Thursday, October 27, 2011

"I'm alive and I don't need a witness to know that I survived..."

I'm struggling to find the words so please forgive me if this doesn't make sense. I'm blogging out of order because this is so important to me.

I flew out to Salt Lake City on Tuesday for a once in a lifetime opportunity. I was invited to be the staff photographer for Cancer Wellness House. Their teen and young adult survivor group was going to a meet and greet with Andrew McMahon (of Jack's Mannequin and Something Corporate), who is also a survivor. The second the offer was made, I knew I had to go. It was worth every moment.

From the second we met him, Andrew was so warm and wonderful. Not only did he read the blurbs about everyone, he remembered. One by one, every single person in our group got to talk to him. Yes, they talked about cancer but they also talked about life and passion and music. We all got signed posters, even me.
Jack's Mannequin meet and greet 1
Andrew thanked me personally for flying out from Florida to take the photos. I just kept saying "no, thank you for giving me the chance." And when I told him about my heart, he just hugged me.
Jack's Mannequin meet and greet 2
I didn't tear up until Aunt Terri went to present Andrew with what we brought him. As part of Survivors at the Summit, Cancer Wellness House has tribute flags hanging at the peak. Seeing as Aunt Terri is an even bigger fan that I am, there were flags in honor of Andrew. Watching him read the flags brought me to tears.
Jack's Mannequin meet and greet 3

When it was time for the sound check, we were allowed to stay and it was amazing. I stood there and cried quietly behind my camera when they played "Swim" and just kept taking photos.
Jack's Mannequin sound check 1
Jack's Mannequin sound check diptych 1
Jack's Mannequin sound check diptych 2
Jack's Mannequin sound check 2
Jack's Mannequin sound check 3
Jack's Mannequin sound check diptych 3
Jack's Mannequin sound check triptych

When we came back for the show, all of us were on the Jack's Mannequin list. We all hung out towards the back and I sat down for most of the show. I stood with Aunt Terri for the encore and it was amazing. I felt like me again.

**The title of this post is lyrics from "The Resolution" (by Jack's Mannequin, of course).

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

big dreams

From the moment I got the email saying that she didn't think I could come but had to offer, I KNEW I HAD to go.
accomplishment fortune

By the time this post goes live, I will be on my way to Salt Lake City, Utah. I am going to see Aunt Terri, one of my mom's closest friends. She works at a non-profit organization called the Cancer Wellness House and this afternoon, I will be photographing their young adult cancer survivor group. There is a guest speaker whom I admire a lot.
Yes, I took off work and spent half a paycheck to not sleep and meet Andrew McMahon of Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin. I needed to do this. As Doug has pointed out, he hasn't seen me so happy in a long time.
makes your happy cap

I'll see you when I get home. I may even have some photos with me in them.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

yesterdays and tomorrows

I was hoping this post would do double duty and I could introduce you to my newest camera but it's Sunday so she's chilling at the post office. I probably won't be able to blog about her because I'll be blogging about... um... it's a surprise.

In the mean time, I have photos from the library yesterday. I went to the new building for the library I went to as a kid. I love it. The first floor has tons of windows so it's bright and cheerful. I loved it. I was also obsessed with the stained glass awning. I may have laid down on the ground to get a great photo with Ida.
library awning triptych
I also spent a good few minutes 'chasing' these balloons, trying to get a shot where you could read what they say. I'd like to think that my friend Alexa is going to be able to cure cancer. (She's the mad scientist, I'm the crazy artist.)
the cure balloons diptych

I'm trying so hard to write coherent thoughts but all I can think of is being excited about my new camera and the adventures I am going to embark on this week.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

crazy hair day [52:42]

My mom brought me home a Neil Gaiman book so I had story time with my stuffed animals.
project 52-42-crazy hair
Actually, story time happened at midnight but I needed to recreate it this morning so I would have a project 52 entry.

I am trying so hard not to ruin any surprises on the blog but let's just say that there will be a few new and exciting posts soon.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

on gratitude

I greatly admire Christine and Alicia. They are my blog friends and they both inspire me so much. They post about their gratitudes and their struggles. The takeaway message I get is that my outlook affects my life.

Today, I've decided to share what I am grateful for. I've found that cheerfulness begets cheerfulness and I want my world to be sunshine as much as possible (except for when I'm dancing in the rain).

I am grateful for grapevine. It's my favorite native plant and it's overtaken my palm tree. Right now, it even has grapes on it.
grapevine grape diptych
I am also grateful for the wasp's great attitude. I managed to get a great shot without getting stung.
And as always, I am grateful for my camera. It lets me capture the world the way I see it and share it with you.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

vintage camera love [52:40]

This week was one of the easiest weeks for men (which is great, seeing as I missed last week.) The theme for the week was "a taste of vintage" and this camera certainly is tasty and vintage.
project 52-40-vintage camera
I've posted previously about this camera, the lovely Ida, but I never told you where she came from. Ida belonged to Grandma Ida and Grandpa Ralph, Doug's great-grandparents. When I was up in Ohio for Christmas, Doug's grandparents asked me if I wanted her. Once Great-Grandpa Ralph said okay, I brought her home with me and have carried her with me everywhere ever since.
Shooting with Ida makes me slow down and think. I carefully compose the shot, calculate exposure, and focus (which isn't easy). It's the opposite of the "I can fix it in post" attitude I occasionally get when I'm in a hurry. My first roll of film was 24 exposures, my current one is 36 and I haven't finished it yet. The love is in the taking of the photos and the surprise later when I open the envelope with the prints.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

sun, surf, and sky

I've been editing photos for this post for two weeks now. When I went to the beach last, I went a little overboard taking photos. I went because I missed the sea: the sight, the smell, the sound, the feel (but not the taste)... and I was only there an hour but managed to take about 200 photos. Oops.

Fort Lauderdale beach diptych 1
Fort Lauderdale beach 2
Fort Lauderdale beach diptych 2

I was pretty excited to see people parasailing. I would love to be able to take a camera up and have an amazing time. I actually have an underwater camera that I need to renovate so that next time, I can bring you photos from the sky.
Fort Lauderdale beach parasailing
Fort Lauderdale beach parasailing 2

It was a relaxing day. People were tanning, boating, sleeping, skating, swimming, kitesurfing... It was paradise for everyone.
Fort Lauderdale beach diptych 3
Fort Lauderdale beach 5
Fort Lauderdale beach 6
Fort Lauderdale beach 7
Fort Lauderdale beach signs diptych
Fort Lauderdale beach kitesurfer
Fort Lauderdale beach 8
Fort Lauderdale beach 11
Fort Lauderdale beach 12
Fort Lauderdale beach 13
Fort Lauderdale beach 14
Fort Lauderdale beach kitesurfer 4
Fort Lauderdale beach 17
Fort Lauderdale beach 18

I spent a few seconds trying to line up this shot and was so excited when I nailed it. It was a lucky break that the plane was going by.
Fort Lauderdale beach plane parasailers

Fort Lauderdale beach kitesurfer diptych
Fort Lauderdale beach kitesurfer 6
Fort Lauderdale beach kitesurfer 7
Fort Lauderdale beach kitesurfer 10

As the cruise ship was leaving the port, a woman came over to try to take a photo of it with her iPhone. She asked why I wasn't taking a photo and I said I was waiting. She showed me her snap on her phone and then wandered off. I waited and was rewarded with this.
Fort Lauderdale beach 23
Fort Lauderdale beach 25

Fort Lauderdale beach diptych 4
Fort Lauderdale beach kitesurfer 11
Fort Lauderdale beach kitesurfer 12
Fort Lauderdale beach kitesurfer diptych 2
Fort Lauderdale beach kitesurfer diptych 3

Here are the kitesurfers, coming in at the end of the day. I wish I had gone over and passed on the link to the blog. They were pretty awesome.
Fort Lauderdale beach kitesurfer portrait diptych

This is kind of strange but it makes me so happy. I cropped the photo and then edited it and added a texture. Then, I went back and pasted the final photo over the original shot.
snapshot in time

I started writing this post when I got home from the beach but by the time I was done editing the photos, everything I wrote was outdated. So instead of me telling you my story, why don't you tell me what story you feel the photos are telling you?
Fort Lauderdale beach diptych 5