random things

cocktail // the spring fling by jamie atlas

jamie grill photography, cocktail recipe, the spring fling

It’s FINALLY HERE…tomorrow is the FIRST DAY OF SPRING!! It may still be cold and windy, but hope is on the horizon, my friends. Before we know it the flowering trees will be out and I’ll be back to my creepily giddy self. Here’s a blast from the past, from Marisa’s and my blogging days - a cocktail worthy of the vernal equinox. We found the recipe via Martha Stewart years ago, but renamed it after a party we called the Spring Fling, which we threw to kick off our blog, Chasing Saturdays (R.I.P. CS!). So pour yourself one and let’s kiss winter gooooooodbyyyyyyyye. Original post, with recipe, over here!

color blocking // P I N K by jamie atlas

Next up in my totally random series of color galleries: PINK. I don’t think of myself as a real girlie-girl, in fact when I had a baby girl I went out of my way not to succumb to the overly pinky pinkification of everything and made a real effort to dress her in any other color possible. But I do find over and over again that I’m drawn to the right pop of fuchsia, blush, rose - peachy and creamy or bright and neon. It kind of makes me want to get some pink leg-warmers and go rollerskating with Beyoncé (that’s totally what I look like rollerskating, by the way). These are a few favorite pinks, mostly from the last few years.

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playlist // upbeat photoshoot mix by jamie atlas

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The images I love best are full of energy and bursts of emotion. To elicit that kind of moment (especially when you’re photographing models, who likely haven’t met you or each other before) you need ways of creating an environment that’s up-beat and free. Music, of course, is one of the best tools for setting a vibe, whether it’s moody and soulful, toe-tappy and happy, or anything in between. In 15 years of shooting, we’ve gone through plenty of different playlists - there was that year that Marisa and I ODed on Christmas Carols before Christmas ever came. And that month or so we had Beyoncé’s “4” playing on loop. Usually, our studio tunes are a mix of upbeat indie rock with a strong current of girl pop running through. And Beyoncé. Below is one such playlist, which I’ve been bopping around to lately. May it bring you happy, jump-around shoot day vibes suitable for twirling and laughing in the most photo-worthy ways!

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Click below to listen on Spotify!


color blocking // B L U E by jamie atlas

When I have a chance to stop hustling and constantly looking forward at the next things to shoot, shoot, shoot, it can be really satisfying to look b a c k over the archive of work I’ve created in the past, to cull through my body of work and see how images play differently next to each other. Instead of always pouring over Pinterest and Instagram, I can inspire my own damn self for a change! Ha. For no apparent reason (or for the best reason ever, of just entertaining myself), I decided to blog a series of galleries of my work organized by color. A lot of these were taken in 2018, but some are from a few years past. First up, B L U E…

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playlist // Hanalai daydreams by jamie atlas

My one trip to Kauai 4 years ago has me hooked for life, and this year I converted my annual winter blahs into a serrrious longing for Hawaii. My obsession rubbed off on my 3-year-old, who now has a grass skirt and tells people we're actually moving there (her obsession at least partly enhanced by the fact that we've seen Lilo and Stitch approximately 18 times recently). One way Vivi and I have fueled our addiction is by listening to Hawaiian music, especially around dinner and bath time. It's so calming and makes me so happy! Here's a link to the "Hanalei Daydream" playlist we've been dancing around to - you, too, can create the deluded illusion that you're moving to Hawaii! Or, now that spring is here, our hula can be a happy dance!

And if you need even more Kauai in your life, the print above, taken at Hanalei Bay, is available for sale in my print shop.

work and motherhood by jamie atlas

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"The key to that work-life balance, the holy grail of modern motherhood, is to scrap it all together, to simply come to terms with the fact that there is no such thing as balance. It’s more of a pendulum – you sway between the two roles, and if you can find a good rhythm in the back and forth that makes you feel happy and centered, then you’re killing it! Sometimes I do a great job with my career, and sometimes I nail motherhood – sometimes it happens in the same day, even! But never all at once. It’s important for women, whether they’re mothers or not, to remember that we can’t be all things to all people all of the time..."

Read more of my answers about work and motherhood over at the Blend Images blog, where they flattered me with an artist feature this month!

Below are some behind the scenes images from our set, where my producer Marisa and I always have a baby or two in tote:

makers gotta make by jamie atlas

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The hardest thing about leading a creative life is pushing yourself to keep creating day after day. The insecurities and doubts that niggle at your mind - what's the point? where do I start? - can stop a good idea before it ever gets going. And simple logistics can get in your way. Especially now, as the mother of two tiresome toddlers, it's hard for me to carve out time to sit at my desk, much less find the brainspace to seek inspiration and be creative. I could write 100 blog posts about motherhood and working, specifically about fueling your own creative needs when literally 100% of your body and brain are devoted to other little beings. I swear, half of my brainpower was literally sucked out with my breastmilk the last couple of years - is that possible?! But wherever the inhibition stems from, creatives all have the excuses that stop us.

On a trip to a museum with my dad when I was a kid, I remember being baffled by some of the modern art (if I remember correctly, it was specifically Black Square, by Kasimir Malevich, that really annoyed me, in that ignorant-yet-cocky way that only kids can get annoyed) and muttering under my breath something like, "seriously?! even I could make that." My dad heard me, of course (parents always hear those mutterings, don't they?) and said, "yes, but you didn't." I think about that conversation a lot. It's so simple, really, but creative things have to be created! I do NOT fancy myself an artist by any means, but I'm a maker, by hobby and trade, and I've found myself in need of this reminder lately: MAKERS GOTTA MAKE. I could make a lot of things...but when do I show up and actually get making?

I'm pushing myself lately to create something every day - the project can be large or small, photography or not, for work or personal. A simple step I've made is to put myself in the habit of leaving my cameras out and about, rather than packing them away in camera bags in the closet. I have one out on a dresser or counter top in a few different rooms of my apartment (it seems stupidly simple, I know, but with curious toddler fingers constantly on the prowl, it's actually super baddass). It's one little thing that has removed a step between me feeling inspired and picking up my tool.

I just bought the book Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert, and just a few pages in, I'm really into it. How do you push yourself to keep creating?