RISK. A scary word for a lot of people, myself included. I’ve avoided taking major risks most of my life. Actually, the idea of risk gives me some degree of anxiety for the most part. There are few times in my life where I have ventured out into that care-free land where I didn’t have a well thought out plan or direction to go in. But for the most part, making a plan and sticking to it is what comforts me the most… that and my cats (Francis & Bandi)… and a warm cup of tea…and macaroons haha. All that changed though about a year ago, but to really understand, I have to take you back a little bit and share some of my backstory.
Ever since I was but a wee little girl, I wanted to be an artist. I didn’t know what kind or what the looked like, but being an artist was something I always dreamed of becoming. I even turned my sister’s old bedroom into my own art studio after she moved out. That room was my safe space. My place of respite when I needed to unwind. I imagined and created in there. I sweat, cried, and literally bled inside of that room (*shutters at the memory from The Exacto Knife vs Sue Engages in Crafting When She’s Tired War of 2005*). I did everything from drawing, writing, painting, crafting, working on design school projects and sleeping on the floor inside that room. Needless to say, I loved art in all of it’s forms. So naturally, I was also drawn to photography.
Ever since I was but a wee little girl, I wanted to be an artist. I didn’t know what kind or what the looked like, but being an artist was something I always dreamed of becoming.
For me though, there was no epic defining moment in my love for photography. I don’t have a “the moment I picked up my first camera and pressed down on the shutter, I just knew…” story to tell. It was just something that was always a part of my life. My first little camera was a silver Cool Pix point and shoot and I took pictures of everything. I became the resident photographer of the family, documenting everything that happened during family vacations. I roped my friends into having artistic photoshoots at their houses. And by “friends” I mean only one agreed. And by “artistic photoshoots” I mean embarrassing blackmail material hahaha (Thanks, Lindsay! Love you forever ♡ ).
(We joked that this would be Lindsay’s album cover for her non existent band)
Later on, one more brave friend, Natalie, joined me in scouting locations throughout the city, eventually resulting in the most awkward and weird photoshoot of my life, but convinced at the time that it was a great idea and that we looked cool and artsy haha! Boy were we wrong! I submit evidence below. (Check out those artsy angles!!!! And that mysterious yet somewhat demonic looking dreamy stare into the distance… gotta love my artistic direction….. …. … *cricket noises* )
(On the left you see someone posing artistically with their paper mache sun/moon 3D art piece that they made in their High School Studio Art class… WHY!?!?! Oh and by “someone” I mean me, and by “artistically” I mean completely awkwardly and I may have just peed a little bit from laughing so hard)- (On the right, you see my OTHER PIECE OF 3D ART THAT I THOUGHT WAS A FANTASTIC IDEA TO BRING AND PHOTOGRAPH IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. Weird editing credits go to Natalie though. I can’t take the credit for all of this amount of genius and expression)
Photography just naturally developed into something I loved and did without even really thinking about it (now, whether it was good or not is not to be debated right now hahaha). I always carried it in my bag with extra batteries in case a kodac moment arose (boy did zoom back in the day waste your battery life or what, amiright!?). But it was just that, something I casually but consistently loved and was drawn to. I never thought about making a career out it. I knew photographers existed, but I never thought that I could be one. That never even crossed my mind.
Flashing forward a bit into the end of high school and beginning of college. During this transition, my mom had been taking some Interior Design classes at a local design college to further her education and compliment the furniture business her and my father had together (my mom is seriously a rockstar… mother, wife, business owner, cook, and then she decides to take classes filled with people less than half of her age. And by the way, English is her second language so despite a language barrier, she killed it. AH-maze-ing). Anyways, every once in a while, she would ask me for help with one of her projects. It was then that I was introduced to the world of Interior Architecture and Design and found it interesting. After some time, though, my mom could no longer attend classes and she encouraged me to apply there. I was still taking undergrad classes at the U of A, trying to decide what I wanted to do until finally deciding to send in my application. I had no idea what I was getting into really, and boy was it intense. My notion of Interior Design at that time was picking paint colors and choosing furniture… maybe casually knocking down some walls every now and then like they do on HGTV. Basically, I had NO idea what Interior Design actually was. As the years passed I began to realize that I liked Interior Design a lot… but I didn’t feel any great connection or profound love towards it. It was something I had to complete because I was already in it, but I grew increasingly disconnected from it. I performed well in class and turned in A worthy projects and when I graduated, I was elated. I thought that maybe having my degree would somehow spark some flame into the dying fire. I worked in the field for a while, but unfortunately, it was a really bad time to be in that kind of a field or anything construction related as the market was down horribly and no one was investing in luxury services like that. That’s when I decided to do a 180 and get into something completely unrelated… Clinical therapy for children with Autism and other related pervasive developmental disorders.
Stay tuned next week for part 2 of this series! I’ll be getting into my experience as a clinical habilitation therapist and the defining moment of taking the biggest risk of my life… but until then, I’ll leave you with a few GEMS of photos that I took or gave “artistic direction” for c. 2006-2009 ish.
(according to me at the time, the photos taken from this photoshoot were supposed to a comedic commentary on art and how people supposedly would say… “but… IT’S AAAAAAAART!”… I even named my facebook album that. Don’t ask me why.)
(these were c.2007 I believe. I was soooo proud of these photos I took of my niece haha. And check out that KILLER editing style below hahaha!)
(I was feeling a little sassy with my artsy croping and sepia editing after having visited my families ranch.)
(I never use vignetting anymore thanks to the self induced trauma of heavily vignetting my photos back in the day hahah)
(taken a few years ago, behind the scenes at my brother-in-law’s wedding. I’d like to think my style matured from those previous photos until these. And has definitely improved since their wedding haha)
Happy Wednesday, friends. I trust you had a good laugh!
To view part 2 of this series, click here: A Lesson In Taking A Risk