why writing matters.

Listen. I just need to write this so I can publish a post.

I’ve fallen off the writing wagon. And every time I sit down to write, I have this pesky, quite believable voice in my ear telling me I have nothing to say worth writing. That, after not publishing a post in months, woman- this better be good.

So here I am. Just posting something so I can tell that voice to shut up mind it’s own business.

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I will also lend you a few resources to get you back on the wagon, too.

Sean Wes podcast: this guy is pretty fantastic. I actually sat next to him at Circles Conference and had no idea I was shoulder to shoulder with a celeb in the design world. He gave me his business card and told me about his podcast archive. I checked it out and dang. I listen to his podcasts all the time. Seriously. While I’m doing laundry, working, driving, cooking (ha! I don’t cook.) and they are always super inspiring to get up and do something with your talents.

THIS PODCAST is no different. Listen to it on your way to work, and you’ll be journaling by lunch.

If You Find This Letter: by Hannah Brencher.

This book, while a bit romantic, is a wonderfully honest [and real] story of how Hannah lost her way in the world, and sorted it out through writing letters to absolute strangers. It reminds you that your words make an impact, and that we’re all just humans craving genuine connection through them.

You can grab it HERE. And we can have our own little book club.
I hope you pick up a pen soon. Your words matter.

XO,

Kendall

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kindness is the new black.

Here we are again. Did you think I forgot about my bad ass babes out there?

Let me introduce you to Danielle.

What I love about Danielle is how stinkin’ down to earth she is. It doesn’t matter how much recognition (for her STUNNING photography) she gets, how many times she gets published, or how successful she is, she’s still completely humble. Completely down to tell it how it is.

Something that has been really important to me is telling + hearing the REAL stories. To really celebrate what life is, instead of hide behind a mask of something else. While trying to curate interviews of women who could really cut the bull, Danielle was an immediate pick.

Without further ado, I give you Miss Sabol.

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Tell us a little about yourself, however you feel best suites you.

Why are introductions so awkward? I’m Danielle. I’m female. I’m human.

What inspired you to get into photography?/ Create your own business?

Photography came into my life at a time I felt I didn’t have much going for me. I was in the midst of a horrible relationship AND a tumultuous family relationship. I needed an escape from the despair and uncertainty I was feeling. Photography provided me with not only a hobby to get me out of the house, but it gave me the freedom of creative expression, which I considered a type of therapy at the time. It gave me hope.

Somewhere along that messy road I fell in love with shutter clicks and medium format photography. And here I am four years later, in a wonderful romantic relationship, and fabulously mended familial relationship and I’m lucky to be photographing all the things I love.

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What do you think is the most rewarding part of what you do?

I love the idea of encapsulating memories, feelings, and beauty. Knowing that I could be providing a service that could still be appreciated years from now is a pretty rad concept.

What is the biggest struggle?

Haha, there seems to be a constant flow of little obstacles and struggles. I’d say my biggest struggle is finding ways to deal with the struggles in a mature, professional way.

Being in the creative occupation, with everyone else’s art billboarded in front of you everyday, what do you think is the most difficult thing about being an entrepreneur in your field?

I know this sentiment has been shared by so many, but it truly is easy to get caught up in the fight to the top. I am obsessed with the future and ‘where I want to be’. I crave progress. I feel like I’m dying if I’m not moving forward and improving. There are times I obsess with curating my ideal self and my ideal life in my head. I’m so focused on the type of human I want to become and what I want to accomplish that I completely discount any current successes and am already fixated on the next goal and I become totally dissatisfied with whatever project I just completed. I sabotage any compliments, ignore any praise, and end up seeming totally ungrateful in the process. It’s a daily struggle to enjoy NOW and appreciate my tiny steps I’m making toward my big big dreams.

What advice would you give someone struggling with the same thing?

I feel like we 90s girls (or most girls) grew up in a time where we were encouraged to belittle ourselves a bit. You know someone says “wow you’re so pretty” and you say “no I’m not, look at this pimple here”. It’s normal to be self-critical about yourself and about your work, but it’s important to accept praise and compliments and (if you don’t already) learn to appreciate yourself the way others do. Having a strong sense of self worth is so important.

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Why do you think it’s important to slow down? How do you do that?

I feel that without slowing down and briefly disconnecting ourselves from our aspirations, there would be no perspective. Sometimes it takes a ginormous step back to ensure you’re on the right track, that you’re heart’s in the right place, and that you’re making time for those who are supporting you.

I don’t know if I’ve mastered the art of slowing down, but I’m trying. I usually find that ‘detoxing’ myself from a creative environment helps the most. Social media sabbaticals, football games, walks with my (non-creative) boyfriend, even the mundane task of grocery shopping has been incredibly therapeutic for me!

What does your typical day look like?

Monday – Friday (9-5 woop woop!) I work for a health and wellness company as their social media manager. It’s a new habit I’m working on, but the moment I leave work I head to the gym for an hour (spin or row), and then I go home to work on my photography business putting together mood boards, scheduling photo sessions, sending off proofs, making dinner with my love, and attempting to catch up on Jon Stewart before I pass out.

What does your perfect day look like?

My perfect day would include a spontaneous car drive with my love to a quiet place where I can eat wine and cheese and be lazy under a warm sun. Of course I’d bring along one or three cameras and a few boxes of film.

What things make you feel alive?

Fresh issues of So It Goes and Porter Magazine in my mailbox, talking to any one of my six little sisters, concert hopping, photo shoots, sour patch kids, baked brie, seeing things for the first time.

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What is something someone has told you that was impactful to the way you do life?

Someone once told me “don’t settle” and I swear if I was into permanence I would get that tattooed on my forehead. Those two little words have carried me again and again.

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If you could have any super power, which one would you be and why?

I suppose I would really love to emit laser rays from my fingertips that could instantly make someone full of kindness and accepting of others the way they are.

Any parting words of wisdom?

Kindness is the new black, yo.


You know. You read interviews like this, and it just makes you feel GOOD. Right? To remember that we are all the same. We all struggle. We all succeed. And we all have a unique story.

Thank you, DS, for getting honest about yours.

XO, Kendall

On not being a martyr of life.

 

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It’s funny. Everyone is encouraging us “LIVE WHILE YOU’RE YOUNG!” or “FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!” and then when you do, you feel something you wouldn’t expect. Guilt.

And for a long time, I would feel guilty any time I decided to go out get some fresh air. As if actually living my life to the fullest was something I needed to apologize for or justify. That if I purposely carved time out of my schedule to refuel, I was getting behind. Being lazy. Being foolish.

But taking time away has actually been the biggest blessing in my personal AND professional life.

1. You connect with people. REALLY connect. 

When you have your phone in your hand, the stories of another human’s life have a 4 second shelf life, until you scroll down and double tap the next. And when you travel, you get to hear the real stories. On my last Tribe trip, we all joked that car rides are for the “long stories”. You have a captive audience for hours and hours, and you get to share the tales that would be too long for a typical lunch meet or quick phone call. And these are the words that matter. The ones that really connect you to other people. And leisure time facilities that more than anything else I’ve found.

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2. You’re filled up. 

Ok. You’re burnt out. Don’t lie. The maze of adulthood is long and hard and if you have to make ONE more U-turn, you’re going to lose it. But any time I get out in the world, I am refilling my tank. Taking in new ideas. Being inspired by things I hadn’t ever taken the time not notice. Feeling healthier.

And this is huge for me. Maybe the biggest part. Because I am someone, that once burnt out, is actually less productive when I just push through and keep working. I’m no longer creative, passionate, or… well.. pleasant to be around.

So when I travel or explore, I am purposely allowing myself to fill up. And all those ideas and connections pour over into my work, relationships, and lifestyle. And I can see this domino effect so clearly in my work that I try to get out as often as possible.

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3. You don’t have to be a martyr in life.

My friend Sarah wrote to me that “It takes so much courage to live free and trust that there’s truly no need to be a martyr in life. We are allowed to receive and live in abundance!”

And it’s such truth. We shouldn’t feel guilty for living this one, precious life.

So work hard. Work so very hard. But then take time to experience the world. Love people. And put that damn iPhone down.

Oh, but before you put it down… watch this video.  While in Colorado, Clint and I met with our best friend Cameron and he took us on adventure where we totally climbed to the top of a mountain in snow shoes.

XO, K.

 

OH! Big P.S.!

Kensfolk just launched it’s Instagram! @kensfolk_blog

There are big, big things in the works, and I would love if you’d like to follow the journey beside me!

DV.

This song has been buzzing in my ears this week. I like little ditties that make you stop and feel something.

Something else I’ve been enjoying this week:

Diana Vreeland’s book: Memos.

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It’s no secret how deep my girl crush goes for this woman. Not so much for her contribution to fashion (which is significant and undeniable), but for her energy for revolution. To change what was before with such a force that the world followed after.

[If you haven’t found yourself in acquaintance with who DV was, watch ‘The Eye Has To Travel’ on Netflix.]

Diana had this unique relationship with the human language that made everything around her fit into a new box. And Memos are just that: memos she sent out to the magazine everyday. And what would normally be a strictly informative note everyday was this quirky (sometimes even slightly poetic) insight into her creative process. She has inspired me to see every little thing as an invitation to be creative or intentional- and it does make like quite a bit more interesting, no?

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Happy first day of school. And to every one else in the real world, I raise my second cup of coffee.

XO, Ken

It’s been a minute.

Well, it’s been a while. *cue staind song to now be stuck in your head all day*

My absence has been related to: (since I know you all care soo much and all.)

1. Business has been insane. Like… I’m crying from both joy and sleep deprivation kind of insane. You see all those big princess cut halo rings on your facebook feed? Those are my beautiful brides. And they put food on my table with their gorgeous weddings that need to be documented. And let me tell you- prime wedding season had me living life out of my little duffel bag and using the word “Starbucks” as a holy word. And I have been loving every minute of it.

2. Somehow in there I squeezed in moving. We packed our 3 bedroom, 3 bath home in 48 hours. People, I don’t know how it happened. Or how I’m still married. But it happened. And then we moved to our little one room warehouse loft. But more on this later.

3. Oh, and then I got poison sumac on my… face. This produced a selfie I took and sent to a very select few that I trusted wouldn’t sell it to the magazines if I ever decided to run for president. Eyes swollen shut. Lips blistered. And I wish I could prove to you that I’m not over exaggerating- but I’m not that brave. And you don’t want to have nightmares of the Quisimido I looked like. The doctor gave me medicine and put me on complete house arrest for 5 days. And I went a little coo coo and started talking to my plants as I watered them.

How did I get poison sumac on your face, you might ask? Oh, you know. I saw this pretty little green berried plant I thought would be just perfect for a shoot.

If the devil himself had a physical form- it would be the picture below. (The plant, not my hubby.)

View More: http://cottonwoodroadphotography.pass.us/kendallandclint

P.S. Shout out to Cottonwood Road Photography for taking our anniversary pictures!

P.P.S. Book us for your wedding. I’ll film. She’ll photograph. Or we’ll both photograph. And we’ll throw in a free choreographed dance if the reception gets a little stale. We haven’t learned the dance just quite yet- but we will if this is something you and your future hubby/wife agree on.

4. Oh, and I spent about 3 and a half weeks in South Africa playing on a beach with penguins and learning how to surf after my husband sailed across the world for 9 weeks for work. I’ll post about this later as well. Jeez, we have a lot to catch up on. Pull up a chair.

5. Free People. Oh, that beautiful, inspiring brand that has been letting me run free with my camera. You know how when you were a little girl, you would dress up and put all your friends in your clothes and take pictures with those disposable cameras? (Was this just me??) Well- this is the adult version, where I get to style up outfits of whatever is trending in the fashion world and photograph pretty women wearing it. And I got to “suggest” we have the shoot in the “woods” across from my apartment this morning so I could walk to work. 🙂 But really, I am so crazy blessed to work for a company that allows such creative freedom that I can totally pull out some crazy idea and run with it (and sometimes it looks completely ridiculous- but they somehow still trust me). And I can’t get enough of it.

6. And a whole lot of back and forth with a long distance marriage. So- pretty much 2 weeks of editing until I see the sun rise while he’s gone (+totally considering popcorn a meal) (or getting the irrational, but totally wonderful grocery items that he eye rolls at: organic produce and individual waters) and then two weeks of dragging him around Texas for shoots and binge watching Scandal.

So, here I am, breaking the seal- and writing something down so that I can actually get back on this blog I love so dearly. Plus, far less people are brave enough to get married in the heat of July or August, so work life has finally (and temporarily) slowed down. And thank you [no, really. THANK. YOU.] for those of you who have recently pushed me to get back on here. Sometimes I wonder if putting my words out in the world even matter- or if I’m just jabbering on to myself. So I appreciate those of you who have encouraged me to start again- and that creating just for the pure enjoyment of creating is something worth sharing.

 

XO,

Ken

 

Home again, home again. Jiggity jig.

These ex patriots have returned home! I had sincerely hoped to blog along the way, but our schedule truly stomped on that idea. I can’t wait to tell you all the exciting stories, but for now- I am quickly unpacking and repacking to get home for Christmas. But here’s a little snap shot from Tuscany where we learn how to use a tripod.

XO, K.

3 weeks. 1 backpack.

Tomorrow I will embark on the biggest adventure I’ve ever been on.

The run down:

In a 3 week period, Clint and I will visit Rome, Tuscany, Siena, Florence, Cinque Terre, Milan, Venice, Paris, Granada, Barcelona, Fes and then end on a camel trek in Marrakech.

We will be sleeping on various night trains, hostels, or abodes found on airbnb (the right way to couch surf).

Now, we will be landing in 60 degree weather, making our way into 20 degrees through Europe, and ending in the heat of Spain. And I have to be able to carry all these climates in one backpack. This thought has plagued me for weeks. I mean- I would wake up in the middle of the night with a nightmare of forgetting everything. As a diagnosed pack rat (just ask any of my friends how much I will bring for an overnight trip), multiple weeks in one bag seemed impossible to me. I made lists and did research. Everything I was going to bring had to serve multiple functions (could be layered or worn alone depending on the weather), felt comfortable enough to walk miles in everyday, and wasn’t going to fall apart. Finally, I settled on what I was going to bring. Blogs like this are what ultimately helped me narrow down what to bring, so let me share my list to any other first time backpackers.

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This is my bag.

And here is all it contains: (after the Tetris game I had to play to figure out what could go and what couldn’t make the cut.)

1 black sweater

1 grey sweater

1 black pair of pants

1 pair of jeans

1 white v neck/1 black vneck

1 striped shirt

1 button up denim shirt

1 black skirt  (can be worn alone in the warmth, or with tights for the colder weather)

1 pair of jean shorts (” “)

1 simple dress (to be able to worn on “nicer” occasions and go into the museums that have dress codes)

2 pairs of leggings

1 pair of opaque tights

7 pair of underwear

2 sports bras

1 regular bra (I don’t even wear these at home, but I guess I’ll pretend to be a proper lady in Paris)

5 pairs of socks (long and short)

1 wool scarf

1 silk scarf (spice up my dull black and white wardrobe)

1 pair of smart wool long johns (to be worn under EVERYTHING in Paris where I will surely freeze up and die)

1 thick puffer jacket (which will be carried with me because it takes up half the backpack on it’s own)

1 beanie (warmth and covering up my nappy hair between shower destinations)

1 pair of gloves

1 watch/1 necklace

1 bag of travel toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, face wipes, Moroccan oil (sue me, I can’t live without it), toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, deodorant, lotion)

1 small bag of makeup (only the bare essentials made the cut- tinted moisturizer, chap-stick, trail sized blush and mascara)

1 travel blowdryer

1 pair of black boots (more dressy and can be worn to nicer things)

1 pair of brown boots (scuffed and worn- good for hiking and long walking days)

1 pair of tennis shoes (for running/ comfortable shoes in the countries that don’t judge you for wearing them)

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Ipad (for blogging)

Iphone

Journal/pen

Camera/ Extra memory cards

We are hoping to be able to do laundry somewhere at least once along the trip. And we’ll see how my amateur packing list holds up.

I’ll blog as soon as I get somewhere exciting! Your prayers for our safety are gladly accepted!

XO, K