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Amazing what a difference half a decade makes!

On Friday, I received my new drivers license in the mail.  A lot has changed since I had taken my previous DL photo.  Not just in my life, but procedurally as well.

Now they require a new photo every five years.  I think it used to be every seven (but don’t quote me on that).  It used to be you could wear glasses, smile, act and be natural in your photo.  Now, even if you wear glasses full time they have to be off, and not only are you not allowed to crack a toothy grin, you aren’t allowed to smile at all.  But, as you’ll note from my new license, a wry smirk is perfect acceptable.

My Driver's License Photo - Old and New

My Driver’s License Photo – Old and New

 

I have to admit…  when I received my new license and pulled the old one from my wallet, I stopped and stared at the photos for a while.  What a difference roughly half a decade makes.  The first photo was before I was married, before Lily-Ann was even a vague idea.  It was before I’d changed focus from my work as an expert in Canine Communication to Professional Photographer.  I voted Green back then, but wasn’t a member of the party, and would never dream I would run the provincial party and run for office during a provincial election, a national election, and a provincial by-election.  It was before I returned to my roots and realized how much I missed working with youth.  I hadn’t outed myself as a former victim of sexual assault, and was ashamed of the fact that I had FMS and IBS.  It was a very different me – who was plagued by social anxiety disorder and had a specially trained Service Dog because I couldn’t leave the house alone.

Now?  Wow.  There really isn’t much of that girl left.

I chose my wording carefully, the use of “girl” wasn’t an accident.  I was a girl.  I was a nervous, scared, girl.  I hid it pretty well from most folk…  but I really did live my life scared that I’d be found out, that someone would realize I wasn’t actually good enough to be worthwhile.

I said it once already, but for emphasis, I’ll say it again:  What a difference roughly half a decade makes.

Now?  I’m probably a little too self-assured…  I’m actually downright cocky.  LOL  I know that who I am matters, and what I do makes a difference.  I’m a proud woman.  Confident and ready to tackle pretty much anything that comes my way.  I live out loud, and tend to over share.  Want to know something about me?  Ask.  I’m not afraid and will happily talk to anyone about anything.  I’m doing some pretty amazing things.

Someone asked me if I felt old now that I’ve turned 35, and you know what?  I totally don’t.  I feel like life is just beginning.  I’ve just hit my stride.

 

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Domestic Goddess I Ain’t

My brain is swimming tonight, and I’ll admit, that makes it hard to decide what to write about.  I’ve just got so much on the go right now that it’s difficult to focus on one thing.  I spent the day on the phone with several different people.  I also spent a little while at the girl’s school – putting feathers in the hair of her teachers.  I worked on one of the scrapbooking kits I’ll be selling when my design studio launches at Polka Dot Plum.  And I thought my way through a couple things I’ll be needing to make decisions on soon.

Domestic Goddess

Domestic Goddess Image by MinxGrafix

When I look around the house, it doesn’t really look like I did much today.  And that’s the one curse of the work-at-home mom.  My day was incredibly full and busy, and I spent it almost all at home…  but looking around me?  You’d think I’d been eating bon bons watching stories on the tele.  😉  You know what though?  I’m okay with it.

I had a full day.  I have a full life.  And one day, when things are not so busy, when I’m not focused on being a mom, a professional, and an activist all at once?  Then maybe my house will look like a sanctuary of cleanliness…  probably not then either though.  ‘Cause I’m sure I’ll be busy just having fun with my man.

Photograph, Design, Organize.

Today my head has been filled with design.  I’m preparing to open my shop, and I’m frantically working to get everything ready.  Yesterday I finished up a Spring themed mini-kit.  Today I started a full sized kit all about the chicken pox…  I really do enjoy designing.  Well…  the designing part of it anyway.

I’m sure it’s a sentiment felt by many creative types who also run a business.  The creative side of things fuels us, keeps us going in so many ways.  The business side of things is simply a necessary evil.  That’s how I feel about the organizational side of design.

Creating elements, creating papers, designing overlays, and custom products…  it’s all a fabulously zen thing for me.  Photography gets me revved up, designing relaxes me – two sides of the creative coin.  But organizing my product so it’s ready to sell?  Ugh.  I wish I could hand that end of it over to someone else.  It takes me far longer than it should simply because I don’t enjoy it – and I end up putting it off and then have several products that all need work at the same time.  LOL  I won’t complain too loudly though.  I’m pretty blessed to be able to do what I do.

Strawberry Scraps - my design business

So watch for me soon.  I’ll be setting up shop at the Plum.  Opening day will soon be upon us.  🙂

If you can’t say something nice…. oh goodness.

Okay.  I keep putting my hoof in my mouth and then have to struggle to get it back out again over this.  I take my work as a photographer seriously.  It is a privilege to be involved in the creation of something amazing that really highlights the bond and love found between two people, within a family, or that can be found in one person’s heart.  Photography is NOT a fly by night career.  You work long and hard to establish a reputation, to prove your dedication, commitment, and skill.  Every new client is a new chance to push yourself, to become better, and I am every grateful for everyone who has put their trust in me and my work.  So when I know of someone who is just “going to be a photographer” while they’re on mat leave, on sick leave, or taking a break from their other work?  Oy!

I’m trying to be a supportive person.  Trying to encourage others.  Trying to support my fellow women doing what they believe is best for themselves and their families…  but really?  It’s a slap in the face to dedicated professionals when someone just decides to photograph people because clearly anyone can do it.  Ugh.

So please don’t brag to me, or anywhere you know I’ll see it, about the cool props you are buying (real photographers don’t rely on props – they are the tools of fauxtogs and momtogs).  Please don’t tell me about the “how to pose babies” books you are hoping to buy (real photographers don’t rely on posing techniques – they are for Sears, Walmart, and other fauxtogs).  Please don’t expect me to get excited about the huge money you’re going to make with a limited time/money investment (sorry, but that’s just not the way it works, photography is an expensive art form to be involved in).

I want to be supportive of you.  I know you aren’t trying to be insulting.  But please, please don’t expect me to say I think this new venture of yours is great…  because it’s just not.  And in my years of working as a dedicated professional I’ve seen so many “FLASH” in the pan fauxtogs come and go, and every one of you makes my work more difficult.  Every client you disappoint is that much less likely to put their trust in an actual professional photographer in the future.  And those you fool into thinking your stuff is great?  Well…  boy…  that doesn’t make it true.

I’m sorry if I sound bitter and jaded, I really do want to support you in your choices…  but it really is insulting when you figure that just by buying a semi-decent camera that you can do what it has taken me years and years of experience and dedication to learn, understand, and create.  So yeah.  Forgive me if I don’t throw you a party.

Ugh.

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