Four years ago we fell heavily in love with our sweet model and wonderful friend Valerie Link. Ever since then Valerie has been gracing quite a few JUVELAN lookbook covers and showcasing their stellar jewelry inside these magazines and outside on many musical premieres and stages as well as on other very special celebrations like her own wedding.
How does the saying go: Never change a winning team. We could shoot with Valerie every day. She's pure magic. And we always know what we gonna get, because she's so at ease in front of my lens, very spontaneous, fun and natural yet gracious. Our photo shoots never feel like work, but more like a highly anticipated family gathering with delicious cakes and lots of champagne involved.
With my two JUVELAN gems it sometimes feels like we've been married forever, because I could swear I know them from the inside out and I feel intensely comfortable around them. But then there are times they both surprise me to the fullest. Like when Johan not only flashes us with his fabulous new jewelry masterpieces in every new lookbook, but also almost effortlessly pulls out a blueberry cake creation you could only find among pinterest's most favorites. Needless to say we killed that delicious baby in no time.
It was amazing to collaborate again with these fierce folks and this absolute dream team for this bridal shoot. Johan (the creative mind) and Freddy (the business head) are like Yin and Yang. Johan is all sky, bright, emotional and soaring, while Freddy is all earth. He's there to ground him, and Johan helps him to fly.
Last but not least my indispensable assistant and precious friend Ulli who has been on my side for many years, ever since I embarked on my photographic journey 13 years ago. She never ever forgets anything, is extremely loyal and reliable and constantly reminds me of everything important. Like that we don't have all the time in the world during a shoot, haha! And besides all these good things work related she knows how to make my belly hurt big time from laughing together.
I hope you will enjoy our latest bridal issue and leave this place a little happier than you came.
Today is Freddy's birthday which made me cheat a bit here on the blog today and so I just pre-scheduled my Happy Monday post. :-) Freddy is my partner-in-crime in everything related to photo shoots, fun little movies, psychology, walking our neighborhood, life lessons, steakhouse dining and Aperol Spritz. He's not the big balloons and confettis or big fancy-schmancy parties on his birthday kind of guy, but very humble and always has everyone else be in the spotlight.
I feel very grateful and blessed to call him my best friend, who constantly helps me to grow and become the best version of myself. Here are five things I learned the last five years with this cool guy.
Happy happy Birthday, Freddy! You are simply incredible, and your friendship has been a true joy. Thank you for all that you are. You're pretty dang neat!
And here they are:
5 things I've learned in the last 5 years
1. Don't hold onto grudges
This is probably my most favorite lesson and skill Freddy taught me. Since we've been working close together and hanging out a lot, misunderstandings happen. In the beginning of our friendship when I felt hurt, I shut myself away and wouldn't call back for days. I was upset, fiercely holding onto the grudge and thought I would calm down for sure after a few days. But then when we talked about it, I realized it was often a complete misunderstanding or wrong interpretation from my side and my perspective. Or oftentimes he had done something without any further thought. Freddy is the first person to always say I'm sorry if he was wrong, and this is pretty huge. He taught me to always spit out immediately what's making me sad and unhappy, and not waste any further hour or day being unhappy and sweating the small stuff. It's so important to release your anger and what's bugging you, and talk about it. Life is way too short. So we always immediately talk about it, and fall soon back into our belly-laugh-mode. :-)
2. Dare to be vulnerable
Back in the years when I worked in the corporate world, I learned how to be a strong woman, keeping up with the tough guys in a pool of sharks, and never letting my guard down. I changed 180 degrees. I no longer wear a mask. I became an open book when it comes to showing emotions. I give my love and openness to anyone who knocks on my door. Putting myself out there was scary as hell but without exposing yourself to be vulnerable, you can never feel truly alive. I now dare to be real, and to be imperfect.
3. Get rejected
As a musical performer Freddy is working in a world that is ever changing and competition is big. Every other year he has to go for auditions which can emotionally be very draining. You have to learn to live with rejections. I learned from Freddy that being rejected means that something bigger and better is waiting for you. A NO makes room for the right YES. Sometimes it takes us a few years to come to understand why it was so good that this and that didn't work out.
4. Get out of your comfort zone
Freddy and I share quite a few stories where we really moved out of our comfort zones and jumped right into the icecold pool. The fear and headaches prior to that was all worth it. The feeling to know that you've grown is second to none. It keeps us alive.
5. Free yourself from negative people
This is probably one of our most talked about topics: Life is too short to hold on to people who suck the happiness out of you or who treat you the wrong way and don't appreciate your friendship. Some people will test you, some will use you, and some will teach you. We've met all three kinds of people. But most importantly: you will meet some people who bring out the best in you. These are our heroes!
While the kids and I have been gone pretty much the whole summer holidays (vacationing in Slovenia and Italy and staying with Oma and Opa), I am pretty busy now with catching up and responding to all the e-mails which are slumbering in my e-mailbox (thank you guys for all your patience!!!) and all things snail mail - like this cool magazine.
My wonderful publisher David Neufeld surprised me with an 8-page-spread in the hipster magazine „SHIFT" about my book „Außergewöhnlich" (new edition of 2013). I had no idea about this cool spread with all my lovely „Außergewöhnlich" moms and kids, but I knew about the little interview they did with me prior to our vacation. Thank you SHIFT magazine for helping us raise down syndrome awareness - you made us really happy! In case you're interested, you can order this printed goodness here.
Happy Wednesday, everyone!
I just came back from a wonderful trip to Rome with positive and beautiful people inside and out. Work didn't feel like work at all. Although my neck hurts from a weird nap position in the plane, and my legs are now trained to run a marathon (ha!), I feel completely reenergized and freshly motivated for the crazy busy weeks ahead of me.
I feel so grateful for always having the most amazing people in front of my camera, and also having the most amazing people behind the scenes. This week we got to work with Sonja who's an angel in disguise.
When in Rome you gotta go to Trastevere, Rome's favorite neighborhood. We found some really neat restaurants, and with all the good food and wine and the long talks and laughs with some of my favorite humans, I came back highly inspired with plenty topics for my Happy Mondays ;-).
I just added a new „food for thought" on a piece of paper on my little „mantra board" hanging over my desk:
„Will you look back in life and say: „I wish I had," or „I'm glad I did"?
Luckily over time I figured to always do the latter: „I am glad I did" - although oftentimes I found myself falling on my nose big time. But let me tell you, I learned the lesson, and it was probably the best teaching way. Because no matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you're still way ahead of everyone who isn't trying.
Have a wonderful start into this week and remember to always "just do it"! xoxo