Words for 2017: Slow Down and Go Outside


Our first post of 2017! I have been saving this goodie for quite some time, wanting to showcase it as our first post of the new year for its beauty and inspiration. But little did I know how much it would come to personally mean to me, after a turbulent and close to tragic six weeks of two serious family health matters, and how I cope everyday. I have learned that we all deal with sorrow, stress, and tragedy in an enormous spectrum of manners, and one of the most important lessons is there is no correct way to wade through the crashing waves of emotions other than trying to do the best you can in a way that feels peaceful to you. For me, everyday I have said to myself: Slow Down and Go Outside. It is a mantra that I learned from local photographer, Vivian Chen, when I met her about six month’s ago in her Oakland studio. Her same-named personal blog showcases some of the most breathtaking images of show-stopping nature scenery around. We talked about her amazing photography business which focuses on weddings and chronicles life’s most special moments. As I have been going through some of life’s more despondent moments, I have found great comfort in going for a solitary walk outside – to find peace, quiet, try to sort through feelings even when I have no answers, and to just… breathe. I am hopeful for a beautiful year and in some of my favorite images of Vivian’s, I hope you find beauty as well. And in life’s more troubling and even in life’s exuberant moments, may we all find bliss in slowing down and going outside.


In Vivian’s words: 

“Slow Down & Go Outside” was a mantra I gave myself after my first year of being in business on my own. Feeling burnt out and uninspired, I turned towards nature as a way to soothe my anxieties and disconnect from work. I started hiking weekly and photographing the landscapes and trees I would come across. It was a way that I could take photos for myself without the pressure of client expectations. I was sharing these hikes and adventures on Instagram, but several friends encouraged me to create a designated website where these photos could live in a larger format. [Vivian has written more about what the words and website mean to her here and ultimately hopes to inspire others as well].

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Photography by Vivian Chen

To see Vivian’s wedding photography, go here.

To visit Vivian’s blog, Slow Down and Go Outside, go here.


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