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Noe Todorovich is a Washington, DC based lifestyle photographer, and this is her blog. She shares musings, travels, photographs, tips, suggestions and more.

Filtering by Category: life

Rejection is Freedom

Gina Todorovich

Many of us work in fields that require us to sell ourselves.

Work doesn't always present itself. Mere opportunities for work usually have no guarantees, and require you to pitch your services. Prove yourself.

You try to put your best foot forward and hope that you land the gig. Or do you?

After college, I had several job interviews before I was offered a job. It got to the point that I was desperate for a job, despite people's great advice of not taking the first job offer just because. I would have taken anything. Even a job I knew wouldn't be the best for me. I had student loans to start paying off and a professional life to start.

Without giving you my full work history, I'll just fast forward to my last job interview.

"What are three things you want/need from a manager?"

A great question, I thought but tried not to say… No fillers! After providing my answer, I panicked. "Oh no! I said I don't like micro-managing. What if that's her management style?! I'm not going to get the job!"



If that IS her management style, I don't WANT the job. I don't want to create some fake version of myself that is the perfect candidate for a job. If I do (and let's be honest, many of us have…), I get caught in my lie. It has to be perpetuated. It's like the time my friend accidentally said she loved portobello mushrooms because she was mistaken about the kind of mushroom it was. Her parents-in-law made several dishes over the years with her "favorite." A precedence was set, and she felt trapped. It became difficult and awkward to let them know over time. That's a bit of a silly, light-hearted example, but I just love that story.

You don't want the job, gig, significant other, whatever it might be that requires you to be a person you're not. Rejection is freedom. If you are entirely honest and you are rejected, you are freed from what likely would have been a forced, fake and frustrating situation. Instead of trying to figure out what people want and catering to that, why don't we be ourselves? It might mean less job offers, less dates, less photography gigs. But it also means that the ones you do have truly suit you. And I think that everything about them will be better as a result.

So who's with me?

Let the great…experiment…BEGIN!

Positively Positive

Gina Todorovich

How many people do you think really know you?

I mean, REALLY know you?

Through and through. The good, the bad, the ugly, the everything…

When I first stopped to think about this, I realized how few, if any, I would consider to be in this category. I'd say everything about me is known, but not by one person per se. I have no true secrets that I've never told ANYONE. But there are few people that know EVERYTHING. I divvy it up some, talking to certain people about certain aspects of life. 

I think one of the biggest surprises for many people who do get to know me on a deeper level is that I'm actually quite melancholy. I'm wired to be. I love to have fun, and most get the best of that, of me. But those closest to me see how hard I'm hit by certain things. How much I truly feel, care and am impacted.

I have to check myself (ahem, or be checked by loved ones) pretty regularly when circumstances get less than ideal and I start to get affected. I once blogged about choosing happiness. This is more on that, I guess.

I make a concerted effort to stay positive. It's all about perspective.

Yes, sometimes life hits you. Hard. But even when it does, I venture to say there are blessings in your life and things to be grateful for. And people there for you. Never take your people for granted. Don't ever let negative circumstances change the way you treat the ones you love. They are on your side. As I've had to remind myself on occasion, "Same team!" (And if they aren't, well, I recommend some…culling.)

Growing up, my mom used to make my brothers and I say 10 compliments for every put down. It made us think twice about saying the negative things, even if it was to avoid the punishment of positivity. Whenever something starts getting me down, I try to stop and think about how many more things are amazing in my life. Because, 1) this is just one thing and 2) there's so much to be grateful for. I never want to lose sight of the good in my life.

DISCLAIMER: this does not apply to constructive criticism, particularly regarding photography. I say welcome the feedback that will make us even better. And view it the positive way. Like being grateful to have honest friends who want you to only get better. ;-) 

Yoga in the Park with Katie

Gina Todorovich

When Katie and I first met to discuss ideas for a yoga photo shoot, we settled on Meridian Hill Park as the location. Shooting outdoors can be incredibly risky—and rewarding. You relinquish a good amount of control, particularly over the weather and lighting. Lucky for us, the day of our shoot ended up being a beautiful, overcast fall day. Diffused natural lighting FTW!

A happy accident occurred when we thought it might be cool to take a few pictures of Katie doing some poses on the wall overlooking the water fountain. When I took a test shot, I realized that the cloudy sky of this overcast day had essentially formed a solid white background. The sky was my white seamless. Well, okay… 

We settled on the more…stable poses for this setting, given the drop below.

We also found some killer light just from the sun. Paired with Katie's killer strength, holding this pose (mad props to her for maintaining the pose while I made sure I got the shot just right): 

As usual, when we wrapped up shooting, the lighting and backdrop got more amazing, so I unpacked my gear and Katie rolled out her mat for a few last shots. 


You can follow Katie on Twitter and be sure to check out her blog, DC Yogi

Living & Legacy

Gina Todorovich

Extremes are dangerous, but then lately I've found that when life is FULL of varying emotional experiences it can be equally dangerous.

The last month or so have been quite a roller coaster of emotions. One minute I was incredibly excited and happy about getting the keys to my new apartment. The next (quite literally), my cousin called me with the news that my grandpa had passed away.

Amidst all the good, I haven't been able to shake the sadness. Amidst the sadness, I haven't lost sight of all the good in my life. It really is just a mixed bag. Life in a nutshell, right?

I wrote this on a flight to Hawaii to attend my grandfather's funeral this week. Having not seen my family in over a year, I'm incredibly grateful and excited to see them all. And in disbelief. About seeing them. About my grandpa really being gone.

My grandfather was born in China, and he came over to Hawaii on a boat when he was two years old.

My grandpa is the baby in the left corner of this picture, taken in China before the family moved to Hawaii.He lived nearly 94 years, and even had great great grandkids. It's crazy to me to think that my family had six generations alive at once.

Six generations.


Thinking about my grandfathers' life made me realize how much of a legacy he leaves. How none of these five generations (and more to come, I'm sure) would be here without him. He was a different man to each of us, I think. But no matter the variation in his role, he influenced us all.

In one of my job interviews, I was asked,

"What will your legacy here be?"

I don't know how long I'll live and exactly what I'll do in my time, but I know this: I'm determined to make my life count for something. To be a positive presence in the lives of those around me. To push myself to never settle and always try harder and be better.

Life is the formation of our legacy. The thoughts we have, the decision we make, the actions we take, the art we create…they all determine what will be remembered of us long after we're gone.

What will your legacy be?

Why Do I Love Photography?

Gina Todorovich

I love photography because it allows me to create art rooted in reality. It enables us to capture moments that would otherwise just blend into all the other moments that have passed. Instead, we can freeze time in a way and be able to look back at it over time, seeing something new or different in it because while the image hasn’t changed, we have.

That was my off-the-cuff response to the question "Why do I love photography?" on PhotoShelter's blog post where you can win two passes to Luminance 2012

I wanted to share this because I found the answer to come so effortlessly, which is something quite uncommon for me. I have spent countless HOURS working on writing about my take on photography or my artist statement. The writing that results is often lackluster and sometimes just plain cheesy or preachy or some other undesireable adjective. It turns out I really do know the answer to this question though, and I hope I never lose sight of that. 

Why do you love photography?

Independence Day 2012

Gina Todorovich

Despite the blockbuster names, Independence Day + 2012 did not equal utter calamity. In fact, it was quite the pleasant day of BBQ, friends and fireworks...out on the water. 

Being born and raised in Hawaii and an island girl through and through, I love being on, in or near the water. My dad used to have a catamaran we'd take out in the rolling waves of O'ahu, and I very distincly remember flying a hull—so impressively that I was afraid I was about to learn first hand of the famed "ass over teakettle" experience my dad told me about. 

This Fourth of July, our friends Thomas & Katie invited us up to Annapolis for the day and to watch the fireworks from the family's sailboat. It was a decision that took me all of...0 seconds to make. It was so relaxing (and much, much cooler) out on the water. And it has to be the best way to watch fireworks. 

I was also excited to finally take Patrick's waterproof case out for a try! Of course, I realized that I would not be putting it to much use once ON the boat as me leaning over the side and dangling my phone over the water that bobbed up and down did not strike me as a bright idea. At all. I did take a few shots at the dock before we took off. While I love the idea of the case, I'm not yet sold on it. Mainly because the plastic cover seems to put quite a haze on the pictures. That can make for a fun efffect, but I can only take so many "dreamy" photos before I want the real thing! I can't take perfectly clear photos with my phone partially submerged in water?! *scoff* *GASP* I guess, something's gotta give, huh? :-)

Anyhow, I hope you all had a lovely Fourth, and here are some pictures from mine. Enjoy! (These first two are the ones shot with the waterproof case.)