Thursday, January 31, 2008

Love Thursday: Sarah and Troy

we had walked down criss-cross paths for half an hour to find the place that they had chosen, a lookout over the ocean. troy set up his ipod on which he had recorded a song from the old record player that lived at his cottage in ontario. we guests listened as he and sarah (my sister) walked down the path together to have a moment together before the wedding ceremony. they held each other and then she raised her arms with such radiant joy that made my heart almost burst out of my ribcage. and then walked toward us. ready to be married. this is that moment and it is my offering for this love thursday.

check out more love thursday at shutter sisters

Monday, January 28, 2008

Self Portrait Challenge: Celebration (week four)

for this weeks self portrait challenge i want to celebrate the community at Planet Sark

i felt pulled today to visit the website Planet Sark which is a long time favourite of mine. way back when i first got internet-ized the main two things i came onine for was my email and the planet (actually wasn't a planet yet!) sark magical message board. it was packed full of inspiring artful people. i didn't post much but read posts almost daily. i felt very at home in that circle of beautiful people. at times there was far too much drama, so i'd take a break...but always return.

a few years ago the message board got really over run by spam. i think they called them trolls...people who would post nasty stuff and cause trouble on web forums. so the message board became only for paid members. i thought about joining but it really wasn't something i could afford. plus i think i needed a break. that was around the time i started blogging. when i started i didn't tell anyone about it, so it was really was like a journal. then a few friends. now its in a very different place. i still write for myself but i seek community in terms of other artful bloggers. i don't know if any of my face-to-face friends come here...perhaps....its not a secret...but i guess i've been seeking kind of what planet sark offered in terms of community.

so today i went back to the planet. and i'm overjoyed to find that the message board/forum is now free again. it felt so good arriving there and posting an introduction as it was one of those reminders of who the woman i am becoming is. the shyness was gone and the confident me present. you always wonder...will anyone respond to my post? will i connect with anyone here? but before that would have been a fear that stopped me from connecting. now just something to ponder....

i can't resist but share some of my favourite authors in the creativity genre. you've probably heard of 'em all..but just in case!

sark (of course)
keri smith
sabrina ward harrison
danny gregory
julia cameron

and here's a few out-takes (a.k.a. me being silly).

Saturday, January 26, 2008

a post about something other than photography! (mostly)

i feel like i haven't posted about something other that photography in weeks!
truth is though,
my mind is so consumed with it. like a school-girl crush.

except my school-girl crushes never went anywhere. and this is on the move.

but i just read a post over at the Crazy Sexy Cancer Blog that was is presently consuming my thoughts. i have a big ol' fear of death. one that produces anxiety whenever i think of the concept of not existing. i've felt this way ever since i really understood the concept of death (in its simplest form of course...i obviously don't REALLY understand death or i wouldn't be fearing it so much, eh!)

A few years ago i had a panic attack about death....3 days of constant growing anxiety. The only thing that helped me to eventually calm down was reading about peoples perspectives on death and talking to friends and family about how they have found a sense of peace about it. Kris' post feels like a place I can return to when the anxiety comes up. I would like to find peace with this myself. I barely know how to go about starting that process. In due time I suppose!

I've always liked to blame my fear of death on the large amount of scorpio in my chart. but really its probably more the leo-self not being able to ponder not existing. i think about death (and my fear of it) a lot. in once way it feels like it drives me to live life well, but at the same consumes so much of my thoughts and to live in fear is not the way to really live. the end Kris Carr's post asks:

What helps you? Can you imagine death in a way that will give you peace rather than panic? If you can let go of the fear of death, what would your life look like? Picture it.

i think its time i start picturing a life without this fear.

Friday, January 25, 2008

thoughts on creating beauty

i had a wonderful photoshoot yesterday with a friend and her lovely pup (as you can see, ruby is a gorgeous pitbull). this is the first time i've had the tools to really do the post-processing in the way i want to, as i now have photoshop. i've found some really amazing tools to help the whole p-shop world, such as textures and actions from 'flourish'.

i have mixed feelings about the whole post-processing part of the photography business. i was just checking out all that is offered on flourish and am pretty amazed at all of the options to make your picture look vintage. but here's where my mixed feelings come in. There are actions that make your photo look like a ttv photo (which she describes as a toy camera...which its not), a diana or a holga. This is making me realize that I'm a bit of a purist! I carry around my vintage camera, holga and diana and am stumbling through learning how to make beautiful photos with all of their old or toy camera excentricities!

I guess I am a bit intimidated by the gorgeousness that people can create using these photoshop can turn any picture into a ttv photo by just adding a frame...but its not really authentic to what you really do make with a vintage camera. they distortion, the dust, the blur and the magic. what i adore most about toy cameras is that it feels like they bring the most advanced photographer and the beginner to the same playing field. We all look through its plastic lense and have the same possibilities of beauty. I guess with these vintage actions i feel like it splits the playing field again...that anyone can make anything into a ttv photoshop without having the experience of looking down a handmade paper contraption into an old dusty camera, looking for magic. And i suppose that it doesn't feel like these fancy photoshop pictures should be called ttv (maybe she made that descriptive mistake on purpose!). I guess in a way i feel like they should have a disclaimer on them stating they are 'digitally enhanced' kind of like how organic fruit and gmo fruit should be differently labelled (dangerous comparison perhaps but i am feeling fiesty about this at the moment!)

that said, this purist is being faced with learning photoshop and trying to figure out my place in the post production world of photography. how 'photoshopped' do i want my pictures to look? how can i produce images that are enhanced without feeling like a sell-out? i'm starting to sort this out, to find out what feels right.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Love Thursday

Its Love Thursday over at Shutter Sisters. Although I've got all sorts of pictures of flowers shaped as hearts, graffiti hearts and hearts found in the most peculiar of places...i felt like posting this picture of my dear friends who are madly in love.

I often have these lines from an Indigo Girls song Mystery in my head. So I will share 'em with you today (in hopes that i can have another song dominate my constantly singing brain)!

What is love then is it dictated or chosen
does it sing like the hymns of 1000 years or is it just pop emotion
and if it ever was here and it left does it mean it was never true
and to exist it must elude is that why i think these things of you?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Self Portrait Challenge: Celebration (week three)

for this weeks Self-Portrait Challenge i'm feeling inspired to celebrate some beautiful learning that i've come across lately. how to turn intimidation into inspiration.

somehow i have succeeded in stopping negative chatter concerning my photography.
i have kicked the self doubt out of that part of my life.
i didn't do it on purpose, but i'm sure glad it has gone this way.

that is not to say i don't have moments (and lots of them) when i feel like i suck, or can't do it right.
but i've started to experience them as humbling reminders of how much i have to learn and how much i want to spend the rest of my life consumed in my love for this medium of art.
for example, i recently took in a few rolls of holga and diana film. i was so excited for what beautiful things would be on that disc when i picked it up from the photo shop. i uploaded one roll and all but one picture were either blurry or black. that said, that one picture made my heart swoon as it was a double exposure of apples in my yard and the ocean...a wee bit of photo magic surrounded by stone cold reality. that roll symbolized to me the beautiful balance i want to retain in this work. i want to believe in the magic and beauty that can be created and the confidence that it brings to my sense of self. At the same time, I want to be continually humbled by this find that perfect place between a big ego and self doubt.

I’ve also started embracing feeling intimidated. Yes! And even inviting more of it into my life. I want to set my expectations high for myself. I’ve spent too many years with low expectations of what I can do and be. Enough. Feeling intimidated by someone’s beautiful photography skills only makes me strive to want to work hard to get there some day. It happens fairly often in fact, and I’ve been reminding myself that its barely been a year since I started this whole journey and that I have it in me to do such amazing things too someday.

One of the ways I’ve been inviting this into my life is through flickr. I spend more time on flickr than I do facebook (and if you are on f-book, you know how consuming it can be!). I’ve decided to stop being shy and am adding every photographer that I feel inspired by, so I can see their new work as they post it and it gives me a daily dose of beautiful inspiration. And as I’ve done this, I’m noticing how much I learn from looking at other peoples work. This has helped me formulate where it is that I want to go with this work, what styles appeal to me, what post processing techniques I want to learn and has given me so much inspiration for photoshoots and themed projects.

I’ve started to view these photographers as mentors. They represent where I want to go. I’m so thankful that they share their photographic experiences with the blogging world.

Here’s some of those people who’s work I find great inspiration in!

Sabrina Ward Harrison
Leonie Allen
Susannah Conway - Unravelling
Boho Photography
Photosmith Photography
Sam Lamb Photography
a girl in love
Alicia Bock Photography
and the awesome new website shutter sisters

these pictures were a deliciously ridiculous part of my day...putting my camera on the self-timer and trying to jump at that perfect time to express my joy! of course, that often doesn't work! so here you go...some out takes that show both my geeky-ness and my joy! you've gotta be able to laugh at yourself right?!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ain't Life Sweet

Last night was my first photography class at the college in town. I’m beyond excited about this next step in this daily adventure that has turned into way more than I ever expected. Its got me dreaming bigger than ever before.

The class was exactly what my high expectations were looking for. The teacher is funny, knowledgeable and most importantly obviously deeply passionate about photography. I know that a teacher can make or break an educational experience, so I was so relieved to walk into the class and see some hip dude in jeans smiling from the front of the room.

My fellow classmates were also exactly what I was hoping for. Just about everyone in the room had a funky edge to them. The girl in the back corner with with the tattoos, the guy in the black hoodie with the punk patch on the back who was obviously all about photographing bands, the girl with the knitted fingerless gloves who seemed to know a lot and who I bet has amazing ideas, a couple of normal looking dudes who seemed really inspired, and of course…what is a class without a know it all….we have one of those too. I was surprised to see how I didn’t play out my usual role of lessening my light, shrinking down, staying quiet. Classroom settings are quite tough for me and often triggering, but this felt different. I think the fact that this class is not the classic academia, but is creatively based, makes all the difference. They don’t want you to regurgitate the same bullshit (can you sense some academic hostility here!) but want you to understand the information and show that in the work you do. I’m so excited!

The course is 'Intro to Photography' (with film cameras). I had planned to take the intro to digital photography course, but waited to long and it was full! I think it’s a lovely twist of fate, as I really want to be prolific in both film and digital…and this way I don’t have to wait till next semester to get into the darkroom. I can only imagine how my love for this art form will grow once I get in the darkroom!

This college has a 2 year part time Photography Certification, which is my 'master plan'. The courses look amazing and they are all night courses, so highly compatible with the rest of my life. So often in the past I would talk about what my newest idea for what to do with my life was (counsellor, ASL interpreter, nurse, teacher, etc) but i couldn't take a step forward with these ideas, as none of them really sang to my spirit. There is singing going on now. Although a few sentences ago i called this my 'master plan' it doesn't really feel like a plan.

It feels like what is and what will be. This is it.

i have a line from a song in my head right now by Penny Lang

"ain't life sweet when we know what we're doing
ain't life sweet when we're not afraid to care'

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Top 7 of 07 at ladyvivienne

'beautiful things' now available at my etsy shop

Rachelle of Magpie Girl has invited those of us who are part of the 'small is beautiful' tribe to share our top seven posts of the last year. it was beautiful reflection to read my last year of blogging and chose which posts i'd like to re-share. So here it is....

what i believe in

art is healing

step up and show up more

surrounded and supported

life goals

project vest reclamation


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Self Portrait Challenge: Celebration (week one)

i feel like i have a lot to celebrate these days. i haven't felt that in a long time. its not that joyful amazing things weren't happening, its more that i felt disconnected from my own place of joy.

i am amazed at the transition that is taking place. i usually don't hold much attachment to the 'start of the new year' as it feels like such a man-made idea, whereas the seasonal passages of time, like solstice, feels so much more authentic. that said, new years really felt like a changing-point for me. between pondering new years resolutions, reflecting on all that happened in the past year and writing my mondo beyondo list, i already have a sense of how this year (and i) am different in 2008.

last year was a year of hibernation. i moved into this lovely home, where i feel safe and supported. i woke up each day and asked myself what i needed from this day. it was a beautifully self-centered year, in the best way one can use the term self-centered. i had a lot of guilt around taking so much time for myself. but i knew i had to do it. although i wasn't social very often, i feel blessed to have some long time friends (near and far) and have made some really amazing friends. beautiful strong people, all of them.

so in this week's self portrait challenge i felt compelled to celebrate friendships. i want to celebrate the people who were there for me when i could only really try to be there for myself, for those people who saw possibility in me when i didn't have much to offer, for those who have always been there and always will be there and for those i have yet to meet.

the above pic is from new years eve and is me and my dear friend the great zinnia heartland. she's a jewel.

other things i want to celebrate:

mel watson's brilliant new album 'seed'
the deliciousness of roasted veggies
drinking coffee as a joy rather than an addiction
flower printed rubber boots
the humbling and beautiful experience of photographing with a holga camera
rosie thomas' amazing voice
feeling joy and having hope

Saturday, January 05, 2008

mondo beyondo part one

one of the first blogs i started to read regularly was andrea's superhero journal and she has this tradition called a mondo beyondo list. part one of this list is these three questions:

1. What do you want to acknowledge yourself for in regard to 2007?

I learned what self-care really means, how to live with healthy boundaries, how to be more alive and how to not be lonely alone and how to heal through creativity. I am so proud of this learning. But I am glad that I have can now step past it into an even more well-lived life.

I am so proud of myself for discovering my passion for photography, for grabbing onto it full force and letting it take me on a beautiful blessing of a journey that is nowhere near over. I am proud of getting over my fears and then dreaming big. I can barely wait to see where it takes me this year!

2. What is there to grieve about 2007?

I grieve for the girl that I was in the beginning of the year and welcome the healthier me I have become.

3. What else do you need to say about the year to declare it complete?

2007 was an amazing and beautiful year of re-discovering myself. I am thankful for all the solitude and for learning to say No. But now it is time for learning how to say YES again without what I learned in this year. Blessed Be 2007.

2008 is the year of beautiful awakenings.
2008 is the year of being open to life's potential.
2008 is the year of love.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

christmas views

a beautiful visit home to my family and friends back east has me returned to the west coast with a full heart.
in fact i feel changed. i needed to be back there to transition into this new stage i'm jumping into whole-heartedly.
my new years resolution is to

Say YES to life more, without losing the ability to say NO.

I'm so excited for what this year can be. Will be. For all its potential and all that I can't even imagine it will be. This past year took turns that are so delightful and i could not have predicted. I needed to learn how to say no and create new boundaries. What a gift that was. A tough one but so worth it. And now its time to step out of my hibernation. Last year was about exploring my connection to self, but now I am yearning to connect with others more. Its time.

So here are a few more views of my holiday, including one of the wild turkey's that visited each morning at my grammy's house. There are dozen's of them actually, but most of them stay at the other side of the pond. I do love the taste of turkey, yes i do, but i must confess that it was much more gratifying to watch them than eat them this year!