SHOOTING WIDE OPEN: thoughts on rest


Winter is absolutely my least favorite season. I love the sun and hate layers. I prefer flip flops to all other shoes. I don’t like having to warm up my car. I like it when tomatoes are in season and my clients want to take photos outside. It’s fair to say I’m one of those people that ought to invest in an office “happy” lamp, however I’m not totally convinced of their efficacy. As someone who grew up in southern California now living in KY, winter is just something I’m just going to have to get used to. Thankfully I have several pick-me-ups: primarily a sweet cat to chase around the house, a beautiful red-headed friend who goes on walks with me, Ganer’s cooking and snuggles, barre class, and long list of business “to-do’s” to keep me busy.

Last night I talked the night away on a skype date with our friend, hero, and wedding photographer Monica Muñoz. One of the topics that really resonated with me this morning was the idea of choosing to rest. We were laughing at how our schedules are sort of an inverse of each other’s. Her summer = my winter. Her on-season = my off-season. If you’re a wedding photographer in an area that actually experiences winter (no, not you California or Louisiana… although you are two of my favorite places), you likely have what feels like an “off-season.” Weddings slow down and unless you’ve been also building up your portfolio in other areas (say, boudoir, newborn, etc.), it can be difficult to maintain the pace you had in the fall. It can also be difficult to remember just how crazy fast that fall pace was! For us, it was 12 weddings in a row in the summer, a small break in August, followed by 7 in a row in the follow and culminating in our wedding. Yeah, not a lot of time was spent resting. We had a blast and we are very used to the “go go go” nature of our lifestyle together.


I decided that from now on, I will be spending my winters in Chile. I will work as an assistant to Moni because without work I’m too bored. She laughed and we played with the idea. She then talked about how her slow months are a time for rest. Soon, she’ll be going to the beach with sweet husband and adorable pup for 2 weeks. The slow season for her is a time to do other projects, read a book, and recharge her batteries. This way, she can really pour her heart and soul into delivering her very best once the next “on-season” begins. She encouraged me to keep going with editing my personal work. Since we got back from the honeymoon, I’ve been slowly culling and processing some thousand photographs I’ve taken of my friends and around the house that have just… well… sat on drives collecting dust (if pixels could collect dust?). She told me that it’s something that I have to do. They are my memories and they are the “most important.”

That idea kind of shook me. I don’t think I held the belief that my memories could be most important. Obviously, my clients are the most important, right? I always put paid work as priority and personal shots are something to work on in my free time. However in the last two years, I haven’t had much “free time.” I work until late and once I’m done the last thing I want to do is be on the computer. I want to catch up with Ganer. I want to get out of the house and socialize. I want to be around my friends and take photos of them. Photos that will likely never get processed if I keep up the same pace all year.

So, I dug in. It’s crazy how the brain deliberately packs away details, moments, and stories. And we should be thankful! If a memory is not going to help you carry on with your day-to-day routine, you certainly don’t need those experiences cluttering up your short term memory storage. Without photographs, there are so many moments that I don’t think I could recall even if I gave it all of the effort in the world. Going through these photos have helped me remember, see, and realize so many beautiful parts of my life, like:

How often our friends Haley and Seth occupy the same physical space and/or match.

That deer I met after showering after the beach.

Ganer made an incredible brisket at our friend Griffin and Amy’s house.

Amy always provides cheese and wine to her guests.

How often my grown adult friend circle still throws theme parties.

Our apartment in Bloomington was too amazing for us.

The Christmas smiles from 2 years ago.

How little our cat has stayed over the years despite how much she eats.

The many awesome shows we’ve had the privilege of attending because we have incredible musician friends.

The many friends who have hosted us on weekends we shot a wedding in their area.

How fast my friends’ babies are growing.

How well we ate and drank.

How surprisingly well our commitment to get fit and more active has paid off.

How few we Ganer and I took of us together.

There are so many more to go through, but I’m enjoying the experience of reactivating so many forgotten moments. I’m still spending time dedicated to the hustle. There’s lots of promotion and clean up to do around here. But while I’m allowed some time to rest, I think I’ll spend a little time each day going down memory lane. I encourage you all to document your lives. You don’t have to have professional gear to capture your history. Next time you find yourself mindlessly scrolling on your phone, take a second to document something around you: your home, yourself, and the living people and creatures around you. It doesn’t have to be pretty. It doesn’t need to be for any specific occasion. It doesn’t even need to be shared. Just, snap. You never know when that memory will bring you a special kind of comfort. If and when you’re ready to hire a lifestyle photographer like me to come in and capture some of those moments for you, just give me a ring ;] However, the point is that your memories are the most important. Keep making and keeping them.


*raises cup of coffee*,

here’s to rest, winter, and nostalgia.

Below is a tiny sampling of snapshots I forgot about but now happily keep.

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