IPC2017 – Competition as Trauma Therapy

by Wootness

Trigger warning: This post contains photographs that some may find disturbing

For the last year and a half I’ve removed myself to the fringes of the photographic & print competition communities. Over time, my voice has gone quiet in a number of ways. I stepped down from most of my volunteer roles. I stopped teaching, speaking, judging, mentoring…and writing.

The short and not-so-sweet of it is that over the past few years, I’ve experienced a number of traumas. Each one occurred before I’d gotten a handle on the previous one, and when it was all said and done, traumas from my past resurrected and joined in, too.

It was one big hot mess.

When you take a hot mess and add just one more trauma… well, for this girl… it was too much.

I finally made the decision to seek help. (That sounds way stronger than it was – I had no choice – it was one of those rock-bottom situations). After an evaluation, I was placed with a trauma counselor named Jen.

Quite simply, Jen saved my life.

That was a year ago.

It’s taken this long to work through things and get my head and heart in a better place. I’m happy now, and that hasn’t been the case for a very long time.

I did OK working through things – except for one.

I still couldn’t write.

Trauma severely impeded my ability to create. I finally gave up on the writing thing and figured maybe that was just a part of my life that was over. I let it go.

And then I picked up the camera.

I’ve watched other people pour stuff out of their heart right onto photographic paper. I don’t know how they do it and when it was suggested that I try to do the same – well – that wasn’t an idea that remotely appealed. I’m a portrait photographer – I don’t do that artsy-feely stuff.

But again, I had no choice. I had to do SOMEthing.

I got personal with my camera, for the first time, ever. And the results of this wound up in competition during the 2016/2017 season.

I forced myself to do comp. No matter how much I let things go in my life and my business (yes, sadly, it suffered) – it was against the very fiber of my being to not at least TRY to compete. For two IPCs in a row, I struggled. I didn’t go 4/4, either time, but at that point it didn’t matter. The fact that I even got full cases prepped was a small miracle, so just completing the task of entering was an accomplishment.

I wasn’t thrilled with using the camera as a therapy or creative outlet. Once I began, the pain was immense. One particular image took seven sessions to capture the final image. It still didn’t completely work out and I pulled it out of my case before IPC2017, intending to re-shoot it for IPC2018. But now, I don’t think I need to. Those seven sessions and the tears they wrung from me dissolved most of the “feels” that were keeping me from healing. So maybe that’s an image I no longer need to create.

In all, six images were created and judged at various points, but only three made it clear to the end. Those three are the beginning of a new collection of work – I intend on addressing the topic of “trauma” until I have enough images for a gallery show. In addition to creating my own images, I’m now creating images to tell others’ stories of trauma, as well.

At some point I’d like to hang the collection publicly in partnership with some Mental Health/Mental Illness/Counseling-themed event/fundraiser. They say you should put your goals out there – so I am – if you can help with this part or have ideas for me – I’m all ears.

Once again, competition, for me, provided an opportunity, provided inspiration, provided a kick in the butt – whatever you want to call it – competition was the ONLY thing that kept my hands on my camera during what I consider to be the worst two years of my life.

That’s probably enough story-telling for now. I’d like to share three of my images with you. One has a story, two do not. Thankfully, competition has taught me how to title my images well, so I believe you will be able to infer the stories that are too painful to tell.

If you’ve read this far – thanks. It’s been awhile & I’m a little rusty.

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HUMPTY DUMPTY
2017 General Collection – Showcase Book

Last September, in the middle of the night, I received the news that all mothers fear. My child, my 31 year-old son, Jon, was in a terrible motorcycle accident. He was rushed to a trauma center, life-flighted to another trauma center and 2AM found us speeding across the state of Ohio to his side.

Just three weeks before I had done a session with him for the first time in a few years. And in the bleakness of a hospital waiting room, I consoled myself that I had this image…

…what very well might be his last image…

Things were very grim.

My boy was gone and in his place was a broken and battered body, hooked up to tubes and machines that made him breathe.

For days and days, this was my view.

I sat and watched and listened. I cried, I prayed and I hoped that the doctors could put my boy back together, again. Somewhere in my head I remembered Humpty Dumpty and laughed a little cynically…

Long story short – he’s ok. He’s very ok.

This was the event that put the nail in my trauma coffin…while the crisis was going on, I was superMom. But once he was fine and able to live on his own, again…superMom became a superMess.

It happens. That’s what they told me, anyway.

In the post-incident period of time, I looked closer at a set of DVDs we’d been carrying around from doctor to doctor. They contained sets of full body x-rays as well as individual areas of injury from the first trauma unit he was taken to.

The black and white x-rays reminded me very much of the type of base images I used to create graphic designs in some previous competition entries. I tried cleaning up the x-rays, but eventually resorted to purchasing a better set through a stock image company.

Those of you familiar with my work will recognize the actual pattern on the egg as typical of some past creations. The balance of the image was created from scratch in Photoshop CS5. It’s not rocket science, I looked up how to draw an egg, how to make a gradient background and how to make an object looked curved and followed a couple of tutorials I found. The image scored in the 85-89 range solidly throughout the year, I made a few improvements over the course of a couple of competitions and eventually it scored a 90 at IPC2017 and was placed in the showcase book.

It was my first entry, ever, into the Artist competition.

 

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ONE LAST SLAP
2017 General Collection

 

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JUST WAITING FOR MY FATHER TO GET HOME
2017 General Collection

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So, I applied to be a PPA Juror…

by Christine

WOOTNESS_IPC2016juror

I had a couple of goals on my list for 2015 and there were a number of them that I didn’t hit. One of  them was to complete my minimum requirements to become a PPA affilated juror.

Which I did.

But having those requirements considered adequate was another story.

To bring you up to speed, the requirements were:

18 exhibition merits
Judges’ Workshop
Four State judgings (PPA approved with Affiliated juror(s) present)
Six reviews from affiliated jurors at those state judgings
Four recorded critiques
Ten image portfolio submission

I took the judges workshop in August 2013 (read about that HERE). I judged my first state judging in February 2014 with South Carolina, and also did West Virginia, Montana and New Jersey in the process that generated seven reviews by affiliated jurors.

I put together a portfolio of competition level 8x10s and recorded 4 critiques inside a 24 hour window to show my skill level (or lack there-of) on critiques.

Everything was due September 4 and then we played the waiting game…

Somewhere my seven evaluations were pulled out and reviewed, my critiques were listened to, my images perused, meetings were had, discussions were held, and in the end, I didn’t make the cut.

I’ll forever remember my phone call from Tim Mathieson, letting me down as easy as he could. I thanked him for his phone call when I saw him a few weeks ago at IUSA. The poor guy probably dreaded making those calls, so I figured I’d let him know I was cool with his call.

Why?

Because if someone thinks that I’m not ready to sit in a juror chair, then I don’t want to sit in a juror chair.

It’s as simple as that.

I WANT the bar to be high. I WANT it to be a goal worthy of achieving. I WANT to be 100% ready for the task at hand.

Personally, I feel like the states/ reviews requirement was less than I needed to go through myself, so we were all pretty much on the same page, anyway.

Yes, I cried a little bit when I was alone with my husband and he expressed regret on my behalf. I was disappointed.

But very temporarily. And only a little.

Because that day, I was being reminded of greater things…

It was Thursday, October 8th, 2016. I was in Florida, visiting the home of our son/daughter-in-law and holding our newest grandchild, Tristan. He was three weeks old and I was doing that softly rocking/half walking thing that grandmas do.  We were out by the pool. Throw in some colorful blooms, warm sunshine and the smell of barbecue in the air, and you’ve pretty much set the scene.

It was 12:10 pm

At 12:11 pm, grandchild #4, Audrey, was born back home in Dover, Ohio
AT 12:11:28 pm Tim Mathieson called
At 12:12 pm, grandchild #5, Bane (twin to Audrey) was born

In the midst of overwhelming joy, a tiny nugget of sadness swiftly traveled through. In a flurry of phone calls and texts, only one was not filled with something positive…

I’ve got this thing about Karma and things working out the way they’re supposed to. I can’t imagine a nicer way to find out I didn’t make the cut on something – blanketed on all sides by baby joy.

That’s Wootness right there.

Note to Tim:

I’m reapplying this spring. No one in my family is pregnant.

Just saying.

Yo, 2016… let’s chat

by Christine
 Image courtesy of krishna arts at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of krishna arts at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

So, 2016… you seem all excited, all fresh and shiny brand new… but before you start blasting around with all your glitter and cheer and noise, let’s get something straight…here’s the thing – your predecessor, 2015, kinda sucked a little bit. But… in the interest of fresh starts and all that jazz, I won’t belabor the point. Let’s just leave all that stuff on yesterday’s plate…

This WILL be the year of Wootness. I don’t care what you’ve got planned, what little curve ball you’re going to toss my way, but I’m giving you notice… this WILL be a better year.

And because I know that half the crap that happened in 2015 was of my own doing, I’ll hold myself in a little bit more check as well.

Priority-setting is going to be a big change this year. I have no idea what I’m going to change or how, but something must give.

I found 2015 was a struggle because most of the time was spent trying to please other people. Too many other people. Anyone need a favor? I’m your girl! You’re behind on a project? Let me help you! Someone needs to volunteer for something? I’m raising my hand right here!!

That totally needs to stop.

Not because I don’t want to help, but because I found myself helping others more than I was helping myself. And most of the time, the help I extend, isn’t really returned when I’m in a position of need. Now, I know you don’t do something with the expectation  of receiving something in return, but let’s just say there’s a point where some situations start looking really lopsided in the give/take category and you start to question whether or not you’re being used and/or appreciated. And when you’ve barely got the time left to take care of your own needs with the time that you have leftover, that lopsidedness becomes more apparent.

So…

This year, I’m going to be selfish. That actually sounds kind of negative. I could say “I’m going to be nice to myself” but it’s WAY more than that, these changes that need made.

I spend a lot of my time doing/saying/writing things for other people. I have formulated some warped sense of “how a professional photographer should act” and I’ve spent a lot of time being all prim and proper and not voicing my opinion about the real way I think and feel about things. I’ve been afraid of stepping on the wrong toes, of saying things that will come back to haunt me later; of getting a smart-mouth reputation that will keep me from being selected as a judge or as an Imaging speaker. You know what? I applied to be considered for both those things this year, and neither one panned out, so my plan wasn’t all that effective now, was it?

The proof is in the pudding right here at Wootness. It’s been a long time since I’ve metaphorically touched pen to paper. When I’ve been true to my inner Wootness, I’ve received some negative responses that have shut me down. This happens on a regular basis. Why? Because I don’t have the strength within me to tell those folks to get lost.The fault is not in what I write from my heart but in the fact that some of my readers think that they have a right to tell me how to think and feel.

I’m done with that.

I write Wootness for me. If you don’t like it, find something else to read.

Not only am I going to change how much of my time is allocated to other folks’ causes, but I’m going to keep in check the amount of emotion I invest, as well.

I’m not sure how successful that’s going to be, but since the common theme of 2015 was having my heart broken by a variety of people and situations, well, 2016, you’re gonna get a “not so touchy-feely Christine.” Oh, don’t be confused, I will always have “all the feels” – but whether or not I allow you on my list of “all the people I have feels for” is a totally different thing.

So, here we are, that’s how things stand and I’ll see you tomorrow. Have a happy!

 

christine2

 

 

Beyond Passion: Robert Kunesh, M. Photog. MEI. Cr., CPP

by Christine

One of the benefits of joining professional photography organizations is the opportunity to meet and network with fellow professionals. Over time, those connections you make may develop into more than just “fellow members.”

I’d like to tell you about one of those connections.

Robert Kunesh, M. Photog. MEI. Cr., CPP

Robert Kunesh, M. Photog. MEI. Cr., CPP

I don’t remember meeting Bob, but I remember always knowing who he was.

There are always those, especially in print competition, whose names are bandied about often enough that you know they are within the backbone and framework of the accomplished artists of the organization. They are the ones that have been around long enough to know everyone. The ones that have been in the industry longer than you’ve been an adult. The ones that go up front to accept a trophy. And then another. And another.

They are the ones with more letters after their name than in it. The ones with so much bling around their necks that you wonder how they stand up straight.

They are the ones you respect, admire, and more often than not, envy.

They are the ones you want to be like when you grow up. (I think we might be in a little bit of trouble if this pans out.)

Bob is more than a photographer. He is an artist. He is a teacher. He is a mentor. He is a friend. We have taught together, laughed together and worked together. He’s been beside me at the teaching podium and behind the curtains at print competition judgings. He’s my convention date when our spouses don’t attend and the one I call to share good news.

IUSA 2015 - PPA Charities "Boots & Bling" event.

IUSA 2015 – PPA Charities “Boots & Bling” event.

He has inspired me to become more than a photographer. Because of him, I am embracing the concept of photographic artist. 

I am grateful to have met him and thankful that he has played such an important role in my growth as an artist.

He recently was the subject of a short film by Ryan J. Koppelman: Beyond Passion.

Glimpse into the mind and work of a man who has given me much to think about…

 

 

 

Speaking/Judging at Montana PPA 2015

by Wootness

 

Back: Kari Douma, Allison Watkins, Robin Spencer, Christine Walsh-Newton Front: Dennis Hammon, Cheri Hammon, George Dunlap Photo credit: Jamie Walters using George Dunlap's cell phone ;)

2015 Montana PPA Judging Panel Back: Kari Douma, Allison Watkins, Robin Spencer, Christine Walsh-Newton
Front: Dennis Hammon, Cheri Hammon, George Dunlap
Photo credit: Jamie Walters using George Dunlap’s cell phone 😉

I recently returned from Bozeman, Montana, the location of the 2015 Montana PPA convention. Aside from the location, I could swear I’d been in Ohio, except I didn’t know any of the faces or names of those around me.

Even though I brought a camera and three lenses, this iPhone capture was the best shot of the weekend. Go figure.

Even though I brought a camera and three lenses, this iPhone capture was the best shot of the weekend. Go figure.

It’s delightful to meet a group of people that are more friends and family than colleagues. The Montana group is on the small side, compared to my home state, but their hearts are extremely large.

This was the first time I flew to another state convention and from the very beginning, my trip and details were handled with the utmost care. Business Manager Heather Parker booked my flight and hotel and basically was a sweet little sister during the convention, always armed with a smile and inquiry as to my well-being. Even though she was supremely busy with all things convention, she still made time to check in with me. When she learned I was hankering for some cowboy bling to take home as a souvenir, she introduced me to member Lissa Barber, who facilitated a quick shopping trip to downtown Bozeman, complete with fancy coffee, rhinestones and coveting a $7000 lens at the local camera store. Thank you for your hospitality, ladies !

Heather is on the left, with member Bill Blake and incoming president Jamie Walters. Jamie was my initial contact with the Montana group and represents the group solidly; professional, detail-oriented and lots of fun. LOTS of fun! Thank you so much for inviting me to Montana and teaching me about bull puppies. I wish you the best as you lead Montana PPA during 2015/16.

Heather Parker, Bill Blake, Jamie Walters. Photo credit: Leslie Bohle

Heather Parker, Bill Blake, Jamie Walters.
Photo credit: Leslie Bohle

The day before judging, I was treated to a visit to the studio of Kathy Wierda. She kindly opened her doors and hosted Dennis Hammon’s class on Saturday. I was impressed and delighted by her studio. This creamy feminine corner especially caught my interest. If you have not yet visited Kathy’s studio, you are surely missing out on a good bit of inspiration, from the gallery-sized art on her walls to the expertly-appointed studio – this place is the bomb!

Kathy Wierda's Studio

My favorite corner of Kathy Wierda’s Studio

Kathy was named the 2015 Master Photographer of the Year with a delightful collection of images and was also presented with the ASP Elite award. Thank you Kathy for sharing your studio and congratulations on your well-deserved achievements!

Kathy Wierda & Dennis Hammon. Photo credit: Leslie Bohle

Kathy Wierda being presented with the ASP Elite Award by Jury Chair  Dennis Hammon. Photo credit: Leslie Bohle

I would be remiss if I did not mention a fellow that I think deserves extra claps on the back; Ross Magnuson. Ross achieved his Certified Professional Photographer designation just three short weeks before convention. Just in time to qualify for the Highest Scoring Image by a CPP award. Which he won. And then he went on to be named Montana’s Photographer of the Year. Way to go, Ross!. That’s Wootness, right there!  You are a perfect example of someone utilizing the pathway to success that I outlined in my presentation!

Ross is shown here, receiving his award from Montana CPP Liaison, Tina Haines. Tina extended a lovely welcome to me before I’d even left Ohio. I loved that she reached out and welcomed a fellow CPP Liaison and I’ll be making sure I follow her lead in my own state 🙂  [I also adored her sense of humor and wonder if the PPA knows they’re breeding stand-up comedy acts among their CPP representatives.]

Ross Magnuson, with CPP Liaison, Tina Haines.  Photo Credit: Leslie Bohle

Ross Magnuson, with CPP Liaison, Tina Haines.
Photo Credit: Leslie Bohle

And last, but not least, special recognition goes to the young lady on the left, Melissa Reynolds. She is shown here with fellow print crew member, Rebecca. Melissa  not only ran the print room like a boss, she went to the stage a number of times to accept awards for her images. Perhaps it’s the print room boss in me, but I felt a special appreciation for her. She ran the competition seamlessly, even though she was utilizing a brand new scoring system as well as running a digital competition for the first time in addition to the print competition. All while juggling the responsibilities of the mother of a newborn. You go girl! Wootness 5 star award for you!

Melissa Reynolds & Rebecca Kinkaid Bos Photo Credit: Leslie Bohle

Melissa Reynolds & Rebecca Kinkaid Bos
Photo Credit: Leslie Bohle

These folks are just a few of the special ones – there were many more members who made my trip memorable. I engaged in delightful conversations almost constantly and was made to feel a real part of the Montana group, not just a visiting judge and speaker. Montana now has a permanent place in my heart and I will always be a bit of “rancher girl” deep down inside. 🙂

The Calm Before the Storm: Northeast District 2015

by Christine

boneThe days are oozing along and in a few sleeps, I will be heading two hours away to begin setting up for the PP of Ohio’s annual convention, which is also the site of the 2015 Northeast District Image Competition.

I’ve had my case done for awhile, but as is the way with me, I had a change of mind and made a couple of substitutions at the last minute.

I ordered a new print. It was waiting for me today (beneath the dog biscuit), but I didn’t like it and I’ve ordered a re-print. It’s all I can do as the upload file has been locked into place and cannot be changed.

*big sigh*

Part of me is happy with my changes, and part of me wants to kick myself in the you-know-what for not leaving well enough alone.

I’ve been talking with my competitor friends and we’ve been tossing around theories about pushing out of our boxes and trying new things.

And that’s where I’m at. Trying new things, and not being very confident with where that will land me.

I shall hand-carry my case to Columbus, Ohio this Thursday. It will contain whichever of the reprints I deem best and I shall hope that my change of heart doesn’t result in too much disappointment.

So – for the next few days I’m gonna take some deep breaths and think about other things.

 

Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friends

by Christine

This is not an article about jewels. It’s about people. People I admire. People who inspire me. People who are on my short list of highest respect and honor.

These people:

L-R: Robert Hughes, Elaine Hughes, Christine Walsh-Newton, Robert Kunesh, Jim LaSala. Photo courtesy: Paul Bernstein

L-R: Robert Hughes, Elaine Hughes, Christine Walsh-Newton, Robert Kunesh, Jim LaSala.
Photo courtesy: Paul Bernstein

This image was taken on February 3 at the closing party of IUSA 2015. It was a lovely party and one of the highlights of the event was meeting up with these colleagues. Robert, Elaine and Robert are from my home state and Jim is from the NY/NJ group. (See previous article about Jim HERE).

Each of these folks is, or has been a Diamond Photographer of the Year. Multiple times. I don’t purposely peruse the Diamond POTY list to find friends – but instead find myself constantly inspired by folks who land there.

They are not just photographers, they are artists.

True artists.

They inspire me to push myself and my work to the upper limits of quality.

They inspire me to open my mind to other facets of photography.

They inspire me to get personal – really personal – with my work.

They inspire me to take risks, to explore the unknown, to launch myself into the air to grab the brass ring.

I am growing as a photographer, as an artist, as an educator and as a person because of these folks.

I am one lucky girl.

Resolutions Before the Dawn

by Christine

It’s late, and I really ought to have headed off to bed by now, but today’s to-do list had write post about resolutions on it and so here we are.

As I get older, the holidays and days of significance are, well, less significant. It’s been a good many years since I’ve gone out and celebrated New Year’s and at this point it’s just another Thursday, except my husband gets the day off work. In the middle of the week. Who do I talk to about getting this one shifted to Friday? Because we’d much rather have a 3 day weekend, thank you very much.

And so it only makes sense that my inclination to hash out this whole resolution thing is less enthusiastic with each passing year.

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I know, right?

A few years ago Mr. Wootness made a resolution to drink more red wine. I’m pretty sure that’s the same year he gave up Lentils for Lent.

And while those are novel ideas (and a sign of a much more warped sense of humor than mine), I’ve just never approached the whole resolution thing from that angle.

Perhaps I should.

Part of me is thinking I should do the bright shiny sunrise oh goody goody we are SO going to have party! resolution.

It would be what would be expected from someone who does some of the things I do – you  know – with the needing to be a good example/mentor thing. But it wouldn’t be real, or honest.

And besides, it’s late, and I don’t have the energy for rah! rah! kumbaya!

So perhaps sitting up late tonight, when there’s nothing but darkness outside the window, and I’m feeling fairly tired, and not very sunshiny at all – maybe this is when the real resolutions are penned. Before the dawn. In the dark and cold and tired, we see ourselves, probably as realistically and as practically as possible. We know our limits and our energies.

There are certainly things I need to fix and change and do better. There are things I need to do more often and some that I need to do less. And some that I shouldn’t be doing at all.

But this is life. And these are every day awarenesses (awarenessi?) that take continual work and improvement, and not something I should be saving up or putting off to attack once a year.

So, I guess this year I’m not really doing the resolution thing. I’ll just continue to try to do things each day as best as I can and a little bit better than the day before.

happy new year and goodnight,

Christine

 

2014: It’s all Good, Now.

by Christine

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The Winter Solstice is when I reflect on the last year and think about changes I want to make in the New Year. The winter is long and painful for me and this is the point where I can celebrate being halfway through the time when the sun is rarely here. Warmer and brighter days are coming and it’s natural to make hopeful plans for the future year.

So, 2014… well, it was different. Very different.

We hear a lot about the professional accomplishments of our peers, and sometimes we share very personally in them. Maybe we’ve been there, or some day we hope to be there, whatever the reason, we get it. I’ve shared a few this year that were quite exciting, but I didn’t share too much of the downside. I’m not going to now, in other than a general sense, but if the truth be told, 2014 was probably the most challenging year I’ve experienced since I switched careers from Quality Management to Photography in 2008.

On the outside looking in, things probably looked rosy. The year started off well; I went to some conventions, competitions and judgings. I went to our state convention, did well there and had the most wonderful honor of being presented with the PPA National Award. My first article was published in PPA Magazine, a goal I’ve been hoping to achieve for a great while.

It was all good. It was all really good.

But, then my knees were cut out from under me. And I had to suck some stuff up big time. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve and when you do things as publicly as I do, like teach classes and write blogs and sit on boards, you have to maintain some kind of decorum. And when things go tragically wrong, as they sometimes will, it’s just best to not let on.

For awhile, I had to quit writing. I’m an emotional person and the connection between my heart and a keyboard can be a dangerous one. My writing on Wootness slowed down to the bare minimum, my enthusiasm for print competition waned and the only regular writing I did was a monthly article for Southern Exposure, the magazine for PPA’s Southeast Region, where I kept it fairly together.

Fairly. I did have my heart on my sleeve while penning an article about mentoring; an article that I’ve thought numerous times about issuing an explanation for. It drew harsh criticism that hurt, but it also drew those who were touched, and who cried as much during their reading of it as as I did during the writing of it. And in the end, I decided to leave it be, since it was where my heart was at that particular time.

And then there was a health issue that knocked me on my rear end and caused a drastic change in darned near every facet of my life. It’s all good now, but for awhile, it was pretty…hard, discouraging, frustrating and scary.

And then, there was some other stuff. But again, it’s all good. Now.

Yes, it’s all good, now –  but it’s taken nine long months to put a couple of things into perspective and I think this is a real good time to clear all that nonsense out of my allotment of give-a-dangs and go forth with things that are only positive in nature. It’s been hard. I’ve made some difficult decisions and changed a few of my closely held heart-truths. I’ve lost a few heroes, and a couple of friends.

But it’s all good. Now.

And I’m back. I’m really back. For awhile I was faking it in a major way. I was calling in my performance. I was not at my best on many levels. And on some, I was at my absolute worst. I did what I needed, the best that I could, at the time. But a lot of those times, my best kind of sucked. Perhaps no one even noticed, but I did.

What’s the Wootness here? Some will say I made it through, that others have it worse –  there’s Wootness in that. But sometimes I think there just isn’t gonna be Wootness. No one signed a contract with me that life was gonna be all bacon and Pop-Tarts and this year kind of proved it.

And so we move on. And greet 2015.

With hope. And a bright and shiny clean slate.

It’ll be good. It’ll all be good.

Photograph the Every Day

by Wootness

I understand, in my “particular” ways, the need to have every single thing exactly correct before I click the shutter. And sometimes I wonder if I’m setting myself up for failure if I refuse to shoot unless everything is perfect. I’ve challenged myself in the past, and now I do it purposely, to let that stuff GO and just shoot in the moment. Not everything I do needs to score an 80 in competition or sell in a 24×30 format. Sometimes we can just shoot to document our day. A moment. A condition.

Behold, the dust and the dirt and the cobwebs of DIY. And things stacked against the wall while I paint and install floors. It may not mean a thing to you, but it’s a moment in time for me.

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