Kristen & Travis are Having a Girl

It has been such a long time since I’ve done any professional photography! So this little project was fun and a great creative distraction. Although it did stir up many blogs within me ūüėČ As usual, I don’t like to over process images (and she is so darn beautiful that I¬†really didn’t need to), but I did get a little carried away with a few of them… just a little. Here are some¬†of my favorite shots. http://www.DannemartPierre.com

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Free(lanc)ing Me

Exactly one year ago I started my new life as a full-time freelancer. I left my stable, though unfulfilling, job of five and a half years in pursuit of more. More opportunities to use my expensive education. More time to build my photography business. More chances to develop my writing. More everything. And that’s what I did. In fact, the running joke when anybody asked what I do for a living was to answer, “a little bit of everything”. I taught undergraduate psychology at a local university. I photographed a number of events and weddings. I started a private practice where I offered individual and couples therapy. I contracted with local programs to run group therapy sessions. I wrote and edited and wrote and edited and wrote and edited countless documents.

And now, one year later, buried under an insurmountable pile of “to do” stickies nagging me about casenotes to finish, pictures to retouch, documents to be edit, syllabi to complete, books to read and re-read, preparations to make, business cards to order, invoices to file, websites to update, inspirations to pursue, lessons to remember – all before I leave my office to tend to the rest of… life – I am exhausted.

I do not regret, for one moment, my decision last year. It was not a decision made in haste, but one that took about a year and a half to work up the courage to choose. Neither do I regret this past year. It was indeed difficult: full of trials and tests of faith, many of which I failed miserably; brimming with emotions ranging from fear and anxiety to anger and disappointment to love and joy; overflowing with valuable lessons I hope to never forget. But, I am exhausted. I have not had a vacation in a year. My mind, constantly swimming with all that’s left to do at the end of the day is filling a complaint against me for unfair labor practices.

I have spent my life longing to be understood, but dreading to be defined. I feared that to give up any one thing I love was to give up that part of myself and be placed into a box. So I wanted to do them all… Photographer/counselor/professor/writer/choir singer/nursery care provider/mentor/decorator extraordinaire with a perfectly immaculate home/ad infinitum. But as the year came to a close and I finally stopped long enough to see how much of life had been spilling out sideways, I had to woefully admit that I cannot do everything. At least not without perfectly losing my mind and successfully drowning my self. I have to choose one thing, and do it well, and let all the others be. This is scary for someone who doesn’t want to be confined by even an idea. Yet, It’s restricting to be everything all the time! And as much as I fear it, it’s freeing to finally be ready to make that decision.

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Just to get some interaction, what do you think I should choose? Share your feedback!

A picture is worth oh so much more…

After a year of feeling jaded and “hating” photography; after a year of referring work to others and¬†avoiding my camera as much as possible, I decided to re-launch my site and get my butt back in gear. Really, Julie¬†decided that it was time for me to quit sulking and get my butt back in gear a few months ago – but being stubborn, I stalled a little longer.

First things first, computer upgrade. A whopping $500! No problem, I budgeted for this and was prepared to bite this bullet. Besides, I upgraded to a Mac and got awesome service from my friend JT at PC Repair Orlando. I did not however budget for the radiator on my car going out just a few days after my purchase. Deep breaths. $631 later, really deep breaths. 

I take a week or so to recuperate and then decide to¬†finally update the website. God, being awesome, sent some unexpected income my way¬†which I¬†use towards that $200 fee. That same afternoon, the starter in my car decides to join my radiator. $175 later, I’m flatlining. “Why am I doing this again?” “This business is so expensive!” “I can’t afford to do this on my own!” “People don’t appreciate photography anyway!” Yet, instead of cancelling everything and retreating back to my little hole, I decide to keep moving forward.

Two days after that, I am sitting at my computer, selecting images for the site when I come across a picture I took of Julie over a year ago. “Julie”, I exclaim, “You’re positively stunning!” She comes over and – for the first time in the five years since I’ve known (and have told) her – she says, “Oh my God, I’m pretty!”

There, in those few words is my priceless reward.

Oh, and other priceless moments…

  • God in His awesomeness also allowed that very picture to be featured on¬†WordPress photography
  • OK Go allowed me to use their song on my site
  • Bludomain is amazing

Wedding Photographer

Tuesday was Free Pastry at Starbucks. I contemplated and deliberated over how much I wanted to ‚Äúpay‚ÄĚ for a free Bucks pastry. ‚ÄúThink of your health‚ÄĚ, I told myself. ‚ÄúRemember, you don‚Äôt want to be a fat *fill in the blank* at any of the upcoming weddings‚ÄĚ, I chided. And then, I had an epiphany. It was as clear as a picture, really‚Ķ a picture of my veil.

In the past few years, it has come to my attention that perhaps being a wedding photographer may not be the best thing for the self-esteem of a perpetually single 30 year old. Actually, in light of a series of recent events, this profession is most certainly detrimental to this 30 year-olds’ self-esteem.
This one had my colors… This one used my location… That one took my engagement ring, my flowers, and my wedding band. She took my idea for favors… She stole my theme song… She went and got my dress.
That one’s using my menu… This one’s going on my honeymoon… This one looks amazing posing just as I imagined… That one wore my veil… beautifully down the aisle… dragging with it all hope I had left.

Seriously, at this point, since I’ve already witnessed, changed, edited, scratched, reworked, and then photographed my dream wedding in a myriad of ways, I might as well order a cup of Starbucks’ 8000 Cal whip cream, demand my free pastry, get fat and die.