The beginning of my sustainable fashion journey & an editorial!

If you follow me on Instagram or know me IRL, you’ll notice I’ve been talking a lot about sustainability recently. I started living a more conscious lifestyle a few years ago, but have amplified my efforts this year. Recently, I’ve been focusing my attention on sustainable fashion in all forms—ethical fashion, slow fashion, secondhand & vintage, etc. So many terms, so much to learn! 

After a lot of research and hours of podcasts, I decided I would no longer support fast fashion. I was blind to a lot of the fashion industry’s problems for so long, but now I can’t un-see them. Consider me “woke!” 

Moving forward, I will be refocusing my attention on working with sustainable, ethical and local brands as well as styling all my shoots with secondhand and vintage pieces. Looking at all that needs to be done in the industry is overwhelming, but taking it step by step and doing whatever small bit I can to help will make a difference. Progress over perfection!

I’m working on another blog post that will dive more into my goals and thoughts on being a sustainable photographer, but for now, here is a fun editorial I recently shot using all secondhand and vintage clothing. The only items that aren’t sustainable are the straw hat and nude swimsuit. I purchased the hat last year from Lack of Color and I borrowed the suit from a friend. It’s important to remember that the most sustainable and affordable clothing option is wearing what you already own or swapping with a friend! 

Let me know what you think about this new direction of mine, this editorial or your personal sustainability journey in the comments below. :)

Dress and Earrings: Vintage, Hat: Lack of Color, Shoes: Model’s Own

Lace Top: Vintage, Earrings: Handmade in India, Suit: Borrowed

Dress: Vintage, Boots: Secondhand from Rosebowl Flea Market, Earrings: Handmade in India

Model: Neha @ Meraki Model Management

Hair & Makeup: Jaylene Singer

Styling & Photography: Me (Stacey Lamb)

Published in Dreamingless Magazine!

My editorial “Dress Up with Shelby” is out now in issue 46 for Dreamingless Magazine! I worked with such a talented team on this one—excited to share. Let me know what you think in the comments below. :)

Podcasts I've been Listening to Lately

Now that I live in LA, I’m officially married to my car. Honestly, I don’t hate it. Sometimes I miss public transportation, but then I remember that one time the seemingly cute old woman pushed me off the crowded train, or the homeless man took up an entire row for his afternoon nap, or I stepped in actual human urine. My commute now is the same amount of time, if not shorter, and it’s a hell of a lot more relaxing. I have my music, my podcasts, the freedom to sing at the top of my lungs, my snacks, and door to door service. I could go on and on about this (clearly) but I’ll get on with the post…

Podcasts. Since I’m in a serious relationship with my car, I’ve gotten super into podcasts. I also enjoy them while cooking, walking around the neighborhood, sitting on the beach and more. It’s nice to educate myself while doing other things—how productive! Adulting! I’m still a big music fan, but some days I want to learn something new.

Here are a few podcasts on my weekly lineup. Let me know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below!

1. It Starts With a Click by Olivia Bossert.

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This one is especially great if you’re also a fashion photographer. Or any other photographer, for that matter. Olivia’s lovely British accent makes for easy listening, and each episode is super engaging and helpful. She interviews various photographers and creatives, while also offering her own business and marketing advice. I especially love hearing a female’s point of view in a male dominated industry. Highly recommend if you’re starting or looking to grow your photography business!

2. How I Built This with Guy Raz.

This is the first podcast I ever got into that sparked my interest in others. Like Olivia, Guy Araz has a nice listening voice. That can make or break a podcast for me! In each episode, he interviews a different entrepreneur about their experience building their business from the ground up. His interviewees range from the creators of Warby Parker to the woman behind Drybar. It’s so inspiring to hear how each of these businesses got started. I definitely recommend for any small business owner, self-starter, freelancer, dreamer and whoever!

3. Anne Ortelee’s Weekly Weather.

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If you also like blaming the planets for everything, raise your hand!! But seriously, if you’re into Astrology, this is a great weekly update on the planets and the moon. Sometimes, Anne rambles a little too long for my taste, but the general points to take away are always helpful. If you’re feeling lost or weirdly emotional, Anne probably has some answers!!

4. Optimal Living Daily.

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This is one of my go-to morning podcasts because it’s quick, easy and uplifting. Each day, the host reads various personal development and minimalism blog posts. They never run more than ten minutes, which is great for short attention spans! Such a nice little way to start the day.

5. Highest Self Podcast with Sahara Rose.

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Sahara Rose is a bit out there, but if you are interested in Ayurveda or simply becoming a better version of yourself, she’s worth a listen! As someone who has Crohn’s Disease, Ayurveda has been a great practice to dive into. I still have a lot to learn, and I don’t think I’ll ever follow it 100% but I’m a fan. At the end of the day, it’s all about nourishing your body, thanking it for it’s hard work and practicing mindfulness to take your awareness away from the silly things that cloud our brains.

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Have you listened to any of these podcasts? Do you have any you’d love to recommend? Leave a comment below!

My Go-To Photoshoot Locations

A great location can really make or break a photograph. If you shoot a model in swimwear in middle of the city—it would be pretty weird. If juxtaposition is your thing, go for it, but have a reason behind it. Personally, I like my locations to make sense.

Which location you choose depends on a multitude of factors: the city you live in, the products you are photographing, the time of year, your preferred style, etc.  My personal preference is to shoot outdoors in nature, around colorful buildings or in a studio. I like to keep things minimal—I don’t want my background to be distracting. Therefore, it wouldn’t make sense for me to shoot downtown. I can do it, but I’d rather not. Really think about keeping your style consistent. Knowing the right backgrounds for your work is half the battle. Just because a location looks super cool, doesn’t mean it’s going to make sense for you.

If your taste is like mine, here are my top location ideas and suggestions!

1. The Beach: This one is a classic, and for good reason. The sand and ocean are gorgeous backdrops that don’t demand too much attention. Unless you were to go to a really crowded beach, there typically aren’t a lot of distracting elements to worry about. The only thing you need to be wary of, like with all outdoor locations, is the sunshine and what time of day you are shooting. Always scout beforehand so you know what to expect and what type of equipment you need to have on hand!

If you can, pick a beach that has some great natural elements surrounding it like rocky cliffs or grassy dunes. This gives you a bit more variety to work with.

Don’t have a beach? You can achieve a similar look with lakes, ponds, rivers and most other bodies of water! Get creative.

2. Cute Neighborhoods: Obviously, I’m not suggesting you trespass, but it’s usually okay to shoot around the sidewalks and streets of a quiet neighborhood. I love seeking out areas with colorful houses, and placing the models in front of them. Don’t walk right up to the house—that would definitely be trespassing. You can blur the homes in the background of your images so that you are still adding a pop of smooth color, but they aren’t the main focus. A lot of neighborhood homes have gorgeous landscaping which you can also use to your advantage.

3. A Backyard or Park: This one is simple and easy to come by. Essentially, you are shooting in a very green environment. If you can find a place with some gorgeous flowers in bloom, even better! I love these locations because the light is a lot easier to work with. I prefer to shoot in the shade and there is often an abundance of it in most backyards and parks. If you are somewhere more private (that doesn’t require a location permit) you could easily set up a portable backdrop. I love shooting against a studio backdrop with natural light—it’s the best daylight studio hack. This option makes the background a little less green too, which can sometimes be overwhelming. I also love shooting both the studio backdrop and background in the same frame. It’s pretty trendy these days, and for good reason.

4. Rent an Apartment or Studio: Okay, so this one is going to cost a little money. If you’re willing to invest in your business, this is a great option. Peerspace is a great website for finding amazing apartments and studios for shoots. They are beautifully curated and rentable by the hour with a variety of price options. You can also check out Airbnb for apartments and houses, though you’d obviously have to rent it for the whole night. Could be a fun excuse for a staycation!

5. Greenhouse or Botanical Garden: For a real ethereal and natural vibe, I love shooting in these locations. While living in Paris, I discovered the world’s dreamiest greenhouse and I can’t wait to return one day. Often in these spots, you need to obtain a location permit. I’ve snuck around before, but if you want full control I recommend reaching out! Otherwise, I’d suggest keeping your team very small in order to keep a low profile.

6. On a Boat: This one requires a bit of insider knowledge. If you have a boat of your own, amazing, what are you still doing here? Otherwise, you need to know the right people. I shot on a gorgeous sailboat in Manhattan by the pure chance of a mutual friend. Ask around—you never know! Otherwise, you could dish out some dollars and rent a boat for a few hours. Either way, there’s nothing quite like sailing on the open sea and doing what you love.

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That’s pretty much it for me! As you can tell, I love natural environments with a touch of simplicity. If you have any fun ideas, comment below! Happy shooting. <3

Freelance to Full Time - My Life in Los Angeles

It’s been nearly a month since my last post…whoops! Time flies when you’re a full time employee. I traded in the freelance hustle for a comfortable schedule and benefits. I went back and forth, read every article I could find on the internet and decided it would be worth it. Ultimately, I see this as a stepping stone between where I am and where I want to be. This might not make sense for me in a few years, but for now it feels right. I’ve had to make some big lifestyle adjustments—like not traveling every other weekend. As a Sagittarius, the flexible schedule of a freelance career suits me very well. Almost too well. It’s nice to have a bit of discipline and structure for the first time in maybe ever.

So what do I do? I am the In-House Photographer and Digital Content Manager for Nous Model Management. I absolutely love it. It’s the perfect combination between creative and technical—something that is surprisingly hard to find in this industry. Most full-time photography jobs (in LA) are in Ecom or retouching, which reaaaaally doesn’t excite me.

I’m still pursuing my freelance career on weekends—so I guess the hustle really never stops. I’m okay with that! My creative heart likes to go go go. Sometimes though, I need to remind myself to slow down and say no. It’s easy to want to say yes to every opportunity, but it’s just not realistic. After all the health issues I faced last year, I’m especially cautious with my time. When I get in over my head (which is a lot), I have to step back, cancel or reschedule shoots and refresh. Put yourself first, always!!

I could go into the details of my day to day responsibilities, but that’s what my resume is for. What I will tell you is that I recently put together a studio for Nous! I’ve shot some fun tests with girls who need an update for their book. See below for a recent shoot I did with the adorable Izzy Hoffman. <3

Are you building your book and looking for a fun shoot like this? You’re in luck! I have my own personal portrait studio and am available for on-location shoots as well. E-mail me for rates & availability! <3

Go Slow - Lessons learned backpacking through Nicaragua

While I was visiting Nicaragua two summers ago, I bought one of my favorite t-shirts I’ve ever owned. The message reads “Go Slow” and features an illustration of a sloth on a surfboard. I’m both a fan of the message and the sloth…naturally.

The words “Go Slow” really summed up my trip and the lessons I learned on the road. Honestly, every time I travel I’m reminded of these two words. They can make all the difference in truly enjoying a place like a local, or just feeling like a tourist. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather take the local route. How can you really appreciate a place if you’re just rushing through it?

Nicaragua’s economy isn’t in the best shape—many people have very little. However, this doesn’t stop them from waking up with a smile on their face and making you feel at home. They don’t have, want or need a lot. I felt the same way about the people in India. Daily life is more simplified and moves a lot slower.

At the time of this trip, I was living in New York City—one of the fastest cities in the world. It is quite literally the city that never sleeps. Nicaragua was just the opposite. I woke up each day and had a cup of coffee or light breakfast outside in the waking sunshine. I let the day unfold slowly. Sometimes I read a bit if I wasn’t quite ready to start my day. I would literally never read before I went anywhere in New York—there simply wasn’t enough time! Always in a rush! The rest of my Nicaraguan days consisted of a variety of activities: surfing, hiking, swimming, scootering, etc. We always stopped for a nice lunch, taking our time to really enjoy it. In the evening, we ate our dinner, had a beer (or more) and struck up conversations with strangers. Sometimes locals, other times they were fellow travelers. Either way, the people were the same—they were there, they were present and they weren’t anxious to be somewhere else.

New York moves fast in many ways. Often though, it was the energy of the people around me that influenced how I felt. A lot of New Yorkers are impatient and flaky; there is always somewhere better to be. In Nicaragua, people are happy exactly where they are. Sure, the sunshine and surf don’t hurt, but it’s more than that. The energy felt different from the moment I stepped off the plane. Go slow. How can you really stop to think about how you feel if you’re always on the go? The mental and physical benefits of slowing down are unparalleled. Even if you can’t hop on the plane to Nicaragua right now, you can practice this in your every day life. Take time each day to revel in the slow moments. Wake up and have a cup of tea to get your day started—a simple yet beautiful routine that has worked wonders for me. Make a point to spend at least ten minutes outside, even if it’s just to take a few deep breaths. The options are endless—moving slowly doesn’t have to be a chore. It’s really not so difficult to get away.

Try it, and let me know how you feel!

All photos taken by me, on my iPhone.

Less is More: The Simple Way to Produce a Successful Test Shoot

Honestly, I’m writing this blog post as a bit of reminder to myself. If it helps someone else too…even better!

It’s so easy to get excited about a shoot—that’s why I do what I do! The problem with this excitement is that sometimes I get carried away. I put multiple ideas together, and come up with an elaborate plan to shoot.  Sometimes, this works out beautifully. Other times, I’m putting too much on my plate and the ideas fall short.

Some of my favorite shoots required the least amount of effort. It’s funny how that works out.

I’m learning that agencies prefer to see a super minimal shoot than an over the top editorial. While it’s fun to be bold, the simplest of shoots can be superbly beautiful.

So, if you’re like me and have a million ideas—don’t try to tackle them all at once. Slow it down and step back. Shoot your model without any makeup on in front of a neutral backdrop wearing vintage earrings and a white button-down. Voilà. Focus on your lighting and use that to make the image really stand out!

Below is one of my favorite recent shoots. It was a test with a new face for Freedom Models LA. First, she was naturally gorgeous and had the stunning features! Second, I didn’t fuss about this shoot. I had a short amount of time to prepare, so I kept it really simple. This ended up working to my advantage and I’m so happy I didn’t over complicate things. Honestly, I can’t wait to do more shoots like this.

Less is more.

Through the Looking Glass // Driving through Agra, India // A Photo Journal

In 2017, I went to India. I haven’t written much about that trip (yet), because I’m still trying to process it all. India is a country overflowing with people, colors, smells, tastes, architecture, knowledge, stories and all sorts of magic. It’s a trip that will stick with me forever.

Without further ado, here is a little journal entry I wrote about my experience driving through Agra, accompanied by some images that simply don’t do it justice.

It was day two of our fifteen day backpacking journey through India. Sunrise at the Taj Mahal was better than we had hoped for. Next stop: Jaipur. We were in a car with our private driver who told us to call him Uncle. My window was dirty, smeared with fingertips and dust. With the smoggy haze, it was an oddly beautiful combination. India is not pristine, there is so much litter and the conditions are sometimes hard to look at. Yet, it’s shockingly beautiful. The vivid colors of buildings and stunning saris, the simplicity of a day spent lounging with friends, the smiles on even the most rundown faces, the children occupying themselves with silly games--all of these details seem to outshine the negatives. Their lives are simple and people don’t have much—but they’re happy. Happy to be, to live, to take in each moment. It’s a lesson we’re reminded of every day, but don’t always take seriously because we don’t have to. India isn’t perfect, but the people will teach you how truly little we need to be happy. Now that’s beautiful.

All images taken by Stacey Lamb. Agra, India. November 2017.

Best Advice for Styling Your Own Shoots

While working with a stylist is preferred, it doesn’t always work out. Especially when you are just starting out and have yet to find someone who matches your vibe. To this day, I still style a lot of my own shoots. This works best for tests, portraits and lifestyle—editorials are another story.

So, where do you start? First, you need to put together a moodboard of your ideas. If you want to shoot more than one look, make sure they make sense together. Consistency is so important for your personal style.

Now that you know what you are looking for, it’s time to begin.

Here are a few great resources and ideas for styling your own shoots. This continues to work for me, and hopefully should for you too!

1. Vintage. I love a good Vintage store or thrift shop. I’ve been thrifting for myself for years and recently starting buying items for future shoots in mind. Some places can be pricey, especially in LA, but some can be cheap! You never know what you’ll find at the Goodwill or Salvation Army. It could be a bust, but it’s worth a look.

Vintage is my first choice, because it means your clothes will truly be unique and one-of-a-kind. In a world of fast-fashion and overdone trends, it’s important to stand out. Speaking of fast-fashion, I’m big on sustainability and shopping second hand is always a great choice for you and the planet! :)

2. Reach out. Do some research, and find a few smaller or local brands that you’d like to style with. Reach out to them directly and offer them an exchange—you will shoot their products and provide them with the final images. Make sure you specify that you will be happy to return the products and they may only use the final images for social media. The great thing about this is that you have a brand to add to your credibility. There is also the chance that they will post your images, thus bringing more attention to your work! It’s a win, win. Plus, you’re on their radar for the future when they might want to officially hire you to shoot.

3. Hit the Mall. Unfortunately, shopping second hand means that you can’t always find what you are looking for. If you’re in a pinch or shooting a certain look, it’s time to get that credit card out and hit the mall. Or wherever (because malls are kind of terrifying, am I right?)

It’s important to only go to stores that are within a reasonable budget. If you are planning to return your item, you never know what could happen on set. It’s not worth risking shooting a model outdoors in $1,000 shoes, only to have her step in chewing gum. My stomach just dropped thinking about it.

Hate shopping? Look into ordering clothes online from places such as Asos that offer free shipping.

4. Model Mayhem. This website is pretty janky looking, that’s for sure, but sometimes it can introduce you to the right people. Often there are local clothing designers looking to showcase their work. Like reaching out to brands directly, this would be an exchange for photos. The choices aren’t always the best, but it’s worth a look!

5. Dive into your closet. Obviously this really only works if you’re a girl, and styling a girl. Or visa versa. Plus, you have to keep sizes in mind. Sometimes this can be a great option! As I mentioned, I’ve been collecting vintage for years. I typically look at my own closet first, before I seek clothing elsewhere. If the model is a lot smaller than you, it’s easy to pin the clothing for a better fit.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for in your own closet, maybe you could find it in someone else’s. Think of friends that reflect the style you are going for and reach out to them! In New York, I had various friends in the fashion industry and always loved peeping their closets before a shoot. This is a great thing to do in advance in case you can’t find what you’re looking for. I wouldn’t rely on this option last-minute!

6. Collaborate. A lot of photographers lean towards this option— especially when they’re just starting out. This means you’d ask your model to bring certain items to the shoot. I always have them bring a few options, just in case, but I never rely on them. You simply can’t know what they will bring—it is really out of your control. I’m no control freak, but I don’t want to shoot someone in an item I’m not keen on. Like I said, it’s important to keep your styling consistent and it is hard to do this when it is out of your control!

6. Simplify. Are you just trying to shoot a nice portrait? When you’re truly focused on the face, the other details aren’t as important. You can shoot a model in a tube top (is that still a thing) for an an implied nude look. You could shoot your subject in a tank top or plain white tee. Think about styling them in minimalistic jewelry or your favorite earrings. In the end, simplicity is always a safe bet.

These are some of my favorite tips for styling a shoot on your own. If you're truly overwhelmed or swamped for time, reach out to stylists. Just know that they may be looking to do something editorial and less interested in a simple test shoot. Good luck!

Stacey's City Guides: Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

Strange as it may sound, Florida will always hold a special place in my heart. I did my undergraduate at Florida State University in glorious Tallahassee, then spent a few years at home in Jacksonville. Most of my closest friends are from Florida, and somehow I manage to make new Florida friends wherever I go. I spent a week over the holidays exploring and appreciating the little beach town I grew to love. Jacksonville is actually quite massive, so I’m focusing on one sliver. It’s the place where I spent most of my time—the beach. I spent a lot of my two years at home eating, shopping and drinking all around Jax Beach. The community was easy going, friendly and simple. Here is a little guide I pieced together of some of my favorite spots! Enjoy this little peek into my Jax Beach life.

Photos of Jax Beach, by Me.

Eat.

Since eating is my favorite part of the day, I’ll start with it first.

Breakfast: My go-to’s are First Watch, Delicomb, Beach Diner, Metro Diner, Another Broken Egg Cafe and Vitality Bowls. I like my breakfast quick, healthy and easy. Unfortunately, I can’t eat gluten, but if you’re not a sucker like me, you should definitely go to Maple Street Biscuit Company. Order the “Sticky Maple” — a fresh biscuit topped with fried chicken, pickles and maple syrup. YUM. The food network recommends the “Squawking Goat” but I can’t eat that either. It’s not all about me though, so go ahead and order it if you’re a fan of goat cheese! My mom and sister love it. I mean, LOOK AT IT…

Maple Street Biscuit Company, Photos by me.

Lunch: So many choices, so little time! Some of my personal favorites include Taco Lu, Sun Deli, Safe Harbor and The Blind Rabbit. If you have to choose one, it’s Taco Lu. Try the “Bangin Shrimp” taco, because the hype lives up to the name. The jalapeño margarita is also an absolute delight. Who says you can’t have a Margarita at lunch? You’re on vacation!!

First Watch, Photos by Me.

Dinner: For the grand finale, I recommend Palm Valley Fish Camp (or North Beach Fish Camp), Valley Smoke, Hawkers Asian Street Fare, and The Flying Iguana Taqueria and Tequila Bar. I’m biased towards Palm Valley, because I waitressed there for a bit. Bias aside, it’s truly amazing—the setting is small and cozy, right on the inlet. The chefs are top notch and serve decadent specials every day. The seafood is fresh and what better cuisine to eat when you’re in Florida? Everything on the menu is amazing, but make sure you leave room for desert. The bread pudding is to die for. I can’t eat gluten or dairy anymore but I’d GLADLY take a large bite of this mouthwatering dish. :P Valley Smoke is another restaurant owned by the same couple, but this one features real good southern barbecue. Think smokey meats that fall off the bone and the whiskey wall of your dreams. Plus, they bring you a basket of homemade sauces for your entree. Ya girl LOVES sauce, so sign me up.

Valley Smoke - photos by Me.

Drink.

What is it about sunshine and the beach that makes you want to drink copious amounts of cold beer and fruity cocktails? Asking for a friend!!

Lemon Bar: For the ultimate beach vibe, Lemon bar is your spot. It’s a seasonal outdoor bar located right on the beach. The drinks are cheap, the vibe is nice and the breeze is delightful.

Hoptinger: This one is probably my favorite—it has a classier vibe than most of the Jax Beach bars. They take their beer selection very seriously and have a great menu for snacking as well. There’s a full liquor bar for those non-gluten folks like myself. The best part? Live music!

Surfer [the bar]: This spot is super bro-ey, but it’s also real cute. Surfer Magazine opened this bar a few years ago in place of one of the best music venues in Jacksonville. I was sad to see the original venue go, but happy this fun spot is in it’s place.

Green Room Brewing: If you like playing games while you drink—you’re in for a treat. This tasty microbrewery has an entire game room in the back, including giant Connect Four and a ping pong table. They’ll even let you bring in your own food. :P

Lynch’s Irish Pub: This bar is kind of the worst and kind of the best. It’s one of those trashy, divey Irish bars with dollar bills all over the ceiling. The reason everyone loves it so much? It’s a damn good time. They have some of the best live music on the beach and you will most definitely be dancing.

Shop.

I love me some nature, but sometimes it’s fun to just browse the local shops and spend too much money. Happy to help!

Inguz: This cute beachy boutique fits perfectly into the Jax Beach aesthetic. First of all, the store is beautifully curated and there’s even a tasty coffee bar to enjoy while you shop! Cara Monte, the owner, is a delightful human with impeccable taste. The boutique sells mostly Aussie labels, with a very simple, minimal and boho vibe. Beware, you will want to spend all of your money. :P

Inguz - Photos by Me.

Jaffi’s Boutique: This shop is a hit or a miss for me. Sometimes they have some great basics and fun sales! It’s worth a peep, especially since it’s right around the corner from Drift.

Drift Boutique: This is another beach favorite, with many bohemian labels coming from California & Australia. Based in Neptune Beach, it’s a fun stop while exploring this cute little neighborhood. They even have frosé on tap to sip while you shop! Yum.

Drift Boutique - Photos by Me.

Cottage by the Sea: If you love antiques and one-of-a-kind kitchy beach finds, this place is for you. I once found a gorgeous vintage table cloth with a map of Florida that my mom hung on a canvas for me. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

Sea Shells and Coral: Honestly, I like the outside of this store even more than the inside. It’s hot pink & super beachy—great photo opp. The store itself is your classic tourist shop. I don’t support all of the plastic and unnecessary items, but some of the shells and pukka necklaces are kind of cute. If you’re looking for a beach souvenir or a towel & sunscreen, this is the spot!

Beam Thrift: If you’re like me, you love sifting through thrift stores. You know the game—you might not always find something, but the dig can be fun! This thrift shop has been a success for me in the past. It’s massive, so either have patience or go with some pieces in mind. Good luck!

Sunrise Surf Shop: The perfect little shop for all your surfing, skating & sunning needs.!

Explore.

Now that you’ve eaten, drank & shopped, I’m sure you’re wondering what else there is to do. Plenty! The great thing about Jacksonville is it’s location. It’s close to the Georgia boarder, where you can explore places such as Amelia and Fernandina Island. In just two hours you can be in Savannah! Here are a few of my favorite adventures to go on and places to explore…

1. Go for a walk! This is probably the most obvious, but it’s still worth mentioning. Whenever I’m home, I love to go for walks on the beach or around the small streets. There are so many cute beach homes worth drooling over. Walk along Ponte Vedra Beach for a real treat (mansions on mansions)!

2. Big Talbot Island. This is my absolute favorite place to visit in Jax. It’s about a 45 minute drive, almost in Georgia, so definitely take a day to explore. This semi-secluded beach is covered in fallen trees. It’s pretty other-worldly honestly—it feels like a scene out of Jurassic park. I usually bring a hammock to string between the trees, but it’s just as fun to climb around and lay on the big branches! If you have the time, this adventure shouldn’t be skipped.

3. Kingsley Plantation. This is an old plantation home close to Big Talbot, so make a whole day out of it! The house is classically southern and the grounds have some pretty cool ruins to explore.

4. Bike on the beach. At low tide, Jax beach is HUGE. The sand is also really flat and perfect for a fun beach bike ride. Obviously, I have my own so I’m not too familiar but there are definitely spots to rent! Stop at Lemon Bar for a post-ride drink. :)

5. Cruise down A1A. This road is the quintessential Florida drive. Follow the coast all the way down to Saint Augustine—another cute town to explore! Stop by Caps on the way for food, or Guana Beach Reserve for a gorgeous open beach covered in sea shells. Search long enough and you might spot a shark tooth. :P

6. Take a yoga class! There are several great yoga studios in town. My favorites are Yoga Mix and Big Fish. Namaste!

Photos by Me.

I’m sure I left some places out, but this guide took me a while and my fingers hurt. It’s time to hop off the screen. If you have any more questions or are looking for specific suggestions, comment below! <3

Setting Intentions, Not Resolutions.

With the New Year in full swing, there has been a lot of talk in the self-help world about the difference between setting “intentions” and “resolutions”. Why is one better than the other and how are they truly different? Here’s my take on it summed up into one thought…

I intend to do better, not resolve all my problems.

Intentions allow us the freedom to be human—to make mistakes, to try again. The important thing is that we’re trying to do better, and that’s truly enough. The word “resolution” has an awkward weight to it— it expects us to fix all of the bad parts of ourselves. Apparently, the impossible must happen simply because it’s a new year!! Not into it. My roommate loves the saying “bird by bird” and honestly I love it too. Step by step, day by day or month by month. Whatever works for you. If you wish to change something about yourself or your life, you shouldn’t wait for the world to tell you when it’s time. If it happens to be the second of January and you find yourself signing up for an LA Fitness membership (who me?) that’s totally okay too. Let things unfold naturally and always try to do better than the day before. I intend to have a great year, how about you?

Now that I’m done preaching, here is a cute list of my New Year slash January intentions. Should I do one of these every month? Let me know your thoughts below! :)

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Illustrations by Me.

Looking to set your own intentions, but having a hard time figuring out where to start? First, take a step back and set a nice space—candles, music, incense, snacks or whatever else makes your soul happy. Think about the things you wish you had more time for or the ideas constantly tugging at your brain. Try not to list too many—it’s all about keeping things realistic! If you have a hard time finishing projects like myself, less is more.

Happy New Year!!

New Work: Happy Holidays from myself & bBlunt Daily!

In one of my last blog posts, I mentioned that I do a lot of customized illustrations. It’s all about that side hustle!!

Below is some holiday-themed content I recently put together for bBlunt Daily— a great new website for all of your canna-woman needs. Check it out and let me know what you think. Happy Holidays!

Follow @bbluntdaily for your daily hit. <3

Creating the perfect Moodboard for your Photoshoot

So, you have a lot of ideas and found hundreds of inspiring images on Pinterest—now what? It’s time to create a moodboard! Pinterest boards are great to get you started, but they aren’t detailed or personal enough to send to your team. This is truly the best way to make sure everyone is on the same page!

Now that I have you on board (get it!!), it’s time to break down the steps. I’m going to run through my own personal template. Feel free to copy my ideas or take some inspiration and create one entirely of your own!

First, you need to have the right program to create this in. I prefer Photoshop and InDesign—both are easy and flexible for laying out images and text. If you have another program, great, but Adobe is my personal lifeline.

Let’s get started.

1. Logo and title. Include your logo somewhere clearly visible—I like the top left corner. Next to this, include a creative title or simple sentence to describe the shoot.

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2. Model. I like to keep this blank until I know exactly who I will be shooting. This is not the spot for inspiration—keep this as accurate as possible so the team knows exactly who to expect on set.

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3. Hair and Makeup. Here is where you starting pulling in the inspiration! Find a few examples of what you are looking for. Make sure the images aren’t too different, or you may confuse your team. If you are hoping to collaborate a bit more, you can always include a variety and write them a personal note.

Below the pictures, include a short sentence to describe the look you are going for. Images are most important, but sometimes a few words can really make a difference in clarity!

*For this shoot, I had the model come with her hair natural. Make sure to let them know in advance! The same goes if you will not have a makeup artist—tell the model so they can copy the look themselves.

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4. Styling. For me, this is the fun part! You can show a lot more variety in the looks here, or keep it very concise and simple. It’s up to you! If you are working with a stylist, more images means more room for creativity. If you are styling it yourself, these images will help to refer back to when you are pulling or buying clothing.

Don’t forget to include a small descriptive sentence!

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5. Mood/Atmosphere. This part is really for you and the model. It shows them the mood you are going for and/or the location you have in mind. Try to include a variety of images and don’t repeat poses—you only have so much room to show them what you are thinking!

Once again, include a brief description of expectations. If you have a particular location in mind, this would be the place to write it out.

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6. The Finished Product. It’s time to piece it all together! You’ve probably been doing this all along, but for the sake of the exciting blog post reveal, I’ve made this the last step. Here is how I piece together the final product. Obviously you can organize yours as you wish, this just makes the most sense in my brain!

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If there is anything you forgot to include or doesn’t fit nicely into the board, feel free to send a separate note in your distribution e-mail. Including as many details as possible assures everyone is on the same page and shows that you know what you’re doing. That’s the goal, isn’t it?!

Here are a few final images from the shoot. Do you think the team captured my vision? Let me know in the comments!

I hope this helps you put together a stand-out moodboard. Good luck!

The Best Resources For Finding Freelance Work Online

For years, I’ve been trying to perfect the art of the side hustle. It comes in various forms. In the past, I’ve waitressed to pay the bills. Quick, easy money and an industry full of creative hustlers? A flexible yet consistent income? Yes please.

That was my plan, until I hit a pretty large bump in the road. Less than one month after I moved to LA, I was rushed into emergency surgery. Long story short, I have Crohn’s Disease and something I ate decided it was cool to jam itself into the side of my intestines. My entire ileum was removed, along with my appendix—because who needs it anyways?

The point of this over-sharing anecdote is that my plans quickly changed. I had to rely on my other skills, ones that did not involve heavy lifting and rushing around. So I turned my focus to illustration. This type of work can be done remotely, so it felt like the perfect move. So…where do I find work? Here is a list of useful freelance resources and my thoughts about them!

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Fiverr: I’ve had the most success with this site, so if you’re hoping to focus on one— this is it! You’ll create a profile, where you can list different “gigs.” These are essentially your work spelled out into various packages. You have control over your rates and most of the job details. Clients will search for specific types of artists (i.e. photographers or illustrators) and they might stumble upon your page. If they are interested, they’ll send you a message. All I had to do was create a profile, come up with some gigs and voila! So easy, simple and basically effortless.

I was fortunate enough to have one of my gigs featured the first week I was on Fiverr! I offered a service that was a bit unique, which allowed me to stand out from the crowd. Research your competitors and brainstorm ways to be different.

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UpWork: This website is the ultimate freelancer’s tool. There are hundreds of jobs posted daily. It’s aesthetically pleasing and easy to use. Tons of unique opportunities. You are seeking out the client, instead of the other way around. Con: It’s a lot more work. You must read though a multitude of postings every day, and be quick to send a proposal. Each proposal takes at least 15-20 minutes. It’s definitely more time consuming. Plus, I haven’t received as many messages. Clients have a lot of proposals to go through and if you’re too late they may never even see yours. That being said, I have gotten a few gigs! Feel it out and decide if it works for you.

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Craigslist: The “creative gigs” section is my favorite. Often, it’s a mixed bag. Sometimes, there will be one-time gigs calling your name! The work doesn’t always pay the best, but it does pay. It’s definitely a good starting point!

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Honey Book: This website is geared towards the wedding photography and event business. Every once in a while, there will be a different type of photography-related opportunity. There are a lot of people looking for assistants, models, photographers, etc. Like I said though, unless you have an interest in the wedding industry, this might not be for you. However, I did find a portrait photographer who needed assistance, so you never know!

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Reaching Out: E-mail people or pick up the phone! It’s the good old-fashioned way, and it works. Research your audience, brand yourself and seek out potential clients. Send an introductory e-mail, and make sure to personalize it. You can use a similar template, but make sure to include at least one thoughtful remark that shows you did your research. If you don’t hear back within a week, kindly send a follow-up. Don’t get too aggressive on the follow-ups though—the last thing you want to do is annoy someone or seem spammy.

I hope you find these helpful resources for your freelance career or your side hustle! Find your niche, market your skills, BOOM! You’re in business.

Playlists on Set: The Best Music for Fashion Photography Shoots

Have you ever been on set without music? I know, that would be weird. Have you ever struggled to pick a playlist? Did you let the model choose and regretted it? Are you looking for something that everyone can sing along or dance to? These playlists are your answer.

Make a quick judgement call at the beginning of each shoot. Asses the team’s energy and the think about the mood you are trying to achieve in your images. Combine these two details to pick the right playlist for the day!

Playlist #1: On Set.

This one is very dancey, with a variety of early 2000s r&b, top 40, and reggae. I know, that might sound weird. Trust me, it’s a crowd pleaser.

Playlist #2: Dancing On Set.

This next playlist is a bit heavier on the electronic music, so you definitely want to make sure it fits with the vibe of your shoot. I’m imagining a fun team and a model who’s moving around a lot!

Playlist #3: Eggs & Bacon.

This one’s for all the morning people and romantics out there. Soft, slowed down, easy music. Perfect for an early morning shoot, to ease into the day peacefully. Also great for a portrait session in which you want your model to stay a bit more still. It’s dreamy and happy music for the bride and groom! The options are endless for this one.

I hope one of these playlists will work for you, and if not, I guess we just have different taste. That’s okay!

I am currently working on a Disco playlist. I’ll be releasing that one and maybe a few more at a later date. Comment below if you have any genre, song or artist suggestions!

Why I moved to LA: A Photo Essay

I’ve been telling the same story for three months now. People always want to know why I left Brooklyn and why I chose LA. It’s a valid question!

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Sometimes my answer is ‘a slower pace of life.’ Sometimes, it’s ‘the sunshine!’ “Seasonal Depression is REAL” is another good one. It really depends on my mood.

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 New York was a beautiful chapter. I’m so happy I had the chance to experience it—but it’s not for me. I felt the same way about living in Paris. Part of me is a city girl, but most of me is not. I need sunshine, ocean breezes, trees, open spaces, and a serious relationship with my car.

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Another big reason was my desire to be somewhere that my work made sense. My photography is colorful, dreamy, soft and definitely not New York. My portfolio pretty much screams “California!” I knew this all along, but I also knew that I needed to live in Brooklyn while I had the energy and desire.

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The most important reason for my move was my health. New York just wasn’t good for me mentally nor physically. Anyone who lives in the city can’t even argue with that. It’s just kind of a fact that New Yorkers have a lot, but a healthy lifestyle is not one of them! My problems aren’t completely solved just yet, but I feel confident in my decision and am truly happy to be where I am. After years of searching for “my place”, it feels pretty damn good to say that!

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I’ve reached a point where I’m starting to truly digest the idea of time. Time is so damn precious. It’s a weird and wild thing. It’s so important that we spend our moments wisely. Live without regrets. Move across the country, without a job, knowing basically no one—why not!! Honestly, it’s been hard and will continue to be. I’m prepared for that. But I know it will be worth it.

All Photos by me, taken in January 2018.

Hello! My name is Stacey.

My name is Stacey Lamb, my closest friends call me Slamb. You can call me that too, but I don’t think we’re quite there yet. I’m a freelance photographer, illustrator and creative human living in Los Angeles, California.

Here is my life summed up into one paragraph: I was born in Bermuda, raised in Massachusetts, did my undergraduate at Florida State University and studied photography in Paris. I ate all the croissants, bought an aggressive number of vintage coats, danced until sunrise and returned to Florida with an empty wallet. I waitressed until my bank account could breathe again, packed up a U-Haul and moved to Brooklyn. I worked my way up from waitress to photographer, like a good struggling artist! I got a job as a photo assistant for a travel magazine and began consistently freelancing fashion photography on the side. Then, I visited LA in the middle of winter and fell in love with this sunny dream boat of a city. Fast forward eight months and I’m living in a cute little bungalow in Culver City.

I’d be lying if I said this was my first blog. I’ve started one before. This time though, I’m here to stay. I have a lineup of posts that I’ve poured a lot of love into and I hope you feel the same. I want to cover a range of topics including photography tips, inspiration, travel photo essays and all things camera nerd. I’m open to ideas, thoughts, constructive criticism, high fives, french fries, etc. Nice to meet you!

Here is a kind of cute, kind of awkward slideshow of personal photos from the past few years. :)