- Guess who’s back….back again…..Type A’s back……on a FRIDAY no less. Crazy!
– Celebrated 5 years of the Kindred Spirits Hospice program this week. Crazy how fast 5 years goes by!
– I am now a contact lens wear-er. Not sure how long that whole shebang will last. I miss my glasses. But, alas, cannot wear them until the end of December so sticking my finger in my eye it is….
– Nose is healing nicely….though its still pretty swollen. I look like I got bopped in the nose a bit, but I can see where it’s headed and I’m pretty excited.
– The husband and I are hella-hooked on Supernatural. LOVE that show, and LOVE that we are only 3 seasons in so I have lots of episodes left to solidify my fan-girl status. No Spoilers!
– My children were nursing colds all week and I kept remarking how odd it was that the husband and I didn’t catch them.
I spoke too soon. Ugh.
– Ok, SENIORS …..I am super cereal at this point, I still have about 15 of you who have not given me your picks for your yearbook picture. If I don’t get a pick, I don’t submit them….so don’t get left out of the yearbook! Get your picks to me ASAP!
– SENIORS, again…..I know one season just ended but I’m already thinking about reps for 2016 Graduates. I’ll be taking 10 total. 5 boys, 5 girls and I’d like to evenly split them between Turner and BMHS. So if you want the savings (and cool factor) that comes with being a rep, get a hold of me sometime over winter break.
– WEDDINGS: I’m about 1/2 booked for 2015 and 2016 couples have started to contact me. I’m only looking to take about 12-15 weddings next year so spaces are limited.
– GENERATIONS BENEFIT: I have a few time slots left for the December 7th Generations Benefit for Grandparents and Grandkids. All proceeds benefit Beloit Regional Hospice. If you’re interested, please contact me via contact form or email.
– SALE SALE SALE! We are about a week away from the amazing Cyber Monday gift certificate double up sale. Are you ready!?? It’s gonna run for 5 days total and gives you huge 50% savings!
Not too many pictures this week but Instagrams, but check out the new shnoz!
- Yep. I know. It’s Sunday. Not Friday. I can’t remember the last time I actually had a normally structured week and in the first time in last nearly 7 years FFT has suffered greatly.
Not that I expect I have too many faithful readers, but damn if I didn’t miss the predictability of it all! So, I’m making it a point to get back to it…now that things are slowing down a bit.
– So I haven’t had one of these since pre-NYC….and lots has gone down….oy.
– NYC was so incredibly fabulous that I definitely want to make plans to attend PhotoPlus again. I just really enjoyed myself (food poisoning and all). The break was well worth the money spent. I adore NYC. It’s just my kind of city. Everyone moves about with such intensity. My kind of people.
– Ahhh…I came back to all the hubbub and fervor over the election. Made me tired. Yes, I voted. I voted and the results did not surprise me. Politics brings out the crazy in some people.
– My Anne of Green Tardis (Tardis of Green Gables?) tattoo is nearly completed. A few days after returning from NYC I sat for another 4 hours. I probably have 1 more hour to go and it’ll be done. I love it!
– So the BIG deal of the week, obviously? My nose. I had my surgery and I’m already 10 days post-op and out of my bandages. I’m over the moon at the results and I know they’ll just improve as swelling subsides.
– Tin Dog had it’s first all-ages show….which I missed on account of having my face ripped open, but I heard it went quite well.
– Got to watch Maleficent with the girls. I really liked it. Didn’t think I would, but it was pretty good. Angelina has kind of a weird-o voice when she yells though.
I spent most of my recovery time watching the documentaries that my husband hates: true crime, 9/11, and history shows about evil people. Yay for Amazon Prime Streaming!
– Now it’s time to get back to work, which I’m pretty happy about. I can’t rest for too long, I start to get punchy.
– WEDDINGS: I’m about 1/2 booked for 2015 and 2016 engaged folks are already on the ball. If you’re looking to still book a photographer for next year or the following year, please get a hold of me soon! (If you want to get a Cyber Monday gift certificate, I am allowing people to apply those to “wedding incidentals” this year, like extra hours of coverage and engagement sessions)
– PORTRAITS: Keep an eye out for announcements about Senior Reps for the Class of 2016! It’s a BIT early, I know, but I am a big believer in planning ahead! I will only be taking 10 reps in 2015. 5 boys and 5 girls….and I’m going to try my best to split them between schools so contacting me EARLY gives you better chance at snatching up one of the money-saving spots!
– SPEAKING of money saving (woot!), the super popular Cyber Monday sale is coming up on December 1st. Like years past, the Cyber Monday sale offers a double-up option on gift certificates. Purchase one at $100, it’s worth $200 and so on. All certificates double up. I will be running the sale for FIVE days, not just one, this year to accommodate folks who want to participate.
– I’m also hosting the Kindred Spirits Generations Benefit again this year, to benefit Beloit Regional Hospice. This is a benefit offering portraits for grandparents and grandkids. For a $50 donation you get the session and an 8×10, all proceeds go to hospice. It’s been popular the last 2 years and I expect we’ll do great things this year too!
I still have some open slots left if you’re interested!
– This week, still kind of in “rest” mode as I wait for the swelling to go down and my bruises to fade a bit (I had to explain to a couple I met with yesterday that no…I did not get beat up in a gang fight).
I have an eye exam tomorrow (ick) to get contact lenses (taping my glasses to my forehead won’t really fly for wedding shooting). I’ll be back to the record store Tuesday and have a few image viewings scheduled, but it’s going to be a very laid back week!
Hanging with Betty, who had a cold most of the week. I tried to get her…again…to watch Anne of Green Gables. As you can see, she was captivated. A little “before and after” (or….after and before, if you will)….old nose on the right. Ew. Obligatory bathroom mirror tattoo shot.
Who: Rubi ~ Beloit Memorial High School ~ Class of 2015
Where: Type A Studio
October was rough. Hell, 2014 was rough. If I’m being honest, I’m not sure I have ever come closer to complete and total burn out since I started Type A in 2008.
I was taking on more and more with each passing month: triple the seniors I photographed the year before, more second shooting gigs, the store opening, more editorial assignments. All things I chased….but it left me pretty exhausted and road-weary by October.
I developed a slight love affair with NYC when my husband and I visited in 2012. It’s just such a magical city. That’s the best way I can describe it. It’s the perfect place for a semi-introvert….because even with the millions of people, you can be anonymous. You blend seamlessly into the furious motion of the day and within that tornado you can BREATHE. It’s like being in the calm epicenter of a whirlpool. Everything is chaos around you, yet you can just be.
It’s what I loved the most. That and the opportunity around every corner…the options…the lights….yeah, it’s safe to say I adore that city.
So, when I heard about the PhotoPlus Expo in NYC I decided to break my streak of NEVER going to conventions and attend.
When I read that Dan Winters was giving one of the seminars, I knew come hell or high water I had to get there. He’s one of my all-time favorite portrait artists.
I’m not a very well-seasoned traveler….so I had this completely irrational fear of not being able to find my plane once I got to the airport.
So what does Type A girl do? Type A girl gets there 5 hours early.
I found my plane.
My first full day in New York I had switched out my first seminar to see Cliff Mautner instead of Michael Grecco. Mostly because Michael Grecco is a portrait artist and I figured if I was going to get the most out of seminars I should probably throw a wedding photographer in there somewhere.
Cliff’s seminar was pretty good. Lots of good advice from his over 30 years in the business. Always good to take away some nuggets from those who have weathered all the storms.
One of the guys I was really looking forward to seeing was Joe McNally. So much so that I signed up not only for his Seminar but his Master Class. Well worth it. Joe is the master of light manipulation and one of my major influences with use of flash and big lights. His seminar was all TTL based (which I do not use) but the idea behind flash position, etc. is the same, so I learned quite a bit.
And he took my picture (helped I came to the seminar wearing a 16% grey sweatshirt). So that was cool.
On the walk back to my hotel I passed a place called Infinity Tattoo. Being that I was on vacation and feeling a bit spontaneous, I decided to jump in and see if they take walk ins.
30 minutes later (no joke) I was walking out with new ink.
Times Square is kind of a “crowd-phobic’s” worst nightmare. I enjoy it in very very small doses. That’s about it.
On Friday (Halloween) I got up super early to go to the 9/11 Museum. Last time we were in NY it wasn’t completed yet so I was pretty excited about seeing the final product.
It was really well done. Very stirring. Very quiet and contemplative. I was glad I went.
That afternoon I took Mr. McNally’s master class, which was all about large light sources. Made me realize I need to spend some more money. LOL.
It’s always nice to be around people who are obsessed with light modifiers as you are. The “Ooooh’s” and “Ahhh’s” that came up from the crowd every time light was modified a different way was pretty funny. What a bunch of geeks. These were my people.
That evening I decided to have dinner at whatever place I could find that sounded interesting and then photograph some Halloween revelers in the city.
However, my interesting dinner space (Aya Sushi) turned out cutting my night short as I became violently ill after eating there.
So yeah. Aya Sushi…not sure if I’d recommend it. : )
That was pretty much the only sore spot of my trip, so I’ll take it.
Saturday was pretty much the best day ever. Dan Winters seminar in the morning was almost a religious experience, seriously. I’m not being facetious. The man is a moving speaker and had some wonderful insights into creativity and work and life in general.
What struck me MOST about Mr. Winters didn’t happen during his talk, however. It happened afterwards. He was selling his new book, The Road to Seeing, outside of the room (pick this book up, its incredible so far). So, folks naturally lined up to have him sign their purchased copy. I had Ben Folds’ keynote to get to, so after standing in line for about 15 minutes without it moving I decided I didn’t need to meet Mr. Winters….his talk had been enough….and I scurried off to see Ben.
More on Ben in a second, but after Ben’s hour long key note….I left the room and there was Mr. Winters….talking to EACH and EVERY person who was having their book signed at length. He hadn’t moved.
I ran upstairs to get some food, came back, and he was still there.
All in all, Dan Winters….portrait artist of some of the biggest, most famous names in the WORLD….sat in a hallway of a convention center for over TWO HOURS talking to each person who wanted an autograph. It was pretty stellar. He listened intently to each person’s story and gave upbeat and humble feedback. It was just a joy to even watch. That solidified it for me. He’s my favorite.
So, once the line just dwindled to nothing and I noticed he had a sandwich sitting there untouched, I hopped in a the end….the second to last person to approach him.
“You don’t have to talk to me, you can just sign the book. You have a sandwich to eat!” I said. To DAN.WINTERS. Oy.
He chuckled and asked where I was from. After I told him I came from Wisconsin pretty much just to see him speak, he laughed and said that was so great and I made his day…..WTF. Surreal. Surreal is what that was. That dude. His work. His artistry. Seriously.
So getting back to pre-Dan run-in I went and listened to Ben Folds’ keynote presentation. Not only is he a kick-ass musician but a photographer as well and he showed some of his work. It was a great presentation (he’s a funny dude) and afterwards I got to meet him, have my picture taken (it’s gross, but hey….I’ll take it. It’s Ben).
I was on such a high after the Ben/Dan afternoon that I was pretty worn out. I was supposed to take a posing seminar with Lindsey Adler but about halfway through it I found myself nodding off (no fault of Lindsey’s at all, I was just exhausted). So as not to be completely rude and fall asleep, I snuck out the back and went to an early dinner.
It was a good day. I needed that. I needed a day just peppered with happy all over the place. It had been a long time.
That is not to say I live in some black hole of unhappiness. Quite the contrary. I live in a world of a lot of rushing, stress, exhaustion, kids who need more of my attention than I’ve been able to give them lately, and just LIFE in general. I needed a DAY. A day that was all about unhinged joy.
To me, unhinged joy is being able to meet and bask in the knowledge of some of my heroes…..then head on down to Greenwich for a little record shop browsing and a farm to table bistro.
Then I get back to my hotel and find out Benedict Cumberbatch is on Graham Norton.
No joke. Seriously. Best day ever.
But I feel like I got a chance to really get back to the CRUX of why I do what I do for a living. Why I’ve chosen to work for myself. Why I still, after a handful of years, get a thrill out of a picture that goes the way I saw it in my head. I was able to be around others for nearly a week who feel the same way I do about softboxes, and gritty black and whites, and the way Dan Winters can light a subject. We are people who are unapologetic geeks about our craft.
It is so so SO damn easy to get wrapped up in the SMALL. The noise. The things that just don’t freaking matter.
As I was sitting there listening to Joe McNally speak, I wondered in the back of my head “I have to wonder if he even gives a shit if one of his pictures gets 100 likes or not”?
Of course he doesn’t. He has bigger fish to fry. Like paying jobs that send him all over the world.
Same with Dan. Same with some of the other folks there. As photographers we tend to live in the now….and we LIVE for the “atta boys”. The accolades. The folks jumping on our pages and telling us how AMAZING our work is. We revel in it as it happens, but when it’s over and we don’t receive more….it can lead to a bit of a spiral into the “I sucks”.
I was struggling with that. Letting social media determine my worth as an photographer. Which is ridiculous. As Ryan Brenizer said…..there’s a hedgehog on Instagram that has more fans and likes and followers than you will EVER have. EVER. No joke. A hedgehog.
I’m printing out a picture of that stupid hedgehog and putting it up as a reminder that it just DOESN’T MATTER.
People are fickle. People are strange. People will like a lot of weird things. Facebook/Instagram/Twitter……in the long run, these things may help drive and distribute your work….but they shouldn’t DETERMINE your work….that’s on you.
It’s on me.
I curled up the last night in NYC and I started to read Mr. Winters’ book. In it he doesn’t talk about how to be popular on Facebook or get the most reTweets or any of that garbage. He talks about reconnecting with life….with his family…..with finding his place and speaking the truth. Things organically happen for the better for people like Dan because they focused on what mattered and ignored what didn’t. I’m sure of it.
I have a very long way to go. But my own “Road to Seeing” definitely had a long layover in New York City this week….and it was a very important part of the journey. I know what kind of business owner/photographer/artist/mom/wife/person that I want to be, I just have to take the necessary steps towards arriving there. I may never get there.
But it’s a single step….and that’s a start.
Until next time NYC. : )
Who: Rubi ~ Class of 2015 ~ Beloit Memorial High School
Where: Big Hills Park, Beloit College Campus, Cub Foods Trestle
© Type A Images Photography