10 things I want to do this spring — hudson valley photographer

If it ever stops snowing, I’m going to celebrate. Because winter was LOOOONG. And because my three favorite seasons are beginning : ) And because I love flowering trees and the woods growing green with life. It’s Sprrrrrriiiiiiiing time!

I’ve been working hard on goal setting … even when it comes to my personal life. Because when I don’t set goals, I very quickly slide into a rut of sameness. Sometimes I like sameness … but this past winter was as same as it was long. And we all know how long it was! Therefore, here are my 10 goals for Spring.

1. Splurge on a PERFECT spring dress. I’m a pretty thrifty person. I own very few things that were purchased new. I thoroughly enjoy the thrill of the hunt in thrift stores. But I’m in need of a few new dresses that I can throw on when I’m home working … but also want to look like I’m kinda dressed. I’m pretty sure I’m settled on trying a Tulle and Batiste dress. But I just have to decide which one. What do you think?

2. Find a new water-based nail color in an amazing shade of pink. Last year, after not using nail polish for 10 years, I stumbled on an article that highlighted a new nail polish that was not only totally natural, but breathable to boot. Water-based nail polishes were originally designed for the muslim community, who typically don’t wear nail polish because traditional nail polish blocks water from touching the nails. This is a problem for Muslim purification beliefs. But with a breathable nail polish, water can get through. That sold me. Not because I’m muslim … but because I like the idea of my nail still being able to breathe even though I have on nail polish. I bought a red polish last year … and loved it. So this year will be pink.

3. Hike 3 new places. Here’s a list of the top hiking and biking spots here in the Hudson Valley. My original thought was: I’m going to hike them all! One by one! But then I reigned myself in, and got realistic. I’ll aim for 3 this Spring. In fact, as soon as I’m done this post, I may go to my first one.

4. Design a wilderness garden. I just watched an awesome movie on Netflix: Dare to be Wild. It moved me. I’ve been chomping at the bit to get outside and get started on my vegetable and herb garden this Spring … but now I’m feeling so inspired to dream up plans for a little wild garden on the side of my home. I’ve never actually designed a garden … I’ve simply planted. And planted more … until the space was full. But this year, I want to sketch out something beautiful and bring it to life.

5. Buy (or finally find) a hammock. Last summer, I moved into a little home with a creek running behind it. I don’t know how long I’ll be here … but while I’m here, I so want to fall asleep in a hammock listening to the roar of the water beside me. For a few months last year, I scoured Craigslist and freecyle looking for a freestanding hammock that was still in good shape. I hate to spend money on something I KNOW people give away or just throw out frequently. I never found one (a phenomenon that always seem to happen when you really want to find something in a thrift store!) So this year, I’ll just have to bite the bullet and buy one. Maybe this one.

6. Take a train ride into Soho, buy 3 pain au chocolats, sit in the park … and EAT. I have to avoid gluten and dairy in order to feel well. When I eat either of those things, I just feel sluggish, I get a headache, and eventually, if I keep eating them regularly, I’ll get a sinus infection. So I avoid them. But the crazy thing is I have no problem eating gluten or dairy from Europe. So when I found a boulangerie in the city a few months ago with a sign that read FARINE DE FRANCE (flour from france), I knew I’d hit the jackpot. I promptly bought two pain au chocolats, devoured them, and have dreamed about them since.

7. Plan a winery trip with friends. There are SO many amazing wineries here in the Hudson Valley. This Spring I want to grab some friends and spend an afternoon visiting, tasting, laughing, and lounging on warm grass.

8. Slowly. Very, very, very slowly clean my liver. Over the years, I’ve switched over completely to natural health practitioners for my everyday well being. And they all continue to tell me that I’m very, very toxic, lol. I don’t seem to detox well. And so, every year, I get anxious about how toxic I am (one practitioner joked I should wear a “toxic” sign around my neck to warn people … I no longer go to him : )), and so I try natural (but powerful) detox regimens. Inevitably, after a week, I get incredibly sick, get chided by my natural doctor for going too hard on my body, and then give up. So this year, I’m going to try to be gentle. Just ONE dandelion tea a day. And ONE milk thistle tea a day. Along with some castor oil packs on my abdomen to help my liver. Slow and steady. Slow and steady. Slow and steady. 

9. Keep going with my two personal projects: Life Lessons with Little People and Don’t Be Negative. For the past few years, I’ve been painfully aware that I’m in need of a good personal project. I kept thinking that I needed to do something different than portrait photography since that’s what I do for a living. I was sure that maybe nature photography or some other kind of project would be best. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t fall in love with a project. Yet, every time I would shoot a life lessons with little people shoot, I’d walk away feeling inspired and happy … just the way I want to feel with a personal project.  I’ve come to realize that the combination of words and people together is the golden ticket for me. I love it. I love people. I love seeing their faces … but also hearing their stories. So I’ve added in an adult female version of Life Lessons with Little People that I call my Don’t Be Negative project. I personally find it hard to feel confident and beautiful, and I know so many other women struggle in the same way. I’ve been LOVING photographing women and interviewing them about what they love about themselves. Putting the photos and words together makes me happy. It’s not a groundbreaking project. It’s nothing new. But it makes me happy … and that’s the whole point.

If you’d like to participate in either my life lessons with little people (kids ages 3-9 in the Hudson Valley, NY and Newark, DE regions) and Don’t Be Negative (women of any age in the Hudson Valley), let me know! I’d LOVE to work with you.

10. Sit still outside somewhere beautiful and paint a scene. The other day I was scrolling through instagram and saw a photo someone had taken in a field of poppies somewhere in California. I was THIS close to hopping a plane that day and just going. JUST GOING. I saw myself sitting there with a little easel, painting that beautiful scenery … and maybe doing it while wearing my new Spring dress. But, honestly, my calendar is packed right now … so I’m probably staying put in NY this month. That means I need to find a pretty little spot somewhere here. I’ll share the resulting painting when I finally create it. First, I need to see some flowers. Come on, NY. Where are the flowers?! It’s the middle of April!

What do you have planned for this spring?

Looking for spring photos here in the Hudson Valley? I’ve still got a few openings for my mini sessions at Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, NY. I’d LOVE to work with you!



Kate Callahan is an on-location photographer who LOVES to capture authentic memories for families. She’s available for weddings, senior photos, child photo sessions, and family photography. Kate works with clients throughout the Hudson Valley, NYC,  Delaware (and the tri-state area), and beyond. She also writes motivational books for photographers. Find them at Dear Female Photographer.

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