Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Like a Boss

Some women fear the fire
Some women simply become it
~ r.h. sin

I’m looking forward to shooting a full-on headshot/portrait session with this beautiful being.

I took this photo of my daughter during her visit with me on Mother’s Day, just as she was getting ready to leave. It was a quick “test” shoot. We didn’t set up any posing and I was fumbling with my camera but I love how this just happened.

Walk outside, stand in open shade, turn, smile, or not, and shoot.

From what I’ve learned recently, this straight-on look is against all the “posing” rules. Oh damn, we broke a rule... and she rocked it, like a boss. 

Yes, she is amazing and yes, she is MY daughter. She is also a little sister, a big sister, an Aunt, a sensitive soul, a deep thinker, and SO much more.

She inspires me daily with her drive and how she owns whatever she sets her mind on.

I can’t wait to share more of her gorgeousness.

Let’s do this!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Shine on Sister!

“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” ~ Marianne Williamson

I asked her what she wanted people to see when they look at her photographs. She said "my light."

I could see her light in my viewfinder as we proceeded with our ‘test’ photo session and I was determined to capture it to show her how much she shines. 

As I struggled with my camera settings, I tried not to worry so much about focus points, posing, light, the wind, you name it. I didn't get things technically correct and I know I have a lot to practice and learn. It's okay though. My goal was for us to have fun and capture her strength, humor, warmth, beauty and, yes, her light. 

When I look at these photos I feel I succeeded in capturing her essence. That is what this warm and fuzzy feeling means, right?

Of course, I was worried she may not like how they turned out; The photographer and the subject won’t always agree. And then, I witnessed her surprise when she saw her photos. She liked them! She liked how pretty she looked. She liked how “I” made her look pretty.

Ah, my amazing sister, she is so beautiful, inside and out, all on her own.  All I did was push a button on my camera. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Stepping in front of my camera

What do you do when you want to practice portrait photography and your muse of the day reschedules?

Be your own muse!

That’s what I did last week. I figure if I can get the lighting, the camera settings, and some of the poses correct on myself, hopefully, it will help me greatly when photographing others.

I started by wandering in and around my house with my iPhone taking selfies while looking for the best light. Note to self: time to declutter, and wash those windows, again.

Found some good light outside - iPhone selfie

I ended up in my backyard in open shade with my Canon 7D on my tripod and my remote in hand. I practiced posing and talking to myself to get some natural expressions. Yeah, nothing unusual here. I am impressed at how I set up my gear and then managed to get front and center of my camera almost every shot. 

Second outdoor location set-up

This was fun! Well, whenever I get to play with my camera, especially trying something new, I get totally energized and in the zone. My happy place. 

Like a lot of people, I’m my own worst critic and it’s not easy looking at pictures of myself, but I did get a few photos I’m okay with.

Canon 7d self-portrait

I still need and want to practice, practice, practice. I gotta work on my muscle memory so I can eventually set-up and adjust settings as needed on my gear, with my eyes closed.

Still, lots of hesitation here about sharing these images and my rambling thoughts (always!) but,  I decided that I need to take the advice of this quote I found recently...

Darling, just fucking own it!!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Whole30 day 65

I did it! I completed a Whole30 elimination phase. Well, I completed it over a month ago and I’m still following the Whole30 program.

Looking back, the difficult parts weren’t really about the foods I gave up. I guess because I had made up my mind that I was doing this. I had to really work on my planning and prepping, but I ended up enjoying cooking and creating new recipes, a lot. I didn’t have the withdrawal or detox symptoms other’s report other than being tired, which was nothing new. The hardest parts for me were eating out, finding real grass-fed meat, real organic fruits and vegetables, finding pre-made foods without sugar, soy, corn, or preservatives and (now) finding pastured chickens and eggs because “Free-range” is bullshit. Chickens are NOT vegetarian. They most certainly are not corn and soy vegetarian. Don’t get me started.

Moving on… I started to do the reintroduction phase on day 31 starting with legumes. I made my sausage, bean, and spinach soup and it was wonderful. The next day I didn’t notice any reactions, but I did come down with what turned out to be an ass-kicking cold. Related? Maybe, maybe not, but at that point, I decided reintroduction was on hold for a while.

Then my grandkids came to stay for three weeks. First, we had a birthday party here for my Grandson. I stayed compliant. Then another birthday celebration for my son. I had to make him his favorite cake. Then Easter. All wonderful and fun, but the temptations piled on and I ended up having a taste of the cake, and some Easter candy here and there…damn it. I blame the cold.  I couldn’t tell if the little bits of sugar I was eating were making me feel bad because I already felt horrible from the cold. However, I did feel the sugar cravings return. AND I had signs of inflammation in my hands.

Once all the celebrating was done, I got rid of all things sugar that I can’t resist and got back on track. The cold is still hanging on but I’m feeling better every day and I kicked that damn ‘Sugar Dragon’ back to its cave.

By the end of the 30 days I noticed the following:
I was thinking clearer and had better focus
I was less moody
I had more energy (except during the cold situation)
My uncontrollable cravings were gone
Blood sugar spikes and drops were gone
I wasn’t hungry all the time
I no longer had the all over joint pain, making it easier to move more
I was sleeping better due to not waking up in pain throughout the night
The chronic inflammation in my hands went away
My clothes were getting looser
I lost ten pounds

I’m super proud of myself for rocking the first 30 days. If I can do this, anyone can, seriously. It’s not easy nor is it really that hard, in the grand scheme of things.

My main goal, when starting The Whole30 Program, was to feel better. I’m also very aware this reset is not about weight loss as much as it is about changing my relationship with food. Currently, I’m sixty-five days in, I FEL SO MUCH BETTER, I’ve lost 17 pounds and I don’t even know how many inches. I’ve succeeded at my goal and so much more.

Things I still need to work on:
Eating slower by being more mindful.  
Limit or eliminate potatoes.
Finding more new recipes.
Moving more.

Once I kick this cold completely, I’m going to slowly start the reintroduction phase again. I’m in no hurry. I know sugar is not an option for me on a regular basis so that means alcohol is not as well. I’m pretty sure most grains cause issues for me. So, legumes and dairy?  I’m thinking cheese first. I miss cheese. I’m also thinking that it may not end well. I’ll post an update, maybe.