November Instameet: Exploring University of Washington

It’s been a while. Too long in fact. The past few weeks have gone by with a whirlwind of events, both good times and a few not so good.

Lets start at the beginning, with one of my more fun adventures. In early November the Instagramers Seattle group hosted another instameet (photo walk), this time exploring the wonderful University of Washington central campus located in the heart of the University District. It had been a gloomy week, but we lucked out on Saturday and the weather was absolutely glorious. A little chilly, but beautiful nonetheless for a late autumn Seattle day, with endless sunshine and no rain.

blue skiesBeautiful day in Seattle.

We met at the George Washington statue to begin the walk and I was definitely impressed by the turn out, about 30-35 fellow IGers/ photographers. It’s always such a pleasure meeting new people and connecting with others face to face after interacting with them on Instagram or meeting them at a previous event. I was able to meet quite a few people I had recently become familiar with online. It’s funny too, how in most cases during initial introductions we don’t realize we already know each other until we reveal our Instagram handles.

group meet upPart of the group deciding where to explore first.

Rosie came along too, as she often does and had a blast. Right of the bat, she was running around exploring the campus with us. Chasing squirrels, birds and posing for pictures.  I love how people are beginning to recognize her and how much she enjoys meeting everyone.

Rosie 1Rosie, ready to chase more birds & squirrels. 

She was a bit concerned however when we started doing the jumpstagram’s off of the fountain. I think she was worried that someone may get hurt, we all made it though. (You can see her watching very closely from the middle of the picture below to make sure we were all okay.)

jumpstagram  viewpoint 1The view while waiting to be a jumpstagram subject, it was like standing in front of IG paparazzi. (Full view below)

jumpstagram panoc

Everyone in the group stayed together for most of the walk, a nice change from the meetups before when we split up pretty quick.  It was really fun to go through the campus and shoot together, get to know everyone a bit more, share tips and advice (and also attempt more jumpstagrams.)  Below is my favorite jumpstagram I captured that day.  I think they look like a team of super heroes on their way to save the world!

jumpstagram 1

I truly enjoy and value getting to know and connecting others that share the same passion for photography and adventure. It was such a great day of exploration. I’m definitely looking forward to future events and meeting even more new friends!

Until next time (which I promise will be sooner this time around),
XO – Michaela

Here are a few more of my photo’s from the instawalk:

fall leaves

campus 1

rosie 2

jumpstagram 2

light post

path 1

path 2

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Got Mail? 52 Weeks of Mail

Who doesn’t love getting mail?

Not an email or junk mail or bills, but a true piece of snail mail. A handwritten note, a card, a postcard, or even a funny newspaper or magazine clipping.  Something sent specifically, just for you.

I love receiving mail, I always have.  When I was young, I always looked forward to the holidays; as it meant I would get a card in the mail from my Nana.  A brightly colored envelope with her beautiful handwriting, addressed just to me. She has since passed and I truly miss her and receiving those cards.  A Valentine, a Halloween greeting, a Birthday card, each one was special. I saved almost all of them and to this day I still cherish every single one.

A lot of the time I enjoyed seeing the postal stamp that was used.  The colors, the designs and the characters, the themes, the stories. Even to this day I am a huge fan and have even started my own amateur collection.  The ability to share history in the smallest square, I think we take for granted the things we can learn from this simple item.  All over the world stamps are used to convey history, culture and more.

There is so much to gain from a single piece of snail mail.  The personal connection, the history, the meaning. Now with the popularity and convenience of the Internet, smart phones, e-cards, e-vites,  Facebook, the joy of snail mail seems to have tapered off.  Where has the love for snail mail gone?

Last year I was delighted when I found the project, 52 Weeks of Mail, started by the Etsy Greetings Team. This project encourages people to commit to sending one handwritten card or letter every week for the entire year.  I participated and had a lot of fun. It was a wonderful way to connect with people from all over the world.  Sort of like the classic pen-pal from way  back when, but utilizing the internet to make the initial connection.  Many wonderful bloggers also organized and encouraged their own holiday card swaps which were fantastic.  The rejuvenation of snail mail has begun!

I am continuing the 52 weeks project, as the team has restarted their commitment this year and I truly just enjoy making and sharing greeting cards.  There is nothing like a one of a kind handmade card, unique in it’s own way, being sent especially for one person.  One of my goals for continuing this project is to connect with more people I don’t already know.  Create new relationships with other artists, crafters and fellow snail-mail enthusiasts while encouraging others to do the same. Maybe even leaving cards for strangers to brighten up their day. A simple way to spread some joy.

Are you a fellow snail-mail admirer? Are you already participating in this project or energized to join? You can start anytime! Just commit to keep sending cards or letters, small hand written notes, it can be anything!  Make sure to check out the 52 Weeks of Mail Facebook page to connect with other enthusiasts.  I would also love to hear from you if you are interested in exchanging letters or cards! Feel free to send me an email (developandcapture (at) or leave a comment below.

Until next time!
XO –
Michaela Rose

Below are some shots I took took while documenting my 52 weeks last year.

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“Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.” – William Plomer

It’s been a while, but I wanted to write about a local Instagram meetup I attended last month.  I have always had a love for photography and Instagram has helped fuel that passion even more.  The ability to instantly share photos, connect with other photographers and creatives, and also find inspiration is such an amazing tool for me.

I was lucky to find the Instagramers Seattle group.  They have already had such a positive impact on me by selecting one of my photos that was included in their mobile photography show, but through the group I have also met so many awesome people and feel like I am truly part of a growing community.

As I mentioned earlier, I attended a recent meetup (or Instameet as us gramers like to call it) where we celebrated the Instagramers Seattle one year anniversary. While I haven’t been active since their beginnings, everyone I  have met has welcomed me in with open arms.  It is such a wonderful feeling to have this kind of outlet.  To be around so many creative and genuinely kind people is contagious. Meeting every single person has been a great joy. We are all so different, yet alike immediately  because we share our connection through Instagram.   In addition to just finding more local people to share my passion, it has also given me the ability to grow a strong network of support, and if you are any kind of artist/creative/what have you, you know how important having support can be.

The team behind this group is amazing.  They are all wonderful and heartwarming individuals that make me want to do more to help this community continue to grow.  I hope this is just the beginning for such an amazing group.

Have you become a part of a community that helps and inspires you?  If you don’t have one, I encourage you to build one.  It might seem like a daunting task, but honestly even if you can find one person that shares a single passion with you, it can happen.  Start small, don’t give up, it takes time for things to grow.  But grow they will.  I would love to hear your stories.

Until next time –
Michaela Rose

Party People.
We explored the wonderful Olympic Sculpture Park on the waterfront.

Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent. – Dalai Lama

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be. – Douglas Adams

I took my little Rosie along for the day.  She was intrigued for a while, but soon grew bored when the birds she was chasing disappeared.  

Here is a great shot of Rosie hanging out with a few fellow gramers while we were all lined up to do the famous, jumpstagram.
Photo by @Barbro

Instagramers Seattle, Instameet group shot. Say, “We love IGers Seattle!”

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Standing Still.

Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.”
-Andrew Jackson, quoting Napoleon Bonaparte

I fall victim to myself by thinking entirely too much.  It’s always good to think things through and create a plan, but do you ever just take too much time analyzing and thinking about everything so much you aren’t able to get anything done? That’s where I have been for far too long.  I won’t deny myself the fact that I have accomplished some things and that creating and achieving goals can take time, but for the most part I feel like I have just gone in circles. I know what I want to do, at least I think that’s the case. Yet, when the time for action arrives I’m frozen on the same step, unable to move forward.  I’m just stuck. Even with I think I’ve figured it out and know what to do next, I’m still left standing in pretty much the same place.

Often times when I feel out of sorts or look for a new point of inspiration, I turn to quotes.  In this situation, I find this quote to be quite fitting and also a little comforting:

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.  – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I know I’m not the first person in the world to hit this bump in the road and I know I will overcome it with time.  I guess with anything, the first step to overcoming anything is acknowledgement, right?

So I’m looking at you roadblock and I acknowledge your presence, but you will not stop me from reaching my goals. So I’m moving beyond you now and will continue on my road of growth and creation. Thank you for whatever lesson you have taught me, at some point I will figure it out.

Have you ever hit a roadblock or an obstacle which held you back? How did you overcome it?  I would love to hear your stories and just maybe, we can inspire and help each other if we hit another one in the future.

Until next time,
Michaela Rose

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Dream Come True.

“Follow your dreams, for as you dream you shall become.” – Author unknown

My chosen photography, “Testing the Waters”

This past weekend I fulfilled a childhood dream. To have one of my photographs featured in print at a public place. I am honored (and honestly still relishing) that one of my Instagram shots was chosen to be included the Summer Vibes//Be Mobile Exhibit, hosted by Igers Seattle & We Are Juxt.  The exhibit included mobile photographers from all around the state and the opening was truly a community gathering full of talented people. I am so thankful to have had the experience and am now even more inspired to try to put something together on my own.  Someday… but for now, I will enjoy the moment, the experience, and the new friendships I am so grateful to have made.

Neptune Coffee, the fabulous host for the show.

My photograph included with the others up on the wall.

What dreams have you fulfilled? What dreams have you quit pursuing?  I say follow your dreams, make them happen! Don’t let the little things get in the way.  One of my favorite songs by the Dave Matthews Band sums it up perfectly, here is an excerpt:

But rushing around seems what’s wrong with the world,
Don’t lose the dreams inside your head,
They’ll only be there til you’re dead,
Dream little darling dream.

– Dave Matthews Band, You’ll Never Know

Dream on, friends!
Until next time-
XO, Michaela Rose

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