Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Means to an End

Hello, there.
I'm not even going to get into the fact that my lack of posting has been very obvious. That's basically why I'm here this morning - to explain a few things.

First & foremost, I am thankful for the opportunity that GAP has given me to expand my artistic vision & use my creativity. There are some days where I flip through my old pictures from shoots a few years back & then fast-froward to some more recent shots and I get a chill when I notice vast differences in my shooting style & my growth. Photography has always been a passion, and I've wanted to really dive into it's growth & improvement. I stopped taking art-related classes sometime last year and I was worried that because I was not longer being forced to work on photo projects or anything relatively artistic, I would be stifling that side of my being. But, all of my wonderful clients came to my rescue when they would see a lapse in my work on here & would call me up or shoot me an email asking to do a session. It was such a good feeling knowing that I was chosen to shoot someones memories. That is definitely something I am thankful for. I go through the motions so often, but I truly want to express how great all of you are to me & for understanding the slow-process that is my overall life. With school & work & just the normal day-to-day, I easily get overwhelmed but, being the obsessive perfectionist that I am, I don't want to give something any of me without giving it my all. This has proven to be a problem for me and I'm working daily on rectifying it. Life is all about experiences and change... so embracing that change shouldn't be something I shudder at. But, here it is again - my thank you to you.

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So, you all know one of the reasons why my photography has spaced out a lot is primarily because of school. I wish I could say that photography is my main source of income... unfortunately, I know that I've always felt that I am not complete in my goals unless I have a degree in something. My choice to change majors from art/photography to general science/kinesiology/physical therapy has a lot to do with my other passion, as difficult as it is to divide them up.

I am not your average photographer - from at least my perception of it. Photographers are artists - and I feel sort of like a traitor when I choose my running shoes and a pair of yoga pants over a cute dress & booties, or toms and a pair of worn-in skinny jeans. I've never been one to "look the part" as a photographer. I am trying very hard to choose my words wisely because this seems to be a weird thing to talk about for me. Granted, I know plenty of artists who work a full time job at a law firm, or a bank, or as something in the medical field. I'm sure you can do both - but that brings me back to the whole "all or nothing" sort of thing. It's like, on any given day, my style, my perception of how I do my hair, or which bag I choose to carry depends on if I am going to open the gym, or if I'm going to a shoot. Is that strange? I wish I could just be the cute photographer with the cute style, but then I feel like a traitor to the gym-rat inside me who wants to wear my gym shorts and throw my hair in a messy ponytail. I've run into clients outside of a shoot & they will see me in an array of things - usually it's post-gym and I look a hot mess. My whole point in this is that I am still trying to mesh my two passions together into something a little more functional. Being a college student ON TOP of everything else really does make me feel like I am literally all over the place. Overall though, I hope that thinking from the artistic side of my brain & the logical scientific side makes me out to be somewhat well-rounded? I don't know. Maybe. It's something I wrestle with. Again, do it all the way, or don't do it at all. Argh!

I am in the last few weeks of my anatomy class & let me tell you - if anything has tried my self-control to work hard and stay focused, or NOT procrastinate, or find any & all methods for memorizing massive quantities of material in a short amount of time - it has been this semester. I've been in school for literally as long as I can remember & I think that this has been the most challenging semester to date. Not a bad thing, by any means, just different. Maybe that's because science is my second language & art is my first? Again, a giant question mark. I would like to think that eventually, eventually all of this stuff will pay off. In the mean time, again, I appreciate your patience. I know blogging is something that I want to do more of - and usually it's just a few pictures sprinkled with a few words; tiny glimpses into the person behind the camera. That's another thing I'm struggling with is combining the personal aspect to the functional aspect of this blog. I started it to catalog & showcase my work for potential clients, primarily. I haven't put my foot down on an actual website design, primarily because I want it to look incredible & things like that take money... so I've been holding off until I can do it the right way instead of just throwing something together from one of the "free website" places. This has been a safe place for me, being able to really express what I want to express with my work & if there is a lull, not feel like I've gotta scramble to keep my site going. I know my blog is always there, waiting for my next moment of inspiration to strike. Like this morning. I've tried writing this post a few different times but the things I wanted to express never quite made it out the way I wanted them to. A frequent issue in the life of Danielle.

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As a means of escape, lately, I've been doing a few things - painting & yoga. I started painting a long time ago, usually late at night, when I needed a mental escape & I had nothing to take pictures of. It stuck. I stopped for a while & then recently picked it back up. I made a painting for my friend Shannon for her birthday - nothing really artistic so to speak - it has a lot of structure (for crying out loud, I had WORDS on my painting, stenciled out with a pencil before hand so they wouldn't look too messy. Haha!) Art is messy, I wish I could accept that. Whether it be my dumping my lens caps & random camera gear in my bag haphazardly or allowing the paint on my brush to go over the lines I've so carefully laid out on the canvas .... I know that the therapeutic part was the brush strokes and the lines I created. It wasn't the finished product, it was the act of creating it. I just had this conversation with someone the other day about how hand-made gifts (such as a painting) have so much depth to them because they were created with a specific person in mind (usually.) I paint with a lot on my mind, usually, but that's part of the reason I do it. To clear the haze, so to speak. It makes me feel better, and for that, I am thankful for the outlet. As small & as infrequent as it ends up being.

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Yoga is something I wish I had started doing ohhhh, 10 years ago. I see these yoga instructors with incredible posture, and such a sure footing and clear mind. I see it when I talk to them, I can hear the calm in their voice even if they are talking about something intense or exciting - there is still an underlying calm to it all. I wish I had more of that. Just a general calm. I constantly feel like at any given moment I could easily rip my hair out, tear my clothes & start screaming at everything & nothing about something as simple or as stupid as a bad grade, or a traffic jam or a plan in my day going awry. Why is that!? I am a creature of habit & I must have structure to my day. I don't know what a "day off" is in the sense of not having any structure to it. I am a to-do list master. I've written or thought thousands. But that is my map & without it I feel lost. As for yoga though - it makes me feel alive & clear minded. It's wonderful. Not only does it sort of combine the art & the logic for me - (deep breathing + the work out) ... it makes me feel so much better when the class ends. I recommend it to anyone that is a constant stresser. I am already excited for tomorrow nights class.

I have been speaking primarily about "my two passions" & have been neglecting the primary one - both in my writing this & in my day to day. Being a christian for practically my entire life, I know that I sometimes get stuck in a spiritual rut. I know that my personality type is that I am always longing for more, something deeper. I've know that with my school life, my relationships & my photography. I always want more connections, more support, more.... just more. I have been going to church my whole life & I admit that I just feel like I go to check the box, more Sunday's than not. It's not something I am proud of & I continually ask God's forgiveness for my lack of commitment wholeheartedly. Of course, when asked I tell people that yes, I do believe in God, but do I display that in my actions, in my voice, in my tone? Another one of those things I shouldn't do just to do, it should be something I get excited about & look forward to. I know, this is the constant cry of any long-term and even some short-term Christians. Life is always "too busy" or I'm "too tired" or.. whatever. There's a million excuses for this stuff. My goal is to change that and to start replacing things that don't matter as much for something that most definitely does.

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So, that about sums it up. I'll be returning soon to post some more pictures from Adrienne & Philip's shoot as well as new ones from Jackie & Justin's sesh on the beach!

Until then, thank you for reading.

Have a wonderful day!


all images via pinterest - my 4th passion. ;)

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