beauty

My mid-life awaking in the south of France

This is a view from my bedroom window in my home in Goult, France. This photo was taken in March shortly after I moved here.

This is a view from my bedroom window in my home in Goult, France. This photo was taken in March shortly after I moved here.

It has been a long time since I last blogged. I have been going through a huge transition in my life over the past 2 years.  To keep it short, I ended my marriage,  cleared out of most of my belongings,  left my 34 year career as a nurse, and in February, 2018, I moved to the south of France to begin my full-time career as a professional photographer.  This past year has been the most fulfilling year of my life.

To back track a bit, the first time I came to France was in 2014. My first night there I was brought to tears, and I had an overwhelming feeling that I had found my home. I felt very strongly that France was where I needed to be to follow my dreams, and change my career path, but I had no idea how I could possibly make that happen. Well, with perseverance and strong determination, 4 years later, I made it happen.

Since 2010, I had been working on transitioning out of my nursing career to follow my dreams of becoming a professional photographer, but I was held back by my fears.  Over time, I realised that I had to let go of my fears of leaving my safe and successful career as a nurse.  My heart was not fully in it anymore, and my entire being craved to be free from within the box I was living. 

I could no longer live a life that was not feeding my soul, and it became quite clear to me, that life was way to short to not follow my dreams. I knew in my soul, that I had to dramatically change my life, and let go of my fear of leaving, what I perceived at the time, as a "safe and secure" lifestyle.  As a result, on December. 8th 2017,  I retired from my nursing job.  On January 9th, I left for a 1 month trip to Ecuador, and on February 15th, I left the United States and moved to the Luberon Valley in the south of France.

Taking this leap of faith has been an amazing experience.  I have experienced nothing but an incredible amount of support.  I am 58 years old, and I am living my dreams. I have changed my life path, and I am the happiest I have been in years. I dreamed of being a professional photographer when I was 18 years old, but I chose a different career path, which I don’t regret for a moment. But, I feel quite happy that I was able to follow my dreams at 58 years old. I worked hard to get where I am. It has not always been easy, but I believe in perseverance, and to never let go of ones dreams. You never know when it will be your time to soar. I believe that one is never too old to follow their dreams!

Since moving here, I have made many wonderful friends, and had many amazing adventures. I am learning to speak french, learning about the french culture and their way of life in the countryside. It is quite humbling to be a foreigner. I am learning many things about what to do, and what not to do to survive here. I butcher the French language on a daily basis, and pray one day I will be fluent in french. Along the way, I am learning how to trust myself, how to be quiet and listen more closely to my inner voice, how to nourish my body, heart and soul, how to love myself, how to live life in the moment, and allow good things to happen.

If you would like to follow my journey here in France, and beyond, subscribe to my email list, and you will be sent updates. I will be posting what I have been up to since moving here, so there will be lots of fun stories and photos to catch up on from the past 9 months.

My new home in the dead of winter when I first moved here..

My new home in the dead of winter when I first moved here..

In April, I brought this beautiful sweet puppy home and I named her Zoé. She is now 9 months old and has her own instagram account, Princess Zoé of Provence. Check out her site. I have a lot of fun photographing her.

In April, I brought this beautiful sweet puppy home and I named her Zoé. She is now 9 months old and has her own instagram account, Princess Zoé of Provence. Check out her site. I have a lot of fun photographing her.

One of the first sunsets I experienced from the property I live on.

One of the first sunsets I experienced from the property I live on.





 

2014 Prix de la Photographie Paris Competiton, Bronze and Honorable Mention Awards

I am thrilled to announce that I have just received two Bronze awards and one Honorable Mention, in the Prix de la Photographie Paris Competition.  "The Perfect Wife" won Bronze in the Fine Art category and "Feeling Groovy" won Bronze in the Portraiture category.   "Feeling Groovy" also received Honorable Mention, in the Fine Art category. The jury selected PX3 2014’s winners from thousands of photography entries from over 85 countries.

Px3 is juried by top international decision-makers in the photography industry: Carol Johnson, Curator of Photography of Library of Congress, Washington D.C.; Gilles Raynaldy, Director of Purpose, Paris; Viviene Esders, Expert près la Cour d'Appel de Paris; Mark Heflin, Director of American Illustration + American Photography, New York; Sara Rumens, Lifestyle Photo Editor of Grazia Magazine, London; Françoise Paviot, Director of Galerie Françoise Paviot, Paris; Chrisitine Ollier, Art Director of Filles du Calvaire, Paris; Natalie Johnson, Features Editor of Digital Photographer Magazine, London; Natalie Belayche, Director of Visual Delight, Paris; Kenan Aktulun, VP/Creative Director of Digitas, New York; Chiara Mariani, Photo Editor of Corriere della Sera Magazine, Italy; Arnaud Adida, Director of Acte 2 Gallery/Agency, Paris; Jeannette Mariani, Director of 13 Sévigné Gallery, Paris; Bernard Utudjian, Director of Galerie Polaris, Paris; Agnès Voltz, Director of Chambre Avec Vues, Paris; and Alice Gabriner, World Picture Editor of Time Magazine, New York.

The "Prix de la Photographie Paris" (Px3) strives to promote the appreciation of photography, to discover emerging talent, and introduce photographers from around the world to the artistic community of Paris. Winning photographs from this competition are exhibited in a high-profile gallery in Paris and published in the high-quality, full-color Px3 Annual Book. Visit http://px3.fr

Feeling Groovy

The Perfect Wife

©Raina Stinson Photography

Portrait: A Picture Show Exhibition, at Black Box Gallery

I am honored to announce that my photo,”The Perfect Wife”, has been curated into "Portrait: A Picture Show Exhibition", at the Black Box Gallery in Portland, Oregon, which was juried by Holly Andres, a Portland based fine art photographer. 24 photos have been selected for exhibition at the gallery, and 30 photos are to be included in the on-line gallery annex, as well as published in the full exhibition catalog. My photo was one of those 30 chosen for the on-line gallery annex and exhibition catalog. The exhibition dates are July 1 thru 20, 2014. 

The Perfect Wife
The Perfect Wife

60's Mod Shoot

Check out the photos, and video from my most recent shoot for my series, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun".  This was another fun family collaboration.  My son, Tyler Verigin, filmed and produced the video.  His partner, Sarah Q was my beautiful model.  My sister, Michele Wade, did an amazing job with the hair and makeup.  The music is from Portland band, Moon By You.  Tyler is the drummer and Sarah is lead singer and guitarist.  Our family friend, Ben Braden worked very hard as my assistant.  We had such a great time creating these images. Enjoy!

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Do you want to see what goes on behind the scenes?  Check out this video. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=659126190829792&set=vb.158442534231496&type=2&theater

Check out Moon By You's new CD, Vacuum Dream Machine, at  www.moonbyyou.bandcamp.com

To see more of Michele's work go to her FB page,  www.facebook.com/mwadehair4u

PDX Photo Month Exhibit

I am pleased to announce that my photo "Be Happy" was accepted into the PDX Photo Month Exhibit, at Lightbox Photographic Gallery in Astoria, curated by Chris Bennett.  This photo is  from  my series, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun". Artist reception April 12th 6-9pm.  You won't want to miss this exhibit, April 12th through May 6th.

Hairstylist: Michele Wade Models: Malia Rodgers, and Abigail Van Horn Set Design Assistant:  Justine Verigin

If you want to see more photos from my "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" series, check out my website at www.rainastinsonphotography.com

The 6th Edition of the Julia Margaret Cameron Award

Today has been an amazing day for me.  I received an email informing me that I was chosen as one of 12 recipients for the 6th  Edition of the Julia Margaret Cameron Award For Women Photographers.  This is an international award that is sponsored by the Worldwide Photography Gala Awards.  Three of my photographs were chosen to be on exhibition at the 3rd International Biennial of Fine Art and Documentary Photography which will open on September 18th, 2014 running until November 9th, 2014, at the Municipal Museum of Malaga, Spain, the home city of Picasso.  These particular photographs are very dear to my heart.  My niece Malia Rodgers is the model in all three photos, my sister Michele Wade, did the hair, makeup, and assisted with styling and set design,  and my daughter, Justine Verigin assisted with set design and styling.  I feel so blessed to have such a talented family to work with, and I am incredibly grateful to be able to create art with some of the people that I love the most in my life. Wow!  I am going to Spain!

My photos were chosen in three different categories.

"Eye Candy", was selected in the fine art and portrait categories.

©Raina Stinson Photography_Eye Candy

"Donut Madness", was selected in the fine art and portrait categories.

Donut Madness

"The Perfect Wife" was selected in the "Invisible Women" Category, and was awarded second place in this category.  Here is an explanation of this category.   "The Invisible Women", images of the multitasking effort of women, often with little recognition, at home, work, caring...Discrimination of women in the world is still a very real problem. Even though huge strides against it in US and many European countries, it is still devastating throughout the world.  In Africa there is still female genital mutilation. Throughout Asia, the former Soviet Union, Latin America, Africa and central and Eastern Europe trafficking is still a huge problem… Images for documentary can always make a difference…"

The Perfect Wife
The Perfect Wife

 Here is a link to the results from the competition  if you are interested in looking at the other photographers work.  There are so many amazing images.   http://www.call4artists.com/6th_Cameron.html#list_cameron