Fear is only a feeling, NOT your reality!

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Our woman owned business this month highlights Melissa Joy of MJB Style Solutions. She has been in the business since 2016 and describes herself as a Confidence Creator who is more than a personal stylist and speaker on professional image. 

Read on further for her thoughts on work, beauty, and what keeps her inspired:

What is your specialty and how did you get started in your business?

The specialty of MJB style solutions is to create CONFIDENCE in my clients by aligning their style with who they are today, and who they want to be tomorrow!

What makes you stand out?

First, having an extensive background in merchandising enables me to offer personal Visual Style Guides for my clients. Your see your wardrobe as more special and more valuable when you have presented in a beautiful way. This is truly the most effective tool to yield ease & efficiency when getting dressed.

Second, helping so many people of different sizes, styles and shapes over the years, I’ve learned that my strong point is helping people emotionally connect to why their personal style is so important. We all have goals, and having a great self-image that makes us first FEEL CONFIDENT is the starting point to achieving all of our goals - personal and professional!

What advice would you give to someone starting out in their entrepreneurial venture?

Be comfortable being uncomfortable. Training my courage muscle daily has really been the tipping point for me. There have been lots of fails but even more lessons received. Once you fail and continue anyway, you get less and less scared of pushing forward. Fear is only a feeling, NOT your reality.

What does beauty mean to you?

Beauty to me means being who you are and loving it - EVERY facet of you - good, not so good- ALL OF IT!

What is your intrinsic style?

I would say my intrinsic style is always relaxed but either simple and streamlined or Bohemian, very rarely in between.

Who is your inspiration or muse?  Who do you follow as your contemporaries?

I love looking on Pinterest and Instagram at street styles all over the world. Also, high fashion that is totally impractical but amazing to look at and to admire true craftsmanship and artistry. Then there’s beauty in what your best friend is wearing while grocery shopping too because it’s real!

What emotions does your creation elevate or soothe?

MJB style solutions ELEVATES emotions of Confidence, Higher Self-esteem, Sexiness, Approachability and Badass-ness! ;) I try to help clients SOOTHES emotions like feeling overwhelmed, worn out, stressed and of course, lack of confidence.  

What books, movies, music inspire you?

Books: For a better You - “The Book of Joy” ~Dalai Lama & Archbishop Desmond Tutu // For a better mindset - “You Are A Badass At Making Money” ~ Jen Sincero // For a better way of doing things - “High Performance Habits” ~ Brendon Bruchard

 

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HOW DO YOU DREAM OF BEING PHOTOGRAPHED - PERSONALLY AND/OR PROFESSIONALLY?  

If You Have The Itch, Scratch It!

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Our Woman Owned Business this month highlights Carmela Roberts. It is so exciting to feature entrepreneurial women! A Civil Engineer by profession, she started her own business in 2004 (now reaching her 15th year!) and hasn’t looked back ever since.

When Carmela walked into the studio for a Personal Branding session, there was such an aura around her - classy, sophisticated and very sharp. She is true to her own intrinsic style - understated beauty and elegance as you will see from these beautiful photos we created for her.

Read on further for her thoughts on work, beauty, and what keeps her inspired:

What were the high points in your business?

Each new client is a high point. We do a lot of work for municipalities, and when we are asked to work for a new municipality, it’s a great day.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in their entrepreneurial venture?

If you have the itch, scratch it. Just take the first step and don’t look back.

What does beauty mean to you?

I think beauty is the best of a person, regardless of looks. And I think beauty should be in all facets of our lives especially including public spaces and public improvements. Our world should be more than just functional.

Who is your inspiration or muse?

There is no one in particular, but the type of woman who inspires me is someone who did things that weren’t expected for her time. The men who inspire me are secure in themselves when encountering the woman who did the unexpected thing. Each of us must be able to live the life that fits us, regardless of conventions.

What emotions does your creation elevate or soothe?

My work is generally meant to be un-noticed. The public does not usually pay attention to the roads they drive or the ability to turn on a faucet. Therefore, my work creates a feeling of ease, and the public users don’t even know it. And that’s ok.

What’s your favorite quote?

“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for: it is a thing to be achieved” - William Jennings Bryan.

Once we captured the business branding photos, we had a little play time and even managed to capture this gorgeous glamorous side of Carmela.

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How do you dream of being photographed - personally or professionally?  

What does a photographer (Or I) do in my down or not so down time?

What does a photographer (Or I) do in my down or not so down time?

When a photo comes out of our camera it looks very different from the final image you see.  Think of how a chef takes a basket of ingredients and gives you final gourmet meal.  We do the same thing.  The ingredients are: our models, the lighting equipment, the background, the prop.  The camera is our stove or oven.  And the editing is the actual recipe and technique of cooking with a whole lot of love added to it.  Never say "You must have a good camera to a Photographer..:)

Where did you come from and where are you headed?

Where did you come from and where are you headed?

She describes herself as an artist of discarded and neglected.  She creates beautiful artwork out of recycled material to give voice to the social injustice to women in India and Africa.   You can find her beautiful handmade jewelry at http://www.twentyninejewelry.com

Beyond the Jacket and Tie; Top Five Prep Tips - Headshots for Men

Gentlemen,

If you have not updated your headshot in more than two years, it is time to do so. First impressions are everything. You only have few seconds to convince your customer that you are approachable, professional and trustworthy.

If you have any questions on how to select your outfits for your headshot session, please contact us at www.kapupatelphotography.com

Mens Headshot

 

Top five details to consider once you have selected your outfit.

Shirts: Clean, freshly-pressed shirts, newer shirts (faded and frayed collars are no, no)

All Clothes: Try them on. Do they fit properly? Too big, too tight?

Accessories: 

  • Belt (coordinated with outfit, relatively new without frayed edges, size matches trouser loop)
  • Polished and Clean Shoes
  • CLEAN eye glasses, Smudge free.
  • Coordinate your socks

Grooming:

  • Visit your favorite hair stylist at least 3-4 days before the session. Cut and color should be fresh. 
  • Shave closer to the session time (especially for afternoon sessions). 
  • Trim your beard and nails (and don't forget the full face)
  • Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize, your face and palms
  • Your teeth should be sparkling. May even want to visit a dentist.

Sleep and Hydrate Well

And you will be your best self in that headshot.

If all You can do is....

If all you can do is crawl, start crawling - rumi

There are days when I feel like I am flying at jet speed and others when even a tortoise can put me to shame.  But by whose standard is that a jet plane or a tortoise?    

Each day that I walk my path in this photography journey of mine, teaches me something and brings me forward.  Why such a sappy post?

I recently got to photograph a family 5 years to the month from when i first photographed them.  Those were beautiful photos and what I did for them today is beautiful too.  I have learnt so much in these five years specifically as it relates to photographing people.  I have arrived at my own style and my own vision and I cannot wait to bring this to more people and wanted to share them with you.

 Hope you like them as much as the mom did....she was crying...literally..with joy.  

Her words: "We all live super busy lives....we are constantly on the go (especially the star to life that D and I are in now) and taking the time out to do something fun like this photoshoot was so needed and so special.  you have captured the goofiness, the happiness and the simplicity of our family.  Thank you so much for making it a personalized memory"

Beauty means expressing yourself however you choose to!

Meet our Class of 2019 Senior Rep, Shefali.   This girl and I go way back...right from birth.... and I was so thrilled when she wanted to be my senior rep.  If you have a high school senior, ask them to reach out to her and she will give you the inside scoop on what it is liked to be photographed by me.  All I can say is that she finds it "really fun and easy"  Hmmmm...that last statement came after we shot her photos in the snow this past weekend.  What a brave soul (especially if you check out her answers below).  Thank you!

Heres a little more about Shefali

In one word describe your personality?    Carefree

What does beauty mean to you?     Being able to express yourself however you choose .

Is there a difference between organic and creative beauty? And if so, what is your opinion on that? There shouldn’t be a difference, everyone is beautiful

What is your intrinsic style? cute/cozy/bold

If you could have lunch with one person in the world who would it be?Audrey Hepburn

What is the best place you have travelled to? Hawaii

 

Who is your inspiration or muse?  Who do you follow as your contemporaries? Emma Watson, she is my favorite actress

What is your favorite quote? “everything happens for a reason” and “difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations “

 

Quick fire questions

Snapchat or instagram? instagram

edited or unedited?  Edited

Modern or Vintage? Modern

Ketchup or Salsa? Salsa

Books or Music? Music

Beach or ski slope? Beach

Beauty is that which pleases the mind, the heart.

Meet Tejal.  She is my soul sister.  When we discussed doing her contemporary portraits, she wanted them focussed on a single accessory true to her intrinsic style.  

I love how she has redefined beauty in her own mind with time.......read on.  And if you are ever looking for the best reads around, she is the go to person.  Don't miss her recommendations

What does beauty mean to you? My idea of beauty has changed with time .... I used to think of beauty as that which pleases the eye but now I think of it as that which pleases the mind, the heart. 

Is there a difference between organic and creative beauty? And if so, what is your opinion on that? Organic beauty is that which is .... like nature - rivers, mountains, waterfalls, sunsets....creative is that which has been imagined like paintings, dance, books, photographs :) 

What is your intrinsic style? Casual chic 

What books, movies, music inspire you?

BOOKS Jonathan Livingston seagull - Richard Bach; The book thief - Markus Zusak; Wild - Cheryl Strayed; Banker to the poor - Mohammad Yunus; From heaven lake by Vikram Seth; Half the sky - Nicholas Kristoff; French Dirt by Richard goodman; Behind the beautiful forevers - Katherine Boo

MOVIES Shawshank’s redemption:; Get busy living or get busy dying . 

MUSIC Hindustani classical

And your Favorite quote? serenity prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Reinhold Niebuhr

I dream my painting and I paint my dream - Vincent Van Gogh

With my current work in portrait photography, I am continually drawn to portrait paintings of a certain era (late 1800s early 1900s). While I do not dream of my portraits...I know exactly what Van Gogh meant by this....I find my inspiration in these portraits and they draw me in. Once drawn in, I cannot settle until I have photographed it. The Portrait of Louise Antoinette by Millet at the Getty is my inspiration for the next set of images. The words 'sitting for a portrait" evokes grandeur and glamour and all things rich and sumptuous. This portrait, on the other hand, speaks to me of an 'every' person. Jean Francois Millet was an artist who spent most of his life painting rural landscapes depicting the hard and harsh work of peasants. He is the founder of the Barbizon school and is influenced by naturalism or realism. This, portrait of his friends new bride, is one of the few portraits he painted.

A little change in the clothing and we took the same portraits to all things glamorous and wealth. This got me to thinking......a 100 years from now, what will people think of our portraits? Will they exist in this transient digital age? .......

If an images speaks to you, i would love to recreate it for you. Have a happy fourth everyone

 

heres what Tina had to say.  

The brilliance of Kapupatelphotography.com with Kapu at the helm and Meena Tiwari behind the brush made this scrumptious afternoon session a whirlwind of fun, fancy, and infinitely creative artisanship. 


I was so nervous walking into the studio that I spilled my entire cup of coffee - just purchased- all over my button down and jeans.  Within minutes  Kapu and Meena had me settled, more relaxed, and feeling comfortable in their world. 


We started the shoot with the period piece. An amazing thing happened with each click of the camera. I took on a new persona that was surprising to me. It was a masquerade. I was unknown and able to hide behind the work and sensitivity of Millet. It allowed me to believe I could hold that feeling throughout the next shoot- all of me.  But somehow Kapu was able to pull me out from hiding. It is one of her creative talents that allows the individual to shine in each image. 


It wasn't until "the reveal" that my heart, once again, began to pound throughout my body.  She sat me in a luxurious chair, told me to get comfortable, and right before she walked away, out of sight, to fix me her homemade Chai, she turned on the video!  It was me, over and over again, different clothes, different hair, different makeup, different time periods, set to beautiful music, with gorgeous backdrops, all telling the story of me!  Tears streamed down my cheeks.  My only words to Kapu, as she handed me the warm cup of Chai, was "I really want to know her".  Kapu's response back was simply, "It is all you.  This is what we all see". 


Thank you Kapu for allowing me to see the many layers you see. And thank you Kapu and Meena for bringing those layers alive.


❤, Tina

Beauty is Inner Peace and Joy reflected on the outside

Meet Seema.  Right now she is out in Asia doing her thing...which is to make a difference in maternal and fetal health.  We caught up last summer for a couple of headshots that evolved into some dress up shoot complete with tulle skirts.  If there is one thing I have learnt from this beauty it is: be content with your today without forgoing your dreams of tomorrow.

 

 

What is your specialty and how did you get started in your business?

I have evolved through this journey of life. Starting as a scientist and then an entrepreneur, I have been in the business of 'serving others' for a few years. My latest projects involve helping nurses and medical staff provide safe and compassionate care to mothers and new-born babies.

What does beauty mean to you?

I equate beauty with inner peace and joy that gets reflected to the outside world. 

When creating your product, what is the first question/vision of the client that comes to your mind?

I always put myself in my clients' position and visualize what I would like or how I would like to be treated and that's what drives my approach to my creation.

How do the seasons affect what you create either emotionally or physically?

Seasons have very little effect on me emotionally or physically, but I always prefer a bright sunny day. 

And how does it translate to you every day life and experience

I love to be outdoors and a bright sun makes my days very enriching. 

What is your intrinsic style?

I like to keep life simple. I would say that my intrinsic style is something that's simple, easy and makes me very comfortable

What books, movies, music inspire you?

I find biographies of leaders very inspiring. I like to watch comedy movies and I enjoy a wide range of music - from classical to jazz, indian and western.  

Favorite quote?

"Actions do not cling to me because I am not attached to their results. Those who understand this and practice it live in freedom." - Bhagavad Gita

Choose love, choose hope

This entry is about my recent yoga photoshoot but it is also about so much more.  My wonderful client Wellnessyogi wanted some updated photos in busy city streets.  Neither of us could manage the ungodly hour when the streets would be empty so I searched far and wide for an inner city location.  And when I found the amazing efforts of the Sage Coalition, I had to photograph there.  Its been a couple of hours since we left the location but I still cannot get over the impression it has left on me.  Here is a place of utter despair and poverty that has the most amazing artwork about hope, faith and love.  Most of us will not venture into these spaces.  What holds us back? Fear? Apathy?  When Mukunda and I first went about our shoot, I was quite calm despite being accosted a few times by strangers.  We were simply in awe of the artwork and the message of hope in these gritty streets.  What was once a beautiful garden made with love and hope using all types of recyclables is now overgrown with weeds and trash.  As we walked back to the car, the presence of certain individuals made me fearful.  Why?  They had not accosted me, they had not made eye contact with me so why was my gut reacting the way it did? Fear?  Fear of what?  I have a lot to mull over.

In the meantime I leave you with a quote from Tagore 'Only in love are unity and duality not in conflict' Choose love, choose hope.