Tuesday, April 29, 2008

jump for joy

i had a most lovely impromptu photo shoot yesterday with some sweet friends who were staying with me for one day of their cross country travels.  they are just smitten with each other, which inspired me to inquire if they'd be into a photo walk...and of course they were.  

one of my favourite things to do at a shoot is to get folks to jump or dance around.  they always love the pics (and i do too) and it gets them comfortable.  

here's a few more bits of loveliness!

other bits of loveliness bringing me joy this week:
~the new weepies album full of pure gorgeousness!
~receiving this picture via the photo trade i completely did a dance o' joy when i opened the picture (and feel like a super lucky photo trader!)
~these gorgeous sounds from the swell season (the folks who starred in and made the music of the movie 'Once')
~visiting the gigantic garden near my home and getting lost in blossoms like this and this
~beginning an art collaboration with a lovely friend that i have been making art in the company of for the last year.  i love the natural progression to making collaborative art.  lots of tasks to do this week for that (what wonderful work!)
~working (i'm a postpartum doula) with the most wonderful tiny twin girls (not even at their due date yet).  having them curl up on my shoulder is total bliss and their mom is a gem!
~receiving a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from my friend who's labour i attended!
~consuming the last of my stumptown coffee.  i think i'll be quitting coffee again until my next portland visit...nothing quite compares to stumptown!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

discovering my sensibilities

i woke up on the right side of the bed this morning.

i can't explain it much better than that.  its not that i was more alert in my pre-coffee state or that i'd had any more sleep than usual.  its just that it felt like things just fit into place today.  

i'm still working mega hard today finishing off the images from the photoshoot.  this is my first real experience in processing for a client.   i mean, they are all my friends, but this is a paid gig and i'm learning so much about how to manage a workflow and to select specific images for the client.  

as i mentioned in the last post, it started out rough, but i've found myself in the groove of processing photos, listening to what the image needs (if it needs any change at all!).

it reminds me of when my sister and i worked together as gardeners on the golf course years back.  when it was time to plant we'd put all of the plants in place, then step back and view them.  she liked to call it something to the effect of 'meeting our sensibilities'.  i thought it was a bit ridiculous at first, being so anal about whether a salmon coloured flower should be one inch to the left or right, but the truth of the matter was that it did help develop a bit of an artistic sensibility in me.  did it feel right?  what could we change to make it sit well with us?

my 'sensibilities' are put to use in the post-processing.  i'm not making decisions because of some theoretical idea.  i'm not just letting the auto-fix do it for me.  i'm changing the darkness and light and colour saturation or adding texture until i feel that 'YES' come out of me.  thats what makes this part of the process art i suppose.  its a sort of playfulness with the image, listening to what it needs, sometimes challenging it, drawing something out of it that wasn't there before or just letting it be.  sigh.  i love it.  delicious work.

over at shutter sisters today the post is about the 'small is beautiful' manifesto.  i joined in on this crew the moment i read about it, soon after the lovely Magpie Girl and Jen Lemen started it.  i've never been one to watch how many people visit here (not that even know how to check that!) and i do love when comments are left.  i, as i'm sure with many others, simultaneously love and struggle with blogging.  part of me wants to connect with the amazing circle of artful bloggers and another part of me misses just sitting cross legged with my black covered journal, keeping all these thoughts to myself. 

i think a lot about why i blog.  i feel like it tends to be a mirror of how i am in the real world sometimes.  how much am i showing of my authentic self in a post and in real life?  do they match up?  am i hibernating from both reality and the blog world?  am i reaching out to friends and getting involved with the SPC or at Shutter Sisters?  for me they are often similar in paths. 

i much appreciated Sarah-Ji's post at Shutter Sisters about how the idea of 'small is beautiful' also speaks to being a photographer.  it was an idea that i think i needed to hear!  i get way ahead of myself sometimes in picturing my own success (though i think its healthy to do so....as i've never been so confident about anything in my life! quite the opposite in fact.) but then at times I have bouts of the blues and the 'i'm kidding myself' downer moments.  i don't want to make myself feel like where i am right now is anything less than wonderful and being present in that allows me to be present in why i fell in love in love with this medium in the first place...which is because it helps me to feel present and alive!  i want to succeed and grow, but i want to revel in the place where i am right now and be thankful for what I have learned so far. 

for me, small is beautiful means 
standing in who you are right here, right now
living in the moment and letting your authentic self out
being adults in a way, not trying to be the coolest kid in the class, but just being you.
connecting to people, individuals, through these wonderful artistic mediums
finding what it is you have to give to the world.

as i wrote that last paragraph the cd i'm listening serenaded me with these words.

she said look at the stars in the darkness
can't you feel why we're here?
look a the sun on the water
could the truth be any more clear?

she said don't be afraid to be silent
don't be afraid to be big and loud
don't be afraid to walk softly 
don't be afraid to be proud

she said dance with all your being
cry your most passionate tears
hold your life like the treasure it is
and let it go without fear.

we will bear witness to it all.

it felt like a bit of serendipity to hear these words as i write this post.  they are from the song 'Witness to it All' by the Wyrd Sisters.   And they really embody what it is to be a 'small is beautiful' blog and to be our authentic selves living on this gorgeous earth.

i hope your sunday holds much beauty.

Friday, April 18, 2008

leaving the land of anxiety

i've spend most of my non-working waking moments this week bonding with photoshop. the continuous learning that is the world of becoming a photographer really played out in these past few days. one of the things that makes me more sure that i want to spend my living doing this than i've ever been about anything before is that i'm continually challenged and humbled while gaining confidence at the same time.

anxiety was at the forefront of my learning this week. i'd be waking up full of worry. after visiting the land of depression and coming back from it, i've been very committed to removing things and practices in my life that create anxiety. mini step by mini step i've been getting rid of these little things and big things on the master to-do list of my life. i've been known to self-sabatoge and put things in my own way. removing these self-imposed barriers was more than an easy task. and now i've found that i have what i crave, which is a simple yet rich life. thats not to say i don't get anxious at all anymore, but its not a constant state. who wants to live like that?

so when i was waking up each morning this week, stressing about every little thing, i quickly lost track of what goodness i have in my days. i've had a lot of post-production work to do this week after doing a wonderful photoshoot last weekend with a local burlesque troupe. it was gorgeous and lovely and unique and by far the biggest group of people i've ever shot pics of. but the amount of pictures i have of this crew was vast! you see i am a 'clicker' you could say. i don't thoughtfully compose pictures, i just go with my intuition and shoot! i really like it that way...as i get lots of authentic pictures and it really feels like we are both just experiencing the moment. that said, my gigantic memory card and i both get a bit overwhelmed once we get home.

the big learning this week has been around prioritizing. i don't have to give every person i take pics of every shot, only the ones that take my breath away (which there are usually plenty of....i have some gorgeously beautiful and authentic folks to take pics of!)

i started working on the pictures and became so overwhelmed. i was sucking the joy out of something that i find really lovely. some pictures don't need to be fixed up at all, some seem to crave texture, others have good content but need some lovin'.
so i've been trying to approach it like i do taking the picuture. stop thinking too much about it and just play. so much beauty comes out of the place of play and isn't that what being a creative being is about? as i approach turning this into a business and not just a hobby, i'm glad i was reminded this week of how to leave the land of anxiety and return to the place of play.

i wish i could share some pics of the shoot with folks but part of my agreement with the troupe is to just use them on my website. i'm hoping to get my website up by my my birthday month of july and take the leap into promoting my business.

yummy yummy messy life!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Self Portrait Challenge: Absurd!

i'm back!
i unintentionally took a month and a half off of the self-portrait challenge.
i'd been overthinking this months subject...what absurdity can i create in a picture?
and when i saw this pic of me and ladybug (yes...thats what happen when your cat gets too close to the camera) i decided that perhaps i should just let photographic absurdity just occur!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

welcome cute little man (and other joys of the week)

why i loved this week:

-meeting the cutest baby (seriously he's really really cute) right after he emerged into the world.
-seeing his mom glow after a really tough labour and seeing his dad completely smitten
-bits of sunshine bursting through rainy days
-going to the movies twice. seeing this and this. both were wonderful (but i liked the first one the best).
-this sunny day in which i'm doing a photoshoot with a local burlesque troupe!
-loving this song which is titled with a word i love and try to live by: Resilience
-being inspired by jen lemen and this post. i donated what i could and love watching what happens when we each do that.
-this superhero photo challenge. i'm going to make sure i use this approach on my shoot today!
-the beautiful flower seen above and seen in my backyard. i've been spending a lot of time lately photographic beautiful springness!

much love,

Saturday, April 05, 2008

dear little being

dear little being

i'm so excited to meet you.
i think of you every day and watch your mom's belly swell even bigger.
i've watched your big sis grow up into the most magical of girls
and i can barely contain my excitement at being able to watch you on this journey
right from the start.

you are coming soon and i'm ready as can be to help your parents on the journey
from belly to the wide open world.
from being held in the comfort of her living womb to being held in their arms.

i'm counting the sleeps little one!
journey safely out here to meet us.
i'll see you there.

love vivienne

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

new sounds

today is a gentle, slow day.
i've been sick the last few days. needing to take it slow but not.

so i'm
sitting in my little yard
mac on my lap
thawing out my heart
sending love texts to my beloveds far away
appreciating where pink and white blossoms meet blue skies
watching kitters play in their first real sunshiny day of spring
feeling grateful for all that 30 has brought
and having a calm faith that all that isn't quite there yet will become a grateful memory someday.

what could make this tender beautiful day much better? i could only imagine one thing. new weepies sounds.

yes, the beautiful-tender-powerful-speaktothesoul-sounds of the weepies. their new album isn't out yet, but they've posted some songs on their myspace page. the first few notes got me teary.

don't wait any longer. go check it out!

and if you want some inspirational bloggery while you listen, check out these:
jen lemen
magpie girl
the whole self