Springtime is a busy time for most photographers. When everything is in bloom and the weather turns warm, the phone will ring. Editorial shoots, inquiries about weddings for '08, ordering albums, clients asking for prints from previous shoots. It can be overwhelming, but it's all good. Then there's wanting to actually enjoy the weather, hang with the family, the homework/soccer/baseball/dance recital rigamarole, and before you know the week is gone. Poof.
It's been nuts!
So on Thursday I took the kids to school, barred the doors, hunkered down and vowed not to leave my house until Tyler and Schuyler's slideshow was done. I have been wanting to work on it for two weeks now!
So here's Tyler and Schuyler's slideshow. It was a very special wedding. Lots of emotion, happiness, warmth and love. It was awesome!
There was a time that the word 'Colonial' put me straight into a catatonic state. History has never been my thing, but as I am forced to revisit past eras through my kids' homework I am realizing it's really not all that bad. I almost even like it..shhhhh.
Especially when I can work on my..I mean my child's.. projects and let the creative juices flow. Peyton, my oldest, was assigned to do a poster about indentured servants, so naturally the camera reared its head and wanted to join in. Hey now, I am a photographer. It's allowed!
We visited my friend's beautiful farm, put him in his garb, and had the best time with her three kids and mine traipsing around creating colonial-looking servant scenarios. Yes, that sounds kind of dorky, but the kids loved it and got very involved and it was cool to watch their brains churn with ideas. I think they were learning out there.
I learned I have an irrational fear of cows. They freaked me out a little, but that's another story.
Peyton also got an education in photoshop as we removed the 'adidas' from his cleats and ran cool actions to make the photos look old.
Then as the sun set, we Moms poured some wine and watched the kids play capture the flag and I was pretty grateful we didn't live back then. The kids were exhausted from just pretending to do the work.... and there's the cow thing.
As with every career, there are peaks and troughs. Some deeper, some higher, and sometimes things are just regular. And regular is fine a lot of the time.
But the peaks, well, ya gotta love 'em. You know you can't stay there forever, so you just enjoy it and try to figure out how you got there so you can visit again really soon.
The past few weeks have been like that, culminating with the beautiful wedding of two really wonderful people. The day couldn't have gone more smoothly. They were so kind and easy-going, and clearly meant to be together. When the gospel choir broke into "Oh Happy Day" and once the goose bumps on your arms subsided, you could only agree.
I also completed a sweet travel assignment for my favorite magazine. Can't say much about that until it publishes next month, but it was one of the most blissful locations I have visited. Ever. And it didn't hurt that it was sunny, warm and came fully staffed with outstanding people who made sure your every whim was met, and a view that could make you cry.
One last thing...an international magazine emailed asking to use some of my work for their next issue. Can't say who yet, but...oh, happy day!
Ahhh, I love my job.
A few years ago I started doing pro-bono photography work with a pediatric hospice called Noah's Children.
The families I shoot are in varying stages of losing their children. I can't put into words how it goes, stepping into their lives for a few hours. The parents overwhelm me with their attitudes and their skills, managing respirators, medicines, feeding tubes. I just go in there and try to capture their relationships, and their joy in having these children, if only for a little while.
The social workers with Noah's are saintly. They care for these families as their own. I have been told what a gift these photo sessions are to these families, but they have no idea what a gift they are to me.
Richmond Magazine published an article about Noah's and all their amazing work this month. I was honored they used my photos. You can click on the article above if you want to read it. It's really nice.
I just got back from an amazing trip to Las Vegas where I met up with my favorite fellow photographers and a few thousand others I didn't know, went to a mind-boggling quantity of photography seminars and workshops, and checked out all the latest developments in the photography field. The warp-speed changes in technology make it necessary to keep up... but can also make you want to run madly into the desert yelling "why can't I just shoot film?!".
Digital offers so many benefits over film, but requires us to be photographers and tech experts. It can be pretty demanding. You learn one thing, it gets overhauled, and back you go to square one (ok, maybe 2). Or you buy a camera that costs more than your first car, and they come out with a new version rendering your old one obsolete. Argh! And you want it. Bad.
On the artistic side, I really love the direction that wedding photography has taken the past several years. It's fresh, dynamic, beautiful and relevant. And the talent!! It's humbling and motivating. I left there totally inspired.
Best of all, I got to hang out with my little brother, Will, a Vegas resident. It was so great to see him.
Dylan, my five year old, has been bugging me for a week to wash her favorite baby doll, Babette.
Dylan has had Babette since birth and she is well-loved, soft and smells yummy. I can't put my finger on it, but it's a combination of Gain laundry detergent, candy, and that good, sweet, indescribable baby smell. She has a clump of yellow yarn bangs that Dylan will roll between her fingers when she is stressed or focused. Or she'll put the bangs right under her nose and breathe herself to sleep.
But when Babette loses her smell, she doesn't work the same magic.
Dylan kept asking "Please, Mom, can you push the button and make her clean?". I kept forgetting. But she did not.
I went down to do laundry today, opened the washing machine door, and surprise!, there she was in her faded pink, velvety glory ready for the wash cycle. Lying there, expecting me, with that "I am so loved" smile on her face. She was even sprayed with Shout to get those pesky stains out. I did not move her, I just laughed and got my camera. She's such a poser, that doll, having been photographed a lot over the years.
I learn so much from Dylan. She's a doer.