…And when I am quiet, there is alot of thinking taking place. I have not been shooting much lately. I really needed a break. We are also dealing some family needs that I’ve been tending to and I am currently focusing my energies at home.
I finally felt motivated to take out the camera. I have been spending alot of time trying to figure out what motivates me about photography. Through conversations with those close to me, I have figured out that I am motivated to bring forth issues that people, or society in general, do not wish see. I have always known that about myself, but I guess I never really thought about channeling my energy to accomplish that through my work.
I have recently been spending some time with a little friend on the autism spectrum. While waiting in line with her to enter school or waiting in line at Starbucks (where else am I willing to wait??) I hear people making comments about her and to me about her; the comments that are not the most understanding or encouraging. It is so frustrating that my fellow adults are less understanding or interested in learning about autism than the children I know.
I took this photo of myself. It speaks to the mask or shield we hide behind when we experience things that may not be embraced by others–sadness, hardships, confusion. We are a society of people who should support each other. How can we as adults teach our kids to be kind, loving and confident when as adults we hide from much of the reality of what we and others endure? Its time to take a good look at what we are doing, how we act and the behaviors we model for our children. There should not be shame in what our life brings us and what we experience, nor should we be judged for our experiences. I am sure we have all felt the way I am depicted in this image, and if you honestly cant relate, I am sure someone you love has. Why do we need to conceal it?
At this point, I will be working exclusively on photography projects that work to depict issues that society doesn’t support; issues like mental illness, physical illness, alternate lifestyles, any topics that needs attention and awareness. And, my own personal mission of doing fundraisers to bring iPads to the classroom, especially special education classrooms.
I am attending a business lecture series this weekend in Raleigh at the Visual Arts Exchange. I will be honest. I am a little stressed out about it. Maybe stressed out like you feel when you prepare for a a photo session–well, maybe not that stressed. See, I have attended classes on how to run a successful business. And that is translated as how to make TONS of money. I admit, I love money. But, I don’t do this sort of work (photography) for the money. If I did, I would have quit a few years ago because I don’t have what it takes to be a successful business. I did not say that I did not have what it takes to be a photographer. There is a HUGE difference. If I told you my annual income, I’ll bet you would be shocked and tell me I am crazy for doing this sort of work.
All the businesses classes I’ve attended all go to one place…”drive up sales, tell clients what they want, tell them you are an artistic investment, show them that the way they display photos is wrong and that they need the 20×30 canvas wrap and not the 8×10 print”, etc. That is not me. I will be happy to help you select appropriates photo sizes for you home. Yes, the large prints look great in some homes. But I will not try to sell you something you don’t want just because its more profitable for me. Its just not me. I hate when people try to sell me things and therefore, I cannot do that to my clients.
What do I want to sell you? I want to sell you photos that you will look at in 1, 5, 15 years that will remind you of the happy, or sometimes crazy times you shared with your family. Maybe its a digital file, maybe its an accordion album, an 8×10 or a 20×30 print.
So, back to class again. This time, I am hoping to learn how to be a better business woman with improved skills in business, marketing, social media, etc. without trying to convince you that you need thousands of dollars worth of photos.
A week or so ago I warned you that Fall is here, even though its 100 degrees outside. Well, time flies and its now _________ (fill in your favorite holiday to celebrate in the Winter). I spent the morning making some new cards for your favorite Holiday. Last year I received THREE of the exact same card with my photos on it (and I don’t get a ton or cards). I was shocked. That motivated me to make you some unique cards. I like the less is more approach, but I know that you guys tend to like to add lots of photos of your favorite little ones to your cards. I also made a few sizes, all of which are available as a jpeg or printed on professional card stock paper with smooth, linen or pearl finishes.
Ok, so its 100 degrees today but on my calendar, a photographer’s Fall starts now. I am currently scheduling from the end of Sept through the end of November. If you do not have flexibility for scheduling and you need a weekend shoot, this is the time to schedule. I can guarantee if you wait till Oct to call, we will feel like this little girl.
I have some cool new locations for you, fancy jewelery that will make beautiful holiday gifts and my favorite: new accordion book designs for you.
And over the next week, I will be making a few Holiday cards so you can stand out from the crowd. Last year I received three of the same card design with my photos on it from Shutterfly.
Don’t shed tears…schedule soon.
I am baaaaack! Probably didn’t notice I was gone, huh? I feel like its been forever since I posted, so much has happened. Two Major events have been occupying my time…
First, I did the craziest and dumbest thing ever. I pulled up to a friend’s house to drop off some photos and my car started rolling down the road. In a moment of panic, I ran after it. The whole time thinking something to the effect of “I am awesome, I am strong…I can stop this mega-Mom-mobile, I can do it!” I figured I will chase my car, open the door, jump in and slam on the brakes just in time to save my car from crashing into the parked car that my Mom-mobile was heading for (I have had a few careers now but none of them stunt woman). Okay. Back to reality. My plan was an EPIC FAIL! Not only did I NOT save the Mom-mobile from kissing a parked vehicle, I was drug by the car and had my ankle run over. No kidding, I may not be an awesome stunt woman but I am talented enough to be able to run my own foot over with my own car. I need to find a party stat I can show off this talent.
Here is the evidence about 2 days after the big day (I made it BW to not gross you out–you are very welcome).
I could not figure out why people were looking at me funny right after the accident. I mean I was FINE. Really. I could walk, talk, sing, dance. You name it, no big deal that I just ran myself over. I went to the ER and proved everyone right; I was FINE. I did take it easy that day. After all, I was going to the mountains the next day for a one week vacation. I was planning to hike my butt off in the Great Smokies, even if I did just run myself over. Well, the next day, about an hour away from our cabin, my ankle became a cankle and the pain in my leg was almost as bad as natural childbirth. So much for a hiking vacation. I rested, iced my leg and kept it elevated for a few days. I was still convinced I would be hiking in a few more days. Ha! Then I realized that I was in the middle of nowhere NC and I had a raging infection. I love my husband, friends and family who through spotty Internet connection could scare me into seeing a mountain doctor to save myself from flesh eating bacteria (which they were convinced I would succumb to). One of them was even convinced me that my leg might get amputated. I was laughing but I think she was serious.
Laying around made me ponder all of the things I am thankful for, more than I typically do. I wont bore you with my mile long list. This is a photography blog, so I will get on with the photos. I will say that I had a new toy to play with on vacation and there is a learning curve to learn to use this lens in the way I’d like. But for now, I am thankful I had my new gear to play with to take my mind off the excruciating pain, so bear with me…
#1 I built my first campfire last week (I am a city girl). My husband insisted we could not start a fire without some sort of lighter fluid. I think he was just tired but this gave me the motivation to prove him wrong. Haha.
#2 My daughter. She has a million looks, a million expressions and is filled with dramatic flair. It may have taken me a few years to appreciate her unique qualities but I would not have her any other way.
4. Speaking of materialism…I love my modern conveniences. Thank you for indoor plumbing.
I am thankful to be able to post many of these photos. They may not be perfect, maybe not even “professional” quality. At one time, I would have deleted these photos. But to me, now, they mean alot. They allow me to learn, to see the beauty of little treasures and spark the desire to be more creative.
I am forever grateful for the people in my life no matter how frequently or infrequently we see each other. It is our community of people (not places or things) who shape us into the people we evolve into being. With that, hug a friend and Peace, Love and Teddy Bears!
I am on the mend, in case you are wondering. Four antibiotcs later, I *think* the large abrasion is healing. However, I am thankful to not have any photo sessions scheduled for another week becuase it still hurts like….fill in the blank.
I tried a new location: Mordecai Historic Park. It’s as rustic as you would imagine, boasting buildings dating back to the 1700’s. But that wasn’t what amazed me most about my time spent there.
After we left and I uploaded photos for the Facebook crowd, someone posted a
comment that floored me: “She is so cute… you would never know how shy she can be based on these
I’ve seen this sweet little girl in the halls of her school. She always says hi to me, flashing a bright smile and giving me a hug. She rocked her session like she’d been modeling for years. I would never have put her in the “shy” category.
She made me look good, making people think I coaxed her out of her shell by sprinkling some MoJo Magic dust.
And I have the best job in the world.
This one is my favorite:
I was scheming the entire session for a way to persuade Mom to join her. Fortunately, the only person she couldn’t possibly say no to – my “next top model” – asked, and with only a slight roll of the eyes, she agreed. And I got to quit rehearsing the “get in the photos“ lecture in my head.
They have grapes growing at this location! I will have to go back in a few weeks to check their progress with my macro lens. Until then, they make a beautiful backdrop for this “shy” girl.
Mordecai may be best used during the week. I understand it’s frequently booked on weekends for weddings and events. Wait – did I mention that it’s rumored to be haunted? Super-spooky-cool! I’ll have to inspect all of my pictures for orbs. Insert theme from Twilight Zone…
“Don’t Tell” was accepted into the juried art show “That Which I Love”, organized by Cary Chamber Arts! And if you want to buy it, proceeds will benefit Global Hope India. I’ll keep ya posted for where you can see it in real life.
This photo was taken of a friend who lost a family member to suicide. The photo session was part of the healing process for her. Please remember, do tell when someone is hurting. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. If you need help, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Helpline at 1-800-273-TALK
Thank you to all who share themselves through photos and art!
Meet Christina, my rock-star summer (and possibly Fall) intern. She is on the fast track to becoming an awesome photographer this summer. She will be working with me to satisfy a high school elective program to learn something new for an Arts and Community program. This summer she will learn how to be a photographer and then she will apply that to how she can make a contribution to our community using art/photography. Maybe you will meet her during your summer photo session!
Do you have a wall displaying photos I have taken of your family over the years? I would love to see it. My client just sent me this photo of her personal gallery. Its nice to see that my work has made its way off of the computer hard drive and onto a wall, especially in our current digital lifestyles.
Ever see life changing so fast before your eyes but could not stop it? Sometimes you need a visual to make sense of what is going on. Using photography as a way to bring an image to a feeling or emotion can be calming, emotive and just what you need to get out of a rut. Try it…no one is looking. And if you need help, mentoring sessions are available.