Balance by vanessa acosta

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Hello all. 

Happy 2018. A new year but not a fresh start. I used to think a new year signified a fresh start, a clean slate, a new you. It's not. It's a continuation of many things. It's a time to cut ties with bad habits, with dead ends, bad company and then you continue onto a new year with a better outlook, an evolved mentality than the last. And that is what I did. I didn't have an extravagant NYE, it was spent in pajamas drinking a glass of Champagne and watching the fireworks. 

Last year going into this new year was a smooth continuation of a lot of things for me. Being in a relationship, hustling, still being a small business owner. And all of these things are just evolving. I am working just as hard and expanding ways on how to book more gigs in more creative ways. And my small business now has an official office and headquarters. And my relationship is growing in many ways and us working through things and communicating more. All these things in my life are the same as the last moments of last year, the only difference is that are still progressing, they are still growing, they are still evolving. I find happiness and peace in that.

All my past years started with a "clean slate" mentality because now that I look back I realize I wanted that so called clean slate and fresh start because I wasn't content with my life. I had to set these resolutions because I felt like my life wasn't being lived to the fullest. This year I have "goals" not "resolutions". I am reaching for the sky and putting the building blocks down now. I look at my life now at 28 years old and I'm happy. I have everything I could have. A sweet and thoughtful partner, a blooming career, a growing audience, loving friends, an even more loving and supportive family. Some of these aspects didn't exist in my past years. And I look at my life now and realize that something as simple as a supportive family can go a long way. And something like a career you love and enjoy can give you so much life. This is my mentality at the moment. And I'm ok with it. 

I'm at home in a sweatshirt and undies in bed on a Friday night at 9pm writing this blog post and I'm ok with that. My room is a mess because I haven't been home for days and I'm ok with that. I'm ok with life and that is a relief for me because it's very important to ask the universe for things and want to manifest more in your life but you have to be thankful and happy with the things you already have in your life. You cannot manifest with a desperate "I NEED THAT" mentality. I've done that and things didn't end well. And now that we are done with our first week of the year, let us continue in moving forward. Not starting over, not going back but continuing with the life we have managed to build for ourselves. Get rid of the bad habits, the toxic people and leave those behind as you move forward. And to that I lift my glass of wine I am currently consuming and wishing you all the best year of your lives. 2018 is going to be a mighty mighty year for me and for you. 

Wild Year by vanessa acosta

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It is officially a year since I decided to quit my full time job to pursue the freelance life. It has had it's ups and downs. There have been highs and lows but I tried to focus on the highs and not dwell too much on the lows. 

I entered an industry that can be very intimidating to a lot, but after being put at the bottom of the barrel in the fashion industry from design job to design job I did not accept that anymore. I valued myself, sometimes even valued myself more than I should. But that confidence, that drive got me to land gigs I never would have dreamed of. Entering the photography world in 2017 was a rollercoaster. But I enjoyed every minute of it. 

2017 was about adjusting and readjusting to technology, to people, to your self worth. Never in a million years would I have thought my growth would reach this level in photography. I worked alongside The Do Lab team, got published my first year, got picked by Boost Mobile to collaborate with. Those are just some among the many I worked with this year. One thing I did learn was that you shouldn't sell yourself short. There were times when people wanted to take advantage and pay very little or nothing at all. Us creatives who work in the art field must have worth in ourselves and our work. We don't have to be starving artists. And as a brown woman, a lot of interested parties would not value the worth of a brown woman but wanted to use the magic of a brown woman without compensation. This was a learning process. 

But now at the end of 2017 I have a better idea of how to move forward. I know how to deal with certain people. I value myself and my self worth. It was a growing year and 2018 will follow with even more success and more exciting work. I just wanted to say thank you to all the people who booked me this year, who supported me, who recommended me, who saw value in my work. It means the world to me. For a girl who is now officially a year in photography, I honestly couldn't be more grateful. So cheers to taking leaps, being fearless and knowing your worth! 

The Beauty In Vulnerability by vanessa acosta

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Not many know this, but back when I was in design school I was a blogger. I used to write about fashion, my life and my travels. It garnered enough attention that if I had stuck with it all those years ago, I would probably be one of those influencers we all know today. I outgrew it but I always missed the writing. I'm the journal type of gal, I would write about my days every night just so I could look back and remember who I was on that day. Feeling nostalgic is one of my favorite feelings in the world so I often plant seeds to remember things down the line. 

As I write this new blog entry, I know next year I'll look back at this post and remember who I was at this moment. What was going on in my life? How I was doing? What will stick? What will be important enough for me to remember on this day? Well, I am currently regaining my confidence from those post break up blues. During this time I started to question my self worth with a wounded heart coupled with that newly single life adjustment. I had to rediscover a life I once comfortably lived. I had this life again where I didn't have a food buddy, I had a bed that wasn't shared. All those small things were lost and I had to relearn and be ok with going to sleep alone, ordering food for one, adventuring the city by myself, sharing my exciting news with friends rather than a lover. And as the weeks went by I started to laugh again, I would lounge at cafes alone, I began to love myself in my own eyes rather than the perspective of my partners eyes. it's been two months and I'm still alone but the difference is I am embracing the lone adventures. I'm not viewing it as a negative thing which is something I tend to do. The life I am leading has a badass brown Latina as the lead woman, me! And that's what will stick. The moment in time where I found myself again, I found that confident Vanessa who loved everything about herself and didn't let rejection deter her from still dreaming.

As I carried on with my life these past two months as a newly single woman I didn't stop from photographing women. And in these two months I've shot multiple women that have been healing as well from broken hearts, healing hearts, from wounded hearts. I wasn't alone, that common ground bonded us as we walked around gardens. It's been a journey for all of us and that bond formed from commonality showed me that being vulnerable is ok. Showing that raw side of yourself to a stranger is powerful. After taking these images of powerful single women, I realized that we don't need our counterparts to reassure us of our power, we had it in us the entire time. I'm in one of those inspiring moods and it has to do with the recent fire that has been relit in me. I'm me again and I will continue to rise up and create beautiful art with beautiful strong women. Stay tuned, too many good things coming. 

Written by: Vanessa Acosta

Shy Girl Club by vanessa acosta

I decided to add a blog portion to my newly built website. Just so you can take a look inside a photographers life and get to know me on a personal level.

More often than not I am hidden behind the lens. As I evolve as a photographer and grow as an individual, I've begun to develop this over critical mentality of myself when my photos are taken. It's a bad habit to pick up, as a photographer you know exactly how a person should pose, look, stand, smile. BUT when it comes to me, I freeze. I get camera shy! I've spoken to other photographers as well and this is a thing. Not for all photographers, but many can sympathize with this new found shyness. The strange thing for me is that I used to not be this shy, I was always getting my picture taken, I LOVED getting my picture taken. But here we are, years down the line and a collection of photos featuring me as the focal point that don't meet my standards. I think becoming a photographer made my standards higher. I also want to feel confident with the person who is taking my images. These are all reasonable thoughts to have when someone is pointing a camera in your face!

When someone isn't comfortable in front of the camera, it shows. The ability to make the subject comfortable and confident is a hard thing to achieve, especially when someone is self conscious about themselves. I've noticed that the only pictures I love of myself are the candid ones that were shot by close friends of mine. I was myself with them. It wasn't forced, it was a safe space, it was fun. So to my subjects that I photograph, I can sympathize as well. I too have my moments where I am awkward in front of the camera, or don't like how I look at the moment. But the purest moments are captured with souls you connect with. And that is what I strive to hold and capture with my clients, I get to know them as we progress with the photoshoot, I ask questions, I am interested in what you do, being a model isn't a requirement to achieving a beautiful photo of showing your truest self. There's nothing more fun than having a shoot with a laid back gal who just wants to get cute shots of another human being. The end results are magical. And as I experience the awkward stage of my confidence, I can level with my clients and we can grow together as we evolve into strong, confident women! Girls making magic happen together.

Written by: Vanessa Acosta

Written by: Vanessa Acosta