Thirty Days of Thanks – Resilience

He-Man & She-RaIt’s almost the end of the day and a combination of code just finished owning me in the worst way.   It’s one of those days where you hope you’re not losing brain cells and you remember being much smarter in college.

I spent the majority of the day working on one of those projects that could best be referred to as “cake.” Yes, I said cake; no you’re not hungry, now focus.

Or at least that’s what you referred to it as in your head   while you non-nonchalantly strut to the so-called challenge.

You walk up to this “cake” and realize it’s a not as nice as it looked from far away.   Before you know it, you’re close enough to realize you bit off more than you can chew and the only thing you have left to do is to continue chewing until the pieces are small enough to swallow.

I have a few of these a month.   Then of course I come back the next day with a new way of thinking and a fresh coat of deodorant and tackle what once seemed impossible.   It’s at these times that I am happy I went through the whole ordeal only because I feel that much smarter/stronger/what-have-you.

I am thankful for so many things but if I had to point out one thing I’m thankful for at this very moment it would be resilience.   It’s the thing that every child has an over-abundance of, it’s the thing that keeps us going, it’s the thing makes us all look like He-man or She-ra.

So, thank you resilience for reminding me that everyday is a new day and a chance to make things right.

Take us out

Thirty Days of Thanks – Photo + camera geek love galore

photographer mitra

One of the greatest things about working for a company like Schipul is the emphasis on growing our professional and personal selves by pursuing our passions.   For many of us, geeking out over photography makes us passionate in a big-big way and I am incredibly thankful for such an outlet and a team that inspires me daily through it.

The great thing about the magical world of the Internet is that even if you don’t work for a company that pushes you to pursue your creative outlets, you still reap the benefits of fantastic photo-focused communities, online tools and inspirational resources.

Here are a few of my personal favorite online spots for tapping into new photographic trends and skills.   So yeah… let’s get our photo geek on, folks:

Flickr (
Certainly a photo online Community standard at this point, Flickr provides a great space to share your photos (with handy privacy features to define exactly who you want your audience to be), join groups of like minded photo nerds and do fun things like geotag your images, create slideshows to embed online and even print images.

Flickr is a free and super way to build Community, search for jaw droppingly beautiful imagery (looking for a great Creative Commons search resource? will rock your little world) and keep you inspired day in and day out.

On Flickr already?   Hook up with a few of these Schipulite Flickr nerds (just to name a handful):

  1. Schipulites Flickr account
  2. Ed Schipul
  3. Katie Laird (hey, that’s me!!)
  4. Kim Hodgson
  5. JJ Lassberg
Many photographers have experimented in the world of Lomo with vintage cameras, funky fish eye lenses, playful color and light dispersion – it’s a great (and sometimes kitschy) way to get the childlike photographer in you out and about!

The site is a haven for folks that like the quirky world of twin-lens reflex cameras, go wild and crazy over Holgas, Dianas, pinhole cameras and medium format film.   Beyond a fantastic shop chalk full of equipment and goodies you’ll be hard pressed to find elsewhere, you can set up a cozy ‘Lomo Home’ to store / share your photos and enter contests and giveaways.   Lomo me this, Batman.

Photojojo (
Most of us will never be professional grade photographers, but darnit we still want to be clued in on the cool stuff too!!   Photojojo is the perfect solution for passionate snappers that just plain like to know neat tricks, tips and cool happenings in the photography kingdom.

Sign up for their newsletter (which is one of those newsletters you actually look forward to seeing in your inbox), shop for cool gadgets in the store and use their cool Time Capsule tool to get photos sent to you from 1 year back.   I’m a Photojojo addict and I know you will be too.

Picnik (
Sometimes you would rather stab yourself in the eye with a blunt object than open up Photoshop or some other uber-clunky and expensive piece of software to edit your photos.   Picnik is the remedy to all of those memory hogging photo editing woes.

It’s a free online tool (with a snazzy well-priced paid version as well if you wanna’ be all ‘PRO’ like and whatnot) that makes it beyond easy to do your basic photo crops and edits, as well as have a little fun with your images (case in point:   my “classy” and “mature” Halloween portrait – all thanks to Picnik).

I feel so fortunate and so thankful for the technology that exists to enable us to teach each other, grow our craft and connect on very personal level.   Whether photography, skateboarding, graffiti, cupcakes or knitting is ‘your thing’ chances are there is an online community for you to engage and grow in.   What a wonderful world we live in…

Photo thanks to Flickr user Mitra Mirshahidi