Monthly Archives

September 2014

fashion

ClaustroClothic #47: MGK Lace Up Fashion

Jacket for DIY Vest: $5 – Citi Trends
Shoes – $49 Target
Miley Cyrus Camo Pants – $25 Forever 21.
Awesome MGK Lace Up snapback from my favorite Flordia couple— that… I can’t even!

 

My Biggest Special Thanks Goes Out To The future Mr. And Mrs. Frison!

 

Lace Up Fashion-5Firstly, they made me an amazing belated birthday video which was absolutely adorable. Yet, they bought me this awesome MGK Lace Up snapback which excites me for my very first MGK show! (I’ll be there tonight, rocking out with Limp Bizkit!) I have to say thank you a million times to Reiko and Damon for their constant generosity, support, and of course, their gift.

What Inspired This Outfit?

 

A lot of things. Obviously getting it together came out of the snapback but also because I love camoflauge and I’ve had this denim vest for eternity with nothing to match! Aside from that, I’m going to see Machine Gun Kelly tonight and that inspires everything. I’m so excited! I remember the first time I caught up with the MGK Lace Up movement, I was immediately inspired. His movement is revolutionary and no matter what level of respect you may or may not have for him as a rapper, he makes an impact that can even be compared to how Eminem was when he first started back with Infinite. I shamelessly admit that I fell in love with MGK’s music because of his story.

 

How I felt When I First Put It On.

To be honest, with all the camouflage, I felt like I was going to war. That’s where the war paint came in which got smeared halfway through the shoot. The sound of my chains clinking and the feeling of my hat brushed against my hair just made me feel so confidently dominant. It’s awesome.

 

What’s the best part of the outfit?

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Everything corresponds with one another. The denim has camo trim, the pants have tears in it that match the tears in the denim. Hell, I even rocked a matching belt! I say it all the time in my Claustroclothic blogs that it’s all about the vibe. Keeping it coordinated. Don’t be afraid to reach outside the box but sometimes you can never fail with having everything match!

What was the most expensive piece of the outfit, where did it come from, and how much was it?

No doubt, my shoes. Worth every penny. I’ve been wearing the same shoes for like 5 years because I hate shoe shopping and I finally gave in and got new ones. I love my shoes because they go with literally everything.

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 WHAT KIND OF ADVICE CAN I GIVE TO ANYONE TRYING TO ACHIEVE THIS LOOK OR SOMETHING SIMILAR.

Wear it the way you want! Walk confidentially and don’t be afraid to be approached about something you’re wearing. You may meet another fan!

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Wanna see me do a different style?

Feel free to drop a comment below telling me what style you want to see me pull off! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog so you can check out my next outfit!

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Roma | Steampunk PhotoShoot |Chicago IL

Photography isn’t just about standing in front of a camera. Photography is living your inner most secret fantasy. It’s taking your deepest darkest imagination and bringing it to life. The moment when you grow out of saying “cheese” is the moment you can be anyone. In this steampunk photoshoot, we transformed Roma from a naturally grinning sweetheart to a a fierce, post-pocalyptic goddess.

Who is Roma?

Roma is a teacher by day. I know, I know. I couldn’t believe it either! Yet, she’s also a model who’s done a multitude of different sessions and projects. She’s even been on the runways a few times! What surprised me most about Roma is her story. She’s not originally from America but she came to the country at a young age and she was alone. Through her own hard work and ambition she’s managed to create a name for herself and a career through both modeling and many jobs in which she’s taken care of people both young and old. Aside from her stunning humanitarianism,  her kindheartedness radiates through her while shooting. Myself, her, the makeup artist and cameraman experienced the most mosquito infested location yet and she hardly flinched. (We were all occasionally stopping to slap the pesky insects away from us. I won’t lie, there was a lot of whining and moaning though. )

 

During our first meeting, Roma fell in love with a corset that I was wearing and told me how she’d always loved the steampunk look. She said she’d always wanted to do something edgy that made her look much different. I remember how I had laughed and asked her why she hadn’t done it. She shrugged, smiled, and it was over. We both knew immediately that it was the start of something great. It was like an instant connection. We were going to do something together that neither of us had done before.

The Shoot

The shoot started off as any normally would as Roma frolicked around the location in her bare feet. Serenity surrounded her and it was as if she was the only one there for miles. It was as though she was dancing across nature like some sort of siren.

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Suddenly, the entire environment changed… It was as if evil was afoot. No more was the worry of pesky mosquitoes or maybe some dirt on her lovely dress, but the entire aura had changed. As the skies darkened and the air grew a musky scent of the ones who had fallen before her, Roma only spared us a slight smirk as she began to slink about her own little space.

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I know what you’re thinking… Did she fight? Did evil ever take place?! There’s only one to find out! Subscribe to the blog and watch out for Roma’s return.


 

Bonus:

Before you go, I wanted to show you a little of the behind the scenes of Roma’s shoot! Firstly, her outfits for the session were courtesy of Q. Phia. Q’s website is filled with lovely gems that you can “Ooolala” over. Aside from that, her makeup was done by MUAYV and I got to sit on it being done!

Steampunk Transformation

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There’s also a video being released soon with actual footage of the shoot. Are you excited? I am! Stay tuned!

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Photography Tip For Photobombers: WHAT DO I DO?

We’ve all had it.. The one person (or in my case, the few people) who see a fancy camera and just have to get in on it. Your centering your frame, setting your focus, the aperture, and shutter speed are perfect. Suddenly, just as you’re about to click that shutter… A small head pokes out of your model’s ear as if she sprouted another head. You poke your head up and you fight the urge to roll your eyes, you’ve been through this before. Yet, there’s something that you didn’t do that could potentially have been your downfall. Today, I share the ultimate photography tip for photo bombers! 

Face the Facts That It Will Happen Several Times In Your Career. Everybody does it. Yes, even me.

 

One time, at the Gathering of the Juggalos, I just really was excited to meet one of my favorite photographers. I wasn’t thinking with my photog goggles on. At that point, I was a fan. So, every year he goes on the ultimate photo hunt at the Gathering. His pictures all all over the web, but in all honesty… I just wanted him to talk to me. To acknowledge my existence. I did everything in my power except yell “Igor, breathe on me PLEASE!”

So, he goes to shoot the girls of wolfpac in a group and I just… thought to myself: “This is my chance! I have to take it!” I did it. I jumped into their shot, trying to look natural despite all these women being completely half naked and me being clothed and successfully photo bombed for the first time in my life. I really just wanted to be a part of it. After the shot was taken, I stood amist the models walking away waiting for him to say something to me. I think I wanted him to put me in my place but more for him to “notice me”. He looked dead at me, with his usually disinterested face and said “What is this madness. This upside down anarchy symbols on your vest.” My eyes widened and he said “Ugh, I just have to take a picture of it.” and snapped a picture. Low and behold, myself and one of the cooler girls from the tour ended up on his website.

It was official, my favorite photographer had noticed me and it wasn’t even because of my photo bomb!  The fact still remains that I did it. It didn’t matter what my reasoning for it was, it was just something that I felt was right at the time because I wanted to get his attention. Do I frown on it now? Yeah! I even considered sending him an apology email, but I honestly really don’t think he cares.

What That Story Has to Do With Your Photo bomber?

We as photographers make a huge mistake. When someone “unwanted” hops in your picture, you typically get annoyed because you’re not looking at it from their perspective. What’s their perspective you ask? I’ll tell you! When you’re a person who intentionally hops in a photo taken by someone else, it’s because you want your picture taken too! You’re excited to see something official go down right in your clear path and you want to be a part of it by any means necessary.  (Take it from the person who photo bombed just to get yelled at about photo bombing!)

So what’s the Photography Tip for Photobombers?

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Photobombing gives you a chance to market yourself and make a genuine connection! You can stop that photo bomber and make it a group mission. They want a memory, and you want a fun photo you and your client can laugh at later. With the permission of your client, invite the bomber to be a part of it. Smile when you say it, and make it fun!  In my case, my “photobombers” didn’t even intend to bomb the picture, they just stood and watched. Yet, I wasn’t letting that happen! No way! I told them to jump in! “Come be America’s next top model.” When I looked over to Christine, she was smiling and amped up.

The important part: After the mini photobomb shoot, I took a picture of them by themselves and offered them my business card. They were all interested and one girl mentioned emailing me and talking about booking. She said she’d always wanted to have a professional session and that it seemed fun! I started the session off with one amazing client and ended with four. Don’t miss an opportunity! If you can, get a hold of their information too! Offer to email them a digital copy of the image they jumped into or tell them that it’ll be featured on your Instagram! Remember that this is as much for you as a photographer as it is for them as a client.

Bonus: What to do with the bombed shots.

Make an album for it on your Facebook page or dedicate a semi-annual blog session to a showcase of bombed pictures. It will bring a more down to earth vision to your brand as well as a fun collection for yourself. Photobombing is only bad if you make it that way.

PS: These fun people weren’t the only one to bomb that day.. *coughs* Christine

Stay tuned for Christine’s session blog about her shoot and how she may have gotten chased around by a duck who just wanted to watch! Yet, if you can’t wait don’t forget to subscribe to the digital newsletter and you can also check out Christine’s Page on Facebook where you can see more pictures of her lovely face.Bomb-4

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Fan Friday: Nomi Leasure

I need to introduce you guys to the amazing blog of Nomi Leasure. (be careful her blog is not as clean as it used to be and I love that.) For the longest, I’d been following her blog by secret because I just couldn’t share this goodness. I wanted it to be a secret treasure that I quoted that no one understood because “oh, no no no.” As I got more into wanting to empower my fellow sisters, I found myself talking about her more and more frequently as well as more fluently. It’s time that I shared her goodness with you. Prepare for this Fan Friday’s fan girl about a girl, Nomi Leasure!

How I Found Her.


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I found Nomi by accident but it was truly the best accident I’d made in a long time. I had just started getting into Mac Miller’s music and I was digging deeper on his life as a musician through Tumblr. There were a bunch of Mac fans trashing this really beautiful girl and I asked myself, “What gives?” So, I ventured to her blog as anyone who would wonder what all the “hubub was about” would, and I was enlightened, empowered, enthusiastic, and not even offended that all these young women were bashing her simply because she was closer to Mac Miller than they’ll ever be.

It was almost embarrassing seeing posts expressing jealousy about her but from 99% of her blog, she’s just doing her. Immediately I admired her and started following her.

What I Love About Nomi Leasure

Nomi spoke real for the jump for me. Sometimes, it’d be personal. Sometimes it’d be powerful (She’s naked in that post, but it’s censored. If you can’t deal with the beauty of the female form, leave my blog now.) Sometimes it’s just Instagram posts that allow you to live vicariously through her. No matter what it was, I found myself checking out her blog more and more. It interested me more when I found out she’s a writer. That intrigued me so much I went over and read every single blog ever published publicly to that blog and I couldn’t get enough.

She’s not afraid to discuss the overwhelming interest in her ethnicity either. She talks a lot about her father who is black and a lot of the life lessons he taught her growing up. She never brashly identifies herself. You don’t go to her blog and see “i’m half this–” and “mixed that-“. She mentions it, but subtly.

What I Don’t Like About Her.

Oh, it’s not her. Never. It’s the backwards anti-fan base. They’ve died down since the days I first started getting to know her and Mac Miller (I seperate them whereas no matter what, a lot of people don’t identify her as her own person.) They don’t give her a chance to show herself as this bright, brilliant writer with opinions and views that will literally rock your world. At one point, I stopped tracking her tag because she was underrated. I had originally tracked it because I was truly afraid to approach her because her words were so powerful so I would try to find women who also saw what I saw, but all I saw were people who either idolized or disliked her for the fact that she ha(s)d a relationship with a musician.

I just wish more people would get into her as a person because her core values are explosive. Like, I want her to be considered her own person. I’m fine with her being a sublet to Mac Miller, but I genuinely want her to be known for her wisdom and her anecdotes.

She’s like my “underrated blog of the year”, I feel like everyone should be a part of knowing who she is.

Tell me what you think! Comment below and tell me if you’ve checked out. Even better, tell me your favorite blog!

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Lighten Up Thursday: Support Yourself

Last Lighten up, I talked about identifying the obstacles of success. At the end of the post, I opened the floor for you guys to share your own obstacles. A few people privately contacted me and asked me to talk about one of theirs. After a small of time, I decided to tell you guys about how important it is to support yourself.

Dear Jasemine

I am finally getting getting to the point where I’m confident in my art. Success is so close to me now that I’m not afraid to go for it. My issue is that {paraphrased} the people around me don’t seem to care. I don’t get it. I’m becoming a big deal now but why does no one see it? This makes it so I don’t even wanna be successful. I’m busting my butt and not getting the recognition for anything. What do I do? -R

 

The Solution is Simple: Support Yourself.

I was always looking for other people to support me. As a kid, I wanted my mom to reward me for everything. “I cleaned my room. I did the dishes.” I would sound off proudly each day. One day, my mom sat down and leveled with me. “Jasemine.” She said. “I’m not going to constantly reward you for doing what you’re supposed to do. Doing the right thing should make you happy. You should be proud of yourself.”  So growing up we didn’t really get allowance but my mom would occasionally remind me of how I should be proud of myself by taking us out on surprise trips. Whenever we’d go, it’d make a huge impact. I felt like my achievements were gaining a lot more attention and were important. Eventually, I would strive for myself because I realized the proudest person of me was me.

 

Why Support Myself Though?

 Supporting Yourself Builds Real Confidence

Often times, we look to others for support and become disappointed when no one seems to care. You see, if we’re constantly looking for others to slow clap for everything we do, we’ll become complacent. You’e not necessarily going to push yourself to be better than your average skill level if everyone’s telling you that you’re at your best right now. Real support advocates progress and progress takes time. often times, people see good and bad. They don’t see the steps and hard work. You know who sees that?

You. 

You are the only person who knows when you put forth the real effort to progress. when you support yourself and give yourself the praise you deserve, your confidence shows! People support that! People will be impressed. Support will come but it won’t make you stop because you have the power.

 

It Saves You Disappointment

Lack of real support is often mistaken for need for attention. An attention seeker will do anything for attention. Someone who wants support will push harder. What do they have in common? They get sad when they’re not recognized. We all do. It’s called disappointment, it’s normal and it will kill any source of motivation. These disappointed people fall prey to pseudo supporters (if you don’t know what that is, I beg you to read this article. It will open your eyes.) Psuedo supporters become people who will hinder your growth which transforms into a major obstacle of success. By supporting yourself, you won’t rely on others which in turn spares disappointment and you’ll save yourself an unnecessary hurdle.

 

So how do I support myself?

  • Create a milestone list
    a list of major goals and important stepping stones that’ll get you there. This will encourage you to pace yourself and focus on progress.
  • Find adequate rewards
    For your smaller milestones, maybe you’ll get that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing. For bigger ones, maybe go make some memories at the next big concert tour coming to your town. Whatever it is, make it work for you.
  • Be realistic and be honest with yourself.
    You need to set your goals realistically and be honest with yourself about making it or not. Don’t sneak that extra cup of coffee in if you didn’t earn it. Don’t cheat yourself. Just be honest. It’ll pay off.

So, if you’re not feeling supported from people around you..

Lighten up and support yourself! Other people will see it and they will acknowledge it. Wear your confidence on your sleeves. Others will see it! I promise.

Lighten up!

Namaste

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Punk’s Not Dead | Chicago Portrait Session

A DJ, a model, and most importantly, a reminder that punk’s not dead. It’s just taking a smoke break! Erin’s portrait session had everything from retro to records to rivers to rooftops. Not to mention, one dope lady rocker to slay the whole scene. How’d she remind remind me of the old phrase “Punk’s not dead?” Simple, she took a smoke break.

Punk’s Not Dead, It’s Just Taking a Smoke Break.

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fashion

ClaustroClothic: #48 Back to School Punk Fashion

Tripp Red Plaid Skirt: $14 at Hot Topic
French Toast School Shirt: $5 at Citi Trends
Knee high High Off Brand Chuck Taylors: $12 at Citi Trends
Skull Ring: $2 Ebay
How I felt walking into school with “Tainted Love” playing through my headphones: Priceless.

What Inspired this outfit?

Besides going back to school?

I’m in my second semester of college and walking into the building each day is like an “in real life Tumblr street fashion blog.” It’s overwhelming, it’s interesting and if you’re anything like me… you don’t fit in. I wanted to make myself an imaginary entrance this semester. It was something only I knew about but it would shake my nerves and boost my confidence. Yeah, in college you may sometimes need a ego lift when attending your classes. Always remember the most important rule: I don’t even acknowledge what I’m wearing when it comes to going to class. I’m there to get my education, not my fashion sense. Knowledge is the pride I wear when it comes to “showing off.” Yet, sometimes you need a pick-me-up.

Back To School Fashion-4So what inspired this sudden spur of the moment dress up fest?

I spent a few hours contemplating what I could do to make myself feel more comfortable? That turned into a whole week of studying my favorite character entries. I mean, there are a lot! I could have came in with black wings and a beige trench coat. I could’ve Castiel’ed it. Yet, I didn’t want people coming up to me like “Oh, she thinks she’s awesome.” No, this was just for me. So it had to be subtle, awesome, and had to have a musically corresponding intro. It was a no-brainer after that. The Not Another Teen Movie “Tainted Love” approach. It was the dream. Walking into school with Marilyn Manson in your ears, it was a no brainer. In short, I was inspired by a chance to give myself confidence.

How I felt when I Put It On

I can shamelessly admit that I felt pretty sexy with the skirt and thigh length shoes on. Protip for my ladies: tuck your thumbs gently into the waistband of your bottoms when you walk. Really feel the sway of your hips. I don’t care what kind of girl you are, tall, short, big, or small.. The switch in your walk is an amazing feel. It means that you’ve got power in your step.

What is the best part of this outfit?

This one’s got a tough tie. It’s between My DIY’ed black, leather bottom Gambino Girl bag and my skull ring. I say the Gambino Girl bag because I love getting to wear my inner fan girl on my back. Last time I did a back to school ClaustroClothic, it was my Roscoe’s Wetsuit DIY vest. It doesn’t match a single thing I was even wearing in this outfit but it exists and it makes it fairly easy to use as a purse. The other thing is the skull ring I scored for two dollars. It’s cool because it matches my scarf and my bag.

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What was the most expensive piece of the outfit, where did it come from, and how much was it?

The most expensive thing in the outfit was actually the scarf. The scarf isn’t actually a scarf, it’s a part of 7 yards of skull fishnet fabric. I bought it years ago in Lansing, Michigan from Hancock Fabrics. It’s surprisingly the most expensive piece of the outfit and was the last of it in the store. I’ve yet to find anything similar.

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What advice can I give to anyone trying to achieve this look?

If you’re ever going to try to get a “school skirt” look, don’t buy it right now (Depending on what time of the year you’re reading this.) especially not from hot Topic. I’m an xs and their XSs are almost always gone. They’re smalls are running bigger and bigger every year. Instead, wait for the school clothes season. Hti the clearance section and even the dollar store. During the back to school season, plaid skirts and white shirts are plentiful. They’re the cheapest just a few weeks after school starts!

What did you wear to your first day of school?

No seriously, I want to know! What look were you going for? Also, stay tuned for my next ClaustroClothic where I’ll be showing off a birthday gift just in time for one of my favorite musicians to be back in town! Until then, this fashionista is hasta la vista!

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ChristinexCarter | Chicago Alt Model Portrait Session

When Christine told me she was a major Disney fan, it wasn’t hard for me to believe. She definitely had the Disney doe eyes that’ll draw you in. I was more than excited about our location at the Osaka Gardens where the was a small stunning bridge, a beautiful small body of water, and a bird that just had to watch the whole shoot diligently from afar. She even got photo-bombed and trust me when I say that we were ready!

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So, Who is Christine?

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Christine is no stranger to the “alt model scene.” Yet, at the same time she doesn’t fit the stereotype that so many people have become so used to. Though she is definitely tattooed, she has a totally different vibe than what you’re accustomed to. She’s been modeling for a little over four years now and after just spending twenty minutes with her, I could sense she was a natural! She has a Facebook page which you are all welcome to like where she features a lot of phenomenal photos from her previous shoots.

 

Fun Fact: Christine also now holds the title as the best client picked consultation venue of 2014. The place we had our first meeting at was amazing but we got caught in the rain the second we left. The day of our shoot was also scheduled as a rainy day, but it didn’t rain until after we finished! Not only is Christine a Disney princess, she’s a rain woman!

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Chicago Portrait Session

Don’t forget to check out the lovely Chicago ‘alt model’, Christine Carter on her Facebook like page , and if you’re just dying to know where that cute skirt came from, Christine is one of the lovely models for the clothing line Dead Leigh Clothing!

Outtakes

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Want to see more sessions or… WANT ME SHOOT YOU?

Right now, if you’re located in either WI, IL, or MI I’m hosting a portrait session special that you can be a part of! So, if you’re just been aching to get your picture taken by me, now’s the time! If you’re not in any of those states but you love what you see, don’t hesitate to subscribe to the newsletter and get each session hand delivered to your inbox each week!

Until next time!

 

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The Immaculate Conception Of King And Queen

When I tell people to look out for my next book, Twisted Abandon, I tell them to look out for two things. One, if you haven’t read the first one do that. The second book in the trilogy is going to send you on an epic ride. The other reason is to prepare yourselves for the journey of a lifetime. Not just through the characters but through yourself, your life, and your conception therein. I realized that I couldn’t really break it down in a sense where people would immediately understand why this trilogy is so important. It doesn’t just tell a story, it tells a legacy. What is that legacy, you ask? It’s the Immaculate Conception of King and Queen.

Where did the “Immaculate Conception of King And Queen come from?”

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I fell in love with the poem that Tupac wrote to Jada Pinkett. It was described as a platonic romance that set Tupac’s entire heart, mind and soul in a frenzy. When I read this, I said to myself… This is immaculate, perfect, something a king would write to his queen… In passing, that’s what did it. That’s what made it become a standard for what love really is to me. I don’t believe in comparing love to the love of anyone else’s but most of us have built our foundation on something we’ve seen and romanticized through media. When I read Tupac’s letter, I felt like.. This is what love is.

Shortly after the thought arose, the series Twisted was born. It brought to life in my head, the rubble, ash, dirt, and diamonds that an average woman sifts through as she finds her place in royalty. She may not be dressed in fancy robes, riches, and lavishes… but she may be trying to get the nicest things and the best life. Twisted tells a back story of how a queen finds herself, embraces her crown, and becomes fit to discover her king. She’s going to push through it all.. But none will be enough for the conception of her king is an epic emotion. That’s only one character too!

So, what is the Immaculate Conception of King And Queen?

This is just my opinion. Feel free to share yours.

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Photos courtesy of Reiko and Damon | Other photos from their session.

The way a man looks into the eyes of the woman who is his queen is different. He looks at her as if the entire world is deep within the iris, the pupil, the small glint she gets when she tears up at the sound of his words… The way a woman smiles softly at her king when she sees him. It is lust, it is love, it is the past, present and future of everything they’ve become. All of that is wrapped up into one soft whisper… a faint glimmer of the smile she gave him when she first laid eyes on him.

You know that they are King and Queen because the conception of two conjoining deities within them never fades. Her smile remains for him even when it is hidden beyond their dullness of her work day. His eyes are for her even deep within the masses of other women. They are king and queen together and separate.

It is in itself an immaculate conception that a love built so soon could feel so strong that it could create the vision of unmistakable royalty. 

It is that immaculate conception that merely one look, one smile, or one word that could drive an entire society into a thirst for something that they can’t even fully understand.

Once you realize that you have to find yourself and the reasons for what make you worthy of the term “king” or “queen”, it’s so simple to crown yourself and begin your discovery of your royal love.

So what’s your immaculate conception?

What idea have you had that has truly changed the way you thought about something. It doesn’t have to be perfectly worded but if it has done enough to move you, it’s enough to be immaculate. Share your conception with readers in the comments below.

Don’t forget to purchase your copy of the first book in the Twisted Trilogy, Twisted Illusions available on Kindle and paperback.

Purchase your copy of Twisted Illusions today!

PS: A huge shout out to Damon and Reiko, a lovely image of what I think photographically personifies king and queen. You can check out their full engagement photo shoot here.