I don't often share my own personal stories on this blog, but I have something exciting to share! First though, I want to know - what are your passions? What activities can you get totally lost in, if given the time? Do you take time often to indulge in them? I have been noticing some friends revisiting their hobbies while stuck at home over the past several weeks, and it’s inspiring!
When I turned 40 a year and a half ago, I started thinking about the previous decade and realized there so were many activities that used to bring me inner peace and happiness that I was no longer taking the time to do. While I was busy building a photography business, raising little kids, and trying to balance family and work life I began feeling overwhelmed. At the same time, I was suffering with undiagnosed Lyme disease, and I was always exhausted. Other responsibilities, and life in general seemed to take precedence and I began letting go of “me time” and so many activities I once loved.
My passions are deeply rooted in dance, photography, makeup, art, music, and holistic wellness (with a little metaphysics mixed in). Together, I call them my life force. When I started abandoning my core passions, pain began creeping in...and the more pain I felt, the less I wanted to indulge in these passions, especially dance (it hurt to move), and this cycle continued. Coincidentally, my chronic Lyme disease was progressively getting worse and my pain was growing more intense, both physically and emotionally. Something needed to change.
I began my healing journey from Lyme disease almost a year ago, and a big part of healing has been in rekindling all the components of my life force. I used to say, “I can’t wait to feel better so I can dance again.” But then I had an epiphany - MAYBE I NEED TO DANCE AGAIN SO I CAN FEEL BETTER - not the other way around! I may not have the flexibility and strength I once had, but damn, it feels amazing to dance - even if it’s just in my living room!! I have been making myself take the time (guilt-free) to engage in the passions that drive my happiness in activities throughout the week -every week, and it feels so good! I really feel like I am coming back to life.
This time in quarantine has allowed me to really reflect on all the things that bring me joy and how I can share them with others. I have been feeling this pull for awhile now, and actually started planning before this pandemic came along, but I am so excited to share that I am working on expanding Gretchen Noelle Photography into Gretchen Noelle Studio - a virtual space where I can share ALL of my passions with you. Yes, I will still be photographing clients (once our stay-at-home orders are lifted and it is safe), but I will be sharing so much more than photography moving forward, including more of my personal stories and experiences.
I want to hear from you! What are your passions? What activities bring you joy and inner peace? Do you share any of my passions? What types of content, or courses would you like to see from me? I have some ideas brewing! Please take a moment to fill out my form on this link, and you will be the first to know of my new offerings and freebies!
Summer is still trying to hang on, but Autumn is just around the corner! The kids are back in school, pumpkin spice lattes have returned, and as I look out my window, I see trees with red tops as the vibrant green is starting to fade. I absolutely love being out in nature this time of year. Fall is definitely a favorite amongst my clients as well. Although it's been almost a year since her session, I wanted to share Ashlyn's senior session that took place last fall. The evening was absolutely gorgeous! Not too hot, not too cold - just perfect. After a short time in the studio, we headed to downtown Northville and then to a farm in Milford. Ashlyn's smile is infectious and she just radiates positivity and joy - a true beauty, inside and out! She is also a talented photographer with a very artistic eye, so it was fun to get some pictures of her with her camera as well. I wish you the best, Ashlyn, on your new chapter at CMU!
I absolutely LOVE how her canvas portrait and album turned out! There is nothing better than seeing your images in print!
Summer and Fall in Michigan are absolutely GORGEOUS!! They are also the most popular seasons for family sessions, and they book up so quickly. I've opened a few more days over the next few months for both summer and autumn Signature and Petite Sessions. See below for availability and to book before all the spots are taken!
I had a great time hanging out in downtown Northville with Larry after a quick and fun studio session! I can't believe it's already been 4 years since I photographed his sister Emma's senior session! Back then, their mom had talked about having me create a wall collage BOTH of them, once Larry was a senior. After this session we made it happen - and it looks fabulous! It was such a pleasure working with Larry and his family again!
Next up on my senior feature is Cloe! This multi-talented and beautiful young lady is graduating from Salem High School where she has been on the cheer, track, and gymnastics teams! We were so lucky to have such a perfect summer evening for her session. A few colorful hot air balloons drifted by above us while we were shooting (check it out below!), and we ended the evening in the water! So. Much. Fun!!!