Monday, September 21, 2009

Wedding worries

Last season on So You Think You Can Dance,
I heard choreographer Mia Michaels
say that she feels like she is going to throw up
every time her choreography is performed.
She went on to say that it is that type of excitment
mixed with fear that keeps her striving to
produce her best work.
I love it when experts in their field are transparent enough
to admit that they are scared to death of not being able to
perform to their highest ability.

So many times, I just assume that at that level,
they have it down.
Nothing really rattles them and they can
fully trust their own ability to knock it out
of the park every single time.
It's nice to know that even with that kind of success,
the butterflies still flutter against their confidence
and keeps them running from failure.

I am fully aware that one never gets there.
If one is truely striving for the highest,
they never really get to the place
where they feel completely comfortable.
And if they do,
maybe its time to move on.
It is the very presence of those butterflies,
that lump in your throat,
that worry that you will fall short,
that keeps you pushing toward your own personal best.

So how does all of this apply to me and the
gorgeous wedding photos I've posted here?
The butterflies totally got me.
They almost won too,
but very recently,
I decided to use them to better myself
instead of taking their fluttering as a sign that I will never be as
good as I think I should be,
and should just quit before I embarrass myself,
or worse yet, disappoint someone.
I turned down four weddings in the past year because
of those butterflies.
Ironically, weddings, especially destination weddings,
is something that I see David and I
doing together in the future,
and yet it is the thing I am most afraid of.
I have never shot a wedding on my own.
It has never been my responsibility to get
"the shot", or to make sure
that the wedding couple's story is told
beautifully though my eyes.
I've been a second shooter a few times,
but for very small weddings of friends.

So, when Carmen called me,
the first thing I wanted to say was,
"I'm not very good. Are you sure you want me?"

But instead, I swallowed all that fear
and acted like I knew what I was doing.
When she told me that it would be a backyard wedding,
I knew that I had a chance because natural light
is clearly my thing.
When she told me that she was looking for a
journalistic style of wedding photography,
I knew that my chances of success were getting better
and better.
Maybe I really can do this!

I decided to just feel my way through the whole day
and finally face the fear of failure by
jumping right in to what scared me the most.
That doesn't mean I didn't worry myself to death over it
and spend hours researching new information
and re-reading things I already knew.
It just means that I relied heavily on what I know.
Photography is emotional.
For me it is 90% feeling and 10% techincal.
I know what I think is beautiful.
I know what moments will be cherished 50 years from now
and I know how to capture that.
That's all I needed.

It didn't matter that it was the absolute
brightest day of the year...
and hottest too!
It didn't matter that I don't have the latest and greatest
photography equipment.
All that mattered was that I poured my heart and soul
into telling the story of Carmen and Sonny's
special day in the most beautiful way
I knew how to do.

And that I was brave enough to do it.
David was my second shooter.
He's been working with my d50 for about a year
and is quite good at it.
He was such an asset to me that day.
I'm so proud of him for stepping out of his
comfort zone and getting some awesome shots,
including the one below!
I love how he framed Carmen and Sonny
and captured the expression on her face.

Thank you Carmen and Sonny for having
more confidence in me in the beginning than I had
in myself!
David and I wish you many, many years of happiness!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

To the nines!

A friend of mine posted a beautiful photo on facebook
showing a gorgeous table setting that someone had done
for Easter.
It was beyond beautiful
complete with decorative plates, handmade place settings
and napkin ring holders.

The plates matched the table cloth which coordinated
with the napkins
which were accented by the center arrangement.

There was even a bowl of eggs that were stamped to match the whole thing!

All I could think about was who the heck is this person
and how in the world did she not only have time to plan such a setting
but also stamp those darn eggs!?
I pictured the 8 yr old plastic plates
and the boring everyday dishes in my own cabinets.
I am further plagued with the complete lack of acceptable linens
and mismatched mugs we've collected over the years.

Where is my perfectly coordinated life?
I fully intended for it to be here by now.

When I was young and still dreaming about what my life would be like,
I used to cut out pages from magazines
with decor that I liked.
I would plan in my head what my home would look and feel like.

At some stages in my life and in some of our homes,
I've been able to abandon reason for creativity
and as a result, I created fun unique spaces
that showed off our personality.

But the last few moves we've made have been short and sweet,
hardly leaving enough time to unpack all of our boxes,
let alone make it pretty.

This is one of the challenges in being a Navy wife.

Matching dish sets become casualties to heavy handed movers.
Heavier furniture often gets left behind to meet weight limits.
Curtains never fit from house to house.
Furniture may not arrange in the new space
in a way that is functional for your family.
Beds may not fit up the narrow staircases of old New England houses.
Rugs may not fit new room dimensions.
Land lords, or Navy housing management, differ greatly in what
they will let you do to make a house your home.

I think I've lost my mojo along the way.
I love beauty.
I adore creativity.
I enjoy arranging things that are visually appealing
and a bit of a surprise.

Taking something old and making it new again
is a joy to me.
But somehow over the past few years,
I've given up that side of me out of sheer frustration.
It makes no sense to invest in items that are specific to one home
and then hope it fits your next one too.
But then on the other hand,
it's hard to live in a space that you have lost the desire to personalize.
I like to look around my home and smile,
not cringe.

Practicality has prevailed and now I live in boring spaces
with little personality.
A victim of sensable neutrals
with my only savior being my fabulous red couch
which just begs for colorful companions.

This displeases me immensely.

Lately though, I sense a change.
Little thoughts that whisper into my dormant creative spirit
and remind it of the hutch sitting in the garage.

"Paint it", the whisper nudges.
"Paint it a bold, fun color like turquoise and distress it!"
Now a flurry of thoughts take over.
"Bold and fun?
Hey, I'm bold an fun.
I AM bold and fun!"
Reason seems to bait me with an ever so quiet challenge
"proove it!"
OK, if I paint it and bring it in, I know exactly where I'll put it.
Then I could bring the chest of drawers upstairs and
arrange it here.
It will need a coat of paint too.

And that storage bench needs to go here in front of the window.
I'll need to recover it with a more vibrant fabric though.

And, oh my....those curtains will not do.
I will probably have to dye them to get the color I want.

How is that for bold and fun, Mr. Reason?

Now, if I'm bringing in the turquoise blue to accent the red and white
in one room and the black in another room,
I'll have to do away with the spring green and brown I've already got there.
This means new pillows or pillow covers.
The process goes on and on,
but the exciting part is that I'm thinking again.
We've only got a year and a half left here,
but as my disdain for my current blah decor grows,
practicality shrinks.
After all, the fun colors of turquoise blue and red very tastefully done
in a beach cottage with a funky twist sort of way
could work in the next house too, right?
Probably not, but a girl can dream, can't she?
In honor of 9-9-09 day,
I've scoured the internet with my virtual scissors
and have clipped 9 photos of a few items and looks that would really
spunk up my decor with a little personality
and totally dress it up to the nines!!