Monday, January 20, 2014

Project 52: Week 3. Time.

It's funny how people seem to always take time for granted.  Some people even expect that there will be time to do the things that they want to do but don't have the money or time to do them now.   But then one day *poof* they've missed that opportunity.   People are too busy going here or there, spending money they don't have on things they don't want to spend it on, wishing it were the weekend and dreading it when it's Monday.

It's true, I wish everyday for it to be Friday.  And even though I wish today was Friday, I didn't waste time wishing THIS day away.  In fact, for the first time in a long time, I actually just stopped my car and took a photo of a scene that I see every day and say "Oh, that would be so pretty snow covered" and I've made an excuse to NOT stop and grab that photo ... oh, I gotta get home, it's too cold, it's snowing too hard ... etc.... well, today, I decided to stop and smell the roses ... figuratively speaking, of course (although a beautiful red rose coming out of the snow certainly would be a fabulous photo opp).  It literally took me all of about 2 minutes and I felt good about myself because I finally did it.  There are so many scenes that I see that I say "that would make a beautiful photo" and don't stop.  Why???  Well, it's simple ... I'm usually on my way somewhere else and just don't have the time.  Or do I?  Well, will it REALLY matter if I'm a few minutes later then I anticipated?  Anyone who knows me well enough, knows that the answer to that question is a resounding "YES" it matters ... because I'm punctual, and rarely late for anything.  And being even 2 minutes later then I anticipated just throws everything off .... but it doesn't have to.  This is just a character flaw of mine that hopefully, someday, I'll be able to overcome.

I'm going to make myself a promise...  whenever I have my camera on me (which, just for the record, I have been carrying with me everywhere I go for the past 20 days) and if I see something that is appealing to my eye and I think to myself "that would make a beautiful photo", I'm going to stop and take that picture.  As long as it's a safe stop -- there is this one shot off of the thruway that I would just LOVE to shoot, but it really isn't a safe place to just stop and take a photo .... not to mention the fact that with my luck, I'd probably get ticketed by the cop who's having a REALLY bad day!!! LOL

So above I mentioned how I stopped and grabbed that photo .. well here it is:

It is at a little bed & breakfast out by where I work.  And I just LOVE how this turned out!!! I hope you do too!!!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Project 52: Week 2. Patience.

I've felt for a very long time that I was blessed with my youngest daughter to teach me the fine art of patience.  I've got over 5 years of lessons from this child (including my pregnancy with her) and I still feel as though I have yet to actually learn patience.

I often wonder if patience is something that can be learned or if it really is something that comes from within, because there are days when I feel like I've got nothing left to give.  Those are also the days when I remember to stop and take a step back, take a deep breath and just be.  I have got to remind myself that she is, in fact, my exact replica, which is probably a large part of the reason why I find her so hard to handle at times.  This child is the epitome of me, only magnified by about 100 times.

I went and took some pictures of a creek nearby my house tonight.  The creek is jammed up with ice, people had to be evacuated from their homes due to the flooding and yet the water underneath the ice looks so calm, so peaceful.  It is just patiently waiting for the ice jams to release so it can flow free again.  I think that perhaps, patience is just that, the ability to wait for that moment of clarity so you can be free from the jamming thoughts that often come with a tough situation or person that has tried your patience to every extreme.

Patience is a virtue ... work in progress.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Project 52: Week 1: The Abstract Life

Abstract: "existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence".
"The High Sorcerer"
© 2014 Christine M. Wallace

I once felt as though my life was just going thru the motions, and not having any real purpose.  I thought I was happy when I wasn't, then when I knew I wasn't happy, I tried to convince myself that things would get better.  It became a vicious cycle of battling for an inner peace that I craved so very much.  It wasn't until I was given a book "One Day At A Time" (or ODAT) that I really began to realize that my life is what I had made it.  Pure Chaos.  I realized that I needed to stop blaming this one for that and that one for this and start looking at myself, because, much to my own surprise, I was the only person I had control over.  Yes, I am a control freak, or rather, I use to be.  I now know that there is only person I have the true right to be a control freak with ... myself.

"Come to the dark side"
© 2014 Christine M. Wallace
"Fly Away Little Birdie"© 2014 Christine M. Wallace
I've run circles around myself and making my life this unimaginable place that seemed quite abstract, like I was stuck in a maze that I couldn't get out of.  Then I stopped. Looked around. Took a deep breath. And took action.  Action for myself.  I finally admitted that I was not happy, I admitted this to myself because let's face it, I'm the only one that really cares if that is truth or not anyways. Because at that point in time, the only person that mattered to me, was me.  Because if I was happy, my girls would be happy and life would be wonderful.

I then spent the next several months looking at life thru my lens.  Yes, my camera is where I found my inner peace.  I started to find a passion that I had buried so deep even I thought it was gone.  I started to look around and all I seen was art in everything.  I even started to see something in the most abstract of pieces.

© 2014 Christine M. Wallace
This past week I was looking for some interesting projects that I could do in my studio, since it's winter and I live in Buffalo and you never know if one day to the next you'll be able to bear the cold weather and go outside looking around for a photo to take,  I came across this project that was supposed to turn out like a tye-dye type of design.  So I thought, hey, I have these tools ... let's give it a try.  Only, I didn't really get the tye-dye results.  Instead, with a little cropping and some other minor manipulations in an editing program, I  got some amazing abstract images.
© 2014 Christine M. Wallace

 The images presented in this post are my results, and honestly, I never expected to get these results when I looked at the images on my viewfinder, but in each image, I see something very different.  I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome - and the fact that I was able to create an abstract photo, which look very much like a painting.

**Artist Note: The photo manipulations that were done, were simple curves, levels and/or desaturation changes, nothing else was altered in these images.**

The fact of the matter is, no matter how abstract you think your life may be, you can always find your purpose among the chaos, so long as you just take the time to look deep enough to see the truth that is being held within.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Reflections of another year gone by

Another year comes to an end and new one begins, however, it is really just another day passing by.  January 1st is sort of a soul searching date, when many people make resolutions for what they want to accomplish in the upcoming year.  I've never been big on making resolutions, of course, I've never been big on making promises to myself that I honestly don't see myself being able to keep long term, things like going to the gym 3 times a week, losing weight, eating better, etc. I do, however, like to set goals for myself.  Goals based on what I learned about myself the previous year.

I have three goals that I would like to try to attain this year:
1 - Take one photo a week (Project 52) and post it on Sunday
2 - Write one blog post a week, also posted on Sunday
3 - Shoot one project a month

These seem like fairly attainable goals, however, I always seem to get a good start then one thing leads to another and I've got excuse after excuse as to why I wasn't able to get it done.  Well, 2014 is my year to TRY to get it done.  52 pictures, 52 blog posts and 12 projects .... I can do this.  I know I can!

Every year I seem to learn a little more about myself simply by paying close attention to my choices and how they affect my life.  In 2013, I learned a few things that have helped me make some big decisions, both personal and professional.

1 - I've learned that, for me, my passion cannot be my "job".  I seem to lose that spark I have about photography when it has to be my "job", that which pays all the bills and has to make ends meet.  So, I can say that I gave it an honest try at making photography be my sole source of income, and while I determined that is not the route for me, I do not look at it as any kind of failure.  I want to be able to offer my talent as a photographer because I want to, not because I have to.

2 - In general, people, who are not artists, do not really see the value in art.  This may seem a bit of a harsh reality, but it is the truth.  There is no way I could, nor would I ever, compete with the package deals you can get from a corporate entity that offers photography services.  There is a real art in what I do, and sadly, a lot of people don't see the value in hiring a professional photographer, even at rock bottom pricing.  So, I've decided, I'm done selling myself out and offering photoshoots for less than what I am worth.  I've been told time and time again that I do not charge enough for my services, so, after much thought,  I've come up with pricing that I feel is fair for both myself and my clients.

3 - #'s 1 & 2 have led me to another VERY BIG decision that is both heartbreaking but also very invigorating.   I've decided that I need to move past a branded company name and market myself, not only as a photographer, but as an artist and a muse.  That being said, I have decided to dissolve the Lifetime Memories Photography name and simply just be me.  After 10 years of trying to make something out of a company name, I've come to realize that I am all I need to make something out of.  And I have. I have seen quite a progression in my work over the past 10 years that I honestly feel confident that is the right thing to do.

and last but certainly not least ...

4 - I've learned (and have been shown) that real love is so much more than what I ever could have imagined.  Every day, for nearly 16 months, I am simply amazed at how true love has changed my life.  I know I speak of it often, but, if I didn't know any better, I'd think I was dreaming and every day, I am so thankful that I have been living this reality of pure happiness and joy in my life.

2014 is going to be the start of a new direction for me ... going down the same path is no longer an option for me, it's just me, my passion and a new direction to bring to life.

I'm excited to show you all what I have up my sleeve for 2014!!!  Continue to stay tuned!!!!

Peace, Love & Light,