Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sidewalk Prophets

For my friends and family who've truly loved and supported me through this difficult especially huge thanks for my parents being a special blessing by investing in me in so many ways, including photo gear. (LOVE the 50d... THANK YOU!!!!! I WILL pay you back!!!) I am blessed by photographers who are willing to teach and help, by the encouragement I receive on a daily basis, bo those who look ahead to what I am not always able to see... YOU'VE said these words. Thank you!

The Words I Would Say
by: Sidewalk Prophets

Three in the morning, and I'm still awake. So I picked up a pen and a page. And I started writing, just what I'd say, if we were face to face. I'd tell you just what you mean to me. I'd tell you these simple truths. Be strong in the Lord and never give up hope. You're going to do great things. I already know, God's got his hand on you so, Don't live life in fear, forgive and forget, but don't forget why you're here, take your time and pray. These are the words I would say.

Last time we spoke, you said you were hurting, and I felt your pain in my heart. I want to tell you, that I keep on praying, Love will find you where you are. I know cause I've already been there. So please hear these simple truths.

Be strong in the Lord and never give up hope, you're going to do great things. I already know. God's got his hand on you so, don't live in fear, forgive and forget, but don't forget why you're here. Take yoiur time and pray. These are the words I would say.

From one simple life to another, I will say, come find peace in the Father.

Be strong in the Lord, and never give up hope, you're going to do great things. I already know. God's got his hand on you so, don't live in fear. Forgive and forget, but don't forget why you're here. Take your time and pray, thank God for each day, His love will find a way. These are the words I would say.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Make more blog appearances

I have had this request lately.. from one in particular... "Are your pictures somewhere other than facebook? I'm not cool enough for facebook." Hm....regardless of the cool factor, (and she IS cool enough, she just doesn't realize it... I think she just doesn't want to violate the witness protection code or something!) I do need to make more appearances aside from facebook land. So I will do my best to get more up here. I would like to share lots of pictures, because I have had the great honor of working with so many talented people lately, including photographers who help me learn, models, who help me make great pictures, and a bride and groom, who helped me with my first real wedding experience. I will be working on editing as well- unemployment has given me time to work on keep your eyes opened. Wedding posts will be coming soon and I promise to do my best and give you a glimpse into my photographic world as it grows and changes. And yes... change IS good.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Can I buy you lunch?

I was out and about running errands today, my final errand at the bank to deposit a check. The check was money that needs to stay in the bank- a kind credit from a credit card that reversed a late fee for me. Grateful for any small gesture. As I walked back to the car, I was approached by a lady who started out her speach with "Excuse me, I'm sorry...I've lost my job and..." Bam, I cut her off before she could continue; "I've lost my job too." She apologized stepped back, offered me another apology and a 'God bless" and walked away with her husband and daughter. A tumult of thoughts raced through my mind... 'why do they come up to me at the bank? I'm there putting money in for a reason, I didn't take anything out... and anyway, I lost my job too! I'm not walking up to people at the bank... 'Now granted, I know I have a tremendous support system. My parents will not let us lose the house, they will help with the bills, and already, they are so supportive of me trying to find new direction, a new career, any sort of income. But something nagged at my heart...'you can't walk away. You can at least buy them lunch. The widow in the Bible was willing to give her last cents...'
'Ok, fine', I argued with myself, 'what if it turns out like the last time I tried to help someone and they ordered some of the most expensive things on the menu?!'
'Just go. Give. You have something, you can buy them lunch.'
By then I had traveled about 2 blocks from the shopping center, and the nagging feeling had not left. I don't have to question motives, I don't have to worry about how they spend the money, I don't have to do any of that... I can buy them lunch.
I looked all around the shopping center to find them, but they were not there, I drove around, looking between aisles, in front of shops, but no family. I drove further in to the center, away from the bank, and there they were, walking away. I called out to the woman, and asked, "Can I buy you lunch?" Sure, she said, and called over to her husband who turned the stroller around and double timed it over to where we stood. We walked to a nearby Carl's while the husband went to a store to get an application. She was Sabrina, and the child was named Apples. Her husband worked for a body shop and lost his job. She worked at McDonalds, and lost hers as well. Their car, she told me, had been towed away this morning, and they were staying with her grandmother. I said "I have a few bucks, I can buy you lunch." She looked grateful.
I fear I may miss opportunities being so intuned to my pain, my joblessness, my bank account. But there are opportunities for me to see Christ, to BE Christ to whomever needs him. I pray that my selfishness, my own fears will not get in the way of me doing something, no matter how small, to bless someone else. I'm afraid I have gotten so used to defending myself, arguing my case, that I forget to look for those who have no advocate.
Sabrina asked me to pray for them. I will do my best to remember. I don't know that she realizes that she was the gift to me today, reminding me that God is good, and he cares for his children. He will look out for me, and I need to look out for others. I need to be willing to give, down to my last cent, because so much has been given for me. It's the very least that I can do...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Theories on Fear Part 1

It's late, and I'm getting ready to hit the sack. My bags are packed and my Texas wedding adventure awaits. But first...I must confess. I did a photo shoot last night, and have not had the nerve to look at the pictures. If you know me, you know I am neurotic about the pictures, and I can't get them fast enough.. thank God for digital. I have been known to post pictures within an hour of a shoot. This shoot was different. I stared straight into the face of fear. Now. It turns out that fear has been a present enemy for some time now. I didn't realize that until recently. It didn't help that there were 30 or so other photographers there... or that I had been directed to take the reins with the posing couple... or that Becker had just given me the reins... oh dang. One of the photographer icons says, "Now, you have a go...don't be shy!" after flashing a minute of his expertise.. brilliance... anyway. I froze. I panicked... I was the most uninspired person there. Every doubt, every insecurity, every fear that I had gotten in way over my head and these people would know the kind of photographer I was, and they were probably far better. Sheer terror. I gawked and stuttered until someone suggested I use the fence in the shot, and I lamely directed the couple to their spot. I snapped a few pictures, and walked away feeling defeated. I am a good photographer. Just like I was a good teacher. Fear is a sneaky adversary! It's late, so fear will have it's throwdown later. I have a few rounds yet before the winner {ME} will be announced.. but I will look at my pictures, I will find good shots, I WILL do fabulous couple shots at Rae's wedding this weekend... She won't let me trash the dress, but that will be for another bride, another day. And the next time Becker says "Ok, now YOU go", well, he'll be saying that to the back of me, because I will have already taken the shot.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Laid off...

New directions abound at every turn. God is good and pointing out things to me constantly. I am blessed to have such a tremendous support group, along with many photographic opportunities. Was I destined to do that long ago? And will there be any answers from recent events? Who knows. Maybe it doesn't matter. This is still the start of a new adventure. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

On getting lost and finding myself...

I was on a practice photo shoot in Norco on Saturday. My facebook friend Michelle had invited me along to this teaching shoot to get a little more practice directing models, playing with light, etc. Michelle had to bail out at the last minute, and I was faced with a choice; stay home and crawl back into bed? Or step out and go into a completely foreign situation, take pictures with total strangers, of total strangers in a new and strange place. Believe it or not, I went. It was out of my comfort zone for sure, but I was welcomed by a kind and accepting group and freshly baked ginger cookies. The shoot was pretty standard as far as shoots go- I got some nice shots, good practice, networking, and the guts to step out and tell the model what to do. That right there was pretty huge. Models are scary for me, and I don't know how to direct them a whole lot yet. Not enough practice posing Barbies as a child I guess. I can direct a class and tell them exactly what to do, but still need to learn how to talk to my subjects and get them to do what I want them to do. Hard, when I really am not sure myself what I want them to do.

Anyway, after the shoot was over, I drove around Norco to explore. I have found for years that I get lost in the most delightful places, and decided to ignore the obnoxious woman in my GPS and get good and lost. Driving off on random roads yields discoveries I often find later on a vacation (Hey, I got lost here once!!!) Before I got too lost, I found in the city of Norco itself, a love affair with horses; horse streetlamps, signs for horse crossing, dirt sidewalks for horses to trot along, and specially made crosswalk buttons placed high enough up that a person on horseback could push the button to get the light to change for crossing! Genius!

Top that off with a restaurant with horses in the parking lot (didn't hear car alarms going off there... or did I?) and it was just charming. You could hitch your horse up outside of Starbucks and McDonalds.

My apologies to the poor guy crossing the street on horseback. You should have seen the look he gave me as I took his picture in the middle of the intersection! The city girl had to take the picture of the horse in the street!

I drove on, up a street, through neighborhoods, near a lovely lush river area with sandy shores. It was a beautiful wide green area, seemingly out of place for Norco, but it was beautiful*taking notes for future photo sessions* and a lovely surprise.

I kept on driving through cities I had never heard of, getting more lost by the minute. I was not worried until I started realize that absolutely nothing was familiar, even when I saw street names I remembered from my Forest Home years. The gas gauge showed no respect for my getting lost and exploring, even though I was not on the right part of Archibald Street, and the amber empty light came on. I calculated furiously in my head, how many more miles can I go? How much more lost can I get before running out of gas? And decided to drive on to the next random gas station. No random gas station came up, and I had to bring back the GPS lady. She was not helpful, instead choosing to send me to a Riverside gas station, 14 miles away, about 4 miles outside of how long my car would have lasted on those final precious drops... and there were cows to boot.

Cows. I knew I needed to get back to take pictures of cows (and why not? They were sticking their tongues out at me and giving me dirty looks. Have you seen a cow give you a dirty look?) More practice with depth of field and lighting, NOT depending on the Auto or "P" setting on my camera. I made a deal that I would go two more miles, trusting there would be gas, and then I could return for my bovine images. Sure enough, there was a 7-11 gas station (did I even know those existed??) and got a couple of gallons at a ridiculously unfair price. Back to the girls for their pictures with dirty looks, eating hay with tongues extended and jumps as my camera flashed and clicked.

Off I drove again, back to Norco, because I was sure I had missed some photo opportunities there and I had to cruise around and look like a silly tourist. I had gone in a big worthless circle, but that was ok. Gas is cheaper than it used to be, and I had some time to think as I drove. Life may be bringing some pretty big changes soon. My recent shoots have revealed many things, the chief of which that I don't know who I am. At the last photo shoot I won by being picked in a drawing, we talked about branding. What is my style? How do I want to market myself? (First of all, probably not having such long blogs... sorry.... I am nearly at the end!) I realized that so many of those present knew what they wanted. They know their style, they know how to direct a model, they know how to edit and change. They know their camera and how to make it do what they want. I know all of this will come in time, and I know that I have some good knowledge already. But there is so much there to learn!!! I have had some gracious and helpful friends, ready to give advice, feedback, and time. A photographer I knew would hardly give me the time of day-boy did he miss out on building into others and learning more by the simple gift of time. I have gotten so much from my photographic field trips lately. Growing by the minute and getting many opportunities to take pictures. But a question remains. How much of me is still lost? And how will I get found? Is my identity in photographer? In teacher? Daughter? Friend? Child of God? As so much prepares to change, I just can't say. What happens if I stop being teacher? After 8 years of that hat, what will I do if I no longer wear it? It is a road I am lost on, driving around in a big circle, taking pictures along the way. Would I be delighted to visit here on vacation, this place I am lost? I don't think so. Not a planned stop on the itinerary. But getting lost does bring out the unexpected and lovely surprises. So, I wait. Storms might roll through, like the one that just showed an early EARLY morning 2 a.m. thunder and lightning show, followed by a pouring rain finale. I might get lost, and I just might see big piles of cow manure along the way. Maybe it won't be so bad after all. As I am lost I may just find exactly what I was looking for.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Photo Shoot Out

Monday was a good day. Despite just learning that I have a herniated disc in my back, which totally sucks, I had an afternoon of photography to look forward to. Hanssie, and old (back to the Forest Home days, not old chronologically) friend has a photography business and we had chatted about getting a photographer field trip set up. I learned that the girl is organized, because she pulled it all together, and Monday arrived with the promise of beautiful weather and beautiful models. The day did not disappoint. Hanssie was a plethora of information, and Matt, her partner in crime also let me follow him around, ask questions, and get inspired by the talent. I will throw in a few pics here, but there are more, and I am going to learn how to edit them, so they'll look even better! I don't remember many of the names, but there was a heap of talent, and three fantastic models. Dustyn, Kenzie and Kree, thanks so much! You made it easy to take great pictures! Keep an eye out, there will be more to come! Oh, and a shout out to Matthew Saville who took my picture too! Thanks Matt! Quality work!!