Out of the Box




There is something magical that happens when you free yourself of the expectations of others. When we are little we look around us and find wonder in the most unlikely of things. Why do we lose that when we get older? Often, I see creatives falling out of love with their work and feeling “burnt out” and lacking in inspiration. To me, creativity comes from a place of reconnecting to the wonders all around us. When we are in a hurry to deadlines, we overlook the clouds. When we focus on the negative thoughts of others we overlook the positive supportive people in our lives. Being true to myself and my artistry has brought me so many people I’m so grateful for. In my moments of darkness, they are my light. When they feel broken, I remind them that they still shine. To me that is what this image symbolizes to me… a true friendship born out of our weirdnesses.

Steph brought along a headlamp and an old piece of lace when we set out through Joshua tree to attend a workshop by the amazing Amanda Canton Photography. (If you don’t know who she is, you must make it your mission to find out.) On my way out the door I grabbed this lampshade and on our travels pulled this dried bush that reminded me of coral. When it got dark I realized I forgot my flash. I went off to find a solar light to play with and Steph called to me to bring her headlamp. There she stood smiling wildly holding my “coral” bush. So I did what any creative weirdo would do; I ran over to wrap her in lace and stuck a lampshade on her head. And BAM! { The Light Within } was born.

Recently, I started a small creative challenge group called “Out of the Box” with Kristey. It’s a small space online that all are welcome and weird is embraced. Each month I choose a theme to focus on. This months theme was “Out of the Box”. The item is quite literally the box but could also be interpreted metaphorically as well. What confines us? What holds us back? Is our purpose louder than our fears? Weekly themes are created for extra challenges and fun by Kristey, who is a machine with busting out creative expression and also my creative soul sista. She keeps us endlessly inspired and supported on our journey.

Kristey Fritz-Martin

Kristey Fritz-Martin

Kristey says:

“I want to see what you all have that is bursting to get out! Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect! It doesn’t have to be pretty! You are allowed to fail (or fall down like a complete weirdo and take your backdrop down with you. . . I have literally been icing my booty all evening lol). It just has to MEAN something!!!!”

(hahaha I adore you Kristey! So fun and always inspiring. ~Sue)


In this small amount of time we’ve grown to love and admire our new talented friends. We’re excited to share their inspiring images with you! Here they are (in no particular order).

Lauren Cintron

Lauren Cintron

Lauren says:

“Funny how sometimes we get these confirmations when we are having self doubt. 
Personally, I’m new to creative shooting so my process at the moment is ever changing. Sometimes I have a very clear vision and other times I find my or change my mind along the way!”

(I couldn’t agree more Lauren! ~Sue)


Stephanie Poiter

Stephanie Poiter

Stephanie says:

“I've been on the downside of creating lately. ...doing the whole, you aren't cut out for this bit. It's been really exhausting this time around.

Here's something I felt good about.”

(I think so many of us are feeling this way! ~Sue)


Nicole O’Neil

Nicole O’Neil

Nicole says:

“I'm obsessed with rain drops on windows and feel lately that I am coming out of the rain in a way and making it into the sunlight of my creative self.”

(I adore this interpretation of pushing your creative limits and being “out of the box”. ~Sue)

www.nicoleoneilphotography.com www.instagram.com/nicoleoneilphotography

Angela O’Connell

Angela O’Connell

Angela says:

“I find a lot of peace in the woods! It's one of my favorite places to walk and create. So with this image, I took myself into the woods on our property and used what was near to me (in this case, ferns) to create something different! I am really inspired by Sue and Kristey's "Out of the Box" group, and feel like I have a voice there; that what I create, no matter if it isn't the most creative compared to many other, or compared to Sue and Kristey (GENIUSES) that I can still post and they will say something positive! And that keeps me motivated and wanting to create more! So thank you!!  

(Oh Angela! You don’t give yourself enough credit! You inspire me in so many ways and we are so grateful to have you! ~Sue)



Bree Friesen

Bree Friesen

Bree says:

“…shooting something just for myself, making a vision a reality, and shooting just for me.”

(That’s what it’s all about! ~Sue)


Janet Douglas

Janet Douglas

Janet says:

“We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.” 
― Andre Berthiaume

(Perfect quote for the perfect “out of the box” image. ~Sue)


Erin Aasland

Erin Aasland

Erin says:

“Ok, here is my take on "the box". The Hubs helped me locate a box in the garage + he was so excited when I told him what it was for... THEN I showed him the finished product + he said "Grrrreeeaaat, now I will have nightmares." 😂😂😂

(My husband usually thinks I’m crazy, so I could relate to this allll too well! haha ~Sue)



Heather Marshall

Heather Marshall

Heather says:

“This photo all started with an idea of my son falling from a box, but his expression took my creative mind to the next level. I thought about him teleporting to another dimension. I then took this into photoshop and created many layers, I think about 7. I used stock images, and played with colors to achieve this look that best suited what was in my head. Shot with 6d and sigma art 24.”

(So exceptionally awesome Heather! ~Sue)




Jennifer Kapala

Jennifer Kapala

Jen says:

“This is the third and (perhaps) final in the series “out of the box” based on the prompt from you guys.  This phrase has always haunted me, and its been something that I reacted strongly too for a long time. I gave it a thought for a few days as ideas take some time to come to me, then when I was exercising, I picked up my phone and very quickly typed out about twelve different “out of the box” ideas I wanted to explore. With this last one, I really wanted to convey the fact that limitations are all in your mind and you control how big, or how small they are. I hope to be able to use all three images in an art show in February!’

(Ahhhh I’m so excited! Amazing doors opening for you my friend! ~Sue)