2014.

2014. Have you ever had a feeling as deep as your bones that you couldn’t shake? I am finally feeling this. And it is telling me 2014 will be a year of overcoming fear, doubt, and achieving my first real taste of success.

I am finally accepting I can only go as far as my limits will allow. Which means I need to open my mind and believe I have no limits. Fear and doubt are mere obstacles to overcome, not the end of the road. Anyone who has been at a crossroads knows how hard it is to get though. It is one of those things no one can hold your hand. It is you and your own will power. You have to find the strength in yourself to climb higher no matter how endless the climb seems.

I have struggled my whole life with being “too emotional”. I know it has hindered me and slowed down the pace I could have reached goals in the past. But at the same time people do not realize that these emotions are what fuel my passion and determination. If I didn’t take things personal and let my emotions guide me then what is the point of feeling anything? Where does passion grow from? Attachment and emotion. If people weren’t this way, nothing amazing would ever be achieved.

This year has truly been a test of my strength. I am going to get personal. I stepped into this year genuinely trying thinking everything was going to be amazing. I had a new found determination, a desire to move forward and truly succeed. But in the middle of January my Grandmother, who was living with me at the time, was taken to the hospital. After a few days of tests she was sent home as if nothing was wrong. She didn’t seem to get better but only got worse. And back to the hospital she was taken in March 3rd while I was at WPPI. Within a few days she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and told she had 9 months to 2 years to live. She moved into hospice at my aunt’s house, and by March 23rd had passed. She gave up, and stopped eating. Watching her wilt away into nothing was the most difficult thing I have ever experience. Since then free time has been spent going through all her belongings which are still in my house, selling her house, and dealing with all the legal crap that comes with this kind of loss.

In dealing with her affairs, focusing on myself and especially my career has been difficult. This was just one of many events, including the loss of my childhood friend Taylor who I had known since he was born. I really found myself this year falling into some pretty dark holes. But I am truly lucky to have a select few people who have been nothing but supportive. Without them, I really do not think I could have survived these events.

To anyone who has dealt with Cancer. I am so sorry. The pain I felt was so short lived, I cannot imagine the years of suffering some go through. But I do feel lucky to have had the time to say my goodbyes and let her know I truly loved her.

With JUNE just around the corner, and I trying to put all the sorrow behind me and look at the second half of the year as the light at the end of the tunnel. I believe that maybe all this terrible fortune happened to let me see what I have to be thankful for and work harder then ever.

As for the business. I have gone through some much needed changes. I am now instead Mayhew Photo. New name, new me. And hopefully a really successful future. I say it again and again, but I will be blogging more. I will blog happy things, and great photos. To those who support me, thank you! I need it, it truly pushes me through the dark times.

xoxoAly

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Alone with a camera

Sometimes it is important to not limit yourself. To do something just for yourself, and get lost in a project with no limitations from outside sources. I spent a night doing self portraits and it was a completely inspiring situation. Only me and the camera and my own creativity. I am beginning to feel refreshed and inspired, and if I don’t let my own self doubts get in the way I will be creating some beautiful art in the next few months.

Alone with a camera

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

Well I managed to let months go by and no updates. I feel unreliable. But this is going to be my year of change. This is the year I am devoting to making it. I quit my Chapel job in October right before my trip to Tokyo. That means it is time to get my ass in gear. The end of 2013 was extremely rough. Upon my return from Tokyo, which was amazing, I had a lot of bad luck and misfortune. I feel am keeping my head up and staying positive about 2014 though. I am starting with finishing my new website this week, planning to update the blog to its own domain when I have some extra cash, and really getting my business off the ground, and finishing TAG project.

Please be sure to like Culture Shocks facebook. For a sneak peak at the new site go to cultureshockphoto,com!

xoxoAly

Hello internetland!

Well a month has come and gone at lightening fast speeds. Freetime is a hard thing to find now days. In May I started a second job as a photography assistant for a studio. I won’t go into the details. But needless to say on top of the Chapel, I have been working 6 days a week which has kept me busy and on my toes. This week I was sparred an extra day off due to no air conditioning. In Vegas we have been reaching record highs, 117 last Saturday, it was a unanimous decision to put off a few days of work til it is fixed. The good part of that is I was given some time to work on projects I’ve had in backlog. I haven’t been doing photoshoots though, hoping to jump back into that once this summer lightens it’s work load on me.

I have also found myself computerless again. I do understand I need to invest in a new computer so I can keep on track of things. I have just had some large expenses. At the moment I have my grandmothers computer to use seems like a fair trade since she is living in my spare room/studio at the moment during a hectic move.

I don’t really have much to report on…

Oh, who am I kidding? I will start first off with the big news. I am so excited I can barely handle it…

I am going to Tokyo!!!

Dates are set and plane tickets are purchased! I will be going the end of October to the beginning of November. This has been a dream of mine for so long. I finally got my passport and it now feels like the world is in my reach. I feel as tho now I have this hgue thing to look forward to and time will slow down, dragging on each day. October feels like a lifetime away.

Because of this trip I finally reignited my motivation to get my travel blog up and running. So I spent some time today setting it all up. I really hope to get support on this project. But I need to be more consistent then I am here. This blog is difficult because I have so few projects I work on and nothing interesting to talk about. Lately I am just a dull girl who works works works. Either way please hit up all the social networks for TAG. Facebook (facebook.com/theafterglobe), Twitter (@theafterglobe), Instagram (theafterglobeblog), and Youtube (theafterglobe).

I did have some time off for leisure in June tho. I celebrated my 24th birthday and got to just party hard! Hiscores Barcade, Eclipse Pool Party at Daylight Mandalay Bay, saw Infected Mushroom at The Cosmopolitan Pool, and a lazy day at Daydream Pool. It was such a hard life. Hehe. Check out the video my girl put together.

One of the coolest things I did though was going to the American Ninja Warrior taping for the finals at Mt Midoriyama! The hardest thing is NOT talking about it. But I will say the fangirl in me exploded of pure joy. It was a great experience, I went for all 3 nights and know every little secret! I will probably talk about it once the episodes air. Until then it airs every Sunday on G4 and Monday on NBC and I will tell you it’s a must watch season. Oh and if you are someone who has no idea what I am talking about.. Go watch it now! It is the ultimate obstacle course, and going to it motivated even ME to train for it. But then I accepted the reality of it. But hey,  I had a moment of pure inspiration!

I do have to cut this one short, I have to start getting ready to hit up Tiesto at Hakkasan MGM tonight for a friends 21st birthday. It just opened memorial day weekend and this is my first time checking it out and seeing Tiesto.

Later Gaters!

xoxoAly

Selena at the Smith Center

I have no been keeping up on my vow to update regularly. March wasn’t too long ago, right? Just three months. Oh… I could say it again, “I will be better!” I will be honest since I am swamped now! On top of my job at the Chapel, I recently go a Photography Assistant job. So I have been keeping super busy. But am hoping to jump into shooting again soon.

Until then… I have this little gem! That I shot back in March… Hah! Enjoy these photos of the lovely Selena at the Smith Center.

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xoxo, Aly

So. Exactly a month ago I composed this blog post and thought I had published it. This shows you exactly how on top of things I am.

My friend Damon and I did a really fabulous photoshoot together that resulted in this work of art. We are so happy with the results.

What can go wrong with Gloomy Bear, cleavage, and blood?

Gloomy Bear

I’ve always loved the “kawaii” Japanese culture. But Gloomy Bear is by far my favorite because it’s cute and morbid. It’s such a great twist on the Hello Kitty style culture. I saw this onsie and could not resist the idea. And if you’re wondering, yes, I do lay around this in my house when I am cold.

Check out more of his work at Blacklight Imaging. He is amazing with alt photography.

xoxoAly

Gloomy Bear photoshoot

Fremont Easts dirty past

So I was sitting in a brand new trendy bar in Downtown Fremont East District off of 6th street. Looking over at the El Cortez I had a very interesting realization.

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How did an area that once was feared to be walked even in the day become such a hip and happening place that bar goers tread without a thought. I remember when I started attending LVA in 2003 a mere 4 blocks from that very bar, even in the day we would walk to the canopy after school and you were constantly looking over your shoulder to make sure no one was following you. Fremont Street was known for it’s 2 miles of endless hourly rental motels. And I remember reading they were going to clean the area up and make it a bar destination. As someone who spent 5 days a week in the area for 4 years, I thought, “No way. This is such a dump.”

4 years after I have graduated, there I was a 20-something indulging in these trendy bars walking down the street drunk without a care in the world. And when I was sitting on the patio, looking at the old neon gambling sign, the small part of old Vegas left on that corer, it reminded me of those old days. The days I never thought I would be sitting where I was.

Ironically enough, someone at Las Vegas Weekly seems to have had a similar realization, and as I read their article this stood out to me. “And already, Downtown feels different. Police officers I know say it’s completely safe to walk from Las Vegas Boulevard east on Fremont Street to 7th, even 8th Street. At night. They talk with the pride of an owner about how they want to stretch that zone of safety over to 11th.” Even when I graduated in 2007 that was unheard of.

It’s impressive really. How in a few short years it has been redeveloped. And let me tell you, it is popular. It’s breathing new life into the area. I saw lots of things kickstarting this place. But I never thought the start of First Friday, and the houses across from my school being renovated into Law Firms would create anything like this. I guess even my school took a small part in making the area look approachable when we built a new art facility and painted the place. We even have a art scene, which at the art school I went to, was commonly discussed because we lacked one. Since those days so many things have changed. On my way to the bar I drove down Bonneville for the first time, it used to be a daily road for me. It was almost unrecognizable with the Smith Center and new Bus Port.

Zappos also has many new plans for the area. An opposing opinion though, is about how the growth should stop because it’s awesome as it is. No matter how much bigger it grows, I will say I am excited about how it has come along. Someday LVA will be among a great community to encourage those students with their art, something that was lacking when I was there. It’ s a whole new community and I think it will be something great. We needed it. Before they get carried away I need to go photograph the true grunge that is extra east Fremont.

Here’s to downtown for 2013. Cheers. Now my only real concern is where will the homeless and hookers call home now that we are chasing them from their habitat?

I will be helping out my friend Haylee this week at First Friday with her booth. I will also be documenting everything for a new Blog and Vlog project  which we will be excited to announce soon. Feel free to come say hello. Happy New Years!

xoxoAly

p.s. Here is the article I quoted.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays, and Merry Christmas to everyone! I truly hope everyone has had an enjoyable Holiday season and has been lucky enough to spend these days with the most important people in their lives.

Between the holidays, and with New Years just around the corner, I have managed to stay pretty busy. So that means in my down time I have been a couch potato and been still failing to update my blog. But with the new year comes New Years Resolutions. And with that in mind I will make you all some promises right now. These are my goals for the next 12 months:

  • update regularly – there is more to my life the photography. I need to make it a mission to update even if I have no projects in mind. I have tons to talk about, I need to just get off my butt and do it!
  • buy a computer strictly for work – part of the reason I don’t update regularly is I have no real work space. My laptop has been broken and glitchy for years. To the point I cannot even edit. I do all of my editing at work – I will clock out and stay late to get my personal projects done. This means it can take weeks just to get my photos watermarked for blogging and sharing. I have a list of blogs I have yet to complete because of this exact thing. I have SO MUCH to SHARE.
  • Register my wordpress to my domain that has been sitting around for 2 years untouched. I am hoping to have a blog and website professionally made, I am no good and need help. My website is currently down and I can’t get it back up! And I would love to finally launch alymayhem.com

I have been juggling work, a small social life, planning for photoshoots, holidays, family, video game time, and studying Japanese. In January I am going to be taking bartending classes as well. Yet I always find time to sleep until noon.

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One thing that I feel is noteworthy is Cosmopolitan Ice Skating Rink that is running seasonally thru January 20th. Even with my thin Las Vegas blood, and my extreme hatred of the cold weather – even I adore Ice Skating. Honestly I have not been in the “Holiday spirit” but this is one thing that made it feel like Christmas and really was an amazing time. The rink is small, but you really cannot beat. They have turned their Blvd Pool in a rink, skating is $10 for locals and $5 rentals for skates. ALL. DAY. And their drink menu from the bar is fantastic. I’ve enjoyed numerous drinks there and have yet to be disappointed. And it’ll keep you warmer. Just because skating tipsy, hehe.

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Well. I hope to finally find some time and get all caught up on my photography posts. I have photos from Amberlynn Gilmore’s baby photos, along with the Gilmore wedding, Suzanne’s announcement/family photos, the Ripp family photos, and a compilation of photoshoots I failed to post for 2012. Whew!! This is busy work. But I promise those are all on the way very soon.

Thanks for everyones support throughout 2012. I have no talked about my personal life and struggles in my blog. But it has been one of the hardest years I have had. I am hoping for  a fresh start in 2013. Every view on my blog, site, and of my photography.. Every comment, like on facebook, it has all meant the world. And I hope to only grow over the next year. Please keep reading and I will be a better blogger. I promise.

Happy New Year everyone!

xoxoAly

Master Chief – insert fangirl swoon

Halo 4. HALO 4. HAALLOOO 4!!

Yeah. That just happened.

So! In anticipation for Halo 4, which is less then 24 hours from being released, I finished the Halo Forward Unto Dawn series. And I believe everyone should watch it before they pick up their copy of the game. It was beyond amazing, my mind was seriously blow at how great it was.

I have never experience a better build up to a game ever. I keep typing sentences and erasing them in fear of giving away too much. So just do yourself a favor and watch it. Beyond how striking the compelling the story was, the overall quality of the series was to die for. The series was also an eye opener to the whole picture of Halo. It made me personally realize how much more goes on beyond Master Chief . It may sound a bit cheesy but playing it I am so focused on Chief sometimes I forget it’s a war. It reminds you of all the soldiers in the UNSC and their struggles. Ok now I KNOW I am sounding cheesy. In layman’s terms it makes you want to squish that nasty Covenant! Yeah fff them!

At this point I don’t know why you’re wasting your time reading this instead of watching. But please! Proceed and they are attached at the very end.

So my plan for tomorrow is pretty clear. Sit at Gamestop til midnight, then go home and shoot stuff. Sounds overall pretty good. I hope the game is everything promotional have built it up to be. I was not really interested at first, but the sneak peaks I’ve been seeing have sold me. Fingers are majorly crossed for this.

And in the spirit of Halo that is all over this post. I actually spent my Halloween swooning over and kissing Master Chief himself. Oh yes. Be jealous. Very. Very. Jealous.

So I guess the real message of this entry is my already bad habit of not updating this regularly may continue on because I will be extremely distracted as I have been by Borderlands (you may have been able to tell by the Lilith costume I am rocking with Chief) and just life in general. I have at least 4 photoshoots I have no properly given the update and attention they deserve. I may just compile it into one big update. When I stop geeking out and have the time.

Altho I am pretty good about uploading them to my facebook and deviantart. And last but not least I did FINALLY get that wesbite up so give it a look. I typed loot originally. Deeefinitely too much Borderlands happening. And finally, speaking of Borderlands, I plan on getting some great shots of my Lilith cosplay once I am 100% with the costume so watch for that.

Wheeewwww! Anything else? Think that about covers it. HALO. HALO. HALOOOO.

xoxoAly

Brooks family

Hey – here is a few photos I shot for a lovely family. The Brooks family are definitely full of character. And they wanted some photos to cherish after bringing home their newest addition. He had a long hospital stint after he was born, they were worried about his heart. But now days he is home, happy, and doing very well. He was precious, and such a delight to work with.

xoxoAly