Wednesday, March 31, 2010

.i miss the sea.

I do. Terribly. For anyone of you that know me well enough, you know that every Spring comes that pang of homesickness that just doesn't seem to ever diminish. The weather is so delicious that my mind can't help but drift to the shores of Hawai'i. I miss the beach.

Monday, March 29, 2010

.time to simplify.

A little simplification would be the first step
toward rational living, I think.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Simplify. That is the word that I am embracing at the moment. With Spring now into full swing, the "cleaning" part has kicked in and I realize, I've got a ton of stuff. I observe the refugee families that I have the pleasure of assisting and I see how well they go about their lives with very little. I'm learning a lot about what is truly important in life. There will be a lot of purging and packing in the next several weeks as we prepare for what lies ahead, whatever that may be.

Simplify. I am trying to incorporate this word into other aspects of my life. As I think about my photography and the direction that I want to take it, the phrase keep it simple continuously comes to mind. My frustrations stem from the fact that I've allowed things to become more complicated than they should be. Over thinking. Please tell me that I'm not the only one with this problem.

Things are starting to get a little clearer for me. This may mean some more changes headed this way, but it just means that things are growing, blossoming. Something good this way comes. I can feel it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Today, I started to stress a little. Just a teensy weeny little bit. April is quickly approaching and I'll be honest, I don't know what is ahead of me, of us, my family. The winds of change are picking up again, just as crazy as the winds that swept through Nashville earlier today. A storm raged through town and just as quickly as it came, it trailed off to another place. I thought that everything would be strewn across the place, branches torn off trees. Nope. Everything was just as it was, only much wetter. It was actually quiet. Peaceful. I looked out my kitchen window and the above photo is what I saw (only not in monotone, but close!). Think there may be a lesson within today's storm.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

.polaroid::a new chapter.

SX-70 Alpha
A new chapter in the life of Polaroid cameras and film has been written. What was once considered an impossible attempt to bring back the adored instamatic film back from what would have been a terrible death, has become. . . well, possible. Almost. Although the original chemistry that created the popular 600 film, and many of its siblings, is no longer manufactured, the geniuses of The Impossible Project have created a NEW formula that has resulted in the launch of it's newest films: The PX 100 and PX 600. Both will officially be available tomorrow. And the world celebrates!

my polaroid cams
Like many who rediscovered a love for analog, specifically instant, photography, my time came a little late. I had purchased several packets of Polaroid 600 film from the only place locally that it was still available. Walmart. No sooner did I go through (painfully might I add) my packs of film that Walmart suddenly ran out of film. I would drive and drive and call and drive some more to find ANY Walmart that still carried the film. They were out. Gone. Nada. I went on to eBay and found that piles of this film were being sold there but my wallet would not oblige. So, Alpha, Lula, and Cutie (the names of my cameras) were put away. Alpha being the only one that still contained a few shots of 600 film.

easter pencils
Today, I brought my Polas out of the darkness to let them know that there is reason to celebrate. Soon, they will have purpose again. Thanks to these guys.

::video via Grant Hamilton
::be sure to check out some test shots of the new film on Flickr

Monday, March 22, 2010

.hints of spring::or::the death of a project.

almost there
Okay, so Spring has officially arrived. I have to tell you though, Winter, oh dear Winter, has still got a pretty firm grip on the trees here in Nashville. Today, temperatures were in the mid 30s and I can't help but feel like I'm being jipped. I long for color. I long for warmth. During a recent trip to Cheekwood, I did notice that there were subtle hints that Spring is slowly making her presence known here. So really, I should just shut up and be patient. ;0)

On to other subjects, I have come to terms with the fact that Project 365 is really just not for me. This means that I will be renaming my flickr album to "A Year in Photos::2010" which will feature my favorite shot for any one particular outing. I think. Who knows. May change that too! Ha! I know that there are folks out there that have been pretty relaxed about the rules for P:365 which I was totally in agreement with. But, after having missed several days, it just seemed wrong to keep the numbers 3-6-5 especially since I could not keep up with being true to "a photo every single day." I originally had this whole sch-peel about the deeper reasoning for not doing this project, but I'll spare you. Suddenly I have this need to read Susan Sontag's essays On Photography.

With all this said, I truly hope every single one of you are having a beautiful start to the week! Let me know how you are.

Monday, March 15, 2010

.staying true to myself.

I will have to admit to you that it's been a rather rough couple of weeks photography wise for me. Part of it due to the fact that I didn't have my camera (which I did get back today. . . YAY!) and also because, strangely enough, I have been asked to exhibit some of my photos. You would think that I would be extremely over the moon at the latter, but instead I became overly critical of my work to the point of getting a headache. Haha! That's a good sign right. . . ? As I gazed through some of my photos, I couldn't help but feel like I was just shooting all over the place. I found myself going back to my older images, photos that I didn't try to capture to submit to some publication or have accepted by the public as trendy. I shot them simply because I was moved to. Over the last several years, I feel like I've lost that, that emotional bond that transcends from subject to photographer, ultimately captured by the camera.

This morning after reading an inspiring post, I was reminded that as a photographer, I need to stay true to my vision. Too often I become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of images out there, trying to find a place to settle into only to realize that I wasn't really comfortable there. I always find myself saying that I'm still searching for my "voice" in the photography world. I sing the best when I'm in the shower or in my car, belting it out without a care as to who may hear, or see, me. I sing whatever moves me at the time (it's been a lot of Priscilla Ahn lately). Go out, shoot and don't give a rat's ass what anyone else thinks. In the end, it's your opinion of what you've done that matters. Sometimes I really should start taking my own advice.

.waiting for some color.

I've been taking quite a bit of photos of the sky lately. The dramatic cloud formations highlighted by the intensity of the sun. Makes me realize how nice it is to actually be outside! The weather is warming up, thank goodness, which can only mean that Nashville will bursting with color soon! Some parts of the world are already there!

Friday, March 12, 2010

.the doorways project::uganda.

Travel. Beauty. Connection. When I think of these three words, one name comes to mind. Lisa Field-Elliot, the Doorways Traveler. Today's post, however, is not really about the beautiful soul that is Lisa. Rather, this is a call for your attention and your support. Uganda. A country where men, women, and children - some older, some perhaps even much younger than you or I - have endured atrocities that I cannot even fathom. Each one a survivor. Each one with the fragile hope and prayer to live a life of freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from pain. Freedom to simply be. Many of us have hoped at some point in our lives, maybe even today, that we were in a position to be able to help, to take that flight across a vast ocean, to go beyond our own comfort zones and social networks, in order that we may have a part in seeing beautiful things happen for those who deserve it and much more. They have stories to tell, and I want to hear them. But I cannot make that trip. Not today. That is why I believe that we must help support someone who can. Lisa is the vessel that will be making this journey. On April 3rd, she will be in Uganda assisting Community Action Fund for Women of Africa (CAWFA) for two weeks, documenting the stories of those who have been supported by their work. It is there that she will be our hands, our ears, our heart. I cannot think of a more humble and generous individual that I would encourage than her.

"My heart breaks and leaps when I think about what is ahead. I am not pretending to have done this before. To have been somewhere and sat with women who have experienced the kind of atrocities that the women of Uganda have. These are the kinds of unthinkable things that fold into long and complicated stories of pain, struggle, and loss. But they are not the only stories that have to define these women and their families. While I am realistic and reverent toward the stories of death and devastation that I know I will hear and see in the faces of those I will listen to and photograph, what I hope to capture is the future of possibility that CAFWA is striving for. That and the basic human desire to be our fullest as women and as mothers that is the same no matter where we are." -Lisa, March 12, 2010

To learn more about how YOU can help make this journey possible, please take the time to visit Lisa's blog at Also, to find out more about CAFWA and how you can help, visit them at

Thursday, March 11, 2010

.bricks and light::avijit halder.

One of my favorite quotes of all-time oddly enough, comes from a Pixar movie.

Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.
~ Anton Ego, Ratatouille

It was nearly a year ago when I first discovered the documentary film, Born into Brothels, and wrote about it on my Reveries blog. It still remains as one of the most influential films in my life. Why? Because it documents three important things that I hold dear. Children. Photography. Hope. One of the eight children featured in this film was a boy by the name of Avijit. Throughout the film, one could not help but become attached to the young artist. His paintings and photographs spoke eloquently of the talents and possibilities that his life, his destiny, went beyond the streets of the red-light district of Kalcutta. Currently attending NYU studying film, nearly 10 years has passed since the filming of Born into Brothels, and this young man, whose future once hung in the balance, is a testament to the world that yes, a great artist can come from anywhere. And he has.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

.optimist & pessimist.

looking for that silver lining
Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimists invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute. ~G.B. Stern.

I've always liked that quote. This week, it has really hit home for me as my inner optimist and pessimist are at odds with each other. There have been some great photography opportunities that may be in the works, but for fear of jinxing myself, I'm going to wait before sharing much about it. Then, a nice big obstacle presented itself in a conversation with my hubby and his employer. The business is closing by the end of the month, which means three weeks from today he will be without a job unless something else happens. I already see a move from this house inevitable, which I think may actually be a good thing. BUT, that means it's time to pack. Again. I swear, I'm not always the "gypsy" by choice. I have to admit that I'm a little scared but trying desperately to stay positive. My inner optimist is saying, "Hey! We'll be just fine." My inner pessimist is saying "Start planning for the worst now otherwise you're screwed." Deep inside, I know everything will be okay. That fear of the unknown is what gets me all the time. Good things are happening. I know they are. I just have to remember that behind every dark cloud, is a little bit of sunshine.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

. a stack of inspiration.

a stack of inspiration
What's the best thing to do when you need some inspiration? Delve into the pages of craft books and spring fashion catalogs! In my case, here are the ones that I am currently perusing, and reabsorbing:
My deepest of gratitude goes out to all the wonderful artists, designers, stylists and photographers who continue to feed my insatiable appetite for creative projects and imagery!

Today was the first day in a LONG time that I actually pulled out and used my 35mm Canon Rebel. For years, this was the camera I took most of my photos with and LOVED it! Of course, once I switched over to digital, my old trusty companion ended up taking a back seat. After my little equipment meltdown that happened last weekend, I thought I'd bring her back out again. So today, I took several photos of my good friend Casie who happened to be in town for a few days. You know what I noticed? I still have film in my camera. I went through 38 exposures between two rolls of 24 exp. film. That was it. What does that tell me? Each shot was composed and thought through carefully (not to say that they'll be perfect as this was a spur of the moment kinda thing). I don't think I've ever shot less than 60+ shots for a portrait session with my DSLR before. Well, I've yet to get my film developed. Will be doing that today. Let's hope they came out alright!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

.still so much to learn.

I will be the first one to admit that I still have so much to learn about my role in this world as a photographer and as a student of the medium. I am not an expert. Never pretended that I was. I am caught between analog and digital, amateur and professional. Am I where I want to be? No. Not yet. Forgive me if this post ends up being somewhat fragmented. It just mirrors what's in my head.

Malfunction. That's what happened. Brand spanking new camera malfunctioned during a photoshoot that I had planned for months. I did not bring a backup. In my ignorance, I didn't think that I needed to. We were an hour away from town so running back was NOT an option. Embarrassed. LIVID. Discouraged. The camera has to be sent back to the manufacturer for repairs. I only had it for less than two weeks. Can't make an exchange because my shutter count exceeded the allowable amount. Disheartened. Wish I had brought my 35mm instead.

Was the day a total loss? No. And I should remind myself of that more often. I did manage to capture some great shots. Fortunately the subject, a good friend of mine, was very sympathetic as he has had his own fair share of "malfunction moments" and said the best thing to do was to take this as a learning experience and to prepare for situations similar to this in the future. Let's hope they don't happen in the future. We were able to brainstorm some more and came up with some fantastic ideas to pursue in our upcoming sessions. So, it wasn't all bad. Just the camera. [heavy sigh]

I have a website. I have a photoblog. I have an etsy account. But who am I? I honestly don't think I have found my "voice" yet. Experiment. That word has constantly been ringing in my ear. Patience. Practice. The beautiful voices we cherish in music had to fine tune their skill until the right sound was theirs to claim. I've been reading The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin. Currently, I'm rolling around the subject of branding in my head. Ideas are floating. I just need to pinpoint the one that best describes me and what it is I want to do.

This is where I am right now. I am in that middle state of mind. . . between the thought and the action. Doors are opening. I am terrified. Yet I know that if I don't walk through them with confidence, I will hate myself for it. I am reminded of my fortune cookie fortune from January of 2009.

You are capable, competent, creative, and careful.
Prove it.