I'm an American expat, writer,Youtuber, photographer. and old-fashioned romantic in love with celebrating the simple joys of daily life. I appreciate timelessness, the natural world, and a slow life lived with simplicity and intention. When I'm not photographing families or  slowly traveling the world and writing about it in a little notebook, I'm happily grounding myself in nature and cozying up with my sweet husband.

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why I've been blogging less

Hello, my friend! If you’re a blog reader of mine and have noticed the silence on these internet pages these last few months, I’m sorry for the delay in posting, but there is a big reason for it!

Writing has always been my first love and first passion in life. It was what I started with when I was a little kid, climbing trees with a notebook tucked in my arms, wishing I could be like Harriet the Spy, observing and recording the life she saw around her. And while I do continue writing every day in my personal journal, I haven’t published any writing on my beloved blog! 

A brief history of my journey with blogging….

I started blogging in 2010 on a personal blog in high school and then restarted a brand new Blogspot account when I moved to NYC at 18 to become an actress. After my long chapter in show biz, I picked up a camera and became a photographer in 2016, which is where this blog all started! As you can tell, it’s been a long journey of blogging. And I’m still very much in love with the art of blogging. I’ve posted over 250 blog posts these last 4 years, and I’m quite proud of all the thoughts I’ve poured out into this little slice of the internet. And that doesn’t even count all the journals and personal writing projects I’ve picked up over the years. Writing is my first love.

Life is a great big canvasthrow all the paint you can at it. – Danny Kaye

But I am blogging here far less in this current season. Blogging has become less of a priority, not because I’ve fallen out of love with it, but because my priorities have shifted. I believe we should treat life as a playful experiment: testing new ideas, seeing what works and what doesn’t and then moving onto the next and seeing where it goes from there. 

I am blogging less and here’s why:

I started a youtube channel. 

Not a vlogging channel, or a traveling Disney channel, like you may have seen me share in years past. But a Youtube channel that’s aligned with the very essence of my being. Timeless ideas that I hold to be true: slow living, appreciating the simple joys of our every day and going within ourselves for answers.

And let’s be real: filmmaking is so easy feat. I had no idea how much work there would be to it. From the process of filming and editing videos to keyword research and understanding the Youtube algorithm, it’s been a lot to take in at once. When I started my Youtube channel a few months ago during the coronavirus quarantine, I stacked my camera on a pile of books, sat on a chair, and just spoke to the camera! But I want to grow my skillset, improve my filmmaking skills, and make my films truly uplifting and enjoyable for others. So I took the plunge and invested in a tripod, a microphone, a new vlogging camera, Final Cut Pro editing software (which I’m still trying to get the hang of…), and have been filming one video per week.

And churning out one quality video a week is A LOT of work. 

I started filming B-ROLL, outlining scripts, researching, and spending many hours on Skillshare trying to understand how things work. 

In just a matter of 9 weeks, I went from 133 subscribers to nearly 1,700. If you’re a big or medium-sized Youtuber, that may not seem like a lot to you, but to me, THAT’S HUGE.

I went into starting the Simple Joys channel with a lifetime goal of creating a community of 1,000 like-minded souls.

And in 2 months, it’s far surpassed that! Everyday, it grows steadily. And after 3 years of consistently uploading vlogging videos on my old channel, and connecting with 100 subscribers in those 3 years, this is quite a shocking accomplishment for me.

Why is my passion for slow living and simple joys taking off in video format? Well, I think it’s because people need this type of content more than ever. The world is feeling heavy. After quarantine, people are realizing how living slower is actually what they needed all along. And I firmly believe that video is king and will be for the long-term future. I believe blogging is still far more important than Instagram, and podcasts will never have that facial connection with an audience as creators on Youtube have. You can really get to know and connect with someone when you see them on video. Plus, I naturally enjoy speaking on camera; I grew up as a stage and film actress, after all!

I’ll still be blogging in the future

I’ll still be blogging here in the future, but it won’t be similar to my schedule in the past. My goal is to post a blog here once every 2 weeks, maybe more if writing here feels more aligning. So, do be sure to add your email to my “blog email updates” in the box on my sidebar! 

Future of Family Photography

My small business has its doors wide open (book here)! My love and passion for family photography are not going anywhere. In fact, I love it even more because, aside from this recent at-home session,  I haven’t been able to photograph families in months. I’m continuing to take new and existing clients, but I also recognize how Covid-19 will change the world. International travel will take a blow. I don’t know when I’ll next be able to travel internationally to photograph again, due to global health concerns, but instead will need to book sessions more locally in France until it feels safe to travel abroad again. 

My small business was heavily impacted by the global shutdown this spring, and all of my sessions were canceled. As a traveling photographer that ventures to NYC and across France for my sessions, I don’t quite see the end of the tunnel yet, and I think Covid-19 will be with us in waves for the next 3 years.

Covid-19 is going to halt travelers from coming to France and wishing to book a vacation family photographer, which is my primary income stream as a photographer. 

The world is up in the air, and there is so little I can control with planning my photography business going into the future. It’s why I’ve been playing with filmmaking and Youtube these last 2 months. It’s something I can create from the comfort of my home. It’s an outlet for me to express myself creatively.

It’s the one thing I can control at this time. 

So, my friend, I hope you take a few moments to pause and notice the simple joys today. Don’t forget to slow down and enjoy the Earthly delights this planet has gifted us. I’ll be checking in every few weeks here on the blog, but if you want to see weekly content from me, I share films on the Simple Joys Youtube channel! And when I’m not doing that, I’m slowly living and placing focus on my spiritual faith and marriage – the two things that I place the most value in. 🙂

Love,

Helena 🙂

See My Recent Simple Joys Youtube Film

REAL TALK: Why I’ve Been Blogging Less

June 25, 2020

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I'm Helena! As a creative storyteller, I document magical, emotionally honest family and children's portraiture. A lover of childhood, fairytales and natural light, I photograph families across the world. I'm the ultimate Disney nerd, and I'm obsessed with cats and expressing my love for the simple joys of slow, daily life.

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Helena Woods is a destination newborn and family photographer based in France and New England and travels worldwide. She is known for her natural light, modern classic, and emotive photography style.

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