Category Archives: looking through the lens

This is what actually comes out when I try to work on a Friday.

 I’m feeling very crafty lately, for some reason. I have TONS of ideas floating around in my head, some of which I’ve researched and definitely want to do. The transition of those ideas to completed projects, however, still remains elusive. Notice I said completed projects. My latest start showed up on Instagram yesterday, and as of bedtime last night, was coming along nicely. I wish I could say that actually meant something. For now, I will just say yesterday was a good craft day. 



A change is coming. One that I’m still struggling with. A LOT. I don’t know if I’m ready to say it out loud just yet, at least not with any real conviction. I know that as soon as I do say it out loud, I will be thrown into the stocks and pelted with rotten vegetables until the Crown Prince comes to announce that I am descendant of an ancient royal line and therefore above this kind of treatment. Sheesh, my mind is such a volatile place. 

My new camera has been an absolute BLAST. I can’t believe just how quiet it is. AND FAST OMG. I may actually be able to take fewer shots of an image to make sure I get a good one. Then again, I may just keep shooting. And shooting. And shooting. I am hoping for really good weather this weekend, so I can try to get the shot(s) of Tim and me that I want. It’s time to change Tim’s FB cover photo, so his friends and family will stop thinking his BFF is his GF. [sigh] Sometimes I am just an overly awesome photog.

Will Social Media and I ever be able to repair our relationship? I really don’t know. For now, I’ve been hiding over in the twitter corner, because I think I seem so much less pathetic at 140 characters or less. [shrugs]

Motivation. I has none. Is it 5 yet?      

I have GOT to stop thinking my work is shit.

I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but two of my classes this semester are retakes, Intro to Photo and Acct Info Sys. I’m retaking those classes for two reasons: 1) to remove the “drop” from the calculation and get my GPA up from a 2.79 and 2) to actually finish those classes. Those E’s on my transcript haunt me. Every. Day. To go from A’s and B’s to basically nothing? It’s killing me. I have to fix it. After this semester, I only have one more retake left, Object Oriented Programming II (basically Java II).

Some might think it’s weird for me to be taking an introduction to photography class. It’s really not, though. Two years ago when I was enrolled in the same class, I was just starting out with my business. I was still shooting in Auto. I was still shooting JPG images. I was enrolled in that class long enough to have two assignments graded, before I dropped, and in those two assignments, I learned A TON. I haven’t shot in any mode BUT Manual ever since. Shortly after that, I realized the benefits of shooting RAW, and have never looked back. (Side note: I’ve had to change back to JPG for this class, which I need to remember before I shoot my next session.)

The professor for this photo class is even better than the professor I had two years ago, and I thought he was pretty damn good. Tri has related really well with everyone in the class. This is a gen ed class, but I can tell that he really wants us to learn. He doesn’t talk down to anyone when he answers questions and he explains the terminology in layman’s terms. Plus, he clearly knows his shit. And when he not only described his wife as a “nerd,” but showed pride in his wife’s geek status, he moved up even farther on my scale.

We turned in our first assignment yesterday. It was the exact same assignment I completed two years ago, and it dealt with understanding how your camera worked. We did some images to understand aperture, some for shutter speed, some for camera shake, some panning (THOSE. ARE. HARD.), and some for color shifts from indoor lighting. I was interested to see the difference between the two sets of images, although I still haven’t compared them side-by-side yet. I did notice that, while I certainly don’t know everything about it, I am MUCH more familiar with my camera than I was back then. I was even able to help some of my fellow students figure out theirs. But at the same time, I learned something new. Good times.

When I got my assignment together, I felt pretty good about it. But then the thing happened that usually does with me, I started to panic. The images weren’t good enough, not by a long shot. In my mind, I fully expected Tri to give them back to me and say, “Not even close, moron. Try again.” Yes, I do know he would never actually say something like that, but at the time, my mind was going into negative overdrive. Logic was completely ignored.

Once everyone uploaded their images, Tri chose some (names redacted, of course) to give us a better understanding of what he’s looking for when grading. His comments were very constructive, not hurtful at all, and yet I still sat in the back repeating the same phrase over and over in my mind. “Please don’t pick mine. Please don’t pick mine. Please don’t pick mine. PLEASE DON’T PICK MINE.”

He picked mine.

My first thought was, “Crap.” Then as he went through them, I realized he wasn’t tearing them to shreds. Then I looked more closely at the images on the screen. The exposure looked pretty damn close in most of the images. Since we were working on equivalent exposure, I started to relax about how well I completed the assignment. Tri laughed at the images of Ash doing jumping jacks (shutter speed images to show blur/freeze action), commenting on the things we ask our kids to do to get shots. A fellow student also told me they were good pictures. It will be interesting to see what my grade is on the assignment. Then I will have to dig out the old one and compare.

Next assignment due is on depth of field. Not as many technical components this time. Not as many images required either. Now I get to play.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

I told someone that I was going to write this, so I guess it’s time I actually got to writing.

I am proud of the work I did on Z-boy’s senior pictures. I didn’t know what to expect for my first senior session. My only hope was to end up with something good for Z-boy, because he deserved to have a keepsake of his senior year.

Mission accomplished. Apparently.

The photo book I made as a graduation gift for Z-boy was a BIG hit with his mom and her family. To be honest, that kind of caught me off guard. Hearing that his mom and grandmother were showing everyone his photo book just sounded so weird to me. But this was what I wanted to happen eventually with my business, right? I guess I just didn’t expect it to happen this soon.

Not that I’m complaining, mind you.

It didn’t stop there, though. Sunday was Z-boy’s graduation party, and the accolades kept coming. It was one thing to hear the compliments from a third-party, but to hear them straight from the horses’ mouths… was both flattering and awkward at the same time. Oh, I sincerely said “Thank you!” to each and every compliment, but it still felt so surreal doing it. Is that normal?

I don’t know, but it does lead me to real point of this post.

During the party, Tim walked back in after talking to some people outside, and told me that I might be asked to shoot a wedding.

Wait. Did he just say wedding?

Apparently, the topic of conversation outside was the upcoming wedding for a couple of the party guests. Z-boy’s grandmother threw MY name in as a potential photographer for their wedding. Tim told the group that if I was chosen as the photographer, it wouldn’t be for free.

There is just onnnnne problem, though. The thought of shooting a wedding terrifies me. I’m hoping that they decide to go with another photographer. Actually, I’m praying for that very thing.

I’ve mentioned on one social media outlet or another that I do not yet know what my niche is. I have pretty much figured out, though, that weddings are not it. And there is a very good reason for that. Being a wedding photographer has one major downside.

There is no do-over.

You cannot reshoot. Weddings are once-in-a-lifetime events and I couldn’t bear the thought of, at best, not getting enough good images. And what if I fuck it all up? Yeah, let’s not even go there, ok?

So, I bet you’re wondering where we left it. Kind of in limbo, actually, since it was just a recommendation. I’ll just have to wait and see if they decide to hire me, and try to keep my anxiety on its leash until then. Oh, and maybe figure out what I might charge to do it.

It’s true what they say. Be careful what you wish for.

Hold me.

All the news that’s fit to print (and some that might be questionable).

I’m praying to the Monster gods this morning, but so far they don’t seem to be listening. When will I learn that three hours of sleep just does NOT cut it? Apparently never. Ok, so maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. Maybe I should just go with I might learn once Tim and I are no longer maintaining two households, I’m not fitting in my photography around a full-time job/school/family, I’m worrying about my health, I’m not worrying about Tim’s health, Tim’s out of school, I’m out of school, THE KIDS are out of school… Yeah, I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more I could add to that list, so perhaps it’s not that much of an exaggeration after all.

Ash passed on Schnoz Plague 2014 to me, because apparently she is all about giving to others right now. And this would, of course, be AFTER she killed our tissue reserves. So, I may be telling the therapist tonight that we need to rethink this whole “sharing” thing she has Ash working on. Sometimes you really can share too much, IMHO.

Graduation is next week for both Z-boy and Tim, which reminds me that I haven’t accomplished anywhere near what I wanted to this past month. I had an awesome list of all the things I wanted to get done before the arrival of Hurricane Tim’s Mom, like remove a layer (or two) of dust in my apartment, uncover the source of the eau de Marley that still plagues me (after what, a year now?), clear out the forest floor that is my balcony, and hit the gym. HARD. Sadly, none of those things have been done, especially that last one. I had a grand goal of being down at least ten pounds by now. Unfortunately, with everything we had going on this month, and my recent diverticulitis diagnosis, the gym has been one of the last things on my mind. So, last night, as I was figuring out my wardrobe for next week (bcuz even though I feel like crap, I am still going to look damn good for both events), I realized I have to become reacquainted with my old “friend” Spanx. And to be honest, I had hoped we cut our ties for good after the last time. *sigh*

My first senior session is nearly put to bed. YAY ME. I admit that I was thoroughly freaked out when I first started this project, even though it was 100% my idea (and my grad gift to the senior). After the first round of images was finished, I felt fairly positive about the session. But I also felt it needed more, like a new outfit, a new location, etc, so we scheduled a second round. Those images are nearly finished now, and my outlook on the session has gone from fairly positive to DAMN I’M GOOD. I had a blast working with this senior, and I honestly think I captured his personality. I also found areas of my work that could use some improvement, but I am taking them for what they are – learning tools. Some of you know what a perfectionist I am when it comes to my photography, so for me to accept a self-critique like that is HUGE.

Ok, I guess it’s time to get back to work. Short work weeks have their pros and cons, that’s for sure. As I wrap up this latest edition of This is My Life – It Could Always be Worse*, I’ll leave you with this parting thought:

Lately, I wonder what shower sex looks like with a height difference.

For a friend.

 

*Not a real thing. Or a real thought. I actually think my life is pretty great right now.