Cynthia Viola Photography

CAM Raleigh

Burly and Puff in Downtown Raleigh

Family PortraitsCynthia Viola2 Comments
Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.
— Ernest Hemingway
Burly and Puff Photo Shoot

I fell in love with Safy and Randy the moment I started following them on Instagram. They are exactly what I look for in couples (and people in general). Full of life, willing to play, big adventurers; they don't take themselves too seriously and they adore each other! What more could you ask for?

These two have a genuine love of trying new things and traveling to new places, something I found out actually erupted out of their relationship; they brought it out of each other. After Randy gave her an adorable pet name of Puff, she wanted one for him as well, dubbing him Burly and the hashtag that followed sort of caught them by surprise. Everyone loved it (how could you not, omg, it's the more adorable description ever), and a blog was born. They both love their day jobs but spend all their extra time exploring the world, falling more deeply in love and living life to the fullest. You're just gonna love them. Here's a few of my favorite images from our adventures downtown!

Burly and Puff Photo Shoot
Burly and Puff Photo Shoot
Burly and Puff Photo Shoot
Burly and Puff Photo Shoot
Burly and Puff Photo Shoot
Burly and Puff Photo Shoot

CAMstellation Raleigh 2016

Art, PersonalCynthia ViolaComment
The artist never entirely knows — We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark
— Agnes de Mille
"Leap Into Fear" | 24"x36" | Mixed Media

"Leap Into Fear" | 24"x36" | Mixed Media

As an artist and a business owner, I've had to make some difficult decisions. Probably the least of which is forcing myself to dress like a "professional" when I'd rather wear jeans and a tee shirt every where I go. I tried to take the stance of #theartistwearswhatshewants (favorite hashtag ever, thank you Amaris) for years but I suppose being an adult is more important... Alas, bring on the heels, and feel free to tease me like my brother Daniel who says I look like a little kid playing dress up. #jerkface #notreallyloveyou ;)

More importantly, as much as I love being a creative, it can cause dilemmas when you enjoy creating in many different mediums. I've been painting for as long as I can remember, I enjoy writing poetry and performing spoken word, I've written a memoir that I'm scared to death to publish, I dabbled in all forms of music for years and of course there's photography - my ultimate love. 

Taken via iPhone pano at the artist's reception for  CAMstellation . 

Taken via iPhone pano at the artist's reception for CAMstellation

So how do you choose? I'm not sure how it works for everyone else but I suppose ultimately my love of people has won out for me. All the forms I listed entail a bit of isolation during practice/building/editing/creating/considering/dreaming...even performing, but the only one that really allows consistent interaction with people, is photography. If I'm isolated for too long I get cray...just ask A.J. I need people and love being a part of their lives. 

ALLLL that to say, I still dabble in the other arts from time to time. Currently this piece is up at CAM Raleigh with their exhibit celebrating the creatives in the community. (come to either August's or September's First Friday to see it!) 

Taken via iPhone pano at  Creative Mornings RDU ...amazing group, you should totally check it out. 

Taken via iPhone pano at Creative Mornings RDU...amazing group, you should totally check it out. 

It's titled "Leap Into Fear" because when I painted it, A.J. was talking about launching a second location of his coffee bar (among other crazy family things going on at the time). The first shop was probably the hardest thing we've ever survived as a couple, I wasn't sure we could survive a second. After a total breakdown I just threw all the emotions on the canvas and decided to let go. We love each other enough to believe in the other's dreams and we've built enough trust to know we'll both do our best to work through the muck. 

Six months after opening, we couldn't be better. In my experience, the wings don't form until after you jump. I suppose it's more exciting that way anyway. I believe this leap has prepared us for the next, whatever that may be. What's the scariest leap you've ever taken?