Change can be scary. Change can be exciting. Change can be….an adventure.
Whether it’s going on an impromptu Sister Weekend to Galveston during one of the biggest motorcycle rally’s of the year, or saying yes to a last minute invitation to drive two hours north with one of your best friends and her two small children for a chance to play with and photograph 7 week old Australian Shepherd puppies, adventure is beckoning me right now at this time in my life.
The aforementioned Sister Weekend, I should add, is now called the First Annual Sister Weekend for those who are interested. I’m 46, hitting my year anniversary of the end of my 20 year marriage, have two grown children and my sister is a few years older, about to celebrate 27 years of marriage to my brother in law and has one child in college and another working and finishing high school. We are at the perfect point in our lives to say Yes to Adventure. My sister is a bird photographer and a darn excellent one, in fact she’s about to have her first photography art show next week where she will display and sell her amazing photos. You can find her at The Back Yard Bird Nerd and see some of her amazing work, buy cute t-shirts and soon, more bird loving swag.
My sister gifted me with a camera body over this weekend and let me barrow a lens for the Galveston weekend and I rediscovered my love of photography. I’ve never had a “big-girl” camera before, though I’ve wanted one for decades. Our days away at a beach house just steps from the beach were filled with hours of walking up and down the beach, traveling to nearby nature sanctuaries and finding hidden places where some of her favorite birds like to hang out. I took over 1,500 photos over those three days and I’m still working through the editing. I’m excited to see where my blog-photo game goes from here. It can only get better than what I was using (my iPhone) to take photos.
I’ve since purchased my own lens, used and for a very fair price on Ebay, as well as a camera bag and a few other tid bits of gear. I was able to take the new lens, as well as the tid bits on their inaugural spin just yesterday when one of my best friends invited me to join her and her children to drive north just outside of Bastrop, TX to visit her Dad, who I must tell you, resembles a rugged Ernest Hemingway, and his wife, a tall, silver haired beauty, her long locks tied up into a knot and secured with a pencil, who has a light and friendly personality and a heart for teaching. She and my friends Dad have a litter of Australian Shepherds that are just a mere 7 weeks old and quite literally the cutest puffs of soft, rolly polly furballs I’ve ever laid my eyes on.
We spent the day with my friends parents, having a lovely lunch at a really laid back restaurant where I may have had the best burger I’ve ever eaten, and then spent a few hours out on the ranch, taking pictures of the puppies, who will be up for sale soon and even though it was the first time using this camera and lens combo, I offered to take several photos for them for a future website to help them find loving homes for the squishy fur balls. At the end of the day I took over 700 photos of the kids, the family and the pups. Today will be spent editing and uploading them and I really hope they like what I got.
A friend and colleague recently described photography as a treasure hunt. You take dozens (or hundreds,….whatever) of photos and then when you import them to your computer you dig through the images to find the treasures. I never know what I’m going to get, and the learning curve with this new-to-me Nikon D5300 is a bit of a challenge, but yesterday I caught some really sweet moments with my friends kids playing with the puppies. When all is said and done, I will likely pare those 700+ photos down to maybe 250 really good ones, but I’m so happy to be able to provide visual memories for these families that will forever capture a moment in their lives and the lives of their kids to cherish. That’s what photography is all about, right?
Capturing experiences is really what photography is all about, right? Experience is adventure, change, new, exciting and hopefully fun. I am not one of those people who will challenge myself to say yes to everything, but I am trying to say yes to more than I normally would. This last year, I have had plenty of time to turn inward and cocoon myself, lick my wounds, wallow in self-pity and anger. In just a few days I will reach the end of the first year of divorce. A page will turn, and a new adventure will begin. One where I will try really hard to not base my growth on the distance of time from the end of my marriage, but find new ways to encourage myself to reach the goals I want to reach based on different parameters of time. Time really is the best healer.
So cheers to the future, cheers to being open to change and cheers to saying yes to adventure.