Friday, October 1, 2010

My Story....continued....

Well, I may have been too hasty to post the first part of my blog. Now since I have reread it, it sounds like I have done all of that in a matter of a few weeks. That part actually was over about 2 years. I also want to go back to where I bought the lights from Mr. Ripley. He came and looked at my work a few times. Several times actually. He was quite impressed. He sometimes would bring his fellow photographers by and peek in my windows if I wasn't at my store to see my work. I think he thought I knew what I was doing. Little did he know I had no clue. Sometimes, I just got lucky and turned the buttons the right way. One day, I was at his house for a photo lesson. I loved being with him, but hated it at the same time. He was so old school is all that I could think. I didn't want my photos to look like his. They were made back in the 80s!! No one would come to me if my photos looked like that. He gave me a bunch of things laying around his house that he had made. Old reflectors, VHS tapes he had bought over the years about lighting, different things he would put over the lights to diffuse it, all old school stuff that I thought wouldn't ever be any help. He would talk about things and I would be so lost. One day he brought out his light meter to help me learn about lighting. I didn't even know they made such a thing. He would ramble off numbers and things and I wouldn't have a clue! I hated to tell him I didn't even know where to set the aperture at on my camera. And I sure didn't want to tell him that I had no idea what in the world f-stops and ISO were. I do remember a conversation that we did have. I asked him, "How will I know when I am a professional?" He laughed. He said, you just will. Sort of discouraged, I just thought there was a time line or something that I just crossed the boarder on. He always highly recommended attending conferences and joining organizations. He also really wanted me to enter print competitions. He said this was only the real way to learn how good you are. At this time of my life, money, well, was sort of scarce around our house. We had what we needed but finding the money for little extra things, like joining PPA for $300, just wasn't an option. I will one day I thought. I would bring him pictures that I was so proud of for him to critique. He would look at it and tell me how good or bad it was. He also always pointed out what I was doing wrong. I honestly didn't mind. I was looking for perfection and wanted to know how to improve. One thing he hated was the new age of things and what kids were wearing. Sometimes, I would have to agree with him. He also wanted me to take the exam to be certified as a professional photographer. I knew then, I had way too much studying to do if I was going to do that. I didn't want to even try because of the fear of disappointing him. I was pretty lost at this point in my photography life. I just wanted to "know" my camera so badly. I wanted to know when I turned a button and what it was for and how it would effect the photograph. I had been working with the studio lights, and he would come down and assist me and show me how to set them up. One memory I have of him helping me was when he and I photographed my sister on her 21st birthday. It was neat to see him react to how I envisioned the photograph. He sometimes would say, I never dreamed of doing that. Funny, now that I look back, I wonder if that was a good or a bad move in his eyes. I know this all sounds like a bunch of junk, but really, this has made me what I am today.
Now, back to where I left off the first time. I had just bought my camera and had 3 days to figure out how to use it. Oh, yeh. I didn't have to learn the camera. I had automatic!! ;). 2 days after buying my camera and beginning the new journey ahead for my photography business, tragedy struck my family. I don't wish to disclose the details, just that we had been crushed. I had always been a pretty confident person. Life of the party, stand up for things that I believed in, and the voice that ALWAYS wanted to be heard. Now, all I wanted to do was hide. Hide from everyone. How was I to pull it together and do photos for the soccer teams when everyone would be seeing me and knowing what was going on with my life?? As much as I hated to do it, I went ahead with photos. It was the hardest thing that I have ever done. People looked at me, some stared, some asked questions, some didn't even know who I was. It was an extremely hard day. From here on out, I was forever changed. I was broken. I didn't know where to go. I kept things bottled inside, and mainly kept to myself. Confidence, well, I didn't even know what that meant anymore. Sometimes, I would open up to close friends, but never truly let anyone all the way in. I couldn't focus on photography anymore at this point. I didn't have any confidence in myself, or in anything for that matter. I buried myself in my sign and t-shirt business. I was under a enormous amount of stress, and just couldn't take the pressure. I just wanted to crack, explode, run away and hide, start a new life somewhere far away, just pick up and leave. The only thing that kept me going was my husband and my two little girls. They were all I had to stand on. Mr. Ripley would still come down. We would talk about things, and shoot some, but my mind was always 1000 other places. I was still trying to learn photography and be on the level that I dreamed of. About the time when my head would be clear, another tragedy would happen. This time, we lost a child. I didn't know I was pregnant. My kids, mother in law, and I had flown to Las Vegas to see their great-grandfather in the hospital. I was in so much pain. I hated to tell anyone. I tried to hide it but it was killing me. After we returned home from our trip, I went to the doctor, and then discovered the pregnancy. I knew something wasn't right. To make a long story short, it was a tubal pregnancy. I was hit again. Knocked down. I was beginning to think I didn't want to fight this fight anymore. Finally, I picked up the pieces and moved forward. Yearning to find happiness again, I began working in my studio. Moving things around. I was really starting to learn the lights and think I was doing really good. Funny thing is, every time I would show them to Mr. Ripley, he would say, "You are getting really good at broad lighting. Great, another word he is throwing at me to learn. hahaha. Things were looking up, but still a rocky road. It had been 8 months since I had lost the baby and still wasn't feeling the greatest. I took a day to run to the doctor again. Something had to give. I knew the amount of stress that I had been under was probably the main cause, but honestly hated to admit it. So, here I am, sitting at the doctor. He comes in with the results. I was almost 3 months pregnant. In complete shock, and didn't know what to do. Then my phone rings. I am sitting at the doctors office in shock, and get a call from my mom that the river was going to rise higher than they expected. I was fixing to have an expected 2 feet of water in my store and had to move out ASAP. What a day.
ok, going to have to add more later. I have opened up feelings that I have kept bottled up and need to take a break. I will add more soon ;)

1 comment:

  1. I think it's awesome that you are getting your story out, it is a challenging road working as a creative person, especially in becoming a photographer in this day. I can relate to a lot of you what you say both about your journey as a photog and mom. Keep working so hard, it's obviously paying off greatly in the beautiful & talented images you produce.