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Deep thoughts from a weekend of photoshoots

A few years ago, my best friend moved out of New York, leaving her apt empty for the remaining two weeks of the month. To grieve her departure, I turned her apartment into a studio for a weekend to test out new lighting set ups and a medium format camera on loan from another friend. I invited people from the school of Improvolution to come by and be my model in exchange for a photo. Each person was slated for a 15-20 minute session and as I knew some people would come early, or a session may run long I wanted to make waiting more interesting. There just happened to be sheets of packing paper lying around just asking to be used for a creative project.

On the top of one sheet of packing paper I wrote:

What’s your definition of success? Have you achieved it? What do you have to do to achieve it?

Brendan ©Katarina Kojic

Elaine ©Katarina Kojic

Ken ©Katarina Kojic

Jen ©Katarina Kojic

Vicki ©Katarina Kojic

Meredith ©Katarina Kojic

What’s your definition of success? Have you achieved it? What do you have to do to achieve it?

These are their answers in a random order.

1. Being Happy with yourself and the world around you. I have my “successful” moments. Still not complete. Looking at “the glass half-full” is something I have to do.

2. That you come up with a very distinct version of yourself. Getting there but a lot of diversions and distractions & people always want to bend you to their will.

3. Being happy. Do I look happy? The less I define it, the more I achieve it–I ask for what I want–when I let the universe play its part, it’s given me success beyond my wildest dreams.

4. Being true to myself allows me a level of success beyond my wildest dreams. And I’m getting there -it’s been a rough journey– but I’m making progress-baby steps.

5. I used to think it was money, then I found myself with none and found happiness, fulfillment and confidence instead. Success is being able o do what you want, when you want and not care what anyone has to say about it.

6. My Oscar! But living everyday in truth and using every minute wisely. Making a contribution to the world. And on my death-bed being able to say “I at least tried.”

7. Success has many variations… Re: personal life, health, money…etc! Success is being honest with myself, staying in the moment and working towards goals. It’s a process.

8. There is not one single definition, guess being successful is when you feel like you have a purpose and you have or are in the process of serving that purpose.

9. If what you do brings you joy. Even more so if it brings joy to others as well.

10. To find work that does not feel like an effort. Not yet. Search. Commit. Fail. Get back up. Search. Commit…

On the top of the second piece of paper I wrote:

“What’s the one piece of advice you got that has been put to use in your life the most?”

Joy ©Katarina Kojic

Miguel ©Katarina Kojic

Brock ©Katarina Kojic

John ©Katarina Kojic

“What’s the one piece of advice you got that has been put to use in your life the most?”

1. Life is not a dress rehearsal. Go after what you want even if it takes time.

2. You’ll be dead long enough. And nobody, nobody, nobody wants to hear your “if onlys”

3. Take you shoes with you when you go.

4. Be on the lookout for the spirit snipers, trying to steal your light.

5. Stay positive-surround yourself with positive people for they will push you to achieve.

6. Knowledge is power 🙂 (And have fun!)

7. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

8. It’s not just what you know but who you know. Relationships are everything.

9. When you’re on your deathbed looking back on your life, what will be the things that you cherish? ie. don’t worry about the small stuff.

10. Be realistic, not afraid.

And on the top of the third page:

Seems it may have been a hot and rainy kind of day.

30 Days of Love will be returning shortly.


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