Aniiyah and I have had a Facebook crush on one another’s work for well over two years. It was about darn tooting time we connected to create some updated imagery for her home based business, Klockwise. We connected over the phone and via email a few times prior to her session to discuss the scope of what her needs were and to get a sense of the scene I’d be walking into on the day of the portrait session. The day of her session arrived, the birds were singing, the sun was shining and everything in the cosmos aligned to produce magic.

personal branding photographer, ithaca ny, upstate NY

The first scene that needed to be captured was their homemade Labyrinth. Aniiyah and her husband Fred use the labyrinth on a regular basis as a form of walking meditation. The process of walking in and out of the spiral helps one to balance both hemispheres of the brain.

In that moment, as I was standing on top of the ladder looking down onto them breathing in the amazing air on their hilltop property my senses were teleported back to an incredible experience I had in 2003. It was the summer after I graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design. My mother and I were on our long awaited dream vacation to Ireland and there I was photographing a sacred stone circle with my 4×5 Speed Crown Graphix camera feeling divinely aligned to my soul’s purpose. Having that memory flash back to me in that moment as I watched Aniiyah and Fred in their walking meditation was profound. It was my own personal reminder that I was right where I needed to be.

Being in these two’s presence is magical like that. They have a presence which clearly sees and honors you for who you are. When you combine that energy with my own soul led purpose; which is to see the light in others and reflect it back to them, you get get portraits like these.

I spent some time working with them both individually as well as together. First up was Fred, creative maker of all sculptural things playful and wise. While on the tour of their property, we came across many sculptures and sacred spaces that he had created. This stone altar being one of them. This space is used as a mediation space as well.

personal branding photographer upstate NY, ithaca
personal branding photographer, ithaca ny, upstate NY

When I walked past Fred’s shop, I stopped in my tracks as I felt called to capture a portrait of him in his actual work space. Here is a small glimpse into where he spends his time tinkering, welding, visualizing and building his incredible sculptures. I find work spaces fascinating, they’re where our dreams, inspirations, intentions and drive and action all combine to CREATE. Creation is literally a form of giving birth. So in essence, if men had wombs, this would be Fred’s, (Ok, so maybe i’m being a little too out there with that one?)

So let me stop all that talk for a minute to talk about CATS! While this gorgeous cat happened to decide it was his photoshoot day as well, he was only one of many who I met. Combined, I believe they have 11 cats total! Each one joyfully lounging about on the land cozied up in various corners living their best life. Aniiyah and Fred have a deep love and reverence for animals, cats, dogs, and chickens alike, so it was fitting that they participated in the portraits as well.

Next up it was Aniiya’s time to shine! Her handmade dress perfectly matched her eyes and her purple gem necklace was not only on point branding color wise, but it also added the bonus of passing down her mothers energetic lineage of empowered living. Her mother (who was a frugal and modest woman) happened upon this necklace one day at a store. She fell in love with it, and instead of telling herself she couldn’t afford it or that it was “too much” she instead purchased it, cherished it for her lifetime, and then passed it down to Aniiyah who celebrated herself with it during her portrait session. I get a little teary eyed writing this because there is something SO powerful about being witness to the energy of self love come full circle as watch my clients invest in themselves and their businesses. Knowing that this necklace carried the energy of “I CAN have what I desire and I’m going to get it” from her mother made me feel exceptionally blessed to capture the moment for her. I always suggest that my clients bring something meaningful to them to their portrait sessions as a token reminder of how powerful they truly are.

Speaking of powerful, lets talk about plant medicine! Part of the transformational work that Aniiyah does with Klockwise involves wildcrafting and plant medicine making! The nearby comfrey plants were swaying in the breeze laden with their purple blooms and so we spent some time harvesting them and basking in all of their medicinal glory. Though I was standing in the presence of at least a dozen bees happily pollinating, on the flowering tops as I snapped this photograph, none of them seemed to mind. In fact, they may have been cheering us on and thanking us for showcasing how gorgeous plant life truly is.

We then spent some time photographing the end result of the many amazing wildcrafted products that Aniiyah offers. From pain slaying tinctures and salves to wellness supporting herbal tinctures for Lyme and emotional stress, she creates magical potions that i’m personally excited to try! Whats more than just wildcrafting the plants is the energetic work that goes into each bottle. Aniiyah infuses all of the work she does with prayer, and positive intentions for growth and healing. During the session, we light a prayerful fire and the blessings ensued.

When I was led on a walk outside of the dense deciduous forested portion of their land, we came to a clearing which showcased spectacular views and a wildflower field that was in full bloom. We knew this would be the perfect place for a few quick family portraits. Miraculously enough, these images are NOT photoshopped. hahhahah… life on the hill is just THAT good, so good that even the dogs are smiling! Remember how I said the birds were singing? Yep, it was like a scene out of Bambi. Spring la la la…..

Aniiyah and Fred have a strong communion with animals, nature, and all the higher powers that be. That is just a small part of the magic of all things Klockwise which was made perfectly aware to me as we finished up their personal branding portrait session with these images. I’m looking forward to watching their business grow and be brought into the awareness of the larger community, who I believe would certainly benefit from their offerings. Such a blessing this photoshoot was! I’m ever so grateful for the opportunity to capture them in their best light.

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