Hey, friends. Things have been pretty busy around here the past 7 days. I’ve been editing lots of family sessions, and gearing up for several photo events in Cleveland starting next week. How was your week?
Thought I’d share a few highlights from the sessions I’ve been working on. It’s such a fun time of year. The weather is finally warm, and I love the energy of early summer. Even though I haven’t been in school for… well, longer than I care to say… June still brings that feeling of anticipation, like anything could happen during these longer days of sunshine.
It was a pleasure to spend these warm days with families in the Cleveland area this week. I’ve been enjoying the connections with new people that my work is exposing me to. Shout-out to the lovely families featured here — I am so grateful we got to work together this week.
Have you made a new friend or contact this week that inspired you? I’ve been trying to take notice of these things. It’s easy to be busy and not allow myself to fully appreciate it, but connection is the thread that weaves our life into its whole, don’t you think?
I lived in NYC for nearly 10 years, and making connections there was like a turbo path to idea execution. It spun me around at first to realize how quickly long-festering career goals could come to fruition there — you’d meet someone who’d tell you to email so-and-so, and so-and-so would know just the right person to give your project a chance. This was pretty different from how I grew up perceiving the world. Maybe it was school or just cultural suggestions I’d picked up along the way, but I always thought big dreams were for “other people.” NYC taught me differently.
At the same time, the connections established there weren’t always deep, meaningful, or lasting. I found myself longing to truly bond with people. Recently, I thought, the old cliché might apply to me here: “it’s not them, it’s me.” I don’t mean that in a self-deprecating way, just that we all have more power to influence the mood in the room than we generally realize or give ourselves credit for. By acting “spun around” by the fast-pace of New York, I was becoming it — too busy to truly connect. It was a weird kind of “shyness” I began to see I operated under.
So, I’ve been really happy to find that I can learn to be more open, more myself, more authentic, and that doing so gives others permission to do the same around me. Whether I’m in Cleveland (where, granted, the people are particularly open and chatty), or a bigger, faster city like New York or LA, I have been trying to let my guard down a bit and just be myself. It has been so gratifying an experiment, because I have been feeling much more like I am part of a community of smart, awesome people on this planet. And, I have to say, an integral part of all this was closing my personal facebook account, and actually meeting people for coffee in real time, instead of “liking” their life tid-bits on the screen.
Any plans for new endeavors this weekend? Getting out there and meeting anyone new or connecting with old friends? I hope you’ll have some time to interact with people who excite, inspire, and support you!
I’m going to be doing a couple of urban family shoots this weekend. And, I’m also creating a short video, which my brilliant brother has agreed to direct. I really hope you’re going to love it. If you’ve read my book on selfies, you might have found the description of how to hold the camera a bit complicated. It dawned on me that the best thing to do would be to simply SHOW people how it’s done! Even if you’re not into selfies, I hope the video will be good for a laugh, so stay tuned for that.
(Here’s a random shot of me with my Fiat on a rainy day. Most of this week was sunny in Cleveland, though!)
What do you think about being exciting, inspiring, and supportive first t0 set the tone for others? Have you ever thought about how the energy you bring to the table can effect the overall tone? I’d love to hear from you if you ever experiment with this. I’m still learning myself, and would welcome your experience and input.