Make shi(f)t happen.

I’m going to my very first mentoring photography workshop at the end of next week. I’m flying to Oklahoma (gosh I really feel like typing something about “boy are my arms tired” here. oh never mind) and am trying to become prepared for breaking down some barriers that I have from my fear, the desire to protect my ego, misinformation about all things photography, and I’m sure some other stuff. It’s considered an “advanced” photographers’ workshop, and while I feel like I have a handle on the basics, I don’t know about this whole “advanced” thing. What I do know is that it’s definitely time to grow, and I think I need a big ol’ push from someone who knows what s/he is doing and will be a good teacher.

In preparation for the workshop, the photographer sent out a questionnaire, on which the last thing to do was write three words to describe yourself.


I literally just sat staring at my computer. I needed more words than three, because I was going to have explain why I chose each word. But nope. Only three. It was kind of like in a college writing course that I took in which we wrote our first paper describing an inanimate object, then took one sentence from that paper to write the next paper, then took one word form that paper to write our final paper.

And after about an hour of procrastination and typing and deleting and retyping and deleting and pacing around my office, I asked for help.

I have morons for friends, just so you know. It started off awesome, but quickly disintegrated into naughty things and I was just left holding my belly from laughing pains and then holding my head in my hands still staring at my blank “answer” spot on that questionnaire.

Some of those words that came back, though? They were awesome. You should all ask your friends what three words they would use to describe you. Aside from being dementedly funny, it was also amazing and touching and heart warming. We don’t say those things that we admire in each other very much to each other.

We should all do that.


So thank you. From my sisters to my friends to my husband (well, sort of to him; he could only come up with “tall, dark, and handsome” – what the heck…), I thank you. Some of the words were what I’ve hoped to be my whole life, some were what I’ve hoped to always portray (even though I might not always feel like I was that word, like “ninja” – ha).

I think my favorites were “curious” and “fully-invested”. And I realize that I have a lot of curious and fully-invested friends and acquaintances. Like my husband Hank, who taught himself to program after realizing that a veterinary degree just wasn’t going to be for him. He’s owned his own business for 10 years now.

And my neighbor Andy, who decided to go out on his own, too. Both feet in, baby, and he’s rockin’ it.

My friend, April, who started her own nail salon about three years ago, maybe four, and is also tearing it up.

Emily, who’s always resourceful and is making a go of being a personal-assistant-on-call now that both of her boys are in school full time.

This isn’t just about being successful in business, although that’s where we see it a lot. It’s about your own creativity. Your passion. There’s a song by one of my favorite artists, Nic Cowan, in which he sings,

What is it that drives you to create?

She said, I never had a choice to make. It chose me long before I wrote a song; I’m just playing along, boy.

Gosh I love that. It reminded me that we all have a gypsy soul, we are all curious, we are all creative.

It chose me long before…it’s what I feel.

Man I want to set that free. Don’t you? And I feel scared. What does that mean?


It means that it’s time to take a breath and show you what my new lens can do, that’s what. I just replaced a starter prime lens I had, a 50mm 1.8, with it’s successor, a 50mm 1.4. That 50mm 1.2 is just going to have to call to my gypsy soulness a little longer still. It’s like harnessing the power of a lightning bolt, that one.

Time for your weekly ‘stache update.

20110904 0903 new lens 1

The mustachio waxio is helping tame the beast.

20110904 0903 new lens 2

Both shots were taken wide open. Just loving that shallow depth of field and the creaminess it creates in color. Wowza.

Another wide open shot, straight out of the camera with no adjustments.

20110904 0903 new lens 4


I’m gonna have to get a little closer so that I can see more of those freckles.

20110904 0903 new lens 6

Next time I’ll remember.

This is Todd Helton. He’s a stone cold mouse killa, rulin’ the ‘hood by night and taking up space on the couch by day.

20110904 0903 new lens 13

And as luck would have it, this weekend during a stop at our favorite outdoor store, Jax, we saw the Jelly Belly peeps and played a couple of games with them. We spun the wheel and got to taste flavors like centipede, moldy cheese, and lucky for me, kettlecorn. We picked up a few flavors to stash in jars for special cheats and bribes.

20110904 0903 new lens 17

He was so happy he fell behind the couch.

20110904 0903 new lens 18

After such a happy morning, we invited a friend over for lunch.

20110904 0903 new lens 20

His name is Burt.

20110904 0903 new lens 21

Burt’s didn’t make it long.

20110904 0903 new lens 22

But he did get two thumbs up. They wouldn’t eat his “tomato” mushroom tops, though. Rats.

20110904 0903 new lens 23

Some more test shots with the new lens. I’m kind of loving it.

20110904 0903 new lens 26

A lot.

20110904 0903 new lens 28

As in, muy a lot-oh.

20110904 0903 new lens 31

Since we were outside, my boy and his best buddy two houses over yelled over the fences at each other until all parents consented to some playtime.

Ours had to dress for his attack.

20110904 0903 new lens 55

Yes, his pistol is attached to his pirate-hat-sash-what’s-a-ma-bob, and those are fake bugs in the box in his hands. Not sure what kind of pirate that makes him, but there you go.

And the little one was insistent on some biking practice.

20110904 0903 new lens 57

He’s killin’ it these days on that thing.

20110904 0903 new lens 58

Must be the fireman boots.

Just one more thing. The title of this post says, “Making shi(f)t happen” and I love it. Read this. It’s ‘stachetastic.