Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Lauren Nielsen Photo

This is a post full of shameless self-promotion, so I'll keep it short and to the point. As a fashion blogger, I've been able to work with a lot of talented photographers over the years and have spent more than my fair share of time in front of a camera. I've been really grateful for this because it always supplies me with a fresh profile picture and will give my future children plenty of flattering options for their Mother's Day social media posts 25 years from now.

While that's cool and all, I've learned in recent years that I actually gain a lot more fulfillment from being behind the camera, rather than in front of it. Photography has always been a fun hobby and creative outlet for me, but in recent months I've been able to turn it into more of a business with the help of encouraging friends and family, a supportive creative community, and awesome clients giving me some awesome referrals. 

Other than my photography Instagram, I haven't really done much to promote myself, so I decided to throw a little blog/website together to showcase my work. I'm still in the process of coding a real portfolio site, but I think this works for now! I'm pretty open for bookings for the rest of summer, so be sure to check out my pricing page for more info. 

Here are some of my favorite shots. For more, visit Lauren Nielsen Photo. Enjoy!

xo, Lo

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Josephine.

This is my mother.  In our 24 years together, I have repeatedly given her every reason in the book to stop loving me. To give up on me. To stop rooting for me. But she won't. And she absolutely refuses to.

Over the past 24 years I've screamed at her. I've blatantly defied her. I've talked back. I've made messes in her beautiful home.  I've destroyed her invaluable antique dining table with nail polish remover, even when she asks me several times to lay out a towel first. I never lay out the towel.

I cry and she listens. I'm hungry and she feeds me. I'm lost and she helps me find my way. When there are no solutions, she offers something even better--her unconditional love and support.

I take, and I take, and I take. And she just gives, and she gives, and she gives.

This pattern is baffling, almost frustratingly so, since I'll never stop needing her. Because in my weakest moments when I've stopped loving myself; when I've given up on myself; when I've stopped rooting for myself, my mother is always there to tell me she loves me, to tell me she's proud, to tell me that I am enough.

And with that, I continually have the strength to try again.

Everything I ever hope to accomplish in this life and in the life to come is made possible because of this woman, and for that, I am incredibly grateful.

Love you, mama.

xo
Lo




Friday, May 8, 2015

Two-Four

I turned 24 years old last week and did not take one picture to commemorate it. Not one! Sorry mom! I guess my lack of indulgent birthday selfies is probably a sign I'm mature or something. Instead, here are some pictures of my visit to Duke campus in Durham, North Carolina where I survived the humidity and was schooled in the art of authentic Carolina BBQ (nothing will ever be the same).

I rang in my 24th year just about the same way I spent the actual day I was born: by sleeping 70% of the day and eating throughout the remaining 30%. I have some really great friends who threw me not one, but TWO birthday celebrations, and the next day was spent shopping with myself, for myself. I justified my excessive spending all because 24 years ago I passively let myself be born while my mom did all the work. Obviously that warrants a new outfit, right? Right.

Overall, turning 24: 10/10, would recommend.

However, I'd be lying if I said this birthday came without a tinge of sadness. Dread, even. A sense of betrayal to my 14-year-old self who was really banking on this past decade to get it all figured out. In a lot of ways, I feel like I've accomplished nothing but let that girl down.

The truth is, my life at 24 is nothing like how I had imagined it would be. I have this very specific memory of being 14-years-old and envisioning my life ten years into the future: I would be married; I would have the career I always wanted; I would have more than I do and be more than I am, and most of all, I wouldn't be scared.

At 14, the only thing I really wanted was security. At 24, I have learned enough about the unpredictability of life to understand that true security, for the most part, does not exist.

But in the past decade, I've learned that what does exist is faith--faith in God, and faith in yourself, and faith in the fact that despite all your meticulously crafted plans, you are part of something bigger. I might venture to say, you are part of something even better.

So yes, it's true. I am a failure to my 14-year-old counterpart. But for the 24-year-old me, I am exactly where I'm supposed to be. And I think that's something to celebrate.


xo,
Lo

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A quick PSA



*photos by emma vidmar photography

I just want you to know that your worth is eternal.

Your worth is not dependent on the clothes you wear, the clothes you don't wear, the amount of fabric you wear to the pool, or the amount of spandex in your pants. Your worth is not defined by how many hoots and hollers you get on the street, or how ugly you feel when you don't wear make-up, or how many people you've kissed, or how many sins you've committed, or any other arbitrary statistic you keep track of in the back of your head. Your worth cannot be stolen, destroyed, lost, or lessened by any one person on earth or in heaven. Not even yourself.

No matter who you think you are, or what you wear, or what you do, you are always deserving of the respect of others. You are always worth it.

xo,
Lo

Friday, March 20, 2015

Because ~*SpRiNgTiMe*~

jacket: gap
shirt: h&m
shorts: anthro (similar hidden shorts style)
boots: lucky via nordstrom
bag: fossil

Apparently today is the first day of spring. I know this, not because I am the least bit aware of the equinox calendar, but because of the influx of flower crowns on my Instagram feed this morning. Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to post an outfit that doesn't contain any black, which was actually really difficult for me, seeing as my spirit animal is the hypothetical lovechild of Wednesday Addams and Kourtney Kardashian.

So here's a picture of me not looking like the Grim Reaper, because happy springtime y'all.

(ps. these photos were taken by Kelsie of Blackbird Photography & Design. She's really one of the sweetest people I've ever worked with and a super talented photographer on top of that, so be sure to check out her work!)

xo
Lo

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Top Five Tuesday: Wardrobe Staples


Sometimes people ask me why I don't blog about fashion as much anymore, and to be honest, it's mostly because my wardrobe is only getting more and more basic (gosh, i'm so basic). So for this week's Top Five, I'm talking about my wardrobe staples. Seriously, everything I wear is comprised of all of these pieces, or some kind of variation of them. And no, you don't need to adjust your screen; all my clothes are just black and white (basic).

(Spoiler alert: scroll all the way down for outfit ideas in the form of a fun little widget that took me way too long to make) 

1. The Crop



Banana Republic / Forever21 / Forever21

Because, honestly, a full-length shirt can just be so restricting sometimes.

2. The Shapeless Sack

Zara (similar here) / Soel (loving this one) / CottonOn (similar)

I would be lying to you if I said I've never worn one of these dresses one day, fallen asleep in it, and continued to wear it the following day. Some say that's disgusting. I say that's versatility.

3. The Fitted Jacket

Vero Moda (similar) / Abercrombie & Fitch (similar) / SLC boutique (similar) / Gap (similar)

Denim and leather jackets are timeless. Either that, or I've been looking like an idiot since 8th grade.

4. The Mini
banana republic (similar) / madewell / banana republic (similar)

First crop tops, now mini skirts? What is this, 1998? Yes it is. Because the Cher Horowitz in me will live on forever. If you're over the age of 19 and it's not one of those "get-hot-go-out" type of Saturday nights (idk is that even a thing?), go for a skirt that hits mid-thigh and hugs your bod without being too tight.

5. The Shoes
shoe carnival (similar) / urban outfitters (love these + these) / nike kaishi / franco sarto (similar) / new balance

So maybe I went a little overboard with the shoes here, but I couldn't just pick one.  These five options cover a wide range of outfit possibilities and go with almost anything. For a spring wardrobe, I would suggest one pair of black boots, one pair of brown boots, a couple neutral colored sneakers, and a sturdy pair of sandals.

And that's it. That's all you need. If you don't believe me, here are five easy outfits using these five staples aka, what you'll probably see me wearing this week:


xo
Lo

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Top Five Tuesday: All-Time Favorite Songs

Since there is absolutely nothing that brings me more satisfaction than making lists and talking about myself, I've decided to start a new weekly series I like to call, Top Five Tuesday. Every week, I'll list off my top picks in a category of my choosing... and this is pretty self explanatory, so I don't know why I'm still explaining it. If you have any suggestions for future Top Five Tuesdays, let me know!

Music is something very near and dear to me, so for this week's Top Five, I'm talking about my all-time favorite songs. I'm sure twenty years from now, I'll be embarrassed by this list in the same way I'm embarrassed at the fact that I listed P.O.D. as my favorite band in a school project in 5th grade...

(they were cool back then, I'm pretty sure)

1. "Dreams" - Fleetwood Mac
Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham had a toxic relationship. And not the Britney Spears kind of toxic. The bad kind. Lucky for us though, it produced the most perfect breakup song ever written. Equal parts heartbreaking, scathing, and empowering--by the end of it, I don't even know who to feel bad for anymore. All I know is that my homegirl Stevie just gets it.

2. "Heartbeats" - The Knife
There are 5 different versions of this song in my iTunes library, performed by 5 different artists in 5 different genres, yet each one stands on their own and tells a different story. And I love them all the same. (Other versions are by Jose Gonzalez, Ellie Goulding, Scala & Kolacny Brothers, and Daniela Andrade)

3. "It Is What It Is"- Blood Orange
If you ever had plans to create something, just know that whatever it is, it's probably not going to be as good as this song so you can pretty much just give up now bye

4. "Ignition (Remix)" - R. Kelly
No, this isn't a joke.

5. "3rd Planet" - Modest Mouse
I'm a strong believer in the idea that the connection you make with the music you listened to in high school never really leaves you. Such is the case with this song. Though I no longer fully resonate with the song's insightful, yet somewhat pessimistic commentary about life, religion, and existence (high school, amirite?) I still feel like it would be an act of treason against my 16 year old self to not include this song in the list.  (oh, ps. there is language in this song so MOM STOP LISTENING NOW)

Also, follow me on Spotify if you want to check out other music I like, and also how many times I listen to Since U Been Gone on repeat.


xo Lo

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