"Don't ask her why she needs to be so free. She'll tell you it's the only way to be."-Rolling Stones, Ruby Tuesday. This couldn't be a better intro for Olivia for today's feature. She is photographer and visual artist and shares her honest thoughts with us . I had the honor to meet her at her beautiful home and chatted about financial security and the last day when she laughed so hard that her tears run down.
How would you describe your lifestyle and what approach do you have for yourself and for your clients while capturing them?
I'd describe my lifestyle as awake, heart-centric, curious and ever evolving.
When it comes to my approach for capturing the essence of my clients, connection is everything! This includes the connection between me and the client, but most importantly, the clients connection to themselves. I begin most sessions with a guided, heart opening mediation. I have them them drop into their body and fully connect to themselves and the present moment before we begin. I find that when we infuse the sessions with this intentionality the images reflect that connection. Then we play!! I like to think of the shoot as a divine dance between the subject, space, and photographer. The sessions are playful and creative and anything goes. I bring a lot of energy to the sessions and get REALLY excited as the magic unfolds. There's truly nothing like getting to reflect someones light back at them. It's a real honor.
Does what you do fulfill you every day? Or could you imagine to switch your career?
The essence of what I do fulfills me everyday. That's not to say that there aren't boring and monotonous days sprinkled in there, because there are, but I feel really lucky in the sense that my work pretty seamlessly follows my curiosity. I tend to attract work that is in alignment with what I'm interested in at the time, because that's what I'm putting out into the world. This keeps everything feeling fresh, new, and limitless. I can't imagine fully switching careers anytime soon, but I'd definitely be interested in adding other elements into my work down the road. I'm really fascinated by the human experience, our minds, consciousness, our divinity, why we're here, and why we do the things we do. A lot of the fun in life and in my career is leaving space for new ideas and paths to emerge. So we'll see where that all leads:)
When did you the last time laughed so hard that tears came down?
Envision Festival in Costa Rica with my best friend! It's one of our favorite music festivals, and if you get us on a dance floor anywhere, especially in jungle, there's going to tears of laughter.
How important is financial security for you? And what is one piece of advice you would give a woman who wants to start her own business in regards to financial topics?
This is an interesting one! Since I never had a traditional 9-5 job with a stable income and benefits, I'm incredibly comfortable with instability regarding finances. At this point in my life, I value experiences over having a huge savings, however it is important for me to have a level of stability so I can explore freely with peace of mind, knowing that I have all of my bases covered. But I am kind of a free bird:)
As for a little piece of financial advice for a new business owner! From the get-go, remember to save 25-30% of your income for taxes so you get used to setting a portion of your earnings aside.
What are the most rewarding moments of being your own boss and which are the most challenging ones so far in your career?
Stepping back from my career specifically and looking at this question from a birds eye view, I'd say that being able to craft my own life, from the moment I wake up to the moment I fall asleep, is the most rewarding part of being my own boss. It means that my experience of being here on Earth is entirety mine to envision, and it means that the work I create is born from this freedom. I value that SO highly. The most challenging part has been learning how to manage my time, so that I'm able to keep my life (somewhat) balanced.
What are your three favorite local Portland spots?
Mmmm, so many! I grew up in Portland, so this list is always shifting and evolving, but right now I'm loving:
1.) Albina Press near my home in NE Portland -- it's my favorite little coffee shop to read and journal at.2.) The Everett House -- a community healing center in SE.3) No Bones Beach Club -- an incredibly delicious, funky, tacky, tropical inspired vegan spot on Mississippi.
Coffee or Tea Drinker in the morning?
Coffee currently! But I'm slooooowly making the transition to tea:) I think. Maybe. We'll see.
What do you envision for yourself for 2018?
I envision flow, connection and growth in 2018. I see myself continuing to work with and photograph incredible humans in incredible places. I see prosperity, depth, and fulfillment. Backpacking through India and Nepal. Lots of time spent with the ones I love. Old and new friendships. A lot of learning. A lot of play and a lot of fun:)
Thanks so much Olivia, for sharing those beautiful and insights with us. If you want to see her work , follow this heart centric being @olivia_ashtonn or head to her website oliviaashtonphotography.com
Next Feature will be in two weeks, stay tuned for another rad woman . To stay in the loop, follow me on @annikabbussmann for weekly shares of more amazing women who are not to miss.