Monday, February 24, 2014

Henna Workshop, Moab Utah

Yesterday was my first Magic of Henna workshop with a great group of women in Moab, hosted by the Moonflower Market and Henna Sooq, and what an exciting afternoon it was!  I was thrilled that over half of the women who attended wanted to jump right in and try it then and there (I had planned on just doing a strand of hair with them)!  All of the participants had similar stories - either they dyed their hair with chemicals and wanted to switch to something natural for various reasons such as burning scalp, or they were sick of the gray and wanted to try something natural. Either way, they were all very eager and willing subjects - so awesome!

All had brown hair and wanted to keep their brown color so we used a lot of indigo yesterday - more than I had anticipated - so some of them with longer, thicker hair were going to have to likely do a second round soon, but were ok with doing the top part of their hair.

I started out with all my research - the history, the Ayurvedic/medicinal benefits, types of henna and other plants we use for dying naturally, as well as all the other wonderful ingredients you can get from the girls at Henna Sooq, my fave provider!  Henna Sooq had sent a box of awesome samples - Sweet Orange essential oil, small sample of Rajasthani Henna, Argan shampoo bar - so we passed those out as well.

Then as I said, they jumped right in!  That morning I had activated about 200 grams of Rajasthani Indian red henna that was ready to go, which Moonflower sells in bulk, and during the workshop we quickly activated the 100g of Indigo and didn't need to activate any of the Cassia since everyone went with a 60/40 indigo/henna recipe for chestnut brown results.

So far one woman has stopped by the store to show off her new color already and I'm proud to say she "is very happy with the results, and will try the henna process again." Her scalp did not burn like when dyed with chemicals, and the henna straightened her hair out just a bit and her hair felt soft, not stripped.

A big thanks to Moonflower and Eula for hosting this great afternoon, for Alicia for connecting me with this great community, and to Henna Sooq for providing these ladies with some fabulous samples to take home.

YAY!  Henna is empowering! Henna is liberating!  Henna is natural!   Time to host a workshop like this in Steamboat!!

All #henna posts:
1- About Henna and my process
2- The first dying
3- Other products from Henna Sooq
4- Cleansing and Independence
5- Applications update
6- Another Henna convert!

Friday, February 21, 2014

The favorite shoot...

A lot of people ask me what I like to shoot best.  I'll be first to admit, I'm a super lucky girl when it comes to photography (among many things in my life) - I grew up behind the lens on that super-tough stuff called film in the darkroom, I studied under an Ansel Adams long-time apprentice, and under several other great teachers, too. I have a degree in Visual Arts, and one more for good measure in Travel Photography. I'm well traveled.  And to me, what this all means the most is practice.  And practice always leads somewhere. I've been published, awarded, and covered.  I'm the volunteer Event Photographer for STARS, and as Marketing Director for YVSC I get to shoot all our events too. And on the side, I shoot for a little extra business here and there... a wedding a year, some headshots, some homes, some pets, some food, and random fun calls for things like engagement shoots or new skis, or an occasional instructional session... and I truly do love all of it.  So it's hard to choose, and my answer usually just depends on my mood. If it's a nice day outside, I'll probably say "nature," but if it's snowing, "my favorite monoskier."  If we're on the road, "travel," but if I'm having tea with a girlfriend, "food."

Mostly though you can tell what someone loves shooting best because their pictures in that category are just that much better. The love pours into the lens, and out onto the paper (or screen).  Ansel Adams is a prime example; his answer would surely be "nature." Or "Montana."  So for those who ask because they are aspiring to become a professional photographer, my one suggestion is find what you love and do that. Don't shoot weddings because they make good money. Don't be a photo journalist because you need validation. Shoot what you love and the money will follow.

And most of those same people ask me if I could I do it full time (or more ask, should they)? Well I've never tried, so I couldn't recommend it or not, but I like so many other things that I think I wouldn't like being behind the lens 25+ hours a week (and editing for twice more).  But they say you don't know until you've tried.  For me, so much of my photographic success is having the freedom to, or not to, and that has always been important to me; not shooting under deadline or with a specific "money shot" hanging in the balance. But for you, that might actually motivate you, you might rise to the pressure.  So again, shoot what you love and practice practice practice and the rest - money shots and all - will follow.

But if I must... what bubbles to the top for me though... food, families, and fun!

Created with flickr slideshow.

Created with flickr slideshow.

Created with flickr slideshow.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Another henna convert!

As you know from many blog posts about it, I am ecstatic about henna and what it's done for me, in order of importance: the overall health of my hair and scalp, the all-natural solution, the compliments-attracting color, the independence, the low cost... so of course, for all those reasons I am forever talking it up to my girlfriends - whether they already dye their hair or not, but especially if they do.  So far I have three friends who have gone with henna after my encouragement and all of them have gorgeous, lustrous, vibrant hair of various colors now!

To continue to add validity to this topic, here's the story from the latest convert:  (Thanks Alicia for sharing!!)
My henna experience….
Alicia Wright of Bella Sol Spa 

I have to say first and foremost, I love henna! At first, I was nervous about my hair turning red, and I was not ready to take the plunge.  The grey hair that crept up on my head as my roots grew out had me frantic about solutions.

Not having the right timing with my trusted hair diva, not to mention all the time/money spent over the years, pushed me beyond my comfort zone.  But I was not ready to embrace the grey, so the idea of using henna got more and more enticing. Andy’s research, experience and gentle nudge were great resources and an inspiration to go for it.

I ordered the ingredients from for my desired hair color (recipe below), and the decision was made! Per Andy’s advice I watched various You Tube videos and found them quite entertaining! (Favorite video)  This gave me the confidence and the preview of what I was in store for. When my box arrived…I was so excited to get started!

With Andy’s help and the Henna Sooq website, I was able to get a good formula for dark brown: 1 part (100 grams) henna, 1 part cassia, 1 part indigo, ¼ part amla (for curls).  First I mixed the henna and let it activate for 4 hours, then mixed in the rest of the ingredients.  The smells were so earthy and felt so great in my hair.  It wasn’t as messy or as hard as I had expected.  I actually found the process of adding henna to each strand of hair to be quite satisfying!  After letting this mixture sit in my hair for 4 hours, I was intrigued with the anticipation of how henna would react with my hair.

The color was so rich and my hair felt so much thicker and healthier. I am so pleased with the results of henna, no more grey, and I'm no longer on anyone else’s time schedule.  I am empowered! I love the freedom as well as the ability to inspire others to do the same!  I love that henna is healthy for me and my hair, that it is practiced in the global community with ancient roots, and that there is so much more to discover.  Henna is where it is at!  YES!


Isn't that just awesome!!!  My favorite quote of Alicia's: "that it is practiced in the global community with ancient roots!"

Yes!  If you too have switched to Henna because of these blog posts, please reach out!  I'd love for you to share! 

And stay tuned for more on Henna soon - I embark on my first Henna Workshop teaching experience this weekend in Moab, Utah!  Big shout out to Henna Sooq for sending me west with a box of awesome samples for the ladies!!
[Henna workshop post is live now here!]

Alicia's new hair looks GROOVY!  She went bold with red at the workshop!