms to being a community leader, Angelica opened up about her journey in D.C. and the woman behind the gorgeous photos you'll see on her Instagram page.
Above is a highlight reel of our conversation together! Below is the piece we aired on Get Up DC this morning - a discussion that saying "yes" to the things that are most important in your life actually starts with saying no.