GREECE: A SERIES | Embracing Thessaloniki

Hello! A few more days in Greece have allowed me to explore even more wonderful places, try new foods, and excessively people-watch. It's such a treat being in a new country, and experiencing all of the differences it has to offer as well as tastes of home.

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Recently, my study abroad group and I traveled via bus to Philippi, Kvala, and north Thessaloniki to explore the historical monuments and embrace the slow, intimate culture of the smaller cities of Greece. It was a treasure to visit the Unesco World Heritage site of Philippi, and step foot on the mecca of biblical history. Seeing the actual site where St. Paul was imprisoned during his time there was fascinating and so surreal, as well as seeing the river where Lydia was baptized! Visiting these landmarks one learns about growing up, in person, truly brings the stories to life.

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After leaving Philippi, we ventured to Kvala, another large city in Greece. It was one of the most beautiful and quaint places I've ever been, bringing up fond memories of cities such as Montmartre in France. Observing the people through visiting stores, eating, and walking around allowed me to embrace the culture even more, and I was incredibly captured by the stillness of the flow of everything. The lifestyle here is incredibly beautiful and I can't stop thinking about how much I'd love to move here one day.

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All of the architecture in this area is unique and lovely, and it was fun finding a few places to take some portraits! I've been thriving in linen on this trip as it is such a flowy and comfortable fabric. This pretty dress is from a handmade company that I love very much, Pyne and Smith Clothiers! My sweet friend Alivia (a fellow linen enthusiast) told me about them recently, and I’m so glad to have discovered their beautiful brand.

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One of the most unique things about exploring around new places is that you find the prettiest of locations in the most odd situations, sometimes - these pictures were taken in a bathroom of all places! Another good friend of mine, Jessica, is always reminding me and others that there are no limits to creativity and the most beautiful shots can be captured in the most unlikely of places.

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Finally, after exploring Kvala, we ventured lastly to the northern part of Thessaloniki, where we visited the Church of St. Demetrios. Churches are one of my most favorite things to observe and visit when I travel, as there is so much cultural history involved. Watching the people venture in and out of the building, moving through the place, lighting candles, and saying prayers, is such a surreal experience. I’m always inspired by the work of Joe Greer and it was enjoyable to capture images inspired by his work here. The architecture of this particular church was unique to observe, the structure of it being very simple and elegant - less “ornate” than other churches I've visited in Italy or France (more simple walls and muted colors), but no less spectacular. The golden windows inside the building took my breath away with the sun shining through.

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This day provided so many opportunities to observe the lifestyle of Greek peoples of different locations, explore the historical monuments of the area, and deepen my love for this wonderful place. I cannot wait for more days like this, and to continue to embrace this lovely, welcoming lifestyle.

GREECE: A SERIES | Arriving in a New Space

There is something so daunting, yet so welcoming about arriving in and immersing yourself in a new place. Traveling is a task and adventure that can be quite taxing mentally at times, as there are so many items and important pieces of information to store and present at various checkpoints, language barriers to deal with, lack of appropriate meals, and other unexpected goings-on that can attribute to a mountain of stress.

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As I travel more increasingly as years progress, it becomes less and less of a task and more of an adventure - but I'm always reminding myself that there is an intense and growing process in learning to function fully in places outside of your comfort zone. There is a piece of me that needs to finish all of the "loose ends" on my to-do list before I head off somewhere, or finish cleaning every last bit of my room, or feel fully "fresh" and ready before I leave my home. While this is a satisfying feeling, I have come to realize that this is not always achievable - but, however, is what illustrates the beauty of traveling.

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Traveling and exploring new places is merely the opportunity to pick up your life, wherever you're at, and continue on with it in a new place.

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Yesterday, I left on a one-month long journey to Greece to study abroad with my college, Washington State University. In the heart of the beautiful city of Thessaloniki, I'll be studying strategic communication applied to social media campaigning for small businesses, allowing me and my team to create digital content and develop campaign strategies for niche industries in the area. The week prior, and up to the literal hour before, I scrambled around, trying to get every last photo uploaded, every update installed, every corner of my suitcase perfectly packed. This amounted to a lot of stress, obviously - and even more after it came time for me to leave and there were still a few things left on the list to "complete."

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During my journey over, continual reminders in the form of working people, families conversing, or things going wrong, reminded me that life can never be "perfect" before you leave a place, nor do you need to "live" differently when you enter one. Adapting to changes in atmosphere and functioning fully within them is a highly valued skill in my book, and this trip (and I know others following it) is reminding me to take things slow, pick up where you left off, and make time for details that help create a comfortable space outside of home base. Whether this be playing a favorite song, taking a moment for a face mask, stopping to take the picture you wanted, or talking to a friend for a few minutes, adding things into your "travel" schedule that are essential parts of your life help make new spaces more adaptable and enjoyable.

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As I begin this trip, and continue to share about my experiences, I'm looking forward to documenting these little moments that help me improve my travel lifestyle - from little flowers on the side of the road, to selfies with new friends, to movie nights with microwave popcorn. I'm looking forward to sharing more of me, living in Greece - not just traveling there.

TACOMA PORTRAIT SESSION // GEORGIA SKYE

gah! this shoot with my sweet sister georgia is one of my favorites of the year. she turned 13 this last month and in my family we’ve made a tradition to take 13th birthday photos. it was such a treasure to capture her and mark this important moment in time!

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i love shooting in conservatories, the light is always GORGEOUS and flowers always make everything better.

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these are some of my favorite photos i’ve taken this year!

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we moved to a little downtown location in tacoma, washington for a second look! i’m LOVING the tones and lighting this season, it gets me so excited for fall!

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isn’t she the sweetest?

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ahh! i hope you enjoyed looking through these. if you’re interested in booking a portrait session, you can view all of my package information here and message me here to book!

PORTLAND BLOGGER PORTRAITS // KIARA MADISEN

here are some images from a recent blogger shoot i did with sweet kiara! kiara is a youtuber and social media influencer in the portland area, and it was so lovely getting to meet her and shoot with her! she’s literally the kindest girl and so inspiring! be sure to check out her channel and send her some love. enjoy these adorable photos!

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we met at good coffee on division street in portland, one of my very favorites! portland neighborhoods are the sweetest and have the most vintage-y looking houses you’ve ever seen.

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kiara is so SO SO cute!!

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all images edited with AMSTERDAM, my lightroom preset available here!

if you're interested in booking a blogger or branding session soon, message me to book!