Worthy

“It’s crazy what other people are drawn to! We’re just so critical of ourselves!!”

-Cari Sheriff Sanders

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As a photographer, I’ve hit the delete button more times than I’ve actually shot photos. As a song artist, I’ve neglected more songs than I’ve ever written. Both may seem impossible, or like they don’t make much sense but if I told you it meant that I’ve killed my dreams before even dreaming would you get it?

All because I panicked. 

 

There’s an anxiety to give our best that’s so strong that it sends a signal to our fight or flight response system. 

When it does pick “fight”, it’s sometimes with people that constructively criticize your work. Mostly, that fight is with yourself. You start picking apart your own work, doing too much to make it right but to no avail, or doing nothing because to you, you would never buy it anyway. You tell yourself “nope. TRAAASHHH!” and you drag it to the little Wastebasket icon.  

When you HAVE to show it to someone, you can’t get that idea out of your head. 

 

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You might as well nervously say “tadaaaa” and sprinkle a pinch of confetti you had stashed in your front pants pocket. Everything from that point on can be felt by the client while presenting your work... and sometimes, it’s true.

 

I’ll never forget working with a mentor when I first started producing music... I let him listen to my first track under his tutelage and maaaannnn! My fight or flight system kicked in like clockwork.  

I started tearing apart my own creation WHILE the guy was listening to it.  

“I should’ve slowed the tempo down.”

“The high hats are probably a little too soft here.”

“I wish I had a more realistic sounding piano effect because this one wasn’t too clean, yanno?”

“Haha! Ugh! My voice cracked a little on that part I was singing.”

 

I was beating my work up like it owed me rent for the past 3 months!  

 

Finally, he looked at me, paused the music, and said “Bro... shut the f**k up! You’re telling me what not to like about the music before I even get a chance to decide for myself!” 

I sat there in embarrassment. I didn’t know whether I should’ve cussed him out, or if I should’ve smiled.

He then said something that stuck with me, and has been quoted by me for over 10 years ever since.

 

“Stop trying to speak for your work. Let your work speak for itself”.

 

It was that simple yet that difficult. I had to stop undermining my own craft. I had to realize that, to the right person, I was worthy. To the right ear, right eyes, right heart, I was the one they had wanted to support.

 

He threw that CD out the window but needless to say, he ended up having me do a whole new set of projects, except this time I was not allowed to defend my work. My work stood the test itself.

Whether my photography is standing the test of my own standard or not, we have had so many clients that have poured out their hearts in gratitude for what we’ve given them. Continuous 5 star ratings on our Facebook page (https://m.facebook.com/AuburnBluePhotography/)

We have had returning clients that have made us THEIR photographers. We’ve gone from bump to baby with families, and we’ve gone from dating to married with couples. 

You’ve got enough people out there who expect you to fail...why join them?

 

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” 

-Wayne Gretzky

$100 Elopement. Fail? Or Win?

It’s crazy to think we are taking the leap this year into weddings, when actually, our first paid shoot from almost 3 years ago was an elopement wedding! 

New portrait lens, who dis?

Yea we were feeling ourselves that day because someone actually gave us an opportunity to shoot the most important day of their lives (probably aside from their kids being born) and we jumped on it! When was the last time you hired someone to do a job with a blindfold? Sandra Bullock barely made it with hers! 

The location was PERFECT. In the mountains, beautiful trees, overlooking the city, flowing wind, autumn colored leaves gracing the pathway to their makeshift wedding alter.... *sigh* dreamy.

If you’ve never seen an elopement style wedding in the mountains, with the beautiful icecapped mountain tops, the brides with their veil flowing freely in the air, you’re missing out. But you’re also missing out if you think that we as beginners were going to capture any such things.

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We. Knew. Nothing.  

We knew nothing about our gear!

We didn’t know how to lock focus, expose properly, use the light and shade to our advantage. We didn’t know posing, we didn’t know angles, we didn’t know that this day would be the start of something amazing!  

Looking back, we felt we were doing so good! Now, we realize we didn’t exactly nail it.  

However, we’ll never forget how, even though we explained that we were new to all of this, they STILL gave us a shot, they still gave us so much decision power and control over how things went. Where they would stand, where she would come down “the isle”. We were in there shooting up a storm...most of those photos went to the trash bin because they were terrible but, we did it! They loved it! They paid us! Then, a little something came from that that was even better, they referred us!

Why is that so important?  

That $100 evolved.

It paid us over and over and over again. Word of mouth became our bread and butter. We had our ups and downs through it all.

Life still came at us at full speed.

No children? Surprise! Also, spend money you don’t have on a wedding/baby shower combo. Also, your car is breaking down, and one of you is going to lose their job. 

Life didn’t just give us lemons, it put them in a potato bazooka and launched them at us.  

In the end, someone, whatever their intentions were, with only $100 set us on our way to creating a business. We were not too proud to take it, and it was fortunately so.

Why?

Because it ended up being the best baby step we had ever taken. 

 

Melodies and Rainbows

Hearts are fragile. Hearts are strong. They are tested with life's heaviest burdens & are broken over & over again. Yet, we are still so resilient. We are still so rebellious to pain. We overcome life's curveballs and jump through its flaming hoops. There is no doubt that Jessica & Joseph have had their hard times, & the reward from life.... is life itself. 

"February 25, 2015 I learned my baby had no heartbeat, and that my body had begun the miscarriage. I had a car accident in January were that impact made the baby partially disconnect from the placenta and the baby stopped developing. My body didn't reject it until a month later. I began to bleed and Joseph rushed me to the ER where they gave us the news. My heart just stopped. We were so excited to learn that we were having a baby, but that moment felt as if someone had just knocked the air out of me and I just couldn't take a breath. It took a couple of days for the baby to pass and when it did, I didn't even know how to react. I was so depressed for months. I cried when I heard babies cry, avoided family baby events such as baby showers & birthdays, but having Joseph and our amazing family's support helped me overcome that immense sadness I felt."

It was an all too familiar experience that we had also experienced but on a minor level. We too lost our first baby. We weren't as far along, but we had already built a bond with the idea of becoming parents for the first time. We had already thought of names for a boy or girl, & we had already decided on what kind of bedroom color, theme, & furniture we had wanted. We hadn't the slightest doubt in our minds that our child wouldn't make it. But soon after, just like with Jessica & Joseph, we had an unexpected surprise!

 

"January 1, 2018 we learned we were having a baby. I had been very sick during Christmas time, which I had thought at the time was just a stomach flu, but those symptoms went on to continue thru new years eve. We got home around 2am new years eve after celebrating with family, and I decided to take a home pregnancy test, I was a day late and thought maybe I could be. I took the test, as Joseph stood by my side, it was positive. I took another one and it was positive again. I looked at Joseph, and he smiled while I just cried and cried. I had never felt so happy, and so scared at the same time. Joseph just hugged me and told me he loved me so much, I didn't have to tell him anything, he just knew how I felt. The baby was not planned, and after the miscarriage we just never talked about when we would try to have another baby, it was a sensitive topic for me because of the depression I went thru, so we left it in Gods hands to decide when our time was right, and we learned that night that we had begun a new year with a new addition to our lives. The news didn't really hit us until we heard the baby's heart beat for the first time, I was 8 weeks pregnant then, and we were just completely overjoyed, our baby had a strong heart beat, and everything looked okay. Such a blessing to our lives. We cant wait to meet her. Our Melody Rose, due date September 10, 2018."

I'm A Real Boy

Journeys…

A self journey at that. Trying to find or express yourself in the way that is most compatible & suitable to what you feel as an individual. Whether it’s that career choice, or degree, or finding a soulmate that is everything you could ever hope for; journey’s are everywhere, & seem to be unending.

My wife had already been friends with Gee from her high school days, but I met Gee when my wife & I were dating in college. I hadn't been exposed to a lot of the progressive movements that had been happening, so Gee was one of the first to show me what was going on in his world. Without judgement, I became more and more educated on the LGBTQ+ community & adopted & accepted all that he brought to our friendship. My then girlfriend & I decided to get married, & during the planning of our marriage, we found out we were expecting a little girl. The surprise pushed our decided wedding date further out but once she decided to arrive, Gee & his wife took our daughter in as their adopted niece. They played a huge role in her growth and development. During our journey as almost family, Gee went through a separation with his then wife, & it really took a toll on him. He had finally come to the decision that this separation only meant he had to focus more on himself & becoming the person he desired to be. He had been dancing around with the idea of finally coming out to his friends & family & transitioning. He asked us to document his journey & we absolutely obliged. There's no doubt that this guy, one of the most chill & easy going people you will ever meet, is going to reach his goals in life. It has inspired us to become more focused on what ever it is in life that we want to achieve.