I have been going back and forth about whether or not I want to also include my personal blog in my business space. You know what? I don’t know why I was so hesitant to do so. This is my space. I want to be honest with you all. I’m far from pretty pictures. I have a voice inside me that wants to speak of my experiences. I recently had the opportunity to write a small piece (read here) for Holl & Lane Magazine. It was so enlightening to have a platform to speak from. I struggle writing that piece because I was so unsure of how raw I wanted to be. Once I started to write it just came out of me. It was a short introduction into this new world, I felt vulnerable…however, I no long felt ashamed. In the past, I had blogs before. They were anonymous. I was always too worried about what other people thought. I didn’t want anyone to know how vulnerable I was. It is something that I hid for so long that it felt like it was mine. I actually owned that vulnerability and instead of ridding myself of it- I actually nourished it behind closed doors. Having the opportunity to share a tiny bit of my story with Holl & Lane Magazine (and their readers) was a step in the direction I didn’t know that I needed until it actually happened. So, here I am now. The sun is shining today, I can feel a little bit of warmth trying to pierce it’s way through. I’m f*cking ready to shine.
I was recently in the Bay for #sarahwithanH. I love celebrating love! I wasn’t the photographer for this wedding as I was a bridesmaid. It was such an honor to be able to witness my close friends locking it down in front of the people that mean the most to them. Also, while in San Francisco, I was able to spend some quality time with my extended family. It was the such a good time to see friends from Texas and visit with family. Until the next one!
Thank y’all for taking the time to stop in! Not only am I, currently, re-vamping my entire website- but I’m also overhauling my entire business plan. As you may know by now- I have relocated to Groton, Connecticut with my husband by way of the U.S. Navy.
The move has sparked something in me. I am fortunate enough to be able to take time off to regroup and chase some goals I have had for quite some time. I am so very grateful for the opportunity to dive into more aspects of my creative side. I am pretty much living the dream! I am using this time to grind and shine, ya’ll!
So, yesterday I had an intense study session, which lasted on & off all day. In the late evening, I stopped to take a break & watch an episode of Friends(yes, I know. I still watch friends), I actually ended up falling asleep with gum in my mouth. In the middle of the night, in my deep slumber... I vaguely remember waking up to take the gum out of my mouth with the intention of getting out of bed to throw it out & brush my teeth.
Well, that didn’t happen...hours later, I was woken by this sudden need to scratch my face. However, my hand felt heavy...I couldn’t move my hand and it felt sticky. Yes- ladies & gentlemen... my hand was stuck to my skin- my belly to be exact. It was stuck to my belly! Still, groggy from my deep slumber... I mustered the strength to take some of it off. I remember my right hand being sticky. I, with out shame, pulled my shirt down, pressed it against my sticky tummy (to prevent any gum from transferring to my white bed sheets), rubbed whatever gum I could get off of my nails, stuck the warm sticky piece of gum onto the top of a yeti tumbler next to my bed, too and continued to sleep.
When I woke up this morning, I almost forgot about the gum until I attempted to adjust my shirt after waking up and felt it sticking to my belly. 🤷🏻♀️ I laughed about it & begrudgingly shared with Raul the late night/early morning shenanigans which transpired as he slept beside me.
Oh, but it doesn’t stop there... I made it a point to get more studying done today. I’m on a deadline after all. Instead of working in the office, I decided to take my laptop downstairs to wait for the mailman, I had some packages to mail out today. As I’m taking one of my breaks I see him pull up- I happened to be taking a timed assessment at the time & I was frantic. By the skin of my teeth I finished the last question, jumped off the couch to grab the boxes, (with out putting any shoes on) I opened the door, and walked the boxes out to him.
As he is loading the boxes into his truck I turned to walk back inside the house- when.... low & behold... I’ve locked myself out of the house! No phone, no shoes- but socks on, & it’s easily 32 degrees outside. YAY. He kindly lets me use his phone to call Raul. Like any other person with a phone, he seldomly ever answers his phone...especially if it’s from a number he doesn’t know- nor does he ever check voicemail. The second call I decided leave a voicemail:
“Hey babe, it’s me...so, I locked myself out of the house... *insert nervous laughter* ..because you know.. I’m super smart...anyway, Bob (our mailman) was kind enough to let me use his phone.”
I give Bob his phone back & he proceeds to try & help me break into my house. All the while Molly is looking at me through the window like she’s pissed I went outside with out her. She’s so self involved, I’m sure she was assuming that I was just having all of this fun with the nerve to rub her face into it by standing outside of the window. *eye rolls*
I tell Bob to go ahead and take off, I know he’s busy- HELLO, its the holidays... he took off, but before leaving Raul calls & he has been informed of my situation. However, he is at work and He only has 30 minutes before he’s done for the day so I tell him to just hurry home as soon as he is done. As Bob is leaving, he goes to the vacant house next to ours and turns the door knob to find that it was unlocked-
“Not for nothin’ if it gets too cold just hang out in this house until your husband comes home. It’s too cold out here” he says.
I’ve watched too many scary movies in my lifetime to know better.
“Thanks, Bob!” *I wave bye to him whilst thinking to myself NOPE NOPE HAIIIIIL NOPE*
Our house here in Connecticut does not have central air conditioning. We have wall a/c units, we are leasing right now. So, since it is winter management prefers to not actually install the a/c units until summer. So, as you may have guess.. yes, we pretty much have a hole in the wall with a cover screwed over it for (yes, yes, YES) easy access to any type of intruder. & yes, I am constantly rattled about the thought of someone unscrewing the bolts and climbing into the house as we sleep to gruesomely murder us in our bed.
Anyway, I remember that the seal in the kitchen looked flimsy, so I get into the backyard and take the outside cover off with ease (mental note- fix that ASAP)... however, by this time the temperature is dropping & I am starting to become frantic. Although it is daylight outside, our backyard is surrounded by these eerily tall trees & every time I’m back there I swear I hear someone or something walking and crunching the dead leaves with each step. I reach into the a/c unit compartment and feel that the inside casing is loose. OMG, if I can take it off I can easily crawl through there..... well, the problem? It’s actually secured well and will only open a inch less than a foot. Ummmm, the depth of my body will not allow that. Ok, whatever.. at this point I probably have about 15 minutes left... I’m ok.
My feet are cold.
I can hear foot steps.
I fake a few loud coughs...you know, my lame attempt to alarm the thing or person that there is someone outside & if they were planning on sneaking up on me then I’ve got the one up because I’m outside & I’m aware. Whatever, I was cold & that was the first thing I could come up with. At this moment I’m also holding Molly’s poop scooper(it basically looks like a long plastic fork) & it was not a worthy tool to use to bludgeon an assailant.
Raul finally makes it home..I can see the window to the front of the house from where I am standing in the backyard. I see him get out of the truck confused & wondering where I am. I walk to the front yard, like a dog with my tail between my legs. He looks at me with pity... then laughs & unlocks the door. As I am walking into the house I trip over the step into the house...quirky coincidence? Clumsiness? I’m blaming it on Monday....By this time, after laughing/wanting to cry because I was only wearing socks & that really hurt/wanting to scream... I have wiped my hands clean of this day. My studying time was already stolen from me. So, naturally, I decide to go ahead and get started with dinner. While I’m cooking I walk over to the living room to hand something to Raul. As I’m walking over, I trip...yet again... over Raul’s canteen...on the floor.. We laugh it off & joke that today has got to be the Monday-iest Monday, ever.
I’m in the kitchen preparing dinner, I walk away from the mixer to check dinner on the stove when the bowl that the mixer is mixing unlocks from it’s base. Yup, it knocks over my favorite glass measuring cup (that my mom gave me when I moved out of my parents’ home.) Glass is EVERYWHERE... icing..on...the... CAKE.
Oh yeah, to add insult to injury...while making dinner I was missing an ingredient that would have made the recipe, it was pretty much a main ingredient. FAIL.
There has always been this long running joke- if I didn’t have bad luck I wouldn’t have luck at all. In my lifetime. I feel like I have truly mastered the art of learning to take a step back & just laugh at some of the misfortune that I encounter. *insert witty cliches here*
“Look at it this way, you haven’t had a “Monday” in a while. It’s like all of those “Mondays” just caught up to you and hit you all in one day. You should be good for the next couple of months.” Raul says.
I’m crossing my fingers.
Anyway... Hey, Monday... Sup?
PS- after publishing this I went upstairs to grab the yeti that had the piece of gum on it. (Yes, it has taken me that long to throw it away. I’ve been...busy.)
Raul: you’re JUST now throwing that away?
Me: hello, I’ve had a crazy day! It wasn’t on my priority list.
Raul: I feel like if I had left that there you would have said something sarcastic to me.
*we both laugh*
Me: *as I am taking a sip of water I come up with a sarcastic come back* If it were you you would have-
*my sarcasm was interrupted by the water that I was sipping going down the wrong way thus CHOKING ME... ending with me spitting a mouth full of water....all over the bedroom carpet.*
As we are nearing Christmas it finally hit me that I will be spending my very first Christmas away from my family. Raul and I have always been blessed to be around family every holiday. Our family celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve. We spend the day cooking & have a nice dinner. After dinner we sit around in food comas while snacking the rest of the evening away. Come midnight we open gifts, eat some more…..then drift into a long slumber. It has been this way since I can remember.
Since it will just be Raul & I this Christmas- we plan to make crunchy tacos, queso, salsa, & chips to pig out on (in honor of our longing for Tex-Mex from back home) all while hunkering down in front of the television & binge watch movies/tv shows. At the same time, I’m excited for Raul to start our own family tradition together.
I was joking with a friend today that when I make it back to Texas it’s going to be “Tour de Food” because I keep dreaming about food from back home. Now, I’m not just talking about bbq & Tex-Mex. I mean…..everythang. I am so spoiled with the variety of food that Austin has to offer. I don’t just mean the different ethnic food choices- I mean the variety of each ethnic food choice. You see, here in Groton there is only maybe one place that is deemed capable of ingesting into your body. Even so, that choice is mediocre at best. That is me being nice. There is only one place that we have tried that was bomb.com since we’re been here, & surprisingly, it was a Tibetan restaurant. I would definitely add that restaurant to the rotation, & let me tell you- that list is all by it’s lonesome.
Last night, after a day of vigorous binge watching junk television, Raul & I decided to look up Mexican food in the area. We found one called Ortega’s. According to google reviews (184 reviews to be exact) it was a 4 out of 5 stars. So, naturally, we were like “Score! Let’s try it out!”. Now, I don’t know about you…but we always judge a Mexican restaurant based on their house salsa. Ladies & gents- it was like V8 juice with a little kick. Legit, spicy bloody mary mix. Dude…ok, right then & there. We should have left. At this point, we didn’t have the energy to find another place. We were there & we made the commitment. We ordered queso, enchiladas, taquitos, & margs. I have to hand it to ‘em. The margs were on point. We had two each. The food- well. It was awful. After having enough, and motor boating our margs down the hatch, we asked for the check. Yo, our bills was $84. $84 for crappy mexican food, you’re kidding right? Yeah. At this point, we have had it with anyone’s recommendations around here. I almost feel like majority of people around here are so used to mediocre food that they deem anything (that isn’t a pizza or a hamburger) as “amazing”. I’m rolling my eyes right now. We left the restaurant feeling straight up robbed. We both agreed that from now on, unless we are in a COMPLETE BIND, that I will be doing the cooking around here. Which is fine for me, I enjoy cooking & experimenting.
Okay, I just spend time venting about food. #thisiswhyimfat
Back in October, days after moving to Connecticut, I made (yet another) trip back home to Texas. What can I say? Can’t take the girl out of Texas. While home, I had several tasks at hand. 1) Have fun at the Austin City Limits Musical Festival, 2) Spend a few days in the home I built, 3) Spend some time with two of my favorite people!
Sarah & Hassanean. Hassasnean & I met years ago through his older brother, Zaid. The first time I met Hass I was going through a big change in life. A month before I was laid off from a job (that I loved) and I didn’t know where I was going, but I was happy. For the first time in my life I had the opportunity to just enjoy life, spend time with friends & family… ok- let’s be real. My goals for the day usually entailed looking for a bar with a patio that was open early enough to day drink. (Pour House, I miss you.) It was a chilly night, we were all on the patio having some drinks and chatting. Zaid’s brother came to meet up. He was having a rough night, so Zaid told him to meet up with us for a few drinks. This was the first time Hassanean & I met. He was bummed out. I told him that I understood exactly what he was going through. That I understood how devastating it must feel, but to remember that everything happens for a reason. Getting laid off was the best thing to ever happen to me. It changed my life. I didn’t know that I needed that change until it happened. From there, Zaid moved on to relocate to San Francisco …Hass became one of the family. Another brother. Years later, Hass revealed to me that he never forgot what I said to him that night. It is crazy how much life can change in a blink of an eye. At the time, you question why…how…WHY? Why me? Why now?…fast forward years later. Here we are now. Hassanean is marrying his best friend, Sarah, whom he met at work…doing what he loves.
Through Hassanean I have gained another family member. Sarah, there are no words. She is a perfect compliment to Hassanean. They are the perfect compliment to one another. The way they love one another is a language that is all their own. You can’t describe it in words- but you sure can feel it when you are in their presence.
In April of 2019, I get to be there with them to witness their union…as they start their new lives together- as #SarahWithAnH, Husband & Wife.
It’s Sunday night here on the #eastcoast & as I am sitting in my living room watching Amazon Prime I am preparing for the week ahead. It’s Thanksgiving week and I have already begun this week steps behind where I had planned to be.
Time goes by in the blink of an eye, I should know that the longer I take to get going the more work it is for me. But…. I guess you could say that I am a glutton for punishment. You see, this is the first Thanksgiving that Raul & I will spend away from home. We are officially on our own our own here in Connecticut. I’m behind on my Thanksgiving dinner shopping. I have to say it, I am just not feeling it. It seems that I am not feeling anything these days. It is hard for me to find motivation. I am not working a 9-5 right now, however, I am freelancing. For so long I have been on this schedule & all of a sudden I am thrown into this new life. I am away from Texas (my home for 20+ yrs) for the first time in my life, it is so cold here (I miss the Texas sun), & I do not know a soul out here.
Now, I agree. #firstworldproblems. I get it. I feel like it has just taken me some time getting used to this life as a “military wife”. I follow this hashtag on @instagram, its #navywife. Yes, I am admitting it. But why? Why am I? Because I’m curious. What are these spouses posting? What are their lives like? Yes, I’m comparing. A lot of them make their lives look so glamorous. They even claim to be “travel bloggers”, I can’t help but snicker. You’re “traveling” is really called PCS’ing…. for those of you unfamiliar- PCS means Permanent Change of Station. Pretty much these “travel bloggers” aren’t really traveling- they’re moving to a new station. Yes, I’m still intrigued. Many of them have so many instagram followers. Are they actually making money with these false accusations? Disclaimer: I realize there are probably some real “travel bloggers” out there that are military spouses. Calm down, please. I have so many questions. I need to know.
Most new military wives out there are young. They aren’t really established in life. I, on the other hand, find myself in a unique situation. I am in my mid 30’s. I have a home (that I miss & love) in Texas, & a great career. Now, I find myself starting over in a new place. I feel like this transition into my new life is taking longer than I expected, & admittingly, I am a little frustrated. I have been trying to meet new people that are in a similar situation to the one I am in but have had no luck. The only thing I can do is continue to focus on my career and networking from there.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is. I miss Texas, HEB, & Whataburger. HELP.
I’m in Texas this weekend for a very special reason. For Hannah & Casey. I met Hannah nearly a year ago. She reached out to me and told me that she wanted me to be the one to take her engagement pictures. Our schedules are both so crazy- we moved heaven and earth to get together! When we finally were able to get together I made sure to take my time. I knew Hannah was special the instant we exchanged emails. She is one of the sweetest souls I have ever met. You know when you meet someone and you instantly just know? There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that the man that she chose to do life with is just as genuine as she. When I pulled up to their home in Spring Branch (it was the first time that we met in person) she gave me the best hug. I am a believer in hugs- I love a whole hearted (I may have just made a verb out of noun) hug. Aside from tacos, Tito’s Vodka, & Texas- a good hug trumps all of that for me.
After giving me a tour of the love that they built together (their home) we got straight to work. Usually when I meet a new client I get nervous. I am kind of an introvert, well. I would label myself one. Being a photographer completely takes you out of your element. You submerge yourself into a different situation every time- not knowing if the client you’re about to meet is a diva…is this person going to let me do my job? Are they going to try and tell me how to do my job? I have been fortunate enough to meet amazing humans while doing what I love best.
Now, as for being the client. I can totally relate. Many clients have told me before “I don’t know what to do, I’ve never done this before. & I get it. Not everyday does someone have a camera following them around. It’s hard to be your genuine self when you absolutely know that someone is there documenting your every move. It’s hard trying to be nonchalant in that type of situation. More often than not I like to try and spend a few moments talking to my clients and joking around with them. I’m naturally a silly person. I’m awkward and goofy. Sometimes, I don’t always say the right thing & my thoughts are like vomit- in that they have no filter and just want to escape. By the time that they make it out of my mouth its just…well. Word vomit. With Hannah & Casey? Just like I already knew, I mean- seriously. I felt it. They were so easy to work with. During our photo session I kept on having to remind myself that I was working. “Janice, you’re veering off track, you’re working.” It took everything in me to not just kick my shoes off and sit around with them to just talk and laugh. That is how they make you feel. You can’t help but to feel at home. I feel completely lucky, humbled, & just full of JOY to be able to say that I am getting to take part in their special day. I get to capture the joining of two lovely souls embracing a new chapter in their lives. I get to capture the transition into their next phase of life as husband & wife.
Thank you, Hannah & Casey. Let’s make some more memories!
All of my love,
We are now living in Groton, CT! It has been quite an adventure getting here and acclimating myself to the cold weather. I actually ended up having to spend money on winter clothing! (haha) Coming from Texas, I never have owned real winter clothing. Let’s be real! We don’t have real winters in Texas! I bought a pair of gloves, a blanket scarf, & a long coat. I even have a parka! My next goal is to start wearing pants, lol. I know, I know. Pants? Yes, I said that…pants! If you know you then you are well aware that I own zero pairs of pants. I’m a dress or skirt gal. I can dress down a dress and I can gussy up a dress to no avail. In Texas my solution for colder weather was to wear tights or stockings. It did the trick, along with a pea-coat.
In a few weeks I will be heading back to Texas to shoot Hannah & Casey’s wedding in Spring Branch, TX on Veteran’s Day weekend. I’m super excited to see them and witness their special day. These two are the sweetest couple I’ve met. They are the true epitome of “couple goals”. They live in a cute house near the Canyon Lake with a micro farm in their back yard & a tiny red barn. I’m also super excited to see what they have planned as their ceremony is going to be under this ridiculously tall tree with beautiful branches that slouch down. Their reception will be back at their home in their backyard. I can’t wait to show you guys the pictures!
Until then- remember: You are beautiful & smart.
I’ve been searching blogs and looking for other Navy wives to build relationships with. It’s been hard going through the change and transition into a military wife.
I read somewhere and a wife said that she accepted a long time ago that she would be going through a lot on her own and that she was proud of her husband and his love of the military. I always thought that being married to a man in the military wouldn’t be much a difference when it came to priorities, I’m slowly learning that first and foremost- his priority is the military being that he swore into the service. It didn’t hit me then, I am slowly starting to accept it. There will be plenty of nights in my future where I will be dealing with issues on my own. I know that Raul’s life now is the military and myself. I am so used to being number 1 & it has been hard accepting that. Trial and error. I’m finally coming around to fully take it all in. It has certainly been a learning curve. A harsh very sharp curve I did not anticipate. I’m learning how to slow down and stop trying to speed past the curve and just coast.
As Raul & I have been going through the motions of being away from one another- I find myself so completely consumed by thoughts of him. It was driving me crazy and we started to argue way too many times. More times than our entire relationship combined before the military. I blame myself for not preparing myself for this moment. Before he joined the military we were so focused on making sure he got the job that he wanted. I have never felt insecure about myself or our relationship- but the distance is hard..& I am not even speaking on the distance in miles- the distance that I’ve felt. Being with someone that is in the military is all new to me. I can’t imagine the mental strain he has gone through and I can’t wven tell you if I would be the same myself. The military has tested our bond, & I have faith that it will make us stronger. We are trying to find our niche being apart. I didn’t think it would be this hard for me as I have always been independent, not just physically but mentally. Finding myself with out my husband is hard but it jolted something in me. To continue to strive to be better. To find my happiness when he is not around. Up until before he left for the military the happiness I felt was always with him, it almost feels like starting over.
I was doing well for a short period of time by making sure I set small goals for myself to keep my mind occupied. I fell off the wagon and let my thoughts consume me. Everyone keeps telling me I’m strong but I feel like a phony sometimes. I feel weak... my goal is to become stronger for us and our family. My goal is to find a life outside of my marriage that will fulfill me. I feel like this is important for not only my marriage, but also for my mental health. I have faith that it will get better. It will only get better if I make the moves to make it a reality. I just want to thank my family and friends for their continued support. I want to thank my husband for his hard work & unconditional love. I love you, Raul. I’ll always be here- holding it down.
So, here we are. My husband has graduated from boot camp at The Great Lakes and is currently living in San Antonio, TX for A School. He will be there for 4 months and then he will possibly spend another 4 months in The Carolinas for FMF training. Once he is done there we will get our station.
You guys! This whole experience has not been anything less than nerve wracking. Anyway, look at how handsome this guy is. 😊
Hi everyone! It has been quite a while since I have come by to update you all. My schedule has been jam packed since last year and I am finally getting around to find some balance. My husband left for the US NAVY in March and will soon be graduating from boot camp on May 25th! The adjustment to him being gone hasn’t been that hard only because I have been so busy with appointments lately. It is so exciting and nerve wracking all at the same time. So, thank you all for your continued support. Big hugs!
I wrapped up a photo shoot a few weeks ago with this super sweet couple at their home. I am pinning this session one of my definite favorites to date. They were so down to freestyle some of the appointment with me which is what I love. That is my bread and butter, y’all! They live on some land just outside of San Antonio and have two sweet pups & some baby chicks! They are the American Dream! They both expressed to me that this was the first time they had their photograph taken together, seriously though....they didn’t even need my help. I have never worked with a couple that was so in the moment- very “dance like no one is watching” type of love. Hannah and Casey- you guys rocked it. I can not wait to work with you all again! Cheers to love!
”You are beautiful & smart.’”
Since I last posted, my husband and I have been preparing for a new change in our lives. He and I have bee preparing him for the military. The Navy, to be precise. My husband is a man that has never pictured himself in a 9-5 desk job. He is a man that wants to help people. He went to school to become a firefighter and decided that his next goal in life is to serve the country that he loves. The United States of America. He is a patriotic man. I, myself, am not one to dabble into politics. My husband? He cares too much to remain silent.
I am a daydreamer, my husband is not. We balance one another. Today has been the result of planning for our future. Today, my husband goes to MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station). At MEPS he will go through a physical as well as take the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) exam. These two are vital to our future. If, and when, all goes well...he will be able to choose a job that will be his starting career in the military.
Does it scare me? Hell yes it does...but, my husband is a selfless man. And I damn well will support him every step of the way. On 11/11/17, it was Veteran's Day. I grew up a military brat. I am proud to call my father my hero. My father, is also, a selfless man that devoted a huge part of his life to the military. My father is proud to say that he served his country. When I was a child my mother kept the house together. I never realized how hard it was for her when my father was away because she held it together that much.
Now, as my husband is taking the final steps towards the beginning of our future, I often think about how hard it was for my mother and how strong she needed to be for us. My husband and I both share a crazy work schedule & are off on the same days during the week. We often only have each other to be with as a lot of our friends work during the week. I am getting anxious just thinking about him being away. We have no children at this time, we have puppy children. While he is away I feel like I will be starting over, meaning ... I'll need to find a life that does not involve him as he is making this life for our family. People ask me all the time, "How do you feel?". Truthfully? I don't know how I feel yet. I have feelings of happiness for him, sadness for us, and anxiousness for myself. I am full of roller coaster type emotions. Overall, I am excited to do life with him by my side.
"You are beautiful, and smart."
So, last Friday I got an email from an editor at HuffPost about a picture I posted to Instagramfrom Raul & I's "fake out save the date" postcards that we sent out. I, at first, thought it was just someone soliciting to have me sign up for some Instagram advertising. Luckily, I answered back. Fast forward to Saturday evening I'm ending my day at work when I happened to check my email to see another message from said editor. Oh joy! It's so real, it's reallllllllly real you guys! One of my bucket list items is to have a photograph published/featured. So, check!
Follow the link -> here
Now, please excuse me as I squeal out of excitement some more!
"You are beautiful and smart."
I have two kids. If you know me, you already know. They're my pups. Macho(2 years old) & Molly (8 years old). Aside from my husband & my family, they are the glimmers of light in my life.
Years ago, I didn't know anything about American Pit-Bull Terriers. All I knew was what I had heard through the media. How "dangerous" they are and even how their bite is the "strongest" among the breads. When I first adopted Molly- I was blinded by her sweet demeanor and smile. I didn't even prepare to bring a dog home, all I knew was that I instantly loved her and I wanted her to have a good life. Little did I know that she would save me as well.
A year after adopting her I ended up learning that I have Spinal Stenosis. Spinal Stenosis, for those of you that don't know, is a spinal disease known as "aging of the spine". Basically, my doctor revealed to me that I had the spine of a 90 year old woman and that it would no stop aging at this point. The best I could do would be to manage my pain. I was 29 years old, no insurance, and dealing with chronic pain. At that point in time, my pain had me restricted to my bed. I felt like a worthless waste of space. There was be hours at a time that I would lay in bed crying and just feeling sorry for myself. Molly would spend those hours with me- no complaints. She would wait patiently for me to pull myself up and out of bed just to let her out to use the restroom. Many nights my pain was so incredibly powerful that I just wished that I didn't wake up the next morning. By then- I was no longer sleeping in my bed and I had made a fort on the floor of my bedroom. It was the only way that I could finally fall asleep. My bed no longer provided the comfort I needed for my back. I spent so my hours laying on my side on the floor that I started to bruise from how hard the floor was. The bruising did not even compare to the pain my back gave me.
I started to look into having Molly adopted- because I couldn't live with the thought of her not having the life she deserved, just because I was in pain. In fact, my thoughts of wanting to give up stopped when I realized that if I was no longer around, who the hell would love her the way that I love her. Loving her kept me sane.
Fast forward, one day I just snapped out of it. I didn't want to attend my own pity party any longer. I started working towards strengthening myself both physically & mentally. When I decided to fight that is when my life completely changed. I ended up meeting my husband. While building our lives together- Macho came into our lives. We haven't stopped building our lives ever since. When life is so crazy, sometimes I wish it would just slow down...& then I remember those nights when I was laying on my bedroom floor crying myself to sleep. Those memories serve to remind me that I am proof that everything happens for a reason. I am so grateful for everything I have, and in times when I second guess myself those memories bring me back to reality. It could be so much more worse. I owe so many thanks to all of the people that love and support me- and to my little loves.
What do you do with your photographs? Chances are they're stored in a cloud somewhere, or even a hard drive. You find them once in a while and upload them to tag a friend to reminisce with then that file is lost again on the interwebs until you discover it all over again. *le sigh* It's like discovering a lost love. What do I do? I print them. I collect prints of my images. I love the thought of holding a memory in the palm of my hand... that's also why I print them for my customers. I used to provide a USB full of their images as a standard. Now, it is an add on option. The response I got the first time I handed my client a stack full of their photographs (just because) was genuinely irreplaceable. I loved watching their reactions while thumbing through their photographs. That is when I decided that I was no longer going to just hand a client a thumb drive of pictures. It was always so impersonal, and I didn't realize just how impersonal it was until I handed someone a 4x6 stack of prints from their photo session. I always encourage my clients to print their photographs. I feel like when a photograph sits in a hard drive or on a cloud somewhere it is not being done it's justice. Print that photograph and display it! Show it off to the world!
Since I can remember I have always owned a camera. I love having a camera at all times. I took pictures of everything and I loved, even more, picking up my 4x6 prints from the drug store. I had a problem! My parents complained that my hobby was getting expensive. I would save up my rolls of film and get them all developed at once. I made albums and scrap books of everything. I even wanted to have my very own dark room someday (I still do). So much so that when I went away to school I ended up having a career as an X-Ray tech for nearly a decade. Hey, I was in the medical field and I still was able to take pictures. I loved it! Then, years later, I purchased my first digital camera. It was a small 6 megapixel Canon Powershot. It was small and compact, it cost me about $500. I had no regrets. I was working my "big girl" job and it was one of the first purchases I made. I took pictures of everything. I was so artsy with every shot I took. I loved taking pictures. I was so infatuated with the aesthetics & every little detail that went into taking a photograph.
Fast forward to last year when I purchased yet another camera, this time a mirrorless Sony camera, and told myself that I would not make another big camera purchase until my business allowed me to. I, then, made it a point to perfect my craft. I went on to attend Austin School of Photography to get a better grip. I knew the little details, but I wanted to perfect them. I wanted to become a photographer that shunned at the thought of "all AUTO everything". YOU GUYS- I'm pretentious. I'm pretentious as all hell. I'll give you the stink eye.. .. PSH!* Auto? What a fraud. Hahahha, I'm totally kidding. Who cares, a beautiful picture is a beautiful picture. I just wanted to cut down on the time of taking multiple photographs. I wanted to be able to meet with a client, take a few shots, and walk about confident in everything photograph I took.
This website is to serve as my personal documentation of the progress of my work & to share my life as a documentarian with you. So, welcome! *hugs*