Too Many Images.... Self Care
Maybe I'm getting old(er)... errrrr hold back the laughter there, but I am recognizing the value of self care. When I was young and crazy (now I am just crazy) it would take a disaster or breakdown to force me to STOP and take stock. Even this would end up being a flurried and
a definitely too fast drive up the canyon to get away (also the reason I always check to see how much gas is in the tank before "adventuring"). I remember another time I walked my feet raw because I took off barefoot. Another time I was walking for hours in the rain and finally took shelter in a horse barn - not my own. I remember breaking my finger in a craze, breaking a mirror - large one, dismantling my bedroom, writing feverishly and crying that ugly, sad crying. Maybe I sound unhinged and maybe I am over sharing but I don't believe I am the only one that reaches that breaking point. What we do at that breaking point is key and I think that probably we don't HAVE to get to that breaking point. However, we should probably learn the magic technics of self care before we are more than a few decades into our lives. Why is it somehow taboo to not be able to handle everything? Is it just me?
Being a wedding photographer, I "get" to see the cracks. I get to see parents out of their minds trying to get all of the last minute items finished and complete. I "get" to see brides (and grooms) at the point of nearly passing out. I "get" to say calming words, try to be unobtrusive, try to pull out the smile after the meltdown and try not to place additional stress on to an already frazzled situation.
It's a challenge. Your wedding is supposed to be the "best day of your life" and yet we have a tendency to heap the plate and hyper focus on minutia in order to stay in "control". I recently had the pleasure of doing a "post bridal session", it was really my fault because the day of the wedding it was a wonderfully hot, muggy and clear North Carolina summer day and I didn't get the moment to do the bridal shots... maybe it's an excuse after so many weddings, I was driving home that I realized we didn't get our bride alone for a few moments - Imagine my horror - "ummm we didn't get our bride". I fretted over it while I began my processing and piled over the pictures and there are oodles of beautiful shots but of my bride alone, there were none. I talked to my bride and groom when I handed in the portfolio and told her how wrecked I felt that we didn't get those images. She was so sweat and assuaging my fears that it was no big deal. For my sanity we agreed to do a bridal session. So this whole story to say I thought those images came out so amazingly, her face, so calm, so relaxed, so in love, her whole presence was that of calm and beauty. Maybe we should do bridals after every time - ha. It was tremendous. Marriage agreed with her. We should always feel this way.
How can we get THOSE pictures on the wedding day? Is it even possible? We recently went on "vacation". I heavily and decidedly use those quotation marks. After two years of Covid, we were back with family. So much anticipation and preparation went into this THIS trip.... it was a difficult trip. Is it that all of that time, anticipation and preparation focused on to one day, moment, goal, creates the perfect storm? The knots in the shoulders, zits and frustration? It seems no matter how much we have planned, delegated and attended to every detail, we are still pinging on that ONE day.
I think of that rollercoaster that hauls us up and up and you can feel each cog, the anticipation grows - even that moment at the top before you go hurdling through space. Are we built for this? Does it only work that first time? That thrill? That adrenalin? I know there are people that feed on this type of tension, I can't say I am one of them.
I used to get wound up before a wedding, my lenses, cards, batteries - batteries are a big one. Now I rely on my experience to make sure everything goes off without a hitch - and YET - I forgot those bridal portraits.
How then do we, create a better situation? More planning? Less? A Massage, Meditation? Fewer details? Smaller weddings? Are we adrenaline junkies or not? Can we do some self care?
Aha, self care... what does self care look like? To avoid the temper tantrums, the bridezillas. Not just for weddings, or trips, holidayz. It seems I have a lot of question marks and not a ton of answers. But, I was looking through my "old" phone snaps to add to this blog since it is a bit non - traditional in the scope of my blogs. What I really noticed about the snaps that made me smile were the tiny moments... We oldsters, remember a few choice and beautiful moments from our weddings, not the play by play. I got married in Central Park, 20 years ago. Pretty much eloped because my family is far, his family is far. So we hopped the fence and got married at
Bethesda Terrace. It was cool. the Photographer, the Officiant, my sister and the kids. I just asked my husband what do you remember? He said everything hahaha He said completely different things of what I remember. I was thinking about the little details and he reminded me that I was mad about the hair people being incapable of doing my hair properly. He was off looking for a horse drawn carriage, which there were none because it was too hot.
Tiny Moments... these are what make life. These are what bring us smiles. Milestones are so important the marriage, the kid's school pics, the holiday pics... but - and now I get kicked out of the wedding photographers guild - Couldn't we do more with less? Are we going to remember the minutia of the day? We are rushing around trying to create something... a vision, the perfect vision. We work really hard to create that, to the point of becoming ill, incapacitated. When do we learn how to take a moment to ... relax, take stock of the beautiful and wonderful people we have around us?
Look through some snaps in your phone from a few years ago, giggle at your selfies or "nuggets" your kids left in there. And when you go to do your Holiday Portraits, your mini sessions, smile like you mean it, relax andenjoy it, because for that moment it is good and it will show in the portraits, your beauty will shine through.
Peace and Love Always,