brooke shaden

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Art photographer, speaker, author, philanthropist on a mission to share passion. Sony artisan. See the latest speed edit of one of my images:

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She made ripples
that might have touched the universe
if they hadn't died
on the tips of her fragile fingers. 沍溪 The potential to change the world. 
It could feel impossible, that we are insignificant, that what we do is meaningless. 
Even on my worst days I've never bought into that. 
I've watched my actions ripple, seen my decisions effect others - for good and bad. I try so hard for good.
I live every single day knowing that what I do means something. 
That the next decision I make has the potential to be my best yet, to be life-altering, to be momentous. 沍溪 Great failures lead to great triumphs. Do not let your ripples die on your fingertips because you are too afraid to let yourself change the world.
Watch the editing video for the image I released yesterday, "Moonrise", created out of old images I had shot years ago but never used. For more.

Model: Sara Silkin
Dress: Michelle Hebert
Music: "Craving Ending" by Soft and Furious
Once it was empty,
so vast it told me
it was full of nothing
but absence. 
That was before tide
pulled the moonrise.
Before the ancient 
soul of the world
reached inside and
let me see. 沍 "Moonrise", February 2018
Model: @sarasilkin
Dress: @michellehebertofficial 沍

Behind the scenes editing video coming tomorrow.
窶紀t is okay for what you desire to change as you are growing up (and by "growing up" I mean your entire life) - but never, ever stop dreaming the way your childhood self did. Never stop returning to that place of imagination that is open so freely to innocent little ones - so natural that they don't even realize they have crossed a threshold. Try not to let those doors close. 沍 
I believe it is the pursuit of imagination that makes dreams happen. What we can contribute to our own lives and to the world hinges on it. 沍 
The world can be a playground for imagination or a playground for spirits, an oasis of opportunity carved from dreams or a desert, closed-off and cold. Let us treat our hopes tenderly. 沍 "Playground for Spirits", June 2011, self-portrait.
These images come from a time of experimentation. How do you know you don't like something? Try it. Period. Otherwise we: Do. Not. Know. 箝

For me, the thing I needed to try was fashion. I was never interested in fashion, didn't like how the models so often look so similar in their beauty conventions. If you don't like something, change it. I didn't manage to do that here, and I was always ashamed of how I, too, fell into the conventions of the craft. I was too afraid to do anything that would be rejected by the editors I was working with (these were all commissioned, from Bullett Magazine and Italian Vogue). (And isn't that just he problem. Sigh.) 箝

In the end, my passion is not with fashion photography. But, I tried it. Here are some of the results, all from 6 years ago. And, I don't plan on trying it again. After 3 attempts, I'll leave it to those who do have the passion, who might explore fashion photography in a way that breaks stereotypes and can elevate it to a new height. 箝

In the meantime, I'll be photographing myself wherever/however and wearing whatever I like. And I'll always be reminded of how nice it is not to have a stylist on set yelling at me to stop asking the model to lay in the sewage.
Announcing publicly for the 1st time: the 2018 Promoting Passion Convention, and it's already over half sold out!
Joshua Tree, California.
October 4-8, 2018. (Link in bio!) 汳 - Learn from the most inspiring professionals (Speakers include myself @brukolando @bellakotak @solsticeretouch @joelmckerrowpoet @devinschiro @oscarwastaken ...and more TBA)
- Gain a community more supportive than any I've found before
- Focus on pursuing your greatest life
- And leave with enough inspiration to actually make changes 汳

Because, at the end of the day, it isn't the way you've set your camera or the numbers you reach on social media. It is how purposefully you explored your curiosity, with how much vigor you chased your passion. 汳

Join us before the slots are filled!
I posted on my story about my tattoo, and so many of us are having really meaningful convos that I thought I'd post here as well. 箝

I get asked all the time about the tattoo on my arm. It reads "Fear is the mind killer", a quote from Dune by Frank Herbert (my favorite book). I put it there intentionally so that everyone, myself most included, could read it easily. I find myself outstretching my arm at grocery stores and the bank, to total strangers who pass me on the sidewalk, to everyone. 箝

It resonates. It is direct and it relates to my life in a significant way. Fear for me permeates everything - my first memory, most of my dreams, and it does so in irrational, irreconcilable, inconsolable ways. My life has been fed the undercurrent of fear, so I take the brave road when possible. I base my life on bravery. 箝

I needed help though, so I got this tattoo. It strengthens me. I love my fear instead of pushing it away. It is my imagination, my creativity, my love of life - for who best loves life but one who learns not to fear it? 箝

I still struggle, and I believe I always will. I never want to lose such an inspiring part of who I am. I never want to lose the tension, because without it, I am flat. Instead, I work to take away the power of fear. I don't feed it my sorrow, I feed it my creativity. 箝

What is your relationship with fear? 箝

I kept my tattoo in each of these images, so I thought I'd share a smattering where my tattoo makes an appearance. Can you spot it in each?
窶廬t was much easier to explain the veil than to answer questions about the wounds.窶 窶 Pawan Mishra
Feeling like we need a little check-in to say hello and share ourselves a bit. Answer any or all 洟

1. Someone inspirational: @zolloc
2. Favorite quote: "Let be be finale of seem."
3. Something that changed your life: This image, which suddenly became a beacon of my work.
4. Favorite book: The Fifth Season
5. Favorite movie: Pan's Labyrinth
6. You're most excited for: shooting the first image of my new series on Tuesday! 
7. Favorite word: Passion
An honest admission of my desire for praise in art, my desire to create quickly, to have created anything at all...and my new peace in emphasizing CREATING over CREATION, to love the process and not the product, to detach myself from the tangible, and from being liked. 沍ソ (link in bio) 沍ソ "It was somewhere around month 5 of thinking about my new series and coming up empty that I had a breakdown. I felt like such a failure as an artist. I felt I had let myself down.

What I had really done was let myself go.

I let go of the artist I was.
I let go of the expectation I put on myself.
I let go of the expectation I felt from others."
I travel home tomorrow from Sri Lanka and then I begin the series I've been planning for the past 9 months. Finally, creating.
This is what I've learned so far:
1. Thinking deeply about any one topic is not a common practice.
2. Research, even if only internal digging, will always create more meaningful art. 
3. Letting go of other people's expectation of you takes time, but will set you free. 
4. Controversy no longer scares me; it is my fuel to create conversation. We should not be afraid to disagree respectfully. 
5. Creation VS creating. I create for the experience, not the product. 
6. You know, in your gut, when what you are creating is special. Stick with it. 
7. Let go of your own expectation of yourself so that you don't regurgitate your art. Free yourself to create something that surprises you. 
8. Learn to be curious. 
9. Become a student and remain a student. 
10. Repeat number 1: think deeply and respect that time, it is incredibly important to our understanding of ourselves.
Tie yourself to the rock that can weather the storm, but then, learn to be the water that rushes past; picking up molecules of what it touches but moving on so that it thinks only of what is ahead.