Today I would love to share a beautiful project that my friend and colleague, Dustin Eastment has started. What I love about Dustin is that while he thrives in his professional career, he makes space for hobbies such as photography. When you see his stunning work, you immediately get a sense that he is passionate about this outlet. 

Just a few weeks ago, Dustin launched #facesofinspo on Instagram. He is challenging himself by shooting portraits of individuals that have words of wisdom to share through personal experiences, career growth or life realizations. 

In his words, "(Today) I'm starting a fun personal project called "Faces of Inspiration". The idea is to shoot casual natural light portraits and share a brief story or quote from that person that has either inspired them or others will find inspiring. I've chosen to shoot black and white for this series and as photographer Ben Moon once suggested "by removing color and distractions of the environment, the connection with the subject is undeniable." I couldn't agree more and hope you enjoy them."

I feel so honored that Dustin wanted to capture me and asked me to share. Honestly, I had so much to say but didn't know how. I wrote four different quotes, all great to stand on their own, but after talking it out with Max (my love, my person), I decide to share a personal manifesto that has really launched me to be the person I am today. 

A few years ago, I was asking myself “Why am I working SO hard?” I couldn’t answer. I already had everything in life that was so dear to me. My health, supportive family and friends, fulfilling projects, a home in SF, memorable experiences, but my desire to achieve perfection in all that I do was wearing me down. It was in that moment that I decided, yes, I want to be successful in life but on my terms. I started saying no to things. I also created 10 mantras to motivate but ground me:

1. Progress over perfection.
2. Be present. Be engaged. Make eye contact.
3. Take chances. Live with adventure. Learn. Grow.
4. What others think of you is none of your business.
5. It’s important to have setbacks. Experience makes me a wise woman.
6. Everyone has a story. Everyone.
7. Gratitude over judgment.
8. Stop thinking too much. I don’t need to have all of the answers.
9. Time heals everything.
10. Smile and share your happiness.

By declaring and practicing this personal manifesto, I felt a sense of relief. I was intentionally living life for me, not for the expectations of others. It’s okay to change what doesn’t feel right in your life. Listen to your intuition and don’t be afraid to follow it … create your own manifesto. 
— Gina Gutierrez

Emily Ziegler, another dear friend and a strong, beautiful woman in my life has also been featured. 

You can’t grow in life if you never go down the harder path. My greatest achievements have been when I have pushed myself to do what is uncomfortable. When you do something you never thought was possible, it is amazing the new found trust and respect you gain for yourself. Five years ago I lost 70 pounds. I can still look back now and be in awe of what I was able to accomplish.
— Emily Ziegler

I am so eager to see other individuals that will be a part of this project. As I said earlier, "everyone has a story" and I always finding such joy hearing it, especially since it takes such courage to stand strong and be vulnerable. 

Thank you, Dustin, for sharing your talent with all of us.