It is as if autumn came overnight here, complete with soft gray skies and the sound of breezes in trees that are actually yellowing already in Charleston. I’m enjoying the cool breeze, the little bit of shivering that goes with it, and the depth in the atmosphere that only comes with the fall. I’ve been listening to my Little Women soundtrack on repeat, and it is fitting on a few levels – I did mention that I might have a Jo moment after cutting my hair, and that’s been my last two days.
I just get to feeling so romantic when the weather does this, and short hair on me is just CUTE. Which is just NOT what I’m going for right now. So I pulled out a camera yesterday and tried to make myself feel better. Or something. Pete says this shot is me, looking “grammatically” down. I think it’s pensive. Whatever; I like it.
I had a couple of questions about the soft light in this self-portrait. It was taken in a natural-lit room with no flash or other lighting. I stood in front of a slightly dirty mirror (a little bit of dust and smearing adds a really romantic effect to the shot). The settings for this photo which I then lightened a little in processing:
Focal Length 50mm
The trick to hand-held self-portraits is getting the lens to focus on your eyes. Look into the lens until you can almost see through it. Use an autofocus, and once you think it’s set and ready to shoot, adjust your pose to get the feeling you want. I like looking away from the lens – either at myself in the mirror, or slightly down – because profile shots with me looking at me just annoy me. It can take some practice, but I’ve gotten to the point where I can get a shot I like of myself within five minutes.
This is my great, great, great, great? Aunt Cattie. She and her husband (who is in the photo, but whose name I’ve lost for the purposes of this post) lived in Charleston. They (and I) descended from the original French Huguenots who settled in Charleston in the 1600’s. So I have a stake in this church, and it’s my dream to shoot a wedding there someday!
Anyway, Aunt Cattie is the person whom I look most like out of my relatives. Pete says that he’s never seen anyone who looks quite like me, and I haven’t really either, until I found her picture. So in the middle of my cute/romantic identity crisis, I’m appealing to my history for a little bit of “classic” and some “French” to go in there. Again, whatever. Laugh, please.
When I saw this guy land on my screen, I called Pip and Squiggy down the hall to see it, and he stayed and stayed, and Pip asked me if I’d take a picture of him, so I did, and I sat with both my kids on my lap, and we watched the dragonfly and felt the cool breeze coming in our open windows and talked about fall and school starting and wearing sweaters and fall clothes again.
Pip came into my office the other day, telling me how she was going to shoot a wedding and Squiggy was going to stay home with the kids (Mickey and Minnie, her first and third children -Minnie is six years old, she informed her doctor the other day. I’m feeling WAY old now.). I smiled and nodded, while internally going, “wow, is this an okay dream to hand to my daughter?” My mom handed me a dream of being a wife and mom, but she cornered the market on that, and I had other dreams too. Living this one with my photography, being THIS me with my kids, it’s shaping our family differently.
This favorite photo from (of all things!) the spring got featured with my review of Emily’s new book, “Grace for the Good Girl.” Leave a comment on my post, and you could receive an 8×12 print of this photo along with a copy of the book, which, if I do say so myself, is a really, really good one.
Jose Villa took LAUNDRY and made it look good. I have to look at his work sometimes to remind me where I want to go, and 100 Layer Cake made it SUPER easy, putting it all up there like that! When I grow up…
OH. MY. WORD. This shoot is unbelievable. You have to see it to believe it. If you love classic, romantic, Italian elegance, you. will. love. this. post.
I totally love these posts – it’s like a LOT of Tweets and a few posts all in one place. I have so much fun putting them together. I haven’t even LOOKED at my Reader for a couple of weeks – these are just the fab finds I’ve discovered through other means. Here are a few more favorites from recently that you really can’t miss:
• LL Barkat’s Rumors of Water, by Glynn Young – This book is already destined to be a favorite of mine. Rumors of Water is about writing, and real life. Glynn’s book reviews are fantastic, and this one is no exception. If you’re a writer, you won’t want to miss this one!
• When God Hates You, by Billy Coffey – “The silver faces the fire,” he said, “but it isn’t done. Then it is molded and polished, but it still isn’t done. The silver is only done when it casts the Jeweler’s reflection.”
• Pasadena Museum of California Art Wedding: Arron & Megan, by Couture Motion – You have to make sure you catch the very last frame of the video – I am SWOONING over the quote from the groom’s proposal!
• And they say God doesn’t do miracles…, by Life Lived Fully – One of the realest God-things I’ve seen in a long, long time. Don’t miss this one if you like to see Him work.
• Display Family Photos, from Rue Magazine – This bulletin-board photo display is brilliant. And SO something I would do.
• Ira Glass on The First Creative Years, via The Youngrens – This was so encouraging to me as an artist, still building my brand and growing up into my work. “Nobody tells people who are beginners…”
• Homeschool Blindspots, via Josh Harris – If anyone wonders where I’ve come from and why I struggle as I do with grace and whether photography is okay for me to live or not, this article gives a bit of insight into my mostly-homeschooled background. My parents didn’t take this road to the extreme, but I know others who did, and it made life quite interesting on this other side of childhood.