Community – Reverb10, Day 7…

Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

I felt like Community surrounded me in 2010. I made it a goal early in the year to be more active in my local community here in Houston, and thanks to the always awesome JR Cohen and his brilliant brainchild of Support Local, Grow Together, what seemed like countless opportunities opened up to me to mingle more. It was so wonderful the people I met thanks to the SLGT movement!

I’m so glad that Houston has an active and vibrant community on Twitter and Facebook as well. Somehow, without it all, I just wouldn’t feel as connected as I am, and I wouldn’t have met so many cool people!

In addition to all of that, I’ve gotten to watch the Fast Track Photographer group that we started in August of 2009 grow even more this year. We celebrated our one year birthday in August and we’ve had a whole bunch of great people come and share their knowledge with the group – specifically cool people that I met thanks to SLGT. Love it when things come full circle like that!

In 2011, I want to continue to spend even more time out and about. It is so easy for me to hole up at the house when I’m not working. I’m an introverted extrovert. Once I get out, I’m fine and have a great time, but sometimes I get so freaked out about going out and mingling. I’m working to get over it, and I’ve improved a lot from where I was at. Living 30+ minutes from the center of Houston doesn’t help though, because there are times I just don’t want to drive. I’ve learned this year to be better about stacking appointments to be on the same day as activities that evening so that I’m already out and don’t have the distance issue.

I also want to work on building up the Houston Fast Track Photographer community even more. There are so many great photographers here in Houston, and we all have so much to offer one another. The same goes for the SLGT community. I just see so many great opportunities, and I love connecting people with one another.

I can’t wait to see what 2011 holds!

BlahBlahBabble Reverb10

Make – Reverb10, Day 6…

Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

I’m exempting photography from this. Not that it isn’t significant, but it is something I make all the time. So instead I’d rather talk about something else, my knitting!

I love to knit, but I don’t make enough time for it. That really needs to change, and I’m working on it. The last thing I made and completed was a sock. I finished the first of the pair while I was on the road in Mexico that I mentioned the other day, the crazy highway with all the curves, and I’ve been working on sock #2 to complete the pair. They are Trekking XXL yarn, a fantastic wool. I love Trekking!

There are SO many other things I want to make! While I was in London last month, Pixeldiva Ann gifted me with the most amazing bag full of awesome wool yarn from The Yarn Yard. Natalie, the owner of The Yarn Yard, took one dye and made one skein of everything she carried in that same color of dye. Absolutely fascinating to see how each individual type of yarn picked up the color differently. It is just stunning! It ranges from maroon to plum to nearly black, and as light as a dusty rose. Oh goodness. I love it so much! I’m planning out my projects for it, and every time I look at it it makes me smile & think of Ann & Karl, since it matches the color of Ann’s wedding dress. Just brilliant! Natalie was so wonderful to deliver this bag of delicious fiber to London and hand it off to me personally! After snuggling with it for a bit, I shared it with the other knitters too, and we all ooh’d and ahh’d over it.

Now begins the hard part – matching up the perfect project with each of the yarns. I’ve been researching on Ravelry (I’m Christine over there) and gathering up ideas. Have any suggestions? Most is lace to sock weight, and I have enough to make shawls or a pair of socks out of all of them. Or gloves, mittens, etc. – similar yardage options. What would you make if you had a lot of yummy yarn?

I need to make some photographs of that yarn as well – it is really too beautiful not to share! Hopefully this weekend!

BlahBlahBabble Reverb10

Cultivating a Sense of Wonder – Reverb10 Day 4…

Brought to You by the Letter B...

Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

I’m truly fortunate. I have a sense of wonder naturally, which is so helpful as a momma boudoir & destination wedding photographer.

With my boudoir photography, I have had the opportunity to get to know women who are nothing short of amazing. I always make a point of starting off my sessions with some time to just talk and get to know each other. To learn a bit more about them. After all, they are allowing themselves to be quite open and possibly even vulnerable with me. I want to make them relax and be comfortable. It is through our conversation, and them letting their guard down, that I get the most amazing photographs of them. I always love the photos that involve laughter. True, hearty laughter, accompanied by genuine, beautiful smiles. It makes my heart sing. I love that I get to empower women, especially moms, to see how amazing and beautiful they truly are. As women, we are often so hard on ourselves. I get to use my camera to show them what I see. A sense of wonder is what gets me to that point – they are the ones that make the photographs beautiful.

Farhana, Waiting

I also love looking for the little things, the small details, and the moments of love between people. It is the most incredible thing to be an observer on the inside of a wedding day. In the past three years, I have had a front row seat to some of the most amazing and beautiful moments. I’ve gotten to hold bride’s hands as they were nervous before walking down the aisle. I’ve listened to people as they shared stories through tears of the loved ones who were unable to be there that day. I have seen some of the most joyous moments in people’s lives, that pure elation as they walk back down the aisle after they have said their vows. The toasts, dancing and celebrations. Laughter. Tears. JOY.

My love of people and the life around us only grows stronger as I am affirmed over and over of the goodness in this world. I see it all the time in my boudoir sessions and at weddings. It is just incredible, and it has made me grow in my sense of wonder. I am incredibly blessed.

Sarah & Sean's Wedding - Alone Time

BlahBlahBabble Reverb10

One Word: Learning… #Reverb10

Blue Ribbon

I remember regretting last year not joining in on the Reverb movement, so it caught my eye when I started to see people talk about it the other day on Twitter. As I mentioned, I miss writing. What better way then to have 31 days of prompts!

Today is the big day! Reverb 10 is all about reflecting on this year and dreaming about the next. I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes. Are you joining in? Leave a comment so I can read your posts too!

Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

My word for 2010 would have to be Learning. It felt like every week, I was learning something new about a whole variety of things. Adjusting to having a son that is now out of high school but still living at home and how that changes the family dynamic. Learning to let go of control of things in my business that are not my strength so I can focus on where I shine. Learning that I can’t do it all, and that is ok. Learning sometimes things I already knew, but had no idea I knew.

I love learning, most of the times. Sometimes, lessons are hard though. In the end, I’m grateful for all the things I’ve learned.

Learning wasn’t the first word I chose though. The first word was growth. As I looked back on the year, I feel like I’ve grown a lot, but that growth? It wouldn’t have come without learning. Sometimes it is important to acknowledge what got you to where you are at.

I would like the word that captures 2011 for me to be empowerment. I’ve been working behind the scenes of my business (part of that whole growth thing) because I’ve realized that I’ve got the chance to do something big. Bigger than just me. With my boudoir photography, I’ve had the opportunity to really impact women, especially moms. I will be focusing on that even more next year, because every mom is beautiful, and I want to show them just how much – just as they are. I want to empower them to know that beauty, and to be ok with it.

To be honest, at the end of it all I think there is some empowerment for me there too. I’m still learning about that though…

Be sure to leave me a comment if you’re participating in Reverb10! I’d love to check out your site and follow along!