Friday, October 19, 2012

A Lesson in Hope

*insert world's biggest sigh of relief here*

I think this Instagram picture I took recently is the perfect way to sum things up. Sometimes when we're lost, we turn around right before we get to where we need to be. Don't turn around...keep going. Hope is on the horizon.

I now work at a place where I can not only be creative, but where that creativity is --get this--appreciated. 

What a concept :) it only took two+ years out of college to get here! But you know what, if it weren't for all the miscellaneous, random jobs I've had in the past, I'm not sure I'd appreciate this one as much as I do now. As you could probably tell from my last post, I'd almost given up and turned around....I was very, very close. Instead, I powered through it, and I'm truly glad I did. It feels so good to be appreciated and have coworkers who not only value your work, but you as a person. Not to mention the fact that they have hope for you, and believe in what you can do. 

Swing by my Instagram for more lovely pics! I'm thinking I'll do more posts like this so they're more frequent. That and I'm obsessed with Instagram :D

Have a great weekend, maybe it will lead to a new horizon for you as well :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

When Life Likes To See How Much You Can Take...

Do you ever get tired of hearing the same old adages that are supposed to make you feel better, but really just make your eyes roll?

"The night is darkest before the dawn."
"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."
"It could always be worse," or "look at the bright side!"
"Anything worth having doesn't come easy."
"It's not about how many times you get knocked down, but about how many times you get back up...."

...and on and on. I'm well aware that negativity feeds negativity, and only results in more negative things. I really do try to be a positive person, but lately I can't help but get caught up in all of the unlucky, unfortunate events that keep happening one after the other. Like life is testing me to see how much I can handle. And sure enough, my close friends or people who see me every day have noticed not only that I'm feeling sick, but just not as upbeat as I normally am, and they all chime in with one of the above sayings in an attempt to give me perspective or cheer me back up. My favorite is the one with the half shrug and an eyebrow raise/smirk. You know what face I'm talking about.

I catch myself complaining, or wallowing in self-pity, and get frustrated because that's not who I am. I find myself saying, "I'm not asking for much, I just want to put my skills to use and have them be appreciated." And then my inner voice goes "STOP IT!"

It's quite a challenge to maintain a positive attitude as a passionate photographer and creative individual when my 5 year old DSLR got rained on a couple of weeks ago at the East Coast Surf Championships and was rendered "un-fixable" because of all the corrosion inside. The camera that started it all--fostered my love for photography, provided some of my first great images, got me my first photo job as a staff photographer for my college newspaper--is just gone.

A lot of people probably think I'm nutso for having such emotional ties to an inanimate object, but in a lot of ways it's like saying goodbye to an old pet, one you've been through so much with. Photography is the one thing in life that I don't have to think about when I do it, and I love the perspective it gives me on simple, everyday things. Just check out my Instagram
and you'll see what I mean. That camera is what helped me realize all this.

Sure, I could go into all the ridiculous other unfortunate things that have happened in the past month or two. But I don't think I have enough space on here to do so (hah), and who would want to read all of that anyway? Enough is enough. I can't keep letting this negativity eat away at me. Nowadays it's so easy to get sucked into this black hole of self pity and whine and complain, and no one wants to be around that kind of person. Clearly the stress of it all has now made me sick, and that's a wake up call in and of itself. So I resort to my other love, writing, which I haven't been able to do a lot of lately. Right now I work full time Mon-Fri 8-5 at a university, a position that ends in two weeks, while working weekends at the mall, and owning my own photography business doing freelance gigs on the side. I do this because I know none of it is permanent and can change in an instant, and God forbid I wind up with nothing. But as a result, I'm on overload all. the. time. For once I would love to just find a creative job that lets me utilize all of my talents...then I wouldn't be stretched so thin. I'd hate to be a "Jack of all trades but an Ace of none."

So on a more positive note,  I'd like to share with you all some of the last images I got to take on my trusty 40D before its untimely death. Ironically I had such a blast at the 50th ECSC this year. It's the epitome of the kind of event I love covering: it's outside on the beach, lots of people having a good time (makes for great candids), lots of activities going on (AWESOME action shots) and concerts like three times a day. But this made it such a roller coaster of emotions. I experienced such a high after photographing Breathe Carolina that Friday night (they do the song "Blackout" on the radio right now). They put on one hell of a concert, and I got to shoot from literally right under them in the VIP area...all of that joy only to be crushed by a heavy rainstorm that ruined my camera the following morning. Luckily, one of my friends let me borrow his 5D to continue shooting that weekend...but I just couldn't get into it after that knowing my camera was probably done for.

So anyway, here are a few of my favorite images from that weekend, for more head on over to my website: And I'm sure you're wondering where all of the surfing pictures are....another irony, I didn't get any this year. My zoom lens was on my camera when it got rained on and totally ruined the autofocus. I was letting it air dry the whole weekend :/

But I'm happy with the other shots that made me focus on instead:
Breathe Carolina's David Schmitt

Breathe Carolina's Kyle Even

Men's footvolley tournament

EJ Bollmann from Va Beach's Cheap Thrills

Thanks for hanging in there till the end if you read all that!! Hopefully the pictures were worth it :)

Until next time--
"Life is like photography, we develop from the negatives."

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Say Hello To Our Newest Addition!

About a month ago, my husband and I made the decision to purchase a 2013 Mustang GT. He's always been a fan of Mustangs, had an '03 Cobra when we met, so this was a long time coming. He's missed it ever since he sold it about 5 years ago (got horrible gas mileage, he was visiting me every weekend up at school). But I can't wait to learn to drive it! I've never owned a manual transmission, so that should be real fun....:-P 

So of course, the first thing I wanted to do was take it for a photo shoot! And you know what, it's much harder than I thought to find an ideal location to photograph a car, especially a sports car. Somewhere with no power lines, a simple background, and enough open space to make the car the central focus point. Lord. We drove around for about 2 hours trying to scout a location, since it's pretty impossible to research places ahead of time not knowing what you're looking for! So this shot was literally pure luck, or simply preparation met with opportunity. I was ready to hop out and shoot at a moment's notice! It was my husband's last ditch effort/idea of a place to go, this back residential road. I wasn't really feeling it, my mind racing to figure out how I could compose this shot (sun was setting fast) just to get SOMETHING after all the driving we did! It was still a fun ride regardless, but c'mon. I wanted a good shot! I was set to get one that night.

Then it hit me. I saw the sun setting over by an elementary school randomly placed among neighborhoods. There was an empty parking lot save for one random electrical looking truck in the background. I got out and directed my husband where to position the car just right, and he hopped out. I snapped a few shots from a few different angles, and the rest is history. Then, spent about 3 hours photoshopping the best one to make it perfect. Considering I had no lighting other than the super bright sun setting behind the car, the foreground was obviously pretty dark. So I brought that up to balance out the light, smoothed out some of the reflections, took out the license plate and voila! Oh and I may have bumped up the saturation of the sunset colors a bit ;)

Let me know what you think! You can also see our story over on Ford Social Here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Baby Shower Collage!

Time for an update. Only took till March of the new year!! I recently attended a friend and coworker's baby shower. Of course, I brought my camera. It made for some really cute pictures, so I threw a bunch together and made a collage out of them. Enjoy!