Tuesday, July 25, 2017

it makes no sense

I will be the first to admit that I am flawed. I have a temper, I can be unkind, I can be mean and self centered. I am human, I am imperfect. 
I have hated more than I have loved. 
I do not pretend to be anything.

But this I do know. 
Jesus is not done with me yet. 
That is what makes all the nasty stuff melt away because I know that no matter how cruel people are, how hurt I may get, or how bad I behave, He is always there. He is always willing to give me the second chance I don't deserve. 
And because He does this for me, I want to do the same for every person I come into contact with in my life. This doesn't mean that I actually have extended that grace towards them all, but I am trying. 

The world is full of broke, cruel, flawed people.
And sometimes you don't realize you're one of them until you're hurting.
And that's when it should click.
We are all broken people.

As one broken human to another, lets stop wasting time being selfish.
Lets let go of the grudges, the offenses.
Stop thinking the world, and everyone in it, is out to get you.
There is no competition.
Let's stop pretending like everyone else but ourselves is to blame.
Because I think once we realize that we are broken, that's when grace can extend it's healing hand 
and wash away our dust.


Monday, July 24, 2017

when I was little

When I was little, and by little I mean around 10yrs ago, I began my love affair with photography.
It actually may have started before then, but I do know that it was very real at the age of 13.

I don't remember what camera I had then, probably a little kodak, but I can remember taking pictures of everything, especially people. Back then, my motivation wasn't hindered by social media.
I simply wanted to create. 
It's what I'd always done.
I've always been creating something.

I remember this one photo I took, of a little boy holding up a giant bull frog, and it was perfectly framed...just the bullfrog and the boys eyes in focus.
To this day I'm still somewhat shocked that 13yr old me took that photo, it's not too shabby. I think I even won first place with it in an art show.

A few years and a few cameras later, I can remember painting my face and taking some really strange self portraits. I edited them to look unearthly, ghostly and weird.
The feedback I got back from them (because by then I was that obnoxious 15yr old posting on facebook waaayyy too often) was less than positive. 
I mean, you can say "woah that's creepy" in a positive way, but I didn't get that.
Thankfully, 15yr old me really didn't care. I knew that I loved what I had made, and that was enough.

Things continued on in this manner for quite some time. 
Just me, my camera, and my tripod.
Some of the photos are pretty embarrassing to look at now, but hey, my future kids will enjoy seeing awkward teenager me someday.

My point of all this is, I wanna get back to where I was then.
Obviously, I want to my skills to keep getting better, but I miss the mindset I had then.
I didn't create images with the sole purpose of posting on social media.
I created images, both photographed, drawn and painted, because it's what I loved to do.
Opinions didn't matter to me. The number count was non existent. 

But now as I type this I'm checking my insta to see how many likes I've gotten on my recent post.

It's pathetic.

On the flip side, social media is a wonderful tool. I mean, I've met some of my best artist friends though Instagram. I've made connections with people I have and someday will collaborate with, and I know that number of people will keep growing. I've been inspired and encouraged by other artists.
I've grown a lot with it.

But there has to be balance.

So maybe that's what I'm trying to figure out these days.
The delicate balance of how to use social media to its fullest extent, without falling into its life sucking and soul zapping trap.

Any tips?


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

ruffled // Part I

alright y'all.
I've been bottling up some things I think I need to let out.
I've got some unpopular opinions to present and some unusual outlooks to share. Now mind you, I don't expect many people to agree with me, and I'm okay with that, but just remember. Agree to disagree, without becoming disagreeable. 

Honestly I don't even know where to start. I've had a really hard time focusing lately, which isn't abnormal for me. I feel like there's a million things swirling around in my head and heart right now, and it's hard to pinpoint any one thing. So I'm gonna tell y'all a story because that's the best way for me to explain one of the issues I wanna talk about.

This past weekend I went to my first photography "meet-up". It's basically when a bunch of photographers get together with a bunch of models and "collaborate". But I didn't just go as a photographer, I went as a model too.
As I predicted, my social anxiety sky rocketed within 20 minutes of being there. I clung to my camera for security hoping no one would think I was modeling too, even though I looked amazing and had gotten my makeup professionally done.  I felt like my 12yr old self again, mortified to be in front of people, terrified that someone might pay attention to me. 

Needless to say, the camera did the trick and protected me. Not one single photographer asked me to model for them. I was relieved...until I realized something. 
Besides one friend, every other model there was wearing bikinis. I mean, granted we were at the beach, but it quickly unsettled me that those girls in bikinis were the only girls being given any attention. Why? What's artistic about that? Nothing. That's what. Nothing. 
I mean, they COULD have been artistic about it. Someone could have had some cool props, colored chalk, smoke, crazy lights, or rainbow reflections. Heck even a chair would have been cool.

But there was none of that. There was no vision.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not here to be all righteous and judgmental towards girls who wear bikinis, and in no way am I trying to sound like I even dislike bikinis. What I'm really trying to get at, is that I'm so incredibly over that sort of photography. You know, where it's just a pretty girl showing off her for now young and attractive body. If you scroll through some of the top featuring pages on Instagram that's the majority of what you'll see. Hot bodies. 
There's no richness, there's no soul, and there's certainly not much true creativity going on.

So here's the deal. Photos of hot girls in bikinis on a gorgeous beach is  over done, obnoxious, and unoriginal.

There, I said it.

Also. I'm so over fairy lights and chacos are stupid.

The meet up gave me the motivation to continue being different. It opened my eyes to the fact that my photography, my vision, my art, is unique because I myself am. I know that sounds slightly narcissistic, but I don't give a crap.

I'm not about to give into peer pressure. I'm not going to adorn a bikini just to be noticed, and I'm not gonna take cliche click bait photos that will fill my feed with pretty, if not slightly skanky girls just because that's what everyone else does.

So guys, lets create something meaningful..and if you're guilty of having given into the peer pressure of taking photos for the sole purpose of adding to that follower count, there's forgiveness for you.

I crave the company of genuine artists. People of quality.
People who create richness within their art.
Thankfully I found some of those souls this weekend, you know who you are, and you guys rock.

But everyone else, y'all and your dumb bikinis sucked.