Featured Photographer // Alex Marcano

Happy Monday, all! Today I have a special feature on a New York photographer friend of mine who has recently shot some amazing, professional photos for me for The Most Happy. I’m really excited for some professional photos here (in case you didn’t know, I don’t have a “real” photographer—my mom usually takes my photos for me 🙂 ) and wanted to take the chance to highlight Alex’s amazing work. He shoots weddings, portraits, engagements, families, and the most stunning landscapes. This is his story:

“I’m a 23-year-old photographer with a bachelors in psychology and music, currently taking pictures of paintings as a 9 to 5 job, or in my case a 9 to 6. Plans changed a little over time and I found myself gravitating away from the thing I studied for four years. I felt more comfortable behind a camera capturing a wedding day than I did working in the psychology lab at Stony Brook. I guess you can say I have the typical story of shooting with my dad’s old camera and taking pictures of lawn chairs and fences in black and white for my high school photo class.

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Featured Blogger // Lush

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This month’s Featured Blogger is Hailee Sisco, who writes the blog Lush. This is her story:

When I was 10 I decided I wanted to be Kurt Cobain, so I began writing lyrics. Lyrics about boys and feelings and thoughts in my head that I didn’t even understand. I filled up my composition notebook with flowery words, words that I’ll never read again, because being the self loathing person I am, even at the age of 10, I decided it was all mediocre and threw the whole notebook into the recycling bin.IMG_1835

Fast forward nearly a decade later and I found myself in a place where every hobby or career path I once liked, had ended up in the recycling bin. So I went back to writing in my notebook and this beautiful blog came out of it.

Lush is everything I feel and think and do no matter how dark or how self indulgent at times. Lush is a long form story of a girl who has nothing figured out but is happy with figuring out the tiny things along the way. The tiny lessons that come in the form of people and places and things and situations; these are the things that make you who are you. And they make life worth living. They will leave you feeling as if you’ll never catch your breath again, but then you do and it’s all worth it. Every broken heart handed to you by every broken boy or girl all ends with a sigh of relief, once the grief passes that is. There are things I’ve written that at the time seemed like the end of my world but now, I almost smile remembering them. That may be a sign of maturation but the blog’s title is Lush for a reason.

I love to have fun, and a bottle or two of wine tends to be fun for me. I love cooking, last night my boyfriend and I made Cheesy Kale and Sausage Scallop Potatoes, it was amazing.  I paint and draw, I’ve dabbled in photography, knitting, screenwriting, even sketch comedy for a minute. My true passions are my friends, my amazing boyfriend, and my family. I’m not a professional, I’m just a girl who lives a very normal life and happens to think it’s worthy of writing about.

Highlights from Lush:

I Only Ever Feel Like Myself When I’m Fucked Up

Shower Scene

“What’s Wrong?” “Oh nothing, just your typical obsession with suicidal ideation.”

Follow Hailee’s blog, Instagram, and Polyvore.

Want to be featured on this blog? Get the details here!

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Featured Blogger | Laura Kathryn Photography

FEATUREDI’m very excited to bring you this month’s featured blogger, photographer and blogger Laura Kate, of Laura Kathryn Photography. Laura and I connected a few months ago over shared life experiences, and she has constantly inspired me with her philosophy of life, her artistic outlook, and her beautiful art. She’s not only a talented photographer, but she is also a gifted writer—a true storyteller. This is her story:lkphotography (4)

Photo sessions are much more complicated than you may think. Before I started out on this story telling journey, I had the notion that photography wasn’t much more than reading up on your camera’s manual and watching a few tutorials. But it’s much more intricate than that. Photographers and subjects alike will agree that life’s most cherished moments are often completely unrehearsed. Yet we schedule an exact time to meet at a very specific location with our carefully planned wardrobe and practiced poses, intent on capturing contrived spontaneity in hopes it will appear effortless, relaxed, and natural within our 16×20 frame. The task at hand on either side of the camera is enormous.

So why do we do it?

There exists in all of us an innate sense of just how quickly things can change. Time flies — that’s not just an old adage. So we as photographers ask you to step aside from your inhibitions and insecurities, and we work to create tangible evidence of those moments you want to always remember. And at the end of the day, you find it was worth it. Those precious fleeting seconds have now been turned into something permanent that can be enjoyed again and again. Not just by you — but by your children’s children. Maybe even a stranger that finds a connection in the face in an old, crumbling photograph. They have a right to know you, even after you’re gone.

A photograph gives people a chance to hold onto a part of themselves or a loved one that may have been forgotten with the passage of years. It’s a testament to a life and proof to an existence. You’re not getting a picture taken of yourself just for Facebook. You’re telling the world, “I am here. And I matter. And so does my extraordinary life.”

And that’s what keeps me and thousands of other portrait photographers clicking away, whether they are amateur or pro. It’s what pushes us to take just one more shot, in hopes of securing that sweet, unguarded glance that tells your story more than a thousand words ever could.
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Follow Laura Kate for more artistic musings and beautiful photography: website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest
Want to be featured on this blog? Get the details heresignoff

Featured Blogger | The Duck and the Owl

FEATUREDI’m really excited to present this month’s feature. “The Duck and the Owl” is the prime example of a blog I love to read: it’s inspirational, poetic, whimsical, inclusive, beautiful, and it’s run by two best friends. This is their story:

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Our story: 
We met five years ago when we both worked at a summer camp together and quickly became fast friends and eventually best friends. We bonded over our love for books, movies and art. We lived in different states for a while, then lived a few minutes from each other and then we decided to move in together in an apartment in Milwaukee! It’s absolutely wonderful. We spend most of our days writing, making art, and attempting to keep plants alive for more than a day. We love long walks and good food. As far as our professional lives go, Kaitlyn is a high school English teacher and Sarah is a communications director. We’re currently roommates living in Milwaukee and we can’t get enough of how beautiful the city is. In our free time we like to go on walks to take photos and get coffee, we love trying new food and there’s nothing better than a creative art night. But most importantly, we love other people and the stories that they tell, which is where our blog comes in. We both have an unhealthy obsession with reading and buying books. And by unhealthy we mean that it’s absolutely amazing. At any given time, we’re both probably reading three books and obsessing about their cover designs. But most importantly, be both share the mentality that every human being holds a unique and impeccable beauty and that beauty needs to be celebrated and shared with the rest of the world. We love people and being inspired by them and what they create.
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Our Blog: 
We started our blog a little over two years ago as a way to not only keep in touch as we lived so far away, but as a place to inspire our writing. It soon turned into a space where we wanted to not write for ourselves, but to write for and about all thepeople that inspire us in the world. We constantly see inspirational creatives all around us and we love to celebrate that creativity. We hope that our blog is a positive creative space to inspire others.
We decided to call our blog The Duck and the Owl as representation of our favorite animals. Kaitlyn is the duck and Sarah is the owl. They’re not only our favorite animals, but we also feel like they’re our spirit animals, I know, super corny, but it’s true. Kaitlyn is a little clumsy and crazy in an endearing way and Sarah is thoughtful and perceptive of those around her.

Highlights from The Duck and the Owl:

The first time I stumbled upon The Duck and the Owl, I was hooked. Not only is the writing beautiful, but the message and “mission statement” of Kaitlyn and Sarah is to tell human stories and connect us all. Kaitlyn is right when she says that everyone has a story to tell. We’re all of us beautiful and unique in our own ways, and highlighting those differences and our unique beauty is very important. Here’s an excerpt from one of my favorite blog posts:

I’m happiest when I’m creating.

The best way I know how to create is by wielding a pen and inking up a piece of paper. For me, writing is cathartic. But, I often found when I wrote I would do it sporadically and always tell myself, “I wish I wrote more.”

So I decided to.

On January 1, I challenged myself to write every single day. I’ve always admired people who had the discipline of doing something daily. Even more I admire authors who spend hours a day penning their novels. I wanted that discipline.

Kaitlyn and Sarah’s blog is what you need when you’re having a bad day. It’s what you need when you’re having a great day. It’s sort of like reading the advice your best friend would give you, or what your own diary reads like. It’s personal and universal.

Follow them here: Instagram, Blog, Bloglovin, Twitter

Want to be featured on The Most Happy? Read more here!

Featured Blogger | Yukova Design

FEATUREDThis month’s Featured Blogger is Yuliya from Yukova Design. This is her story:

“My name is Yuliya and I’m fashion designer and blogger, originally from small town in the central part of Ukraine. These days, I happily live and work in London, UK.

My way to London was long and interesting! At 16 year old I moved to Kiev – the capital of Ukraine – to study marketing. During my years at the uni, I started to learn make-up, pattern cutting and garment manufacturing apart from marketing course. I also attended my first Stylist Course in Kiev, because I always enjoyed making something beautiful and seeing myself in Fashion industry.
After I graduated from Uni (I have a master degree in marketing), I went to Cambridge, UK to get my second degree in Fashion design. Buy that time I’ve attended a lot of fashion related courses, so I felt very ready to create my own collection.
I really enjoyed my study times and ensured that Fashion industry is something I want to be interacted with every single day during my life.
Today, I live and work in London. I run a fashion blog, where you can find useful information every day: style advice, in-depth trend review, my personal style, designer collections analyse and a lot more… I also write articles to some online communities and work as a stylist.
I create fashion collection once a year and sell exclusive handmade accessories online on my website.
My life motto is: Try to find what you enjoy in your life and do it everyday! Life is not about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself!
Love,
Yukova”
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Follow Yukoka Design on her website, blog, Instagram and Facebook.

Want to be featured on this blog? Check out the details here.

Featured Blogger | Little Miss Haute Couture

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 February’s Featured Blogger is Little Miss Haute Couture, written by Julia. This is her story:
“Hi everyone!  I’m Julia, a petite California girl with a love of all things preppy, girly, and classic. I’m a fashion blogger at Little Miss Haute Couture, where I share my outfits, inspirations, and life.

I started Little Miss Haute Couture about a year ago. I’ve loved style for as long as I can remember, and I’d been reading a couple fabulous blogs. It looked like such a creative and wonderful way to share your love for style with others, so I thought I’d give it a go! It’s been so much fun and I’ve met so many wonderful people through it. I love to support my fellow blogger ladies (after all, we’re a community!) and I’ve made such amazing friends throughout my first year of blogging. I can’t wait to meet some of them in person!

I hope to inspire women all over to love themselves, their style, and their life! I’m so thankful for every sweet comment I get, and I smile at every single one of them. I’m so happy for my little blog where I get to share my passion, and I’m proud to be a part of a community of such amazing people!”
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Highlights from Little Miss Haute Couture:

fullunfilteredIMG_9781Follow Little Miss Haute Couture: Little Miss Haute Couture, Instagram, Twitter, Bloglovin’
Want to be featured on this blog? Check out the details here.

Featured Blogger // The Inspiration Spell

FEATUREDThis month’s Featured Blogger is The Inspiration Spell, written by Leah Huang. This is her story:

“Growing up I’ve always loved art and fashion, but in a family that emphasized more on traditional academic endeavors, I never thought I could fully pursue my creativity. And still, I yearned for it all the time. As I got older and began to work on interests independent from my studies, I encountered diverse, passionate people who possessed unique visions. And then there was New York City, living in this place was also vital in fueling my creativity. Simply walking on the street, I see inspiration in everything from vintage flea markets, art galleries, to the evening sunset reflecting on skyscraper buildings.

My calling to start a blog finally came last summer, when I interned at an ecommerce fashion startup called Shoptiques. It was the first time I experienced working in fashion, and I fell more in love with it than ever. I still remember working on a blogger outreach project, the unique voice of each new blog I discovered triggered a strange rush in me. That’s when I decided to build a creative space of my own, to express my style, inspiration, and point of view.

As a dedication to always finding inspiration in the small things, I started The Inspiration Spell to begin a blogging journey to explore the art, fashion, and cultures of my surroundings. Recently having graduated college and moved back to New York, I am promising myself to commit and challenge my creativity more every single day. I’m also looking to become more involved in the blogging community, and partner in projects with other creative minds. In sharing the product of my own creativity, I’m hoping to inspire others to take a little more time each day to discover unseen beauty and pursue their passions.”

IMG_1916Highlights from The Inspiration Spell:

Salty Summer Air

Misty Metallic

Sunset Chasing

I fell in love with The Inspiration Spell the moment I saw it. Leah’s style is effortless and chic, and she pairs her outfits with rumination on her life and she has a poetic outlook on life that I admire. Her photography is also beautiful and ethereal.

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Follow The Inspiration Spell: Bloglovin, Twitter, Instagram, Lookbook

Want to be featured on this blog? Check out the details here.

Featured Blogger // Ginger Side of Life

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December’s Featured Blogger is Ginger Side of Life, written by Chelsea and until recently, her friend Jess as well. This is their story, written by Chelsea:

“Starting Ginger Side of Life was a dream come true. Really, just starting. I had always wanted to start a blog, whether it was a travel, fashion or lifestyle blog, I definitely had the dreams, but they never materialized. Then, over the 2013 holidays, I made a New Years resolution to start a blog and by March 2, 2014, Ginger Side of Life launched.

I originally launched GSOL with my good friend Jess, which was absolutely the best decision. We had so much fun taking pictures, coming up with post ideas and being a general support for one another. Jess was the perfect amount of edginess to my classic ultra feminine style. Then, six months into the blog, Jess was offered a promotion of a lifetime. Blogging was a hobby, but her job, working in the Solar Energy industry, is her passion. So she made the difficult decision to part ways with GSOL in pursuit of her dream. Although her absence has been sorely missed, it has given me an opportunity to continue to develop my passion for blogging, fashion, and learning.

So back to the blog. What makes GSOL different in a sea of gorgeous personal and lifestyle blogs? Well, I try to focus my content on mixing both affordable as well as splurge fashion (mostly bought from eBay-I share my secrets!), but more than that, I am bluntly honest with who I am in my content. I try to share my daily life with a comedic twist as best I can. Like that one time I was walking to work and a pigeon miscalculated the angle at which he was zooming to the ground and hit me in the head. Or that time I had a random stranger stop to tell me about his most recent surgery where he went in for one procedure and came out down a kidney. Life is about finding the comedy and beauty in everything and I try to capture that in GSOL.

GSOL has been the highlight of my year. It has been a platform to learn skills I never would have imagined as well as allowed me to enter a community of bloggers I respect so highly. GSOL has also allowed me to learn from my talented friends. Although GSOL started with a basic WordPress template, it has transformed into a blog I am so proud of all from the help and dedication of boyfriend, and good friends (Caitlin, Shannon, Mina and Jess). Without these talented ladies (and gentleman), GSOL would not be here today.

I hope you enjoy the Ginger Side of Life as much as I do.”

Highlights from Ginger Side of Life:

Black Tie Ready

Patina Pop

Aaaaand We Tied

I’m really excited to bring you this feature. I fell in love with Ginger Side of Life immediately when I first saw it. I love the teamwork and camaraderie involved in starting a blog with your friend and sharing the experience. Their clothes are gorgeous, their personalities shine through every page, and generally speaking, Chelsea (and Jess!) has everything I look for in a fashion/style blog. I look forward to every post.

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Follow Ginger Side of Life: BlogInstagramTwitterFacebook

Want to be featured on this blog? Check out the details here.