About Rebecca Plotnick

Rebecca Plotnick took an unconventional route into the world of photography. She grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and studied Apparel Merchandising at Indiana University, but couldn't stay away from photography. Over the last 10 years, she has explored the two poles of the medium - the dark room and the digital world. Rebecca wants her photographs to encourage people to "linger over the beauty of life a little longer." While much of her work has been based on scenes from her local farmer's market in Chicago, she has been expanding her portfolio of travel photography with recent trips to Italy, England, Israel and most recently Paris.

Paris Plans – April 2016

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Every ticket I book abroad has a waiting period. I would be lying if I said I make plans and book them without any fear or reservations. I have known for a while I was going back to Paris in April. My sister told me the day of the Paris attacks in November that she had booked a ticket for her family to go to Paris. This was just hours before the attacks. Thank goodness she kept her plans. She always told me they would wait and see if it was safe but for now they were still going…

I planned to arrive the same day my sister did so I could pack in as much time as possible with them. My niece is 2 1/2 and I have been waiting since the day she was born to take her to Paris. I begged every trip to let me take her. This time she is finally coming with us! She now asks me “Auntie show me the eiffel tower” and “show me Paris” asking for videos and photos on my phone. It makes me so happy! I cannot wait for her first croissant and carousel ride. There will be a lot more about Emma’s first trip to Paris in later blog posts.

So much of me wanted to book a one way ticket to Paris. Its probably one of my biggest regrets coming home after all these years. I keep reminding myself that I am still young and there is still so much time in my life to live abroad again. I can’t wait to share the love of travel with someone.

The plan right now is the spend two weeks in Paris. A few days with family, then my Paris family, my birthday, friends and work. Its going to be a jam packed two weeks and I hope that if the weather cooperates cherry blossoms will be in bloom during this time too. I am so grateful for the opportunity to run my own business and create my own schedule. That also means you work hard and you play hard.

I can’t avoid the most recent topic in the news of the Brussel attacks. I am keeping everyone in my thoughts and prayers. This has to stop! But one thing that can’t stop is travel. The terrorists continue to fill us with fear. The first thing people want to do is cancel trips and avoid danger. But if we avoid living our lives then we are already surrendering and letting them win. Paris is quiet now because of the attacks in November and I can only imagine the Brussel attacks will cause more trip cancelations. I still plan on traveling in two weeks and if you have a trip planned I encourage you to do the same.

I would love to know your thoughts on travel in Europe and if you have a trip scheduled are you keeping or canceling.

xo

 

 

 

Monday Motivation

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blog post photoThis weekend my sister wrote me asking for advice for a family friend. She just started a business but needed a coach to get her motivated. My sister was asking me to reach out to her which was the first mistake… I told her that if she wanted help she had to take the first step and reach out to me. On my walk home I started thinking about what I would tell her. It happens often that people reach out for business advice and most of the time people are looking for overnight success and a healthy bank account. So I decided to write down my top 10 on what I have learned over the years. I would love to know your feedback in the comments on if this helps or if you have any other lessons to add! xo

  1. Slow and Steady – my first year on etsy I made just over $1,000 I had no idea what I was doing. It was a struggle to find the right pricing and the right product that worked best for me. Each year my business continued to grow as I learned how to market myself. Now I am the #13 photographer on etsy.
  2. You will make mistakes – if you constantly live in fear that things won’t work out so you hold back from trying something new, that’s your biggest mistake. Its not how successful you are its how quickly you recover after falling.
  3. You will get burnt out – This is a big one for me. My job sounds perfect to the outsider. A Travel Photographer. I spend a lot of time traveling the world and taking pictures and its AMAZING. Don’t get me wrong. But there is a balance of editing, marketing, a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into getting to the next destination. Running your own business is exhausting. If you don’t take time away from work you will suffer burn out.
  4. My Dad’s favorite word that he has taught me. Just because you have a very lucrative job one week does not mean should spend all your earnings. Invest back in your business and save wisely!
  5. There will be quiet times. The first time I experienced a quiet wave in my business I freaked out. Its only normal, but all businesses go through waves of high peaks and low peaks. When it is slow find time to catch up on busy work. Get organized in your business and take some time out for you. Before you know it business will be busy again and you will regret taking that time for yourself.
  6. Take a step away from the computer – Its easy to sit and stare at the computer and hope that something is going to happen. You feel guilty not being on guard to catch an email go through. For me the first time I stepped away from the computer was when I traveled to Switzerland for a month. I didn’t have service when I left the house and I just decided to see what happened if I wasn’t so attached. I actually sold more that month than ever before. I enjoyed my time shooting in Switzerland and exploring the culture and had a balance between work and life and it felt good!
  7. Balance – When you own your own business its so easy to work 24/7. My grandma used to beg me to take time off of work because she feared I was working too hard. Its so hard to shut down and put your phone away. Enjoy your friends and family. Take a yoga class in the middle of the day or enjoy lunch with friends. Leave the guilt at home. You will end up working way more than the normal 40 hour work week but the one positive part about owning your own business is flexibility and creating your own hours.
  8. Remain humble – You can build success and it can be gone tomorrow. Don’t bank that every past successful opportunity will be a slam dunk again. Enter each opportunity with as much effort as you approached it last year or even more. I have a successful show that I participate in every year. It’s a jury process and every year I wait on pins and needles to see if I am accepted. People assume if I was in it last year I will be invited back but that’s not always the case. Before the show each year I am a ball of nerves because there is never a guarantee that the next year will be the same success. There are so many factors that play into each show being a success. Weather, the economy, other events going on in the city (sports, holidays)
  9. Appreciate Good Fortune and also accept that there are things not in your control – Maximize moments when things go your way and also don’t beat yourself up when something that is beyond your control goes wrong. You cannot run a business believing it all happens because of you. Appreciate the good luck and shrug off the bad luck.
  10. Produce Quality Work – Stand behind one quality product instead of making a bunch of different products that aren’t your best. Learn to grow your business slowly and right vs taking every opportunity you are given. Quality vs Quantity

Bonus: There is always more to learn. Be willing to admit you don’t know the answer. Find someone that is an expert and take their advice. Don’t feel just because you own your own business means you need to know all the answers. Be resourceful in finding the answers you need to be a success!

A special thanks to my friend Marc Weinberg for his additions to the list.

 

Valentines Day Roundup

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I have always been a hopeless romantic single or taken… I love Romantic comedies and Valentines Day is my favorite holiday besides Christmas. I have spent time in Paris on Valentine’s Day and seen a whole different side. Its less commercial, you don’t see signs of Valentines Day until the actual day or two before. Bakeries now start to carry heart shaped pastries or chocolates but I think its more because its an American thing. The French love to bring in American influences. (Burgers and Bagels are the hottest items)

Here are a few of my favorite Valentines Day Photos that I have taken over the years. Single or Taken I hope you find a little love in your life.IMG_4452IMG_7299 smallIMG_1882 smallIMG_2811 smallIMG_3178_MG_3425 copy small.jpgIMG_4835IMG_1873 smallIMG_0681 smallIMG_3326

30% all prints in the etsy shop

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Black Friday, Shop Small Saturday and Cyber Monday rolled all into one. 30% all prints in the etsy shop. Use coupon code THANKS30

Safe and Sound. Prayers for Paris

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IMG_0830This past week I spent the most amazing time with family and friends in Paris. I laughed over wine at a cafe, gossiped with friends, felt the sunshine and rain on my face, watched the sunset and sunrise over the seine, and enjoyed watching the eiffel tower sparkle. I literally fell in love with Paris all over again and harder than ever before. Words cannot express how I feel at the news of the violent attacks in Paris. In complete shock as I watch the news. Thankfully all my friends and family have been accounted for. I continue to pray for Paris. Safe and Sound in Chicago. xo

Paris Bound…starting this Monday

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I didn’t plan it but I always hoped to be back in Paris this year. After leaving in June I knew I would settle down with a home base. Something I have struggled with for a long time. I am slowly adjusting to life in Chicago getting a little more settled everyday. But then I got an email with an invitation to Paris. Who would say no?

Paris in the Autumn Last year I left at the beginning of November ready to start my busy holiday season. I am squeezing in one last trip. 8 days which is the shortest Paris trip I have taken since 2012. This trip I am staying with family and I am so excited to see them. I am looking forward to catching up with old friends and exploring the city with a new set of eyes. It always helps going away for awhile. As much as I hate it… its good creatively to have a new approach. I have been working on a project for a few months now so there will be lots of research and photos to go along with it. You can follow along with me in Paris through instagram here @rebeccaplotnick

Paris let’s Fall in Love

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Paris in the Fall has to be one of my favorite times. The air turns crisp and the green ivy turns to red. There are so many beautiful pops of color around the city. This will be my first October not in Paris in a few years but the good news is I will be back in early November. I can’t wait. Until then here are a few of my favorite Fall images from Paris.

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