Keep the FIRE burning: Venice Family Clinic

Keep the fire burning- what does that mean to me? I would say keeping the inspiration alive for life, my photography business and also my personal life with my husband and family. Occasionally, I volunteer for the Venice Family Clinic and photograph their events to benefit those in need for the clinical services and while I will say every event has been inspirational for me…this sack lunch at Bloomingdales in Santa Monica takes the cake. The event was partnered with SMARTY, an organization dedicated to bringing entrepreneurial women together to exchange their stories and hear others as well. So instead of “networking”, you can learn from others similar to you and discover new ways to tackle the challenges of owning your own business.

I feel so lucky to have taken the time to go out and photograph this event- it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. Life is all about balance and sometimes you lose that center, so it is nice to hear that I am not the only one with that problem. Since starting this business I am constantly busy with trying to improve, get my name out there and keeping my clients happy. This is all fine and dandy- however- have I mentioned I also work a full time job and waitress on the side? Sometimes it is tough, especially when I spend a ton of time on the computer editing and branding myself for what I am truly passionate about :photography. I will definitely admit my husband, Igor, suffers sometimes.  There are days where I spend all day editing and working. Luckily, he knows that I love it, I just need to remember to be the woman that he married, which is just Lisa.

The speakers at the event were truly remarkable women that I can say I will always remember and look up to. So let me tell you a little about what I learned…

Patty Jenkins was a speaker- she wrote and directed the film “Monster” with Charlize Theron and also has ventured in the television with “The Killing”. She spoke about balancing her career with her growing family, which is definitely a difficult task for anyone but just throw in the fact that she is a well known director into the mix- I would say that is a challenge. But there she was, explaining how she kept her fire going even when things are tough and you feel stretched to the limit you just gotta reach a little further sometimes to achieve your goal.

The second speaker was Suze Yalof Schwartz, owner and creator of Unplug: Meditation. The slogan on her homepage of the website made me laugh ” Warning: Meditation may cause increased happiness, decreased stress, reduced anxiety, increased focus, higher test scores, optimism, better health and inner peace. ” A background in fashion, she described herself as Andy in The Devil Wears Prada, which is funny because I have been watching that movie every time it came on this week lol. Anyway, she taught us that mediation is a great tool for one to unplug yourself from the world. She actually had the audience do some breathing exercises to see how easy it is just to take 3 minutes out of your day just for you. How often do I do that? honestly, probably never, so I guess it is time to start.

The last speaker was Linda Immediato, Senior Editor for Los Angeles Magazine. She also runs a blog called “The Clutch” which covers fashion. I have to say, I envy this woman. She is what I would love to strive for in life, however, I am NOT so fashionable, but I do love her life of styled shoots, seeing pretty things etc etc etc. She told us about her 8000 unread emails, which I don’t think I could ever do. I would just erase them lol.  She reminded me that everyone wants something, and while you may try to please them all, sometimes you just can’t. It is what it is. You have to please you first. Put the safety mask on YOU first when the plane is going down. I know as women, it’s hard not to be that people pleaser.

I know, in this photography biz you want to gain as many clients as humanly possible and I find myself giving A LOT, however, I know I may need to stand my ground and step back and reevaluate. I need this in my life too.

So, I would say I learned a lot. I captured a ton of photos, I focused on the interaction of the women attending as well as the speakers. Anyway, if you are interested in volunteering for an event let me know and we can ride together :).  What inspires you to keep the fire burning?Venice-Family-Clinic-Sack-Lunch_0009



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