A week in the life of….. An Open Letter

You know, some people see a successful photographer and they see our “party of a lifestyle” world. They see our photos, our travels, our good times and more. And I won’t lie… We do have our moments where we rock it out!

Thru that, while we surely love what we do, while we are blessed to be successful with the ability to take our passion and create a life. There is so much more. Last week, from Sunday to Sunday, I shot 4 weddings, 2 engagement sessions, booked two weddings, edited two weddings and 3 engagement sessions, drove about 500 miles, responded to at least 40 e-mails, did the laundry, dishes, got my daughter where she needed to go, drank lots of coffee, listened to tons of music, mowed the lawn, took out the trash, painted my upstairs hallway and believe it or not, even more. (I even showered)

And all that, that’s our reality, especially as a single parent 50% of the week. The reality is, we push, we push hard (harder than we even believe we can at times) and we thrive on accomplishing everything that lies on the mountain in front of us. When you see our “party life style” it’s because we simply love what we do. What you don’t see is how we collapse into the adirondack chair on the porch in dead silence trying to recharge while taking in the minutes as the sun sets in front of us…… Or how we will find a book and curl up into the smallest of balls sheltering ourselves from the world as we let go of everything in our minds and fall into a different world hidden in the pages…

This past week, roughly the past 10 days, is the hardest in every one of my years. You can read this post which I put on Facebook last week to know a bit more:

 


 

Remember these two men we tragically lost? For certain reasons, VERY CERTAIN REASONS, we need to always remember that everyone has a struggle of some sort in their life. Somewhere, on the surface or deep inside, a struggle. Much as these two awesome fucking individuals had. As bright as they were, as creative and skilled as they were. A struggle…

11406169_10153357963158665_6931891170251710933_oTomorrow marks an anniversary date for me to a really rough accident I had. It landed me in the trauma center where I was listed as a “john doe” for the first 10 hours of my stay there, in that time, I had no family. I had no one by my side. I didn’t even have myself…. That accident changed a LOT in my life. Both good and bad.

10 days after that accident I – as well as my sister, mother step mother and the rest of our family – lost my father…. (whom, for those of you that don’t know, was a professional photographer)…..

Needless to say, this stretch, every year is hard. Incredibly hard. Not to mention life as it is.

I’m an artist, deep inside, an artist. I feel things. And man, sometimes I feel them deep…. More than many, I would assume?

And most of you probably realize this.. I also know that I’m sooooo incredibly lucky to be able to do what I do with the passion that drives me day in and day out. Capturing weddings allows me to be who I am. To feel, to create, to capture. I won’t lie, come find me on a Monday after a double or triple header wedding weekend and you’ll most likely find me closed up in my house searching for any little piece of energy I can find to rebuild and recharge… But I’ll be searching because I put my all into what I do, for my couples and for myself… And I’m okay with that because I’m prepared for it…

As hard as it is, every year, every stretch, from a bit before 6/6 to a bit after 6/16, I get thru. I get thru because I have a network around me that understand who I am. As a person and individual.

I’m not writing this for myself, for attention, for this or for that…. I’m writing this because most of us, day in and day out, don’t know half the struggles that the person right next to us may be facing, going thru or trying to find a way out of. So be kind. Smile… Reach out.

Because darkness is a really fucking scary place….


 

10562576_10203314775127504_6744848613664302441_oAnd that brings me to this day, after realizing I have probably booked my June up non-stop on purpose with out it being “on purpose”. I have probably done so to stop my mind from having the time to think and feel every emotion that comes with these moments in the year… And now, today, the back end of this dark stretch marks the “anniversary” date of my fathers passing in 2006. Not many of you know, that I did, in fact, become a photographer because of my father. I never dreamed it’s what I would be doing, I never thought it would be my career, let alone be as successful as I am, yet here I sit. And I sit loving every minute of it and would thank him 100 times over if I could…

You see, I got back into photography simply as a way to keep that part of my father with me. And now, I can only hope with my highest of hopes – that, that incredible man is looking down on me with a wide smile and a giving me a pat on my back. ( That’s my dad, and that little dark haired kid, yea… That’s me )

Anyway… These weeks of non-stop are truly what our lives, at least 8 months out of the year consist of. Going non-stop, spending hours in our cars and in front of our computers. Shooting constantly, planning, staying on target and doing what we can to rock every moment of it out and loving every second of it!!! At least for me….

THANK YOUAnd the thing is, I do this for many reasons.

Inside, I’m sure one of those reasons is my father, but a couple other reasons are for each and every one of you… My clients. Because it’s receiving texts like “BLOWN AWAY – AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME” or “OMG…… I have no words but if I could get married again, every weekend, to have you work that magic – I would – I LOVE YOU – WE LOVE YOU!!! ” from brides and couples (both of which were also received this week) Or receiving thank you cards and little gifts from my couples like the one to the right…

It’s these things. It’s knowing the happiness that I bring to my couples. It’s creating pieces for them to remember and recall moments from. It’s these things that make the constant go, and the battle thru the “darker” days worth it…

And for that, while you guys are always thanking me, I THANK YOU… I don’t think a single one of you understands the fuel and energy you give me to not only keep pushing thru and creating and doing my best, but to get thru the days when I don’t want to push thru and no matter what, to continue to shine – day in and day out…

With every part of me… I thank you!!! THANK YOU!!!

I miss, love and thank you as well dad……..

 

 

 

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