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50 ways to celebrate all types of love on Valentine’s Day

50 ways to celebrate all types of love on Valentine’s Day

Originally sent out as a newsletter – if you would like to get such posts ahead of everyone else, please subscribe to my newsletter on the bottom of the page.

I know that Valentine’s Day can be cringy as f*ck!

But let me introduce you to the way I see this: as an opportunity to show love in any form you would like: towards yourself, your friends & fam, your pets, the environment, your life passion and of course your romantic partner(s) as well.

I decided to create a list of things, most of them free, to help you discover types of love normally not visible in the popular culture, so obsessed with the initial stage of infatuation.

In my family Valentine’s Day was always about all the kind of love you see around – an easy way in even if your family member was not particularly open about their emotions. It’s Valentine’s Day, so it’s an excuse to be cheesy and express all the love you feel.

As hackneyed as it may sound I believe that love is all we need. Just not restricted to a particular limited way of seeing it.

50 ways to celebrate all types of love

  • Call the family member that taught you how to love and tell them about it.

  • Plan a date with your best friend – doesn’t have to be exactly on Valentine’s Day, but just so that you find time to talk to each other honestly and without time pressure.

  • Use a sex toy and discover how it can bring you pleasure. If you don’t have one – buy one, you totally deserve it, and there are multiple price tiers – you’ll find something for yourself.

  • Watch a movie that shows love normally not seen in popular culture (some of my favorites: Carol (2015) by Todd Haynes, Laurence Anyways (2012) by Xavier Dolan, Rafiki (2018) by Wanuri Kahiu, Gloria Bell (2018) by Sebastian Lelio).

  • Create and send a funny Valentine card to your friend you haven’t seen in a while.
  • Find a quote about love that speaks to you the most, write it down and put it somewhere around the house where you would see it often.
  • Send a “Happy Valentine’s Day” message to someone you know would be happy to get one.

  • Go for a walk and photograph all the graffiti connected with love you can find.

  • Write a love letter to your body.

  • Read On Connection by Kae Tempest

  • Find a poem about love that you like.

  • Cook or buy some food that would bring you comfort.

  • Read All About Love by bell hooks.

  • Think of a friend you lost touch with and try reconnecting with them.

  • Start saving up for something you wanted to get but always thought it would be too extravagant or too vain to get.

Think of what made you happy as a kid and find time to do it again very soon (dancing, singing, drawing, playing a game etc.)

  • Read Dog Songs by Mary Oliver – poems and short prose exploring the human-canine relationship.

  • Organize a clothing swap party – you’ll get rid of clothes you don’t need anymore, make friends and celebrate sustainability together.

  • Read Anatomy of Love by Helen Fischer – a natural history of mating, marriage and why we stray from an anthropological perspective.

  • Create a list of things you thought were necessary in a person for you to love them 10 years ago and compare it with what you think now.

  • Find a way you can volunteer and/or donate to a cause you find important.

  • Create a playlist for love making (with a partner or by yourself) – you can also listen to the one I created: Boudoir Love (see next to this text).

  • Next time you see a trash on your way somewhere pick it up and throw it into a bin – show that you care for the environment.

  • Watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011) by David Gelb, a documentary showing a true passion and love for what you’re doing in life.

  • Call your grandparents (if you have them, if not – any older and wiser people you know) and ask them what do they think love is.

  • Buy yourself flowers.

  • Write an erotic story based on your fantasy.

  • Watch your favorite love scene from an animated movie (for me probably the memorable kiss between the Lady and the Trump in the original animation).

  • Write an erotic story based on your fantasy.

Stand naked in front of a mirror and look at yourself in a loving way, finding the things that make you special and beautiful.

  • Watch your favorite love scene from an animated movie (for me probably the memorable kiss between the Lady and the Trump in the original animation).

  • Reach out to a creative person whose art inspires you and tell them about it – many times these artists have no idea that their work is impactful and be over the moon to learn they actually make your day.

  • Do a workout of your choice and bathe in the endorphins that follow.

  • Become a tourist in your own town – find a place you’ve never been, or never properly explored and walk around, maybe read about its history as well.

  • Support a local business and tell them how much you appreciate them being around.

  • Smile to people you pass on street and don’t get discouraged if they don’t smile back – in Berlin during winter it may come as a shock to them that someone is smiling.

  • Read A Letter to My Dog Exploring the Human Condition by Andrea Gibson.

Think of all the people you love and they love you back and realize that you are surrounded by love.

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Revolution is a woman

Revolution is a woman

To all my sisters in Poland protesting against the ban on abortion, to all the sisters worldwide that see their rights being violated every day. To all women and non-binary people who feel discriminated – revolution has many faces, but I believe now it is a woman. Women’s rights are human rights. As much as the politicians and lawmakers can hide behind a slogan “I haven’t met any LGBTQ+ person, so I don’t know what you’re talking about” (as it happened in Poland, where queer people were called “ideology”), they can’t claim they’ve never met a woman in their life. That one fact unites us all – everyone person reading these words had a mother. So it’s the right time to finally recognize women as an important part of society! Without them there wouldn’t be anyone here talking.

I created this illustration as I wanted to show women of different ethnicities and body shapes, fighting together for their rights. I also noticed that a lot of posters supporting women’s rights had no clear evidence that any of the women illustrated are mothers. And as much as I agree that women’s rights should be respected no matter if you decide to have kids or not, I also want to remind everyone that the women protesting very often have kids and families. They’re not some “angry feminists wanting to defeat men”, they’re our mothers, daughters, sisters… Who are fed up with someone else deciding on their lives and their wombs. Revolution is a woman, so fuck off patriarchy, we’re going at you.

#slaypatriarchy #dziewuchydziewuchom #womensrightsarehumanrights #cantbelieveihavetoprotestthisshit

revolution is a woman

 

Download the poster in English: revolution_is_a_woman

(PL) Pobierz plakat po polsku: rewolucja_jest_kobieta_plakat

Styling for boudoir and portrait photography – what to wear and what to avoid

Styling for boudoir and portrait photography – what to wear and what to avoid

I will talk here mostly about boudoir photography, but majority of these tips you can also apply to any other type of portraits. Hope it help you get the best out of your photos!

1. Be natural = be yourself

 

The first thing that might come into your mind is: “I’m going to be photographed, I need to work on my look!” and that’s totally understandable, but also please don’t go overboard. Stay true to the way you are everyday, or otherwise you will end up looking not like yourself (unless that’s your goal). Many times boudoir photography is paired with a makeup and hair styling session, and as much as I get it, I like to do things differently. I want women to look naturally beautiful – and you can define what naturally means to you. You feel natural with mascara on? Great, go for it. You never wear any makeup? Why should you change that for the occasion of the photo shoot?

It’s important to me you remain your everyday self. Why? I believe only when you embrace the way you and your body looks without all the extras, you can be fully empowered and liberated. Because you will feel beautiful just the way you are.

I think that when you come to a photo shoot and get all the makeup, hairdo etc. you get transformed into a version of you that normally doesn’t look back at you from the mirror. It can be a wonderful experience, but it’s a form of performance – the moment you get back home and take a shower, you go back to being your everyday you, very different from the “glamour” styling. Looking back at the photos in that situation can, in my opinion, unfortunately make you even more self-conscious: “I looked pretty once for a brief moment and right now I’m back to my regular boring me”. And that’s so untrue! When I take photos of the way you naturally are, you can relate to that every f*ing day, you can replicate the feeling you got during the photo shoot very easily, because you were the stylist, the hairdresser and the makeup artist! And you know that there’s no need for the whole “theater” around your appearance to be beautiful.

I don’t want you to change only for the photo shoot, make you feel and look unlike yourself and only then say “now you’re ready for a portrait”. I want to show you that the way you are every day – you’re great, beautiful and there’s nothing that should change about it.

2. Colors

Generally you should stick with colors you feel good in, but if you got this bright red dress and never found the courage to wear it – now it’s the time to give it a chance. Also remember a few rules:

  • a color that’s much lighter than you complexion will always make you look more relaxed and  give you that glow. Fair skin tones – consider wearing white. Darker skin tones – white can be in too much contrast with your skin, so consider something neutral but still much lighter than your complexion, because…

 

  • nude color (=the same shade as your skin color) is usually not flattering – always opt for something lighter or darker, not the same shade as your skin.
  • warm, muted colors usually work well with portraits – think of curry yellow, brick, earthy shades, dusty pink, peach, muted teal etc.
  • strong cold colors don’t usually work – every color you wear is casting shade onto your skin/face, and you don’t want to end up with a strong green hue on your face; avoid: strong green, blue. Also avoid strong red if you have a pinkish complexion.

     

Hana sitting and drinking coffee

3. Don’t be a banner for someone else’s promotion

Avoid clothes with big logos, promotional texts or portraits of celebrities on them – you don’t want to be someone’s advertisement for free. The only person you should promote is yourself. Other texts – if meaningful to you – are obviously more than welcome.

Below Adi in a great example of a meaningful wording on a T-shirt, that’s great to use during a photo shoot. Adi brought it to the photo shoot and it prompted me to combine it with a playful pose.

4.Be comfortable

Steer clear of clothing that is too tight. You want to be able to move around and feel good. Since we’re talking about boudoir here – lingerie and all related items are welcome. Anything that makes you sexy but also comfortable: bras & panties, body, night gown, corset, stockings and dress, skirt, sexy sweater (especially oversized ones you can wear on naked body), jacket, shirt/T-shirt, high socks, shoes (not necessary – only if you have ones you really want to show off).

boudoir photography myths

5. If you want naked photos – plan in advance.

If you’re planning any naked photos, please wear a bra/panties that don’t leave marks on your body, or just no bra. The same with outer clothes – if they’re too tight, it will take quite a long time for the seams and creases marks to disappear from your skin.

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Best Tips And Free Apps to Take Your Photography to a Next Level

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Best Tips And Free Apps to Take Your Photography to a Next Level

Best Tips And Free Apps to Take Your Photography to a Next Level

Use Your Phone Camera like a Pro

First of all – most mobile phone cameras are currently good enough to take some really nice and good quality photos. You just need to know how to use them better. I will share some basic knowledge of how to measure light and help with composition using the tools your phone camera has already.

I’m using an iPhone, so sharing how to do it on an iPhone, but I’m sure it’s similar for all smartphones.

1. USE GRID TO GET BETTER COMPOSITION

how to turn on the grid in iphone camera

This will allow you to see a grid of 2 by 2 lines, dividing your screen into 9 rectangles.

This is the basic rule of composition – the most important elements on your photo should either go along the lines or be positioned in the 4 intersections the lines create.

These are the lines/points that our eye is most drawn to. When you place an important element of a composition along the lines, it will create a feeling of balance, so sought after when taking photos most of the time. Usually you want people to focus on the subject of your photography and not get distracted by weird cropping.

main focus points on the portrait photo

Portrait of gorgeous Adi – you can see how placing one of her eyes along the composition line created a feeling of balance.

portrait main focus points grid

Portrait of Andrea – the very strong triangular shape created by her bend leg ends exactly in one of the main focal points.

Remember about the main 4 intersections – these are the most “powerful” points of the composition

They’re not too much on the sides and not too much in the center of the photo. Try placing an important element of the composition in one of them.

2. BE THE MASTER OF LIGHT WITH ONE TAP

Tap on the element that’s the brightest on your photo, the camera will automatically adjust the light settings to make the rest of the frame darker. Another thing you can easily do: just tap on the screen and without raising your finger slide up or down – you will add/reduce exposure, meaning brightness of the photo. Especially useful when you’re taking photos in dark settings.

how to adjust camera brightness on your phone

Edit With Free Apps to Rule the Colors

1. VSCO – the most famous photo filters

VSCO started with their own app a while ago and quickly became THE app for editing photos.

When you see Instagram influencers posting moody or vintage looking shots, high chances they are using VSCO.

The app comes in a free version with a limited amount of presets, which you can extend paying $19.99 for a yearly membership.

What’s nice about these presets, apart from the wide variety of options, is that it allows you to control the amount of filter (from 0 to 12) and adjust other aspects of the photo like cropping, exposure, color, grain, fade. VSCO also has their own built-in camera option, so that you don’t even have to upload photos from your photos stream but take them directly within the app and edit immediately afterwards.

Selfie in the VSCO app with filter slider

You can easily decide on the amount of filter you apply with the slider – here it’s the maximum amount: 12

2. Afterlight – when you want to get more funky

photo with light streak from afterlight

Portrait of Adi to which I added a matching light leak to create a bit spiced-up image.

Afterlight offers you quite a good choice of filters (you can extend that with a premium membership for 3,49€ / month or 19,49€ / year) but the reason I’m mentioning it here is the ability to play with the photos afterwards: light leaks, color shifts and frames are available in the free option.

3. Tezza – vintage look from a photographer and musician who rocks Instagram with her back-to-70s style

If you would like to experiment with the grungy look – Tezza offers addition of dust and grain to make it look like an old camera photo. There is a premium version as well, which allows you to add vintage-looking subtitles to your photos and videos, as well as wider range of filter choices ($1.99 /month or $19.99 /year).

photo edited with tezza app filters

Tezza App can help you turn everyday bedroom setting into a vintage style boudoir feel – photo with added grain and dust.

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Love yourself on Valentine’s Day

Love yourself on Valentine’s Day

FALL IN LOVE WITH YOURSELF this Valentine’s Day, because there’s no better gift for you and anyone you love than being happy and accepting with who and how you are.

MY STORY: It took me a long time to accept the way I look. I remember waking up and wishing I could see someone else in the mirror – I didn’t have a specific image I wanted, just something else, different. And of course, as probably any woman in the world, I used to dissect my body in my mind dividing between the ones I accept and would like to change immediately.

MY BREASTS was the hardest part for me to accept. I felt like I was only half-woman since my breasts are so small. I also didn’t fit in the skinny girl figure type, as my hips have grown quite a lot during puberty. For quite some time as a teenager I was hoping my breasts would catch up – never happened. Years and years I felt awkward when I had to switch clothes in changing room at a gym, avoided going to the beach, wearing spaghetti strap tops and anything that would bring attention to this part of my body. I felt comfortable wearing push-ups only, but then I was always afraid of the moment it will be obvious that my breasts are smaller than my cup size.

And then I met a person that showed me how to love them. To not expect perfection from them and appreciate them for what they are. Suddenly I discovered that there are actually some advantages of having small breasts, like being able to not wear a bra at all and still feeling comfortable. I started laughing that they are just concentrated type – take less space but have everything they need to make me happy.

I’m so grateful for the body-positive movement, I hope the next generations of girls (boys, transgender people) will never have to doubt their bodies. They give us so much pleasure, LOVE THEM TODAY, TOMORROW AND ALWAYS.

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