I had the joy recently of shooting a little session for some old (experienced?) friends who are some of the first people I met when I moved here umpteen years ago. My youngest daughter started school at the same time as these lovelies, and now they have graduated and are getting ready to launch off into the world. How that happened so quickly is beyond me, but time is not always explainable.
I’ve been debating what I would say once I was able to blog again. Not that I haven’t been able to blog for awhile – technically I have this whole time. I just haven’t known where to start. I shut down business for several months when the pandemic first lifted off, mainly because I had to. Photography was considered non-essential, and I didn’t really want to get in trouble for operating illegally or, more importantly, I didn’t want to risk endangering anyone’s health. Family photos certainly aren’t worth risking lives to get.
A lot has happened since my last post in March of 2020. My marriage of 22+ years (legally) ended, we sold our family home, I bought a new home – a fixer upper around the corner from my old home that about did me in but kept me distracted from all the chaos in my life and in the world at the time. I started working full-time outside the home for the first time in 19+ years. My youngest daughter transitioned to school at home full-time for part of her sophomore and all of her junior year, which was not the best or easiest way for her to learn in the middle of high school. My oldest daughter graduated college and moved to North Carolina. And then moved back from North Carolina. And then came out to me (and I support her on that 100%.) I tried my hand at dating, which is truly horrible at my age, but I eventually met a lovely, solid guy who has made my world brighter. I’ve done some (domestic) travel to new places (like Boulder, CO, and NOLA). Both of my dogs had surgery. My dad’s dementia worsened. My youngest daughter went back to in-person school for her senior year and kicked butt academically and got into a great college in Iowa. But then, out of the blue for the first time, had a seizure on the next to last day of school. My world turned upside down. I’m not sure when it will be right-side up again.
The last couple years have been full of new experiences, grief, frustration, excitement, trepidation, anger, joy, anxiety…and then more anxiety, sadness, fear, laughter, pain, bewilderment, learning…and then more learning, hot baths, deep breaths, acceptance.
Along the way I figured out that I wasn’t as fragile as I thought I was. And that when life gives you a bunch of lemons…well, it sucks lemons, but it helps if you at least make an attempt at throwing together some lemonade, even if it’s not your favorite drink.
The question I get asked all the time is if I still do photography. The short answer to that is yes, I do. The long answer to that is I do photography sometimes. When I can and my schedule and life allows and the weather doesn’t stink. I have done several sessions in the past year and a half. I miss it. I miss the flexible schedule and the creativity and the relationships. I miss my people. But two jobs is a lot.
My website also got sick over the last couple years and apparently flash is not a supported thing anymore. I have a new website in the works that I hope to reveal soon. I’m in the process of creating the galleries on it and boy, let me tell you, it’s bringing back a lot of memories. Some of the clients in those shots were toddlers who are now adults, high school seniors who are now married with children of their own, and parents who have retired and are enjoying quieter days. Sixteen years, y’all. Sixteen years I’ve been slinging a camera. Sixteen years and it still makes me happy.
Stay with me. Change is inevitable and not always easy – that is guaranteed.
But when it happens, whether you want it to or not, you might find yourself in the possession of some truly soul-quenching lemonade.
What a strange time we are in.
It’s hard to know what to say in times like this because we’ve never experienced times like this. Like many of you, I’ve been working from home and staying at home as much as possible, minus the need to hunt for food. My teenager is home from school, my dogs are confused and life as I know it – as we all know it – is turned upside down.
Though I do work another job, mostly from home right now, my photography work has gone quiet because, well, I need to be with people to take photos, and I can’t be with people right now.
I miss you all. I think of you every day and hope beyond hope that you are all safe and healthy. I know it’s hard and that many of you are now playing substitute teacher and still trying to make ends meet and some of you have lost your jobs and some are still out there every day, risking your life to take care of those who can’t. I think of all of you and am holding you in my heart.
I’m still here. I’m waiting patiently until we can be together again. Until then, let me share some work I was able to do before the world turned on its head.