Monday, March 26, 2012

I close my eyes and take a deep breath before switching the car to sleep.  I quickly gather my things hop out of my little egg of a car and make my way up the driveway as I survey this house before me.  As I wait for the answer to the ring of the bell I think over all that has brought me here.

This past Friday I attended a workshop. My first workshop.  After getting encouraged at the Fix last month I came back and I reached out once again to some local photographers.  One very generous photographer offered to meet me for coffee, a few hours later he invited me to a workshop he was having on lighting.  A few weeks later and that's where I stood on the front stoop waiting.

The other photographers there were more than friendly which was a relief but not a full relief.  I was there to learn but where was I on the learning curve?  Everyone says there is no such thing as a "stupid"question but we all know there are questions that make you look stupid.  Slowly as he poured over the information and questions were asked I realized that most the photographers in the room where in the same place as me. Some had consulted with some sales reps as to what to purchase but none were comfortable and set, and why would they be when we are there to learn. Why attend a workshop if you already know the information? It would be a waste of the teachers time and your own.

The best part of the evening is when we took turns modeling and shooting getting hands on use of off camera flash and I actually got to use a Pocket Wizard!  They seemed so intimidating when people talk about them but they ARE (yes, the other photographers are not lying to you) easy to use!

Here are a few sample shots of some of the lovely ladies from our wonderful workshop!

Sunday SnapshotSOOC Saturday 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Today I know.

To be honest some days I wonder why I do this.  Yes, I do mean to say that vaguely because I do wonder on more than one front.  This questioning feeling hits me both in my personal and professional life.  I wonder why do I put forth the effort? Why do I keep writing my blogs? Why do I keep trying to forge on in my photography?  Why do I keep hitting my head against the wall?

Some days I come up wanting to those answers.  I wish I could say that wasn't true but I do. I mean it would be a lot easier to just pursue a 9-5 job with benefits.  It would be a lot easier to go back to knitting as a hobby.

Today I know why.  For the photography, it is because I love to take pictures, but not just pictures of anything but of people and for the people of whom I have taken pictures.  Though it is hard and I loose steam long the way I am happy to breath deep and move on when I can remember what the effort is for.  For blogging besides a deep needed desire to write and connect with others it is because of you.  Yes, again meant that vaguely to whomever is reading this.  It is because of you and those who comment.  Like everyone else in the world I don't have this (life) figured out and I am on a journey of mistakes and it is great to know that I am not alone, to know that my experiences and thoughts can encourage others.

(no particular reason there are knives... just getting inspiration from my everyday.)

I ask this of you now:   If I am ever mean or rude or derogatory about another person on my blog or otherwise call me on it.  I desire to be better than I am but fail in so many ways.

So thank you.

Thank you for being here on this journey with me, for encouraging me and for doing life (at least part of your digital life) with me.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One small step for me?

The feeling, is so great.  My head fills with air and my arms look like I just consumed some cans of spinach!  I love figuring out how to do things. If my husband where here he would laugh at me and tell you this isn't true.  I guess the better way to say this is I love Google-ing how to do things and then doing them without help... well, any further help.

Today I got to do that.  I am by no means html code writer but with blogging I have gotten more comfortable with it and I just (so simple I know) figured out how to add an image to post here or anywhere without having to use an upload app... I can do it with HTML!

"What what!" *half pump/raising the roof (goes out to any Cougartown fans)

There is something so... amazing about it.  I feel like I could eat a whole container of ice cream and it wouldn't add a pound!  I feel like "The Underdog" super hero!

Small accomplishments people, be proud!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Don't go throwing stones

In a creative process, whatever it might be, correction and direction are needed.  Artists, in every form, do better work when in community, not that their work is communal work but instead that the community helps them be who they need to be in order to make better work.

I am all about the fact I have not arrived.  If I had already arrived what would be the fun in it? The challenge?  I lack skills and I am trying to fix that.  If I had it all figured out I wouldn't be blogging about my journey to get "there".

I recently went to a conference and joined a group on FB of like minded photographers who also attended this conference evening.  Basically embodying everything I said above (community and giving back... all that jazz). One of the goals of this FB group is to help our fellow photographers get better, push forward and be more like what they want to be.

All the same critique is neither easy to give nor receive.  Recently I was given critique.  And it left me waning. Not because anything that was said I didn't already know. Not because I think I have it all figured out.  I wane because in a group setup to build each other up this critique, while very true, was left with no application.

It was like when I was little and a struggled (still do) with spelling because I was taught how to spell phonetically.  If my mother (yes, I was home schooled) had stopped with you spelled "of", "cat" and "beautiful" wrong... I would have sat there completely perplexed at what I did wrong and what I needed to do to fix it. But my mother like I'm sure all of your teachers of the past and the present helped you through the hurt of failing by walking you through what was wrong and the steps of how to fix it.

I do not wane because of disbelief, anger or hurt but out of confusion. I am perplexed on where to even start or what to start on.

I share this not to download but to hopefully uplift.  Everyone gets critique in their life. Some helpful and others well... Not so helpful.  But either way if you receive it, in anger or acceptance try to weight it.  A lot of times there is truth in what is said, even if it comes out of anger.  And if you are like me left with less energy and a lack of direction on where to push that energy know you are not alone. And not because I am here but because almost everyone you have ever admired was here and comes back to visit on occasion.

Take a deep breath, then take it small.  Take it with care and try and find the joy you had when you knew you didn't have it handled because you are where you were only know with a little less joy but knowledge that you were right, you haven't arrived and that's okay!

Monday, March 19, 2012

On a completely personal note...

I am pretty proud of me, most of the time, but sometimes I get all afraid of being me.  Of openly admitting the fact that along side all the award winning and amazing pieces of art that are film I enjoy I also like movies that are without a doubt terrible.  I'm sorry world but I still like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's "New York Minute".  I like tv shows that have no plot simply because I enjoy watching the dance number and like the music (we all know what I am talking about glee... though I will say the first season was actually pretty good tv).  I like eating ice cream for a meal and taking a vitamin because in my mind that works out in the end.

I get afraid of admitting that I am scared of failure.  I have never failed at anything I have tried to do... I may have not been the best but never fully failed.  It might weird people out that  I still wear my retainer on a weekly basis even though I got my braces off almost a decade ago!  What will people think if they hear that I actually don't like the taste of Chicken!  I mean it just tastes like what you but it with so it is like the meat version of tofu.

Will the world forgive me for hating Chocolate chip cookies?
Can I admit that I like mismatched household items and that buying even discount underwear makes me feel guilty at times?

To all of this I say: I am deciding not to care.  It will take some time and adjustment but who cares.

"Life's too short" Finn from Glee.

1. Vintage

2. Word or quote


3. Nature's Own

Why yes,I do always have a bouquet chillin... doesn't everybody ; P

4. People

5. Photographer's Choice

Sunday SnapshotSOOC Saturday

Friday, March 16, 2012


The clicking of my heels can be heard as I cut a bee line for freezer aisle. My third stop in an hour and all because I forgot to grab a pie crust... the reason I went out.  Mentally chastising myself for being so fool hearty on such a hot March day, "You could be home right now enjoy a nice cold and tart lemonade!".  My feet stop as does the world stop spinning as I see my one true freezer love. 

I know The Fix just happened and I'm probably high on all the joy and encouragement but when I tell you that my love for this amazing product is solely due to its awesomeness you have to just believe me:

I found it.  It finally came. My heart stopped: Right mixed in with all the other half wit ice cream laid stacked the beautiful:


Don't ask me what this has to do with ice cream... I just liked it.

You think I joke but I don't.  This ice cream will change your view on ice cream. Don't believe me? I was raised on Bryers, and don't get me wrong Breyers fan's: Bryers is good just not THIS good.

Ice creams that are supposed to be crisp are crisp, ice creams that are supposed to be creamy are creamy. Each berry is crisp and almost juice as if fresh.  The chocolate is deep and melodic.

I have tried many a flavor and I have yet to come across one I don't like.

If Bluebell asked I'd have it's children... and the those kids would be tasty frozen dairy desserts... I would of course proseed to eat them but who can blame a girl when it is BLUEBELL!

You think I kid but literally: amazing!

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

A week in the making

"The fight does not go to the strongest but to those who finish what they set out to do."
-Pastor and Father of Jasmine Star

It's been a week. A long and thought filled week since I was able to spend the day with some amazing photographers in DC at The Fix.  I walked you through my experience yesterday but today it is time for me to publicly announce what I want to change/to implement in my business.


Contact local photographers I admire/take the risk
Take the time to figure out what my brand should look like/what words do I want associated with my work and myself
Go through my portfolio and be more selective of the photos I share
Practice my photography at least three times a week (not including sessions)
Launch my new website before Summer

"Sacrifice doesn't guarantee success, it is merely a prerequisite for success."
- Jamsine Star

Since taking the time to jot down some of these goals this past weekend I decided to take some action on the things I could do immediately. I looked around online at some Raleigh photographers. I looked at what seemed like endless amounts of websites and finally decided on four photographers to contact. Four photographer's whose work I admired and I took the plunge and I messaged them.

I asked if they had room for a friend.  I don't want favors (though I never deny them), I didn't pour out with questions of advice but simply put I told them I was lonely and could really use a friend who understood what I was going through.

All four messaged me back. All four were kind and inviting. Two had moved out of the area but were still willing to be cyber friends. I got invited to join the Wedding Photographic Society chapter here in Raleigh and I am more than a little excited about the meeting at the end of the month!

"The getting there is success."
-Jasmine Star

One step in and I am ever grateful or the push!

Ps. Coming up with words that embody "you" is harder than you would think. Yes, Jasmine (though I doubt you're reading this) you said they should just come to mind... I'm sure I'm doing it all the wrong way but I promise that by this time next week I will have my three words... or maybe four...I'm guessing decisive won't be one of them : P

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Fix

My eyes flutter open with remnants of a dream in flight as I pull myself out of the cramped sleep in the backseat of my tiny Yaris.  Only moments ago in flight hand outstretched finger wiggling to touch the cloud that was never there.  

After a long car ride and my awkward nap, I emerged out of the bowels of a deeply hidden parking garage.  A brief smile to my fellow pedestrians as we make our way across a few streets.  Crossing the last of three cross walks I glance at the man still at my side and silently wonder,"Is he going where I am going?"  Facing forward I stop just in time to avoid smacking into JD!

Somehow the internal dialogue was so intriguing that I missed not only the people walking to and fro but also the rather LARGE Pass bus.  The man/my fellow pedestrian turned to me with a smirk and remarked, "I was wondering if you were going here since I saw your camera."  I believe my witty retort was something along the lines of, "uh,su-ye-um" ending in a small sad nod, since my words were falling me.  What makes matters worse is that apparently this man/ my walking comrade is Katelyn James' husband!  Not only in my first few minutes in DC, outside the parking garage, I almost walked into JD and couldn't get out a simple "yea" to Katelyn James' husband.


The Ruby Tuesdays slowly fills up with photographers.  Hand shake after handshake, name after name I can't recall half.  Each face smiling and excited to be there.  Happy to share their thoughts and ideas; share themselves.

Jeni Bower the facebook group leader came equipped with thank you cards and fun name tags to pass around as she floated around like a social butterfly

I met so many photographers. All so interested in learning. All so interested in giving back.


Did you ever met someone and just hit it off, and not just in the "I can handle this conversation" kind of way but a "Kindred spirit".  Almost like when you have a great old friend that no matter the time lapse in conversing you can just pop back, no need for updates you just work.

In the span of 2 hours we covered more topics then I have with most people in a year.  It was a blast to walk away if nothing else with a new friend, who just might be stuck with me for life.

The started to set as we made our way over the the Gala Theater.  A train of eager photographers lined up for entry like children ready for Santa.

Side note: pretty sure I was the only person there that didn't have a smart phone.

The group quickly filled the room downstairs, with each added body the room temperature climbed up.  There were bodies in every direction.  As I tried to make my way to the side unsure of how to really communicate in the huddled masses I watched as Jasmine Star made her way through the crowd.  Slowly people began to notice that the soft voice behind them saying "excuse me" was indeed the person we were here to hear.  

The large swarm shifted quickly to follow her and take pictures with her.  Each person jumped in for their moment, some so excited forgetting to even say hello before smiling for the camera.  Each one Jasmine greeted with a smile, and for most a hug.

Slowly I made my way up to her. What do you say to a person you feel like you know but has no idea who you are?  I mean really.  I read her posts religiously, on a bad day it is what keeps me sane that despite not even knowing how I am she is rooting for me.  I know what she does in a day, I know that she is silly and likes her cycling class... well now she does, I know about her amazing and giving husband and how much she loves him.  

I know all of this information because I read her blog. I feel like we are friends... 

But I'm pretty sure when you know the details of a person's life but have never been introduced you're called a stalker.

No, I do not remember what I was saying to look like this.

The lights dim and a rolling squeal rides its way across the crowd.  

The Fix.  "Did you know that I left what this was ambiguous for a reason?  So you guys are either crazy or smart or crazy smart."  Jasmine began the evening, "I wanted to gather with group of people who came together for an idea."  She explained her madness. 

The fix isn't simple, it isn't easy. The Fix is the idea of looking at those around you not as competition but as the best way to get better at what you love.  "You are here because you are passionate, if you're not. . . there's the door."

The Fix was a time for Jasmine to explain what she did and openly answer questions.  I time for her to share even more generously then she already had.  It was a time devoted to the idea of a better more helpful community, willing to give and give back.

Thank you Jasmine, JD, David Jay, Katelyn James... thank you all who I am sure did a load of work but I can't thank you personally: Thank you!

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