It All Starts With...


When I was young, I would pick up a purple marker to spell my name. “Anji,” that was my nickname at the time (it’s hard to spell Mitanjeli when you’re 3) and I usually wrote the J backwards. But I chose purple, and I chose it for years. I wore this color and painted with this color because for some reason it helped me express who I am. So I guess for me, it all started with a purple marker. 

And over the next few decades I cycled through many colors, clothing styles, glasses frames — I continue to do so. It’s because when I see something that helps me express who I am, I wear it. 

When Kristen filled out my Luxe Portrait contact form early this spring, I gave her and call and quickly learned that she had been inspired to do a photoshoot because of a dress. “I was at Saks in St Louis when, I saw it. The most beautiful gown, black with flowers and beading and I thought, well I have to have it!” So she bought it in honor of her 50th birthday and booked a photoshoot so she could express herself in her gown. I probably don’t need to say this but when she put it on and walked out of our studio dressing room, she came alive in a new way.

When Ashleigh scheduled a photoshoot for herself and her daughter, she asked me if Kaitlyn could bring her pet bird for a portrait. As you can imagine, this beautiful green bird lit Kaitlyn up and our portraits including him were breathtaking. She planned her outfit to coordinate with his bright feathers and I’m so, so glad she asked to bring him. 

When Bailey called me last year to do a photoshoot, she shared a personal part of her story with me. As she was coming out of a challenging time of counseling to address past and present issues with her body, she had come to a point where she was ready to celebrate it. She requested fine art nude portraits at the end of her shoot, and to this day they’re some of my favorite ones I’ve created. She truly was inspired by her new relationship with her body, and I was so honored to walk with her in that journey. 

It all starts with something... 

Maybe for you it’s a new career, a new outlook, or a new relationship. Maybe it’s a new pair of Louboutins or your late mother’s pearls. Whatever you’re celebrating and expressing at this point in life is worth it, and I can’t wait to hear about your journey and create something beautiful together.