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FALL

FALL

New England is the place to be when fall rolls around. Here are some places to check out those changing leaves!

SEEN on International Women's Day

SEEN on International Women's Day

I had something totally different that I had planned to write about for today. But, last night was, well, it wasn't a great night. It was a shitty night. I am an optimist, so before I finally fell asleep, I thanked God for all of the positives in my life (which are many). I still did not sleep well, so I was up before 5:00 a.m.

Get SEEN Issue #7 at  seeninprint.co

Get SEEN Issue #7 at seeninprint.co

When I checked my email, I saw something I've been waiting for for a little while now; SEEN Magazine Issue #7 was just released. THE issue, the issue with my first print editorial featuring Kara. So many emotions came flooding through me that I couldn't even look at it yet. I actually put my phone down and got all welled up. In that moment, I thought about all of the times I've been put down in some way shape or form, many of them recently.

It wears on you to feel like you're not good enough, even when you KNOW you are trying so hard. I want my children to see success that they can model, the kind that will bring them not just financial freedom, but happiness. I want to give them the world.

When I was finally able to chill my emotions a bit, I read Kara's editorial. It is beautiful; she is beautiful; her words are inspiring and her images, MY work, is beautiful. I did that, and it's in a magazine. Her story lifted me up today: 

"Being told you can't become the person you want to be is both heartbreaking and demoralizing. I knew I had to become a stronger person in order to block out this part and do what I needed to do for myself, and not for anyone else."

That hit me in my WHY: "You are worth it. You are worth happiness, you are worth love and acceptance for who you are and who you strive to be." You should not feel like you have to prove your worth to friends, family, significant others or anyone else. Know who you are, find strength in yourself and you will be successful. Every time I get behind my lens, my focus is to show you how strong and beautiful you truly are, so that you never forget, even when you are tested. And you will be tested.

So, Thank you Kara Halpin for inspiring me today, there's a photo of you under "beautiful" in the dictionary, I swear - make shit happen. Thank you for my dear friend and amazingly talented Makeup Artist, Claudia Frustaci of Ciao Bella Spa. Thanks to Cassie for your lighting assistance. Thank you SEEN Magazine for this editorial (and for it showing up this morning in my inbox, it was more timely than you know), thank you to all of you who support me, always.

Today is International Women's Day and while different people are honoring that in different ways (that include taking the day off), I am here, working harder, next to my strong, beautiful daughter sharing my accomplishment. Because I want her to see a strong woman and I don't want her to know what a day without me would be like. YOU BE YOU.

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY.

Now, head on over to seeninprint.co and order your copy of SEEN Magazine Issue #7. Feel free to frame it if you'd like. 

Go Now.

Go Now.

I think my favorite vacation still has to be Hawaii.  The 60's surfer vibe of Hanelei Bay is something I close my eyes and dream about when we are expecting a foot of snow. You can see more on our vaca here:  http://jenniferhelmka.com/blog/2015/6/13/wanderlust I can't wait to go back!

I love to travel, and taking clients to amazing destinations and photographing them at one-of-kind locations is like a dream. You can check out my Instagram where I'll be showing off some Jet Set destinations to San Diego and LA. That Cali, West Coast scene is an experience all in itself, the photos will show you.

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Do you have any travel plans for an upcoming break from school? If you're searching for a great beach destination, try one of these:  https://www.kayak.com/travelhacker/2017/beach   And don't forget your camera!

These Top 10 Beach Destinations may be my new bucket list! 

Wanderlust

Wanderlust

 "So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that." - Robin Williams as Sean, Good Will Hunting

If there was one thing I wish I did more of before "becoming an adult", it would be traveling. I still have this wanderlust, this desire to visit foreign countries and beautiful locations that up until now I have only read about or seen on TV. 

This year for the first time in awhile, we took a family trip (outside of our normal getaways). We traveled to Hawaii, visiting Kauai + Oahu. Let me tell you kids this: there is not a book that you could read that would replace going there. 

If you are in high school and have the opportunity to take a class trip to Spain or Italy, make it happen. Forego the new kicks, wait for your next iPhone upgrade, start your own lawn cutting side business to help pay for it.  

In college already? Study abroad. There is a whole world out there that you can't even begin to fathom. 

Get out of the bubble that is "home". Go out. See the world. DO THINGS!  And of course, take pictures and make yourself a book or an album to remember every exotic, historic place you've been.

To give your inspiration files a swift kick in the pants, here are the "TOP 25"  Best Destinations in the World, according to the World of Wanderlust blog. And a few snapshots (mostly from my iPhone) of beautiful and fun things from my Hawaii vacation that I am #justbeyondobsessed with.

Surfing Hanalei Bay // Kaua'i, Hawaii

Surfing Hanalei Bay // Kaua'i, Hawaii

Sunset Dinner at the Beach House Restaurant // Po'ipu, Kaua'i, Hawaii (photo: Beach House restaurant photographer)

Sunset Dinner at the Beach House Restaurant // Po'ipu, Kaua'i, Hawaii (photo: Beach House restaurant photographer)

USS Arizona Memorial // Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii

USS Arizona Memorial // Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii

Anini Beach // Kaua'i Hawaii

Anini Beach // Kaua'i Hawaii

Catamaran, NaPali Coast // Kaua'i Hawaii

Catamaran, NaPali Coast // Kaua'i Hawaii

Luau // Tahiti Nui, Kaua'i

Luau // Tahiti Nui, Kaua'i

Soccer with the locals // Hanalei

Soccer with the locals // Hanalei