Oh Sh*t, I Did A Video

I have no idea why I put an asterisk in the title, you all know what I meant!

Last week I premiered my first video for you guys on my newsletter, then on my Facebook Page, so if you didn't know, now you do!

The feedback and enthusiasm from everyone has been INCREDIBLE. I couldn't believe it. I still can't, but I am so happy it has been that way. This has been so encouraging and motivating for me to continue creating content. 

Alright, Mariah, what the hell is this video about?

About me!! It's about me, how photography came into my life, what I aim to do with my photography, and how YOU are a part of my journey. So without further ado, enjoy my "Hello & Welcome" video!

I truly hope you learned something new or got to know me a little better with this video. I want to learn about YOU! 

So, take it to the comments and answer one of these questions: 

  1. Tell me something about yourself

  2. What is a really good book you just read?

  3. What did you think about this video?

Thank you sooo much for taking the time out to watch my video! Be on the lookout for more-- the best way to be in the loop is to sign up for my newsletter because my subscribers get first word on err-thanggg!

Love love love you all, have a kickass week!

XO,

Mariah

Giving Up is Part of My Journey

I gave up. 

But not in the way you're thinking. Let me explain. 

Part of my journey in life are those next steps after graduating college. Stepping into adulthood, getting a job, paying bills, experiencing new things, etc. I think those are things everyone expects. 

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No one really shares, though, how depressing, discouraging, and incredibly stressful the job hunt is. I graduated in May 2015 from college, earned that piece of paper that validates my education, and began my step into the real word with a much-deserved vacation with my partner. 

After vacation, my freelancing took off and I was booked most of the week with assisting gigs and it was great. 

But then it slowed down. Like really slowed down and the need to support myself became even more evident. 

Side note: while not many people may be talking about the dreaded job hunt, I have read plenty of material talking about how hard it is to maintain a freelancing career.

Back to story time. Yes, I knew freelancing was not going to be easy or consistent, which is why during my time freelancing I was looking for a full-time job to start my photo career. Not only was I doing that, but come October 2015 I decided to not just be a freelancer, but a business owner. That's right, I own Mariah Texidor Photography- all the ups and downs of starting a one-woman business (for now). Woop woop! *throws confetti*

My mom's happiness here is pretty much how I felt when I created my business.

My mom's happiness here is pretty much how I felt when I created my business.

But like we all know, we all only have 24 hours in a day and 95% of the time I like to remain hopeful, positive, and grateful during that time and all I may be doing. 

But that other 5%? That's the small percentage that hurts, mentally and sometimes physically. I can only speak for myself, but looking for a full-time job in a field of my interest felt something like this: 

"Oh! A photo position!... 'Must have 3-5 years of experience, solid portfolio, and know how to travel into space with a cat while juggling tractor trailers'"

Or it felt like this "take photos of visitors, we have the equipment, we train you, we tell how to jump and dance for customers all while giving you pennies and nickles for being utterly brainless.'"

The reason I say the job hunt is depressing and discouraging is because I either felt extremely over qualified or nowhere near qualified. There was no middle ground. And just so you know, I'm a terrible liar. So for me to go in smiley and wide-eyed, or in some cases seem extremely enthusiastic on paper about being a sales associate or cashier in a supermarket, eyewear store, or anything that had absolutely nothing to do with what I want, is very difficult. 

I wrestled with myself about dumbing down my resume and myself to fit into these roles because I needed the money. How do I convince an employer that I'm applying to their place not just for the money when that's exactly what I'm doing?? You do what you gotta do and I respect everyone who does what they need to in order to make ends meet. Salute. 

But after 10 months of the same feelings, you begin to question everything. I began questioning why didn't I study advertising photo instead of fine art? Why didn't I get an internship sooner? Why did I even go to college? I began to think I wasn't smart enough. I don't work hard enough. I am not any company's cup of tea. And a lot more terrible things. 

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The truth is deep down I know I am smart enough, good enough, and a damned good hard-worker. But man, not that long ago I truly began thinking the opposite. 

My partner is amazing at what he does. He'd talk about how much he improvised, thought on his feet, troubleshooted, and engaged with a customer. During those talks, I'd just think "I can't do any of that". The longer I was without a full-time job, the more I felt like I was getting dumber, lazier, and just overall suckier as a person. 

If it wasn't for talks with my loved ones especially my partner, I could only imagine how far down that hole I could've gone. 

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So I gave up. I let go, mentally and emotionally, the stress and tension I'd felt in my chest and mind and body in general. I don't know how else to describe it, but honestly, I just let go. I exhaled extremely loudly, cried my eyes out, and said I'm done. Universe, God, just please do your thing. 

No, I didn't just up and stop looking for work. I continued the same way and with the same energy towards looking for a job and clients and assisting gigs, but with a sense of weight lifted. I felt like I gave up the responsibility of it all but still did the work. 

Meditating and doing yoga and practicing gratitude all helped in maintaining a level head. 

But ever since that day which maybe was a month ago? Work came to me. 

The same day I gave up responsibility if you will, I got a call from a potential client looking for a photographer to shoot her Jewelry line and I applied to a photographer position I didn't think existed. (at a car dealership of all places!)

And you know what happened after that? I got invited for an interview at said job, got on a super kickass brainstorming call for the Jewelry gig and felt lighter and happier. 

I still do. Almost a year later, seriously just 3 weeks short from my graduation date last year, I found a full-time job that I am *excited* about. That's the crucial part. It's new, challenging, exciting and more. 

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So to all of you out there on your journey, to my classmates and friends especially, if you've felt anywhere close to how I've been feeling- you're not alone. Perhaps this form of giving up/letting go will work for you too, but know that you are good enough to make it where you want to be. You're more than good enough, just be sure to put in the work.

I think it's important to share this because I wish someone would've written it. Maybe they have and it just never crossed my path. Either way, take what you will from this but know that I'm here for ya. I feel ya. Seriously. 

No matter what though, FOLLOW YOUR GUT. It's your best guide on this journey of ours. 

With tremendous gratitude,
XO
Mariah 

My Photoshoot with YouTuber, Simply Lana NYC

You guyssssss! I am just dying over how beautifully my photoshoot with Simply Lana went two weeks ago! I am even more ecstatic to share with you the images from our shoot!

Lana is an upcoming YouTuber who is funny, smart, unique, and quite freakin' beautiful!

We all had a fun time as my sister, Lana, her Momager, and I all made our way into SoHo to get the shoot started. 

Lana is starting her career modeling her favorite brands and reviewing items she loves (or not) on her YouTube page here and her Instagram (@simplylananyc). She loves all things dance, music, and starbs! 

The fun thing is her mom is my sister's best friend, so it was just like being around family, laughing hard, taking in the brisk air and sun in NYC. Plus, my sister was my assistant for the day, haha, thanks, Skush!

I am so stoked to share the images with you all! Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Thanks so much for viewing, friends! 

XO,

Mariah

A Timelapse - Building A Piece of History

Haha, just kidding, it's just my portfolio. But! It's still a piece of history. This portfolio will be a piece of my history, my past, showing me what my photography was like during this stage of my life. That's pretty remarkable if you ask me. In most realms of creativity, artists build portfolios, a showcase of their best work. In my timelapse you'll see how I put all my prints together in a sequence and bound it all into a portfolio. 

There are many articles that suggest if you want to become better at your craft, then take a look at your past work. I try to do this often so I can see what I loved about it then, what I feel could be better, and go on to use that insight to create new work. 

I enjoy sharing a piece of my history with the world. The Internet will continue to prove itself as a time capsule (hello, old pictures from Flickr), so I encourage you to embrace it. Wherever you may share your current work, whether you're a photographer or a musician or a developer, etc., keep on sharing and look back at your old stuff. It just might inspire you or remind you of an idea you wanted to flesh out more at some point. 

If you liked any of the prints in my portfolio, many are available for sale in my shop, yay! So head on over, take a gander,and should you fall in love with one, I'll be waiting to ship it to ya ;). 

If you enjoyed this or have any questions about portfolio building, leave a comment! 

All of my prints were printed by me with archival paper and ink. The portfolio materials (sleeves, portfolio covers, and screws) are all from Pina Zangaro (http://pinazangaro.com/).

Do you have a portfolio of work? Is it digital or physical? Share it with me in the comments below!
If you don't have a portfolio, are you considering making one?

Thank you all so much for watching and reading! 

With love,
Mariah

P.S. The 2nd Newsletter of Mariah Texidor Photography comes out tomorrow! You can sign up below if you aren't already receiving my encouragement, news, and updates in your inbox :)


The Not-So Obvious Way to Re-charge Your Creativity

My reflection against NYC's skyline

My reflection against NYC's skyline

I’m going to share with you all the one thing that got my creative juices flowing again after they’ve been stagnant for a little while. It was in front of me the whole time, and probably has been for you too.

All I did was pick up my camera again and click the shutter.

Simple, right?

Sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to come by or realize.

Many people have written about using what you got and making it work. Artists, photographers, writers, engineers, designers, you name it- no matter what field you’re in, you’ve been stuck creatively before. And FYI, every single person is creative (it took me a while to get to that, but it’s true), so yes this includes you.

My partner and I celebrated our two year anniversary this weekend and it was absolutely magical. We saw Kinky Boots on Broadway (and got my playbook signed afterwards!), visited Midtown Comics (my first time!), visited Madame Tussauds’s wax musuem, and the biggest surprise of all for me, a beautiful night at the W Hotel in Hoboken, NJ. The hotel had the most breathtaking view of NYC.

The Empire State building viewed from Hoboken, NJ

The Empire State building viewed from Hoboken, NJ

The Freedom Tower viewed from Hoboken, NJ. 

The Freedom Tower viewed from Hoboken, NJ. 

Woke up at dawn to witness the beautiful sunrise

Woke up at dawn to witness the beautiful sunrise

Before all of that happened, I made myself take my camera with me as we hit up Manhattan.
You see, I am a native New Yorker; I grew up in the Bronx. I feel as if there’s not much for me to photograph in Time Square because it is all the same to me.

But, boy am I happy I brought it. I didn’t take one picture of Time Square, but I did take some beautiful portraits of my beloved while we were hanging out in front of Midtown Comics.

AJ

AJ

I see him quite often, I see NYC often, even parts of New Jersey are becoming familiar to me. This makes it feel that much harder to look at things and him anew, it makes me feel like I have nothing to photograph.

But that’s straight up false.

I mentioned this same topic on Periscope last week (if you care to view my scopes, follow me @MariahTexidor). I was taking a walk with AJ in Hoboken and allowed (not quite forced) myself to see things differently. To look at it all as if it was new to me. Wouldn’t you know I did indeed find a few new things and ways to photograph.

I was pretty obsessed with the way the water looked on Sunday morning.

I was pretty obsessed with the way the water looked on Sunday morning.

I have been aching to feel this spark inside me, and perhaps you have too. Something to light you up and recharge your creativity. Maybe you’re a photographer too and haven’t picked up your camera in a while (perhaps some of my recent graduates fall into here *guilty*), or you’re a painter and have let your paintbrushes sit there, or you’re a writer and just have not gotten yourself to write a single word that you care about.

While it may feel like in the world of an artist it is life or death, this is quite normal. This won’t be the last time.

I don’t remember where I heard it, but I have this quote written down: “you can’t expect to be 'on' all the time. It’s all an ebb and flow”.

NYC from Hoboken, NJ

NYC from Hoboken, NJ

I challenge you to take that walk you’ve taken a million times, pull that partner or friend of yours you see so often, and make something. Anything. No one says it has to be good. Don’t put any more imaginary pressure on yourself.

While this wasn’t the first time I’ve picked up my camera since graduating in May, I can tell you life has a way of making you stop in your tracks and let the things you love most collect dust. Just dust off whatever your tool is and get to makin’!

Whatever you make, share it with me! Put it in the comments, send me a snap on Snapchat! (@mariahtexidor), or shoot me an email. I would love to see it!

Have you heard the advice “make with whatcha got” before? What happened when you took it? If you didn't take it, why not?

If you enjoyed this post at all I would love to know! Take it to the comments and drop a note!

Here is to the ebb and flow of creativity.

XO,

Mariah

P.S. Fill out the form below to join my newsletter! First one gets sent out Jan. 29, 2016! Sign up if you are pumped about the following: 

  • Updates on new projects I am working on and a round up of blog posts

  • Ways photography is relevant and important in your everyday life

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I photograph in hopes of changing your life

I photograph in hopes of changing your life. OK that may seem a bit extreme, so let me explain.

A lot of my family has told me I am special. I'm sure others have heard the same before from their own families. In my case, my older sister comes to mind, specifically.

It was on my 22nd birthday. My friends had just left after celebrating my 22 years being alive. She gave me a big, tight, warm hug. As the hug was ending she grabbed my shoulders and looked at me with watery eyes. Emotionally and lovingly, she tells me how special I am and how much she loves me. "Mariah, there's something about you. You have this way of making people feel good when you're around them." There were a lot of happy tears and laughter after her mini-speech. This wasn't the first time she said this, though, but with all the emotion and gratitude I was feeling from celebrating with people I love and care about, it hit me a little harder this time. 
This effect she says I have is important to me. I care. A lot. Ask anyone who knows me, they'll say the same. As I began photographing people throughout the years, I relied on this characteristic, subconsciously. I still get nervous when I ask strangers if I could make their portrait, family and friends too. But, I am consciously aware now that this effect is what I bring to all my photography - Me and all of my care and sincerity. 

Sounds simple, but I guess with 2015 coming to a rocky end, it's a little clearer now. 

So, like I said in the beginning, when you allow me to make your portrait, I am hoping to change your life, even in the smallest of ways. Whether you leave our session with a little more confidence in yourself, or you leave reassured that everything will be ok; those feelings are important to me. You gave me a piece of you, therefore you'll always have a piece of me. Sounds a little dramatic, but true nonetheless, haha. 

With all that said, I am open for portrait sessions in 2016. Whether you were referred by someone, or you're an old friend reading this, you deserve to have images of yourself that go beyond the way you look on the outside. Lets shed some light on what's inside too. So, shoot me an email or comment below and lets get to talking.

With love and a million pieces to share,
Mariah

Thank you so much to those who allowed me to photograph them this year!

 

Let's Talk About the Struggle

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© Mariah Texidor

I am halfway through watching this interview with Marie Folio and Todd Henry about finding your voice, and I became inspired to write about one of the topics they discuss.


Something the author said struck me so hard, it was as if I walked into a glass door. You know its there, but it’s so clear you walk right into it? Yeah, that way. Like those crows in the Windex commercials.


There is so much content on the Internet, it is so incredibly easy to get overwhelmed by all the things we should be reading or listening to. I am totally guilty of feeling this unnecessary pressure to get through my ever growing list of “Things to Read”.


Something I am finding that all of this content has in common, which is touched upon in that video, is that everyone wants a shortcut or a hack to do a million different things. This really isn’t new, there has always been content about “getting rich quick” or trying to gain skills quickly, perhaps without doing the work. However, I feel it is more present than ever as I am in this fluid and ever-changing stage in adulthood.


I won’t say no one (because I am one), but not many people are talking about the struggle. Not many are talking about the fact that while you made something or accomplished something, it was actually really fucking hard. This is a bit of a problem to me. For one, individuals posting their end result without any mention or acknowledgment of the process, possibly creates this idealistic visionary of sorts to their viewers. This is not to say everything has to be a struggle, because there very well may be things that do come easily to some. Second, this lack of acknowledgment kind of fuels this realization that many of us come across: we can do those things (insert person you admire/say you want to be like) does, but when we try to do it quick and dirty and are unsuccessful, we become disappointed and give up. I remind you, so-and-so person you admire most likely worked really hard to get the attention they are getting now. It probably took a lot of time, trial and error to get where they are.


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© Mariah Texidor

Participating in things like #The100DayProject (my project was #100DaysofFeelingbyMariah) and completing four years of college culminating in my exhibited work,You & I and the Shadow Shelfshowed me the importance of the process as well as the struggle in order to create a body of work I am truly proud of.


Here are somethings I learned and will share with you:

  • Envision how you want the end product to look like. Now accept that it will not look exactly like that. I don’t say it in a negative manner, but things manifest over the creation period. Which leads to my next point…
  • Embrace change. Be malleable, pliable, open, etc. With any content you are creating, listen to it and let it flow.
  • Lastly, share your process. Get feedback, open your mind and hear other people’s opinions. Find groups of people you trust to share your work with. Share your in-progress work to the public, to strangers. It’s okay. Remember to take feedback, suggestions, criticism, and praise all with a grain of salt.
  • I lied, the last thing is to be proud of yourself for doing all of the above :-).


It’s hard to be an open book and let people in on projects when they are not “perfect”, definitely not saying it’s easy. However, it will help you grow. It will attract people who appreciate honesty and vulnerability in potential products/work/pieces they many want to buy or share with their network of friends and family. It will bring to attention that you are human, as most of us are, and it takes many steps along the road to get a final product we are proud of.


I am proud to say that I work each day to show that to get to where I want is no easy stroll in the park, and is indeed a struggle. Some days are better than others, some days worse. That’s my whole shtick, ya know? It’s okay to not be okay. You know that quote, it’s about the journey not the destination? Yeah, that’s basically what I am harping on.


Keep pushing and go on, share your struggle. Tell us your story.


With love and encouragement, 

Mariah


P.S. I finished the interview and it has so much more inspiring content worth writing and thinking about as well. I encourage you to watch it yourself!

It’s OK: Follow Your Heart

I just read this blog post written by photographer Tamara Lackey and I am overwhelmed with a sense of drive. She completed a project in Ethiopia that entailed creating a portrait gallery in a particular orphanage. She photographed and hung portraits of each of the children. The sense of happiness and joy those kids and caretakers felt spills out of the words + images displaying “the best gallery opening ever”.

Have you ever felt something so intense it kind of made you want to cry? No? It’s okay, I’m a little over emotional anyhow, haha.

I’m in this groove of things where I am meeting people, photographers, artists, business owners, strangers, etc., and I try to explain what I want to do in the future. Something along the lines of how much I love helping people and want to give back to various communities through my photography, especially my home area in the Bronx, always spews out. Followed by, “I don’t know how I am going to do it or how long it will take me, but I am going to figure it out”. One day at a time I am brewing and making strides to figuring out that “how”.

I wish I was posting this to announce a big grand idea in the spirit of helping someone, but, I am not… yet. I am posting, however, to share that no matter how far fetched or vague an idea may seem, if you feel that intensity in your heart for it- listen and go towards that intensity, feed it. Don’t wait for approval. I am telling you now to go after that idea full force and work towards it! The universe will keep pushing you towards it; That is what I think reading Tamara’s blog post did for me.

Share your ideas and dreams with me by commenting on this post! If you have any ideas for me on what I should do to get me one step closer to accomplishing my dream, also comment below!

With all my support,
Mariah

Photo ©Alijunior Abdelaziz

Do you believe in yourself?

There’s something about believing in yourself that really takes a shit ton of guts. It takes some mastery in self-defense, the ability to turn the other way, and the skill of pressing onward. 


It’s been two months since I graduated from college and I feel like I am on an emotional rollercoaster– I am just bobbing in an ocean, not sure of how to swim, or if there is a shore in sight, just letting small currents take me to the next big wave.


I have taken the time to pat myself on the back for hitting the ground running with freelancing work, spending time with loved-ones, and attempting to better my health and wellness. However, I tend to forget about emotional wellness. I forget that I have to practice self-defense against the harsh, negative, mind-consuming thoughts of judgement, belittlement, and doubt. 


I remind myself everyday, that I don’t have to do things because “that’s just how it is”, especially when it comes to the job search. I am fortunate to still be in my parents’ home, therefore allowing me to save money, but it doesn’t save me from having to make my own decisions and tough choices (nothing ever will).

So I guess, I am here to tell you that no matter how hard it is, everything happens for a reason. The breakdowns, the beautiful moments, the negative chatter, and the steps forward or back- they all happen for a reason. For me, I think the reason so far (not that we will always know or ever find out), is for me to realize the power of choice. The power of being able to say ‘No’ to certain thoughts and say 'Yes’ to more positive, self-healing ones. The power to, as a few have told me, “lean into” the bad days, and ride the waves. Tomorrow is a new day; a new day to cheer yourself on and continue believing in yourself.

With a shit ton of encouragement,
Mariah 

All images © Mariah Texidor