Merry Christmas (in May) | fragments

1. It's May. It's snowing. We got over 10 inches of snow the other day. Record setting snow. I had my first snow day ever (home-schooled and all ... never really got a lot of those.) But other than the cancelled plans and the lounging in my jammies all day ... this snow is ... (trying to figure out how to say this nicely) ... awful.  This time last year, I'd been shooting outside for 2.5 months. This year - might not have another outdoor session until June. Heh. :) Just to make myself feel a little better, I've been looking up old images from last year - when it was all beautiful and sunshiny.  2. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zXgQSmH2Dg[/youtube]

The Park | Bon Iver

//I have this dream of just being in a cozy coffeeshop in Seattle (Seattle, because that’s where the music’s at) … just a small, intimate setting … sitting around drinking coffee, listening to Bon Iver sing. That would be so lovely.

 

3. I got this sweet note from a mom that I had recently photographed and her words instantly made my entire job worth everything. I love my job - I love *almost* every minute of it, but when you work for yourself, you never get a break. You're always working. You are your own boss, which does have its benefits for sure, but it can also be very difficult because you never really "shut off" - you never quit working. These words that she wrote me though ... I have tucked them deep inside my heart and I'm sure i'll continue to read these kind words many times over.

Kadi, I can’t thank you enough for taking my baby's pictures, I really can’t. It is so hard to explain my emotions. But watching you take his pictures, and seeing the outcomes, makes me feel like everything is going to be okay, and he is going to be okay. Our family has been through so much these past few weeks, and just to have something amazing like this done, let us breathe for a moment and enjoy our baby. You made my husband cry, not something easily done. I just can’t stop saying thank you…I really can’t…thank you so much!

 

4. I've been shooting with my Polaroid and my Pentax a lot lately. It's pretty much my favorite thing to do. There is truly nothing like it. I'm finding that I have a total obsession with film photography. I feel like I have discovered a brand new passion. I don't use my film cameras for client work, just for my personal work ... just using it to capture simple moments that mean so much more to me than more calculated portraits. Film photography is SO expensive. About $2 per click. So when you press the shutter, it has to mean something. It's expensive because we have to purchase the film, develop them, and then scan the negatives in order to see them. But the whole experience of creating an image with it's end results is SO worth it for me. 

5. I read this article here - Click Here 

Oscar Wilde famously proclaimed, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” And when I find myself getting caught up in self-imposed comparisons, I try to take solace in that. While comparisons can be a helpful benchmark to see if I’m on track (and I do follow a lot of blogs to keep up on market research and trends) if I check in too often, I start feeling low instead of inspired. How about you?

THE PROOF IS IN THE PICTURE

In the last few years (and especially now with Instagram), I feel like the proof is in the picture. Before, people were trying to explain how great their lives were and it was easy for us to write it off as being boastful or insecure. But now that we have visual proof, it really hits home. I’m a designer and by nature, I’m always rearranging my belongings and surroundings. Part of that no doubt comes from being in the advertising industry where the aim is to curate the best image possible on a client’s behalf. Companies pay big for that polish and it’s understandable because competition is stiff.

But what happens when that seeps into our daily lives? The lines between online and real life have been so blurred that it’s hard to separate fantasy from reality. If we see imagery in an ad campaign, it’s obvious that there’s a team behind it. But when we see it on blogs, it’s harder to tell.

When we’re comparing our blogs to everyone elses’ we only know part of the story. Contrary to what anyone says, none of us should be expected to share every little piece of our lives online. We all have different comfort zones. And we should respect that when it comes to everyone else, too. When we only see bits of a story (usually the best parts) it’s natural to fill in the blanks. I’ve met a lot of bloggers I admire (after following some for years before ever having that real life interaction) and I can tell you that I’m always blown away by how approachable, vulnerable and normal they actually seem. It’s a good reminder that we all have struggles.

STANDING OUT IS MORE OBVIOUS THAN YOU THINK

When it comes to blogging, if you’re wondering why what you’re doing even matters, the answer is simpler than you think: We each have something within us that makes us unique. You have a distinct voice and perspective from everyone else in the world. Only you have the ability share, define and curate your experiences. Instead of comparing yourself to everyone else, you will actually stand out more by just being yourself.

IN CLOSING

At the end of the day, I try to remember that blog posts are just a snapshot into someone’s life. They don’t necessarily reflect a current moment. A blog post is a recollection of a point someone’s life that was memorable to them. It’s a learning experience. Instead of focusing on everyone else, focus on what you do best. The rest will come naturally. If the pieces haven’t fallen into place yet, it’s okay. It takes time. Just don’t lose sight of what makes you unique.

6. The past two days i’ve been dreaming up sessions ...sessions that I’ve had in my head for YEARS but have never done anything with. Sessions that take a whole bunch of planning and thought and action - conceptual ideas that I am BEYOND EXCITED to make happen. This quote is really what made me realize that I should just jump in, "If you had unlimited resources — money, people, stuff! — what would you shoot? What’s the biggest fantasy shoot you can think of?"  It feels so good to not only spill my ideas out on paper, but to email people and book dates, collecting and creating props, and finding the perfect models to fit my ideas. Excited doesn’t even begin to cover it. :)

Deciding to finally DO something with these ideas and make them happen feels so good. My plan is to shoot a "for me" session at least three times a month - so you should start seeing those more and more. (Well, as soon as this nasty weather gets better.)

My first "for me" session was with 2 year old Micah ... Shooting to create something. Shooting to be passionate about something. Shooting to get excited and to be happy. Shooting to be in love with what I do. Shooting for me. 

7. My junior year of high school/first year of college ends in 12 days! I just have to get through the next two weeks of finals and all will be well. I'm SO excited. Summer can't come fast enough. I've been making all sorts of plans for the summer in hopes that it will be the best summer ever.

 
8. 
I'm going to a Mumford & Sons concert in one month (front row general admission!) Favorite band. Best music. So crazy excited.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBaauZ0nji0[/youtube]
"Where you invest your love, you invest your life"