I've always been one to give my whole heart away.
I've always been one to put my heart into things fully.
I've never been too careful about it.
Lately, I've realized that I should be.
Not everything deserves your heart - sometimes not even a piece of it.
I guess this is where I insert the disclaimer that this is going to be a post of many thoughts, feelings, photographs and well, rambling, too.
I never knew that putting my whole heart into something, a "hobby", could be so exhausting. Photography has really taken over a lot of my time - between DAT, my own projects, editing, learning and shooting for fun, I need to sleep for days. In the past week, I've shot and edited two sessions and I have two more in the next seven days.
It's been the only thing getting me through the past few crazy and, I won't lie, hard weeks. And Adele, thank God for Adele. It's a lot easier to put my life in focus from behind a lens. I see things more clearly that way. I stop and take time to concentrate, to plan, to adjust the little details.
It's also taught me a lot about people. It may sound silly but there's a connection that occurs when you're behind a lens. Someone is in front of you, being vulnerable enough to capture on film. I love capturing the people I love most, I love those moments where I feel that I can see through them, to understand them, even if it is only for a second. At times, I pass strangers in the grocery store, on the street, and I think about taking their portrait - what would it say about them? You know, a picture is worth a thousand words.. or something like that.
I've loved having the opportunity to capture couples. Alex and Brittany were total strangers who asked me to photograph them - and more importantly, their relationship. I love watching the side glances, those little looks, the lit up eyes, the smiles, the kisses, the way hands are held. There's hope.
Photography has empowered me - it has made me braver, more confident, more assertive. I no longer shy at the thought of posing people. I don't worry if I've got enough frames. I've photographed close friends, friends of friends, total strangers. I've learned to take control of the situations in front of me, to manipulate a scene for the best. I'm working on spreading that lesson to the rest of my life. Lately, I've realized that happiness is a choice, sometimes it takes work (and assertiveness) but ultimately, you are the only one who can make the decision wether to be happy or not to be.
I've learned a lot lately, maybe too much. I've learned that I'm blessed - I've learned that I've got friends to lean on (wether they're a few miles or a few hours away), I've got the best jobs in the world, I can be on my own, I've got everything I need. I've also learned how cruel people can be, how hurtful disrespect is, how easy others find it to lie. It's all about finding the perfect mixture of the two.
"Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the over-compensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn't nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand."
Being an open book is exhausting.
P.S. If you'd like to see more from these shoots - you can view slideshows here & here.