When You’ve Accepted The Challenge

Every season I end it with saying it’s my busiest season, but this season? This season takes the cake. Only, there’s no time for cake. There’s no time for anything. I’m editing photos furiously like a madman so I can be done(ish) by December 1st(ish) so that I can enjoy the season! Last year I didn’t enjoy it at all. I was working three jobs and one was keeping me up at all hours. This year I’m going to try(ish) to only be working one job by the end of the first week of December. Can I do it? It’s a challenge. I accept. Speaking of accepting challenges, I totally had no plans to write this intro paragraph. For Finish the Sentence Friday, we’re sharing something previously written. Mine was about a challenge I accepted in 2012. Read on!

This is me linking as I love to do nearly every Friday with Finish The Sentence Friday. The week's topic is Share Anything Previously Written. My challenge!

My history of photography, which I will detail more vividly on my upcoming website, began very simply with a camera collection. I was a child who collected, whether it was Ken dolls or Troll dolls or tiny metal cars, or even the standard coins and stamps. As I got older, my interests got more age-adjusted, if not even a little shallow. I collected colorful socks and jeans that made my butt look good. The camera collection started with a neon-colored point-and-shoot and a Polaroid. By college, I had several point-and-shoots, a big Polaroid, a video camera, and that i-Zone mini Polaroid. As it was with most of my collections, I never used these things as much as I should. Rather I’d fold and unfold things, arrange them delicately, dust them occasionally. I pretty much kept things behind a glass case. That glass case protected them. It protected me too.

(Scarlet always hit the juicebox hard)

I just wasn’t ready.

That’s how I explain things that I fail to do at first, and then do with feverish intensity eventually. An artistic eye? Sure. My mother is one of the greatest artists in history and her father, my deceased grandfather, has been written about and spoken about on talk shows. Other than writing, it took me some time to figure out my personal outlet for the artistic expression I felt nearly boiling over inside of me. I had a few of my photos shown at the local mall’s art show. “Aha!” I thought wisely.

That was the beginning. It built slowly. A boyfriend gave me my first “serious” camera. My parents gave me my first serious lens from B&H in NYC. They sent that same boyfriend on a mission and he came back victorious. I became victorious. Lenses are really, really important. That’s why they cost the same as a kidney. I started taking photos, mostly of my boyfriend and animals. Eventually I branched out into other people and other animals. People seemed to like my work. I started to too.

I started doing it professionally – those famous group shots for class pictures. I also took time off.

Then I had Scarlet, and you kinda know the rest. I had my first digital camera and I took it out of hiding and shook off the dust the morning she was born. No lie, it was 4:00 am and I knew I was in “real” labor and I was packing my hospital bag and the camera came along. I hadn’t a clue how to use my digital camera with its pesky on-camera flash that I hadn’t learned how to shut down yet. And the whole white balance issue. It was a big WTF for me for awhile. Lenses and software and a better trained eye for color came next. I became fully comfortable with photographing Scarlet and sharing those photos.

In the last year or so, but more numerously in the last several weeks, I have finally taken on other people’s children. It’s so hard! Scarlet recently had school photos done and they weren’t in the standard of cheesy face against a weird colored background. They were more candid and in the grass. More my style. Which is ultimately why I didn’t order them – that woman had five minutes to do what I’ve been doing with Scarlet for three years! It made me more aware that I have my work cut out for me. I won’t know everyone I photograph. I haven’t. I am aware that their children (and themselves) are precious cargo who deserve to be photographed to the best of my ability. That’s what I can do. That’s what I owe the world.

The best that I can do.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is Share Anything Previously Written And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin: HERE.

What would you share?

Things I’ve Never Told You

photo share

On Thursdays or Fridays, I like to take myself out to lunch.

Yesterday was a perfect cup of butternut squash soup, and a perfect green salad with a citrus vinaigrette. There’s this little coffee shop, bakery, pizzeria, breakfast joint about 10 minutes away through the woods, and it looks like a little storybook house. In a village with a thatched roof and pizza smoke blowing out the top of the building. I hesitate sometimes to post about it on Facebook because people will think I’m bragging. The truth is, I have a least favorite part of the northeast, and it’s that odd place where NJ, CT, and NYC meet. It’s good if you like brake lights and car exhaust, but I prefer twinkly fairy lights and pizza exhaust. That’s just me, though. I thought of it today because I thought about how Thursday lunches began.

photo share

Des only had daycare and then preschool three times a week, leaving Thursdays and Fridays open. We used to go out to lunch. I’m not sure he ever appreciated it the way I did, or so I thought then, but I really pulled out the stops. We’d go to an airport cafe near Cassidy’s work to watch airplanes arrive and depart. We’d go to mill river cafes and eat sausage and cheese boards while watching the raging water. Sometimes it was diner french fries or clam chowder in bread bowls. Whatever it was, it was ours. There’s a romance of a Thursday and Friday lunch. He’s older now, but oh how the child is still there. It’s the way he waves out at me from the bus windows and hugs me fiercely in the school lines. Don’t go changing.

photo share

I think a lot about life before this – these two kids in elementary school with after school programs, school bus schedules, and homework. The baby/toddler time is contained. It’s safe and padded. Story time mornings. Nap time afternoons. Routines and structures and lunches, in the face of what could be chaos. No school. No daycare. I am so glad I had those five years with each of them, overlapping and intertwined. It was both chaotic and structured. It was both easy and hard for me.

Whatever it was, it was ours.

And to think about going back to that is both the easiest and hardest thought. Five more years, with nearly ten years gone; moving on. Who would I be? Who would they be? How would it be? Whatever it would be, you know it would involve lunches.

photo share

For all the ways I’m diligent and in control, there are just as many ways I’m out of control. That’s sort of my thing. I make a point to having nothing out of control, when meanwhile it’s all creeping up and out until it’s unbearable. The thing is, this world is a little too crazy and too full of whim and whimsy and chaos and the unexpected to have all your ducks in a row. All your balls to the wall. The sooner you embrace that and own it, I suppose the happier you’ll be. That’s why I work at such strange paces – either full speed ahead, or snail’s pace. There are things that take me way too long for weird reasons.

photo share

I used to keep unedited photos for a rainy day, or just the soothing aspect of them. I’d stockpile them for sleepless nights – which rarely happen – but just to have some warm glow and to sit and work on all the details of the things I CAN control. It’s sort of like when you have a great book to read, but you can’t read it yet. Or maybe an ice cream pint waiting in the freezer for its next indulgence. The photos were/are like that. Except that more time passed. Soon, three months became six months became one year and became what is now 2.5 years behind. I edit my client and blog photos, and the best few of any set, but the bulk just grows. And how much longer can I really let them sit like that in outer space? Growing and stale.

Not to be morbid, but what if something happens to me and they’re never seen? I am about eight months behind on replying to blog comments, which explains why you occasionally get a random reply from me that no longer makes sense. 2.5 years of photos! I’m looking now to close that gap, and I’m starting today. Photo Share Friday, indeed. Here is a perfect day I had with then three-year-old Des. It might have been before lunch. It might have been after lunch. Whatever it was, it was ours.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is Photo Share Friday and there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin: HERE. What’s your photo? What’s its story?

What would you share?