PROJECT NO FEAR: My Inner Demons

It took me this long to figure out what to say in Phase Two of this project because, although I did know exactly what my loudest inner demons were, I had no idea how to properly express why they were the loudest or how they truly made me feel. I think I know how to describe it now.

My inner demons are Depression and Anxiety. They have been with me for a long time now and have become somewhat akin to annoying aunts and uncles who have overstayed their welcome. Depression would be the aunt. always giving backhanded compliments and always showing up unannounced while you’re in the shower or something. Anxiety is the uncle, loud and obnoxious. You can feel uncle anxiety from a mile away but know that you cannot escape him. He is coming with cigar smoke to blow in your face. He is coming to take over your couch and watch loud football in you living room. He is coming to eat all of your food and then complain when you run out of cheesy puffs. He is coming, you know he is, but stubbornly you try to stand your ground because its your damn house, your damn couch and your damn food… but in the end he gets it all for a little while. When Uncle Anxiety and Aunt Depression finally leave, they do it with no pomp or circumstance because they have already done enough damage. No reward for giving your time and mental fortitude, no money to recoup the costs of damages. They leave and you are sitting on your kitchen floor drained of all energy in a pool of melted ice cream and tears. You are extremely humiliated and embarrassed by them and by your reactions to them. You are upset that you cannot just make them leave and be gone forever. You are upset that they’ll come back you do not know when. It’s a mess.

There is a bit of humor in there obviously, without humor I would not be here today to write this., but that is the best way for me to describe how it feels to have these sneaky little demons in my head and with me all the time.

I used to think that Depression and Anxiety would make me unlovable and unlikable. In fact, I have been told by actual human beings that my depression and anxiety make me unlikable and unlovable. Nevertheless, I try. The truth is, I’m genuinely happy most days. The other truth is that sometimes I force myself to be happy. However, though there are days when I win and win hard… there are still days that I lose. I take the L and move on most times.

I’ve been told that I need to seek treatment and be cured. I’m not ever going to be cured because it’s not that kind of disease. I’m okay with that. I have learned to live with that. I have definite safe guards in place and make sure to always tell my support system what’s going on. My family and my boyfriend have never once shunned me for who I am or what these two demons do to me and that is a WIN!

I’m open about this because I know what it feels like to be so close to ending everything and want others living with this to feel safe if they come to me with their concerns. It’s so easy to think that no one will care, but I do! I really, really do.

A classmate from my first semester of college.

A friend from high school.

An old student from when I was a martial arts instructor. 

Three people gone because they just didn’t think anyone would care. Three people gone because they simply thought they weren’t worth someones time.

If me talking to someone for a few minutes or even a few hours talks them away from the edge then you bet your ass I’ll make it happen.

If you’re reading this, you’re loved!

XOXO ❤ Neeks

Featured Photos by Beauty by Photography! Love her.Trapped

Rosie and Sequan <3

I recently had the honor of shooting not only my first engagement shoot, but also Rosie and Sequan’s first engagement shoot! I guess the latter was a given, huh.

Let me start out by saying, this was very nerve-racking. This was a supremely important shoot to  nail and I felt the pressure. I must have checked my camera bag ten times before leaving the house and another five after I parked at the Harbor. Keep in mind I parked in an illegal area at first and had to move my car about two times. Boo limited parking.

As you can see from the photos, Rosie and Sequan were an absolute dream to work with. They were adorable, connected and, simply, in love with each other. Every picture shows just how much they adore one another. They won’t be getting married for a little while so, it is fantastic that they got these photos done now so that they can send them off on announcements and such. I’m so excited for them and their big day! It will be the most lovey-dovey event of the year, I am sure of it.

Just look at how stunning they are as a couple!

This is a short blog entry to commemorate a milestone in my photographic journey. This is also to commemorate a milestone that most relationships don’t make it to! Thank you all for sharing in this moment with me and for sharing in Rosie and Sequan’s joy! Join me in wishing them nothing but a super happy future!

❤ XOXO Neeks

PROJECT: NO FEAR – Confessions.

In elementary school I was always the new kid. I skipped going to kindergarten on the recommendation of several school officials. I got bullied even. In middle school things weren’t all that different but, I had made some good friends. In high school things changed for me.

Freshmen year I got boobs. They didn’t magically pop up or anything, they literally went through all the cup sizes, finally settling at an unwanted D. I hated my boobs. All through sophomore and half of junior year I wore this black Harley Davidson sweater that was three sizes too big to hide them. Yes, even when it was hot out. By the end of junior year I felt comfortable enough wearing t-shirts. 

By my senior year I had gotten to a point where I’d be considered attractive. Saying that now leaves a sour taste in my mouth because I hated myself back then. I hated how I spoke, how I walked, how I looked… everything. Everything accept my artistic ability and my writing. I wish I had monopolized on that more.

By the end of senior year I had a “boyfriend.” The use of quotation marks is used to denote the fact that he wasn’t really a boyfriend at all. It was my first “real” relationship and to be frankly honest with you, I was an insane person. Because our relationship didn’t fit the mold I had in my head, this poor boy was subjected to endless lectures about how he should be rather than what he was. In my defense, he did steal my car to get hotdogs and he didn’t even get me one. Rude.

The following year I got diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety. This hit me hard. The image I tried so hard to project at all times was now confirmed to be complete and utter bullshit. Facing that was probably my greatest battle. Oh and the guy, the “boyfriend,” he dumped me. Again, to him I was crazy. Whateves.

I spent a long time “discovering” myself after that. How? I had a ton of sex honestly, flunked out of college… okay not really but, I did take a long break from my studies. I eventually got wrapped up in an abusive relationship with a new guy who I was over the moon for. I went back to school. Left a job that I loved after I broke up with said abusive guy and the business did nothing when the abuse was happening during work hours. He also told everyone I was a slut blah blah blah, normal broken-up-with guy banter. 

At this point you’re probably wondering how reinvention comes into play. I’m getting there. 

During all of that horrible nonsense, I discovered a lot about my sexuality, my ability to love and the seemingly boundless energy I have to create. I loved photography, I loved modeling, I loved being active, I loved my family and I knew, above all else, that I had neglected all of those things for far too long. I realize now that all of that bad was needed to show me what and how I was supposed to be. It showed me, well, me. 

I’m probably going to write more about these experiences so, if you’re interested please let me know. If you want to know about something specific, also let me know. I will be an open book. It is so important to me that while PROJECT: NO FEAR is going on, I make myself available to anyone and everyone because I get it. I’ve probably been to similar dark places and seen similarly dark things. No one should feel alone, no one should be afraid. 

Maybe you don’t want to comment here, that’s cool. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter too! 

💋Neeks

What is PROJECT: NO FEAR?

PROJECT: NO FEAR is a brainchild of mine that has been in the works since last year. The entire premise of it is to just get out there and do something, acknowledge something, and conquer something that was previously scary or something I felt was unattainable. As I went through the year, achieving different milestones, conquering different fears, it occurred to me that other people may have these same fears and goals.

With every photo I put up from a shoot, someone would comment on it expressing a desire to do the same thing. It finally occurred to me that although I couldn’t take all of these people on a shoot with me, I COULD give them a shoot. I had enough photography skills under my belt to feel comfortable capturing a person but did I have enough editing skills? That was my first question at least. So, I set out to test myself, no fear. 

I did a few shoots for people, it went well so I decided to finally announce to my friends, family and random strangers that I am passionate about the art of photography. That went fairly well! I got a lot of responses, a lot of interest and started scheduling shoots for the first phase of this no fear project.

Phase 1: Fear of self and fear of the body.

When I started modeling I refused to show any skin that didn’t feel necessary. Although I wanted to shoot in beautiful sets of lingerie and found extreme beauty in those who did, I was afraid to. I never even bothered to purchase cute underwear before because what was the point? So, when I decided it was time to throw fear to the wind, I purchased a few body suits. THE shoots came out fierce! I was hooked. I then took the step to buy a simple lacey set and did my first ever boudoir set with a fabulous female photographer. 



I was in love. On top of that, I received responses from others giving both words of encouragement and expressing how they wish they had the figurative balls to shoot boudoir. But why couldn’t they?  With that thought, phase 1 was born.

Boudoir is a style of photography that looks great on all women. Despite how anyone may feel about their body, I was confident that these photos could and would help people feel great about themselves. Shooting in lingerie is not a requirement for this phase but, I wanted people to really step out of their comfort zone and go for it. If they were afraid, I wanted them to embrace that fear and turn it into something amazing. I wanted those who shot with me to feel beautiful, know that they are beautiful. 

That being said, not everyone is ready to step into the ring against the fear of their body right now. That’s fine. I doubt I’ll only shoot boudoir once. The point is to put myself out there and say “Hey, when you’re ready, I am here.” Beyond that, the point is to make these people who shoot with me see that they are gorgeous in every conceivable way. 

Below are samples from two shoots I did earlier this month. I hope you enjoy! I hope this inspires you to stop fearing your body and step outside of your comfort zone… even just a little. 


You can view the complete sets from these lovely ladies on my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram as well! 

💋Neeks

Roarin’ Q&A

My first Q&A! Thanks to everyone who sent questions to my various social medias! I got some interesting ones for sure. Keep sending those questions and suggestions because I love them and will probably be a dinosaur again. Who knows.

<3Neeks

Oh, Christmas Tree

Tis the season to be jolly! I hope that everyone is currently having a fabulous holiday and a magnificent Christmas.

Funnily enough, I wasn’t feeling the Christmas spirit too hard this year. There could be many reasons for that including growing up in general, but I definitely felt the love today. Oddly enough, it took my mother and boyfriend getting me the same gift to let me know that, yes, people do actually know and support my interests and hobbies. Go figure, right?

Anyways, if you’re wondering about what I hauled in after the holiday opening frenzy:

  1. Some WELL NEEDED socks. There were like a billion pairs. I don’t what keeps happening to my socks but they always go missing so, this was a fab present.
  2. A scarf… I think it’s a scarf… thanks, little sister.
  3. A plush robe! A love robes and have been meaning to go get a new one.
  4. 2 Portable Power Banks! I FOR SURE needed those because I am always losing or forgetting my chargers. Boo that.
  5. [Accidental mishap] 2 Wacom Intuos Tablets. SO DOPE. I’m absolutely in love and I’m almost sad that there is no reason for me to keep both of them.
  6. Neewer CN-160 LED Light! I’ve been asking for an external light to mount on my camera since I got my DSLR last Christmas lol. My mom surprising me with this nearly made me cry.
  7. A bigger camera bag! This was really awesome actually. Although it won’t fit both of my lenses and the camera body it WILL fit my standard lens, the body, batteries for the light, my microphone hookups, the filters for the light and some other knick knacks. The strap is actually more comfortable than my old one as well.
  8. Opteka XGrip EX PRO Mount. It’s easy to use and light enough (even with the camera and light attached) to easily move and manipulate. The Hot shoe adapters seem to be a weird size though because the light can’t attached to it via the hot shoe. However, the hot shoe fits perfectly into the hot shoe adapter on my camera. Weird. Overall, I still love it.
  9. My little sister got me a new Sewing Box and rotary cutter which was a godsend! I was using my old prom picture box from High School as a sewing box and it was not working out well. This new one though, OH MAH GAWD. It is so nice. I wasted no time moving stuff into it.
  10. A Selfie Stick… I can’t really tell if this was  joke gift or not but now I have a weapon of mass destruction.
  11. A bunch of gift cards.

Unintentionally, all of these gifts provided me with the craft materials necessary to complete some of the gifts I was making for friends. Cardboard is a hell of a thing, you guys.

In any case, I hope that you all had a great time chilling out with family and friends! Eat some good food, do some good things and be happy!

 

❤ Neeks

Eat Well, Be Humble

Ah, Thanksgiving.

I absolutely love Thanksgiving. The food, the family, the good will towards all mankind. It quickly devolves on Black Friday but hey, we tried America.

This year I am thankful for SO much. My family, my lovely boyfriend, my Brewster, my friends, new friends, health, happiness, love, food, shoes, fabric, dress forms…. so much lol.