I hit a slump.
It's been a busy summer with an incredible amount of opportunity. To be candid, I could never have dreamed of such beautiful and unique opportunities coming to me when I began my business a few years ago. Opportunity has a way of knocking on your door and, of the countless other things I've learned since becoming a small business owner, I have learned that you must stay open to it. I'm thankful every day for it!
But if I'm being truthful, it doesn't mean that there haven't been and won't be hills and valleys. I think it's fair, though, to say that with everything that's taken place in this "year of excitement', there must be reason for the valleys.
In the span of one year, the following things have taken place:
- My first and only nephew was born. And oh how we love him. :o)
- The patriarch of our family passed away suddenly and we have been learning together to pick up where he left off.
- Rock proposed, we planned the most beautiful wedding (with the help of our incredible parents and some absolutely amazing industry professionals), and we were married 11 short months later.
- My business has grown SO much and I had my busiest summer yet with
... scratch that - 7 magnificent weddings in 3 months.
- My name has officially changed and, in the process, I have begun a super, super exciting re-branding and complete turning inside out of my business.
It's forced me to ask the following questions: are you ready for all of this? Have you prepared enough? Will you be a good wife? Do you understand life and death?
What. Is. Your. Identity?
In efforts not to become absolutely drowned by the weight of it all, I've been taking everything day by day. And in the process, it's been heavy. I thank my God for each and every positive influence in my life, but have learned that I can't make something positive out of something that just isn't. It's forced me to make decisions on who and what to keep, and when to let things go. I haven't quite mastered it all yet, and on that note - I don't know that I ever will. But I'm learning to simplify.
Insert film. At the bottom of this valley, I have been under the impression that I need a hobby. I need something to take my focus away from my business and my work, for a change. Something to make me slow down and think. Something to refresh this brain that does nothing but worry and wait for things to just fall into place. Something to set me back on the right track and reignite the passion for my craft and to mix things up a bit.
My mom happened across their old Pentax K1000 about a year ago, and without much use for it, she passed it on to me. It was an interesting gift, in fact I had no idea how film even worked. I took a gifted dark room workshop without a clue how any of it would really pan out. I'd had a dark room and photography class in high school that at the time I thought was really neat, because it put my first point and shoot camera in my hands. But I was afraid of the creepy dark room in the corner and what went on in there, so I avoided it like the plague instead of learning all that film had to offer. I was a junior in high school, and that fact alone is pretty goofy. I guess we all have our hang ups... ;o)
Fast-forward to now. Everything I've learned about photography has been a culmination of courses taken throughout college and a peaked interest in the fact that taking an image will savor a moment. I'm a sucker for moments, after all. And I don't have the best of memories because my brain is always being torn in 48 different directions at the same time... it's too busy not recording any one thing that no one moment is ever really soaked up unless it slows down enough to delve into the "now". It happens when I'm capturing people and things the way I see them, with no real agenda. It happens when I'm inspired, when I'm with Rock and when I'm with my family. It all comes together sometimes, particularly on vacations.
I brought along my Pentax K1000 to the beach this past summer, just to try it out. It was the first trip without our Papaw, the first trip with my perfect little nephew and the last trip before Rock and I tied the knot. We had all been awakened by the need to savor these moments we have together. I was inspired by the film imagery that I'd seen and was beginning to delve into the world of film. My curiosity had been stoked. So, it seemed like the right time.
I'd shot with it before and was less than impressed with the results. I purchased a cheap-o scanner on Amazon and had the film developed at a local Wolf Camera, which I suppose were my first mistakes.
I held onto this roll for a while deciding what to do with it. Like, maybe it will just develop itself? Obviously, though, that wasn't going to happen... so I happened across Indie Film Lab after doing a little research, and shipped the roll in just like they tell you to. Except, I didn't include the chocolate they requested. It got eaten before I could even bring it back up the stairs. This isn't an uncommon thing and I have foil wrappers of shame that litter the area around my trash can.... oops!
At any rate, I got the scans back today from our sweet trip to the beach. It's a yearly thing, but every year I only manage to snag a few images. This year we visited a new place, and as soon as you walked out the door you see the most beautiful home across the street, built with a breezeway that lends a complimentary view to the ocean, though we weren't beachside but just a few steps away. I don't know those people but I really appreciated their consideration, there. It was gorgeous. My favorite shot of the week was of my brother standing in the ocean.
Rock, ever the one who pushes me to do what I love, took me for a walk down the beach one day and we came upon our favorite little beach bar, finishing up my one roll along the way.
I'm blown away. This love for film has just begun but I'm so excited at this new opportunity. It's what's picked me back up out my slump. I'm falling in love with my craft again and it's influencing almost everything I shoot. I don't need a hobby. I just need a moment of peace and to photograph what I want to photograph. Personal captures of moments that are now displayed in the most beautiful, raw and inspiring film imagery.
My rebrand will be finished up soon, I hope! And I'm so incredibly excited for the blessings that lay ahead. More film, more personal accounts, more getting lost in the moment. It's going to be a beautiful journey and I hope you continue with me!