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!

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

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.

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.

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.