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Bring It Like a Broad: See the World Through Madelyn May’s Lens

It’s that time again, Broads!

Last month we introduced a new interview series here on The Bonafide Broad called Bring it Like a Broad! Each month, this series features a real life Broad who inspires those around her, by doing the extraordinary everyday.

We hope that celebrating these special ladies and their accomplishments will help each of us to believe in the possibility and the reality of our own goals and dreams.

 



 

In case you missed it, our December Broad was Grace Garfield. She is a totally rad 20-year-old who founded A Helping Hand Global, a nonprofit that creates Feminine Care Kits for women in need, and is expanding to do so much more!

The response was awesome, and confirmed to us that we are on the right track with this series.

It’s time to introduce our January Broad!

 

The Broad

Meet Madelyn May.

 

Madelyn taking a self-portrait

 

She is not only one of the most driven, determined, and inspiring Broad’s I’ve ever met, but I also have the privilege of being related to her. She is my cousin.

Madelyn and I spent quite a bit of time together before my parents were divorced, when we were girls. I have always reserved a special space in my heart for her, and I knew from a young age that she was different. She was going to have good life. Even if she didn’t know it yet. Because she was going to make her life exactly the way she wanted it.

I’m happy to say my intuition was correct. Although we haven’t been able to be as close as we were when we were girls, I’ve watched this Broad from a distance, and my heart swells seeing the person she has become.

She is stunning, on the inside and out, and I’m honored that she was willing to do this interview, so all you Broads can see what I see in her!

Let’s get to know her!

 

The Interview

ME: Who are you? Describe yourself to me, the person you are.

MADELYN: Oh man, this is a hard one. Isn’t this what we’re all searching for? “Who we are”… as if we aren’t constantly changing? I’ll try my best to answer.

 

Madelyn working at a wedding

 

My name is Madelyn. My friends and family wonder how I have time to do all the things I do. I guess that describes me, not just busy, but always trying new things and growing the things I love. I have a lot of “drive” as my family says. I get my energy from my grandmother.

I think people limit themselves daily and sometimes I catch myself doing the same. I don’t want the average life. I want the freedom to do what I want when it really matters. I am always hustlin’ and grindin’ but when I do get a break, I make sure that it’s spent with people that matter the most to me.

Oh, and I am a social worker and a photographer….yes both! Talk about stress and being busy. Keep reading to hear more.

 

ME: What projects/ businesses are you currently focusing on?

MADELYN: PHOTOGRAPHY….hands down.

 

Madelyn May Photography’s company logo

 

In photographer years I have only been doing this for a short time.  My fiance bought me my first camera as a gift and I just dove in head first.

I started with free/cheap shoots to build my portfolio and website, and then I started charging based off time spent. I found some photography mentors to help me with MANY questions, I took classes, and I sat on YouTube for hours and hours. Also, I found some Facebook groups with other photographers to learn from them.

But I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my fiance. Not just because he bought me my first camera, but because he is the one that taught me not to limit myself and not to have a basic life just because it’s easier that way.  When I’ve doubted myself he questions my doubts and helps me move past them.

What I love the most about photography is that my creativity is unbounded. I get to help couples capture the images they’ve always wanted, but didn’t think were possible. I get to listen to love stories and see couples connect through my lens. Photography will always be in my life. Even if I fail, I will never stop.

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

What’s happening right now? My next project will be in the spring. I have another amazing idea for a shoot, so stay tuned! Madelyn May Photography will have a lot of changes coming soon. I am going to be focusing on adventurous epic shit! It will be life changing. I can’t wait!

Also, I have a super messy craft room full of stuff that I love to do. I love to hand letter, watercolor, knit (I am pretty fucking good and this was my first business), crochet, make candles, sew, scrapbook, and so much more. These are fun outlets for me.

Another outlet is the outdoors: camping, hiking, dirt bike riding, finding new locations for photo shoots.

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: What is your background?

MADELYN: I am a social worker and a photographer. I have a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Oregon in Family and Human Services.

I went to college to be a probation officer for juveniles because I wanted to help those kids who were dealt a bad hand and had to find family in the wrong areas. I know how it is to grow up in an less-than-ideal environment and I want to give back.  Now I work with the same kids, just in a little different way. I am also helping the parents who were probably dealt an even worse hand.

When I said “I know how it is…” I meant it. I wouldn’t say I had a normal upbringing, or anything even close to that. At a young age, my siblings and I had to grow up VERY fast. People say I am an old soul often, but they don’t know why. I may be 28, but I feel like I am 38 (which can be a curse).

My childhood wasn’t peachy, but it’s exactly why I am who I am today. It’s all about perspective. I could use [my past] as a crutch, or I could use it to change the world. This is why I am a social worker, why I want a better life for my future children, and why I choose to do what I love. Because that’s the point of life, right? To not waste it?

Helping people is my passion, but what really keeps me going is being creative. It’s what gets my heart pumping and my wheels turning, to where it’s hard to sleep at night because I am so fucking excited! Photography is one of my creative channels, among others. Photography really has me asking myself often…”Is this real life?”

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: What did you want to do with your life when you were young? How old were you when you began making your life plans and setting goals, and why do you think that was the magic age for you?

MADELYN: I didn’t have any idea until senior year of high school… and I thought it was either going to be in the military or college. I started college and thought I wanted to be a web designer. So I attended a class to write code and make a website, and I hated it.

I attended photography, drawing, and Human Services 101 classes and then I knew.  This is what is crazy to me: I was interested in the same things ten years ago. But now I know where I want my focus to be: photography, while still giving back to my community.

 

ME: What steps did you take when you realized you wanted to accomplish the things you did, to get yourself on track toward your dreams?

MADELYN: I got my transfer degree to save money. I went to Portland State University for one term and didn’t like it (location/majors). So I started researching undergrad programs and came across University of Oregon. The Family and Human Services program was amazing! They required a new internship that you chose each term, to get you ready for a job after graduation.

Now my goal is to start traveling and start doing photography all over the world.  ← Doesn’t this sound crazy? Check back in with me in a few. This will be true!

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: How have you learned what is needed to run a business, and to accomplish the things you have?

MADELYN: Research and asking a ton of questions to those who already do it. There is never a dumb question.

 

ME: What obstacles have you faced along your journey, and what have you done to overcome them?

MADELYN: This is a hard one, I don’t look back and think “Oh that was an obstacle but I am here now.” I just keep going. There were some jobs that I absolutely hated, but I kept going until I had another plan to get to my bigger goals.

Right now my lack of time is my biggest obstacle for my photography business. I would love to have way more time to grow my business and complete all my little goals that are still pending.

 

Photograph by Madelyn May Photography

 

ME: Have you ever felt like giving up? If so, how do you pull through and move forward?

MADELYN: Yep. More than people may think.

“Oh I am just one out of millions of other photographers, so why try?” Then I snap out of it or my fiance helps me snap out of it.

I am different because my photography will continue to get better and I will be different because there’s no other Madelyn like me, that has dreams, a drive, and support.

 

ME: Do you have a quote, a song,  or a mantra that you tell yourself to keep yourself going?

MADELYN: If you’ve been on my Instagram you know I love me some quotes. I don’t have a favorite, it changes with my moods, but here are some:

“ You can have anything you want if you give up the belief that you can’t have it.”

“If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs.”

“To begin, begin.”

 

ME: What has motivated you the most and helps you to keep moving forward?

MADELYN: Seeing my progress, and being able to be creative with my photography. But mostly, my fiance. He helps me keep motivated.

 

Madelyn with her fiance

 

ME: What is a typical day for you like? How do you balance everything and still have time for yourself, your guy, your family and your animals?

MADELYN: I wake up, listen to photography/business podcasts,  go to work, meet with children and parents, problem solve, go to court, come home, cuddle my pup, start dinner, edit photos, finish dinner, and watch a show with my fiance.  Repeat.

I don’t know how I balance everything. Sometimes I fail and run out of time for my deadlines. I think one thing that helps me is setting little goals to get to the bigger goals. I will feel more relaxed if I have made even a little progress towards my goal. Then I can do self care.

 

ME: Who are your biggest influences? Who do you admire the most, or who has given you inspiration to accomplish what you have?

MADELYN: You already know, my fiance.

Also, my grandmother. I will always admire her drive and energy to get shit done.

 

ME: What are your future goals? Where do you see yourself in five years?

MADELYN: I already talked about my photography goals above. I see myself as a full-time photographer, married with two kids, with some property, and 2-3 pointers to keep Copper [my German short-haired pointer] company…and maybe a pig, too.

 

Madelyn with her fiance and her pup, Copper

 

ME: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

MADELYN: Be patient. Never give up. Let it be. Be aware of your perspective and how it might be running your life.

 

ME: What is your best advice for others who are going after their goals and dreams?

MADELYN: Keep going, no matter how many little doubting thoughts you have going through your head. If you want it, it’s yours.

 

 

My final thoughts:

Isn’t Madelyn awesome? I’m not kidding when I say she is one of the most resolute people I’ve ever met. She has taught me that you never have to be a victim of circumstance. If there is something you want, there is nothing that can stop you from getting it except yourself.

Madelyn has some major goals for the future. I absolutely believe her when she tells me the things she is going to do. So stay tuned! This may be the first time you’ve had the opportunity to meet Madelyn, but it won’t be the last.

She has already made her mark on this world, and she won’t be satisfied until she reaches every goal she has set!

 

More information on Madelyn and her current  projects:

Madelyn loves to travel, so if you have an upcoming event you would like photographed, no matter where you are located, don’t hesitate to contact her.

Also, that wonderful fiance she talks about? They’re getting married this year!  Follow her social media accounts to keep up with her wedding plans, projects and travels!

 

Madelyn May Photography’s website:

www.mmayphoto.com

 

Madelyn May Photography’s Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/madelynmayphotography

 

Madelyn May Photography’s Instagram account:

www.Instagram.com/madelynmayphotography

 

Contact Madelyn:

madelynmayphotography@gmail.com

 

Is there a woman you know personally who inspires you and others in some way? There are no guidelines–if a woman is inspiring to you in ANY way, it counts!

Please email me if you have a lady you want to see featured in Bring It Like a Broad.

You can also email me with any questions or comments you may have: theog@thebonafidebroad.com.

 

Until next time!

 

 

We love to hear from our readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!

Like what you read? Subscribe to The Bonafide Broad to get this kind of exclusive content right in your inbox! Just click this link and enter your email addy!

Do your friends and family a solid and share this post so they can benefit from it, too! Just click the appropriate button below to share it to your preferred social media platform. Thank you for supporting The Bonafide Broad!

 

 

 



How to Plan the Perfect Night Before Christmas

 

Well, Broads and Bruts, it’s finally here! Christmas Eve is upon us, which means tomorrow is the big day! Sure, we are all busy with our families right now, but I wanted to pop in to say hello and offer a little Christmas spirit. Do you want to plan the perfect night before Christmas?

While you likely have all of your Christmas Day festivities planned out, what about this wonderful day before? It’s screaming to be filled with fun and meaningful activities and traditions, to build anticipation for tomorrow.

Some families have little things they do every Christmas Eve. Why not add a new activity or three to your Christmas Eve this year?

Here are some fun ideas to try out, that just may become your new family tradition for years to come!

 

 

NOTE: This post may contain referral and/or affiliate links, so I make a commission from some of them. However, I promise I will NEVER recommend anything unless I have personally tried it or have done research and would purchase it myself. I will also remove anything from my blog that is unsatisfactory for any reason, so please contact me if you encounter a problem or issue with anything I recommend.

 

 

Read The Night Before Christmas

 

 

 

Are there any better words to begin a story? So classic, so exciting! It’s a short read, and you can have the kids take turns. Even as an adult, you can’t help but get caught up in the magic that is Santa Clause. Especially as you all shout out in unison the last words of the story: “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!”

 

 

 

Get the ebook here for only $5.04, and read it on the free app Amazon offers.

 

 

Open a Gift

 

 

In our family, we like to get a nice cozy pair of pajamas for each member, and open the gift the night before Christmas. That way we all go to bed in fresh pajamas, and wake up in the morning feeling crisp, new, and ready to open gifts!

However, if you haven’t planned ahead for that, why not each open one gift from under the tree? It’s a nice preview of what’s to come, and really builds up the anticipation.

 

 

Take a Walk in the Snow

 

 

Do you live in a place where you have the privilege of enjoying a white Christmas? Why not bundle up on Christmas Eve and take a family walk together?

It’s the little things that make life worth it, right? Let those snowflakes land on your tongue, make snow angels, have a snowball fight, or build a snowman. Just enjoy each other! Isn’t that what the spirit of Christmas is all about?

 

 

Make Treats

 

 

This one is kind of obvious, as you need to leave cookies out for Santa anyway. But this year, make it a big affair. Have everyone participate in mixing, baking, and decorating. Try making something besides cookies, like cupcakes or cake pops. Santa (or mom and dad) will appreciate it, too!

 

 

Have a Drink

 

 

Kid free? How about a drink? Have  mom, Aunt Sally, and Grandma Peaches all get cozy in their pajamas, and then crack open a bottle of wine, or make a nice hot buttered rum.

Here’s a yummy recipe!

 

 

Take a Drive to See the Christmas Lights

 

 

Again, bundle everyone up, squeeze in the car (or two), and take a drive to a local neighborhood or area known for having awesome Christmas lights. Every town has that neighborhood that just goes ALL OUT when it comes to putting up lights.

Just don’t forget your camera!

 

 

Keep Tabs on Santa

 

 

Did you know that Google has an amazing Santa Tracker? Get the kids excited by checking in on where Santa is throughout the evening. If you are awake when he flies over your area, run outside to try to catch a glimpse of Rudolph’s nose! Point out a plane flying over head and show them that Santa is coming!

Follow the Santa Tracker here.

 

 

Make Homemade Hot Cocoa

 

 

I truly believe there is nothing in this word better than a homemade cup of warm chocolaty, creamy cocoa on Christmas Eve. Of course, you need marshmallows too. And you may as well leave the bag within reach, because I’m going to need to reload on marshies at least twice!

Try this delish recipe by Martha Stewart!

 

 

Play a Game

 

 

You’ve made the hot cocoa, and the family is all gathered anyway. Why not play a game? Charades is a great one for the whole family. Or if the kids are already in bed, how about Cards Against Humanity?

Just watch out for Monopoly! It sucks you in and never ends!

 

 

Draw Santa a Picture

 

 

This is a great idea to keep the kids busy, and is actually quite fun for adults too. Just set out some washable markers or crayons and paper, and have everyone draw their favorite Christmas memory, or their best portrait of good ol’ Saint Nick.

Plus, you can tuck those pictures away and save them for when the kids get older. They’ll love taking a walk down memory lane, and so will you.

 

 

Give Back

 

 

You know the kiddos will be getting lots of new toys. How about giving them each a bag or box and having them fill it with some of their old toys to donate? Make sure they aren’t broken or ruined. Not only will you be making room for the new toys, but you are teaching the kids to give back.

Have them leave their box or bag of toys near the tree with a letter to Santa asking him to donate them to kids in need. Just don’t forget to drop the donations off at your local community house or domestic violence shelter later this week.

 

 

Sing!

 

 

Buddy Elf had it right. Singing is contagious, and while at first you may feel a bit awkward, pretty soon you’ll be shouting “Deck the Halls” at the top of your lungs.

This is a great way to wrap up your evening. You can all sit together around the fire (or the tree) and sing your favorite carols.

 

My family will be doing some of these today. It will be the perfect night before Christmas! What about you? What are your favorite Christmas Eve traditions? I’d love to hear! Have fun!

 

 

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

 

 

 

 

**I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**

Like what you read? Subscribe to The Bonafide Broad to get this kind of exclusive content right in your inbox! Just click this link and enter your email addy!

Do your friends and family a solid and share this post so they can benefit from it, too! Just click the appropriate button below to share it to your preferred social media platform. Thank you for supporting The Bonafide Broad!