I haven’t been very good at blogging this year. I used to post something weekly either personal or photography related even if it was a daily photo. This post is not going to be a resolution to blog daily either. I can only take things one day at a time. It IS the end of the 2013 and I feel that somehow I should “wrap” things up as it comes to a close.
This year was a big year for me emotionally. I really am not a big drama person. I am a happy-go-lucky gal. I DID mention earlier yesterday that I am a bit on the ridiculous cray-cray side because I enjoy having fun and being silly. I just do. I DO embarrass my children often but, hey, I don’t mind even if THEY do. LOL!
I began to have more of a presence on Instagram this year. Through another photographer, I found a certain yoga instructor and many more in the Instagram world –to make a long story short, if you find me on Instagram, I not only post my photography, but me doing yoga inversions that I absolutely never thought I would be doing at the age of 42. I mean, I don’t feel old, but these are things I would only have imagined my 12 year old daughter being able to do and I can! I think 40’s are the new mid-20’s because that’s how it makes me feel. SO, I love yoga. If you see me doing a handstand somewhere around town, don’t judge me. I’m having fun and YES, you are welcome to join me!
Many of you know that I lost my beautiful cat, Chaplin just last month. Though I am at peace with my loss, I do still weep for him on occasion. I do feel lonely without him like my home is missing its soul. I do NOT want another pet at this time. He wasn’t just a pet to me, he was my child and not so easily replaceable. Please don’t ask me if I want any more pets. At this moment, I do not. Thank you. I wrote a great tribute to Chaplin, so this is as far as I will go on the subject.
Moving on, this year, I finally joined the Dallas Professional Photographer’s Association (DPPA). I don’t know WHY it took me so long to join!! I have attended meetings off and on for years as a guest but this year decided if I was going to get serious about my passion that I would commit. I am ever so glad that I did too. I have met so many wonderful people—so giving, so caring, so fun!
Joining DPPA in May of this year, I immediately began entering the print competitions for the critiques. I wanted to learn more. I WANT to improve. For me, there is no better way to improve than by actually doing and then learning from people who are certified professionals, master and craftsman photographers. Each time I compete, I gain valuable information about my photography, how I artistically edit my images, and a plethora of information from my friends at the professional print lab (shout out to BWC Dallas). I started in May. I entered twice with above average scores feeling SO DEFEATED. My friends heckled my attitude and one even told me I needed a couple of glasses of wine to calm my nerves down. Actually she told me she would have to smack me back to my senses. LOL! Yes, I get upset. I even cry. I am THAT attached to my work, all for the sake of being the best that I can be at doing what I love.
The third time I entered I won first place in my category. I went to the meeting with NO expectations. Placing is wonderful, but the critiques are MOST awesome. The following month and fourth time I entered, I stressed again and decided to finally let go of what I had created. My text to my husband that night read, “Honey, not only did I win my category, I got best of show! I am bringing home a trophy!!!”
My family goes through the aches and pains with me as I agonize over how to edit an image. What to title it? Did I do enough? Did I too much? Did I pick the right type of paper on which to print it?” An hour before the meeting I am still agonizing and my family is probably happy to get rid of me. I’m pretty much a basket case. I don’t just take a picture and print it. When I work on something I spend a full week editing and reworking it until I like it. It takes a great deal of time and effort not only to create something I love, but so much effort to put yourself “out there” to receive criticism.
It is especially scary when you go up against the best of best. Dallas PPA is one of the largest guilds in the country and there are some really big hitters. I am not going to lie, I don’t want to feel like a dope and it’s hard, but in order to get better, I do it. Everyone has to start somewhere and humbling yourself to others is a great way to learn. I am glad for all the members of the DPPA, for the guild, and that I have so much opportunity to grow and learn at doing something I love so much. And then when you win, it’s like this:
As for the rest, all I can say is that I feel like a lucky gal to have a husband that loves and supports me in my dreams; to feel validation that I am on the right track and that he can be proud of me. I have big hopes for 2014. I live my dreams, so that my children can see that no matter what age they are, they too can follow their hearts and live theirs.
Here is to 2014. I hope that everyone has a blessed year and that each of you live YOUR dreams too. Happy New Year! —Angela, APN Photography
*Thanks to Edward Holmberg for the DPPA photos!