This year I got my Xmas wish...it was an interesting process achieving it but a very valuable one...this blogpost is well overdue with all the action that surrounds December at work and at home but here it is....
This year has been a year of intense learning, usually by the trusted method of making lots of mistakes but also being a year of consequences. I can't say I have enjoyed it much but there have been numerous highlights where the outcome has been favourable thanks to the powers that be....and luck!
That being said I have had to do a lot of analysing in all of life's areas and have had to really think about the shining highlights....what they were....and what they mean't.
Professionally I had the privilege of photographing some really close friends and that I would say was the highlight...all of whom I have photographed numerous times over the years and it made me realise that it was time I did it myself for our family because although I have loads of images of my kids and always have, I have only ever once had a friend do portraits for us and it was a long time ago. What an interesting experiment that was....
First stop was ebay and a remote control for my camera shutter. Had to wait about a month for that! Then the co-ordination...which is where the luck came in. During all of this I must say that the sensible thing to do would have been to organise a big tog gathering where we could all take each others photos but again far too hard leading up to Christmas and I had NO confidence that my 20 somethings would prioritise a picnic in the park. My oldest was leaving for Japan on Nov 30th and this day was our last chance to do it. I had picked a spot where the light was what I was after and a flexible time. As luck would have it this particular Sunday Dani was at a friends house about a 2 min walk away from the chosen location so she was acessable and I just had to grab some clothes for her...Waz and Rory were on board and home and with a bit of whinging we managed to get some plain, logo free clothes sorted. Nat was at the Ed and had refused to shave (because it was still Movember) and we organised to pick him up on the way. As we left the house the dog escaped and ended up in the car with us!
I got to the location first and went to set up only to find my tripod missing....after a bit of a panic I realised that my last shoot a couple of days before had been on location at Dani's friends house and that it could still be there. Sure enough ...there it was....still sitting in the front yard. That was extreme luck.
We all rocked up to the chosen spot. The light was glorious. The kids co-operated and the whole thing took about 20 minutes. The kids got dropped back at the friends and the Ed and I went home and started to sift through them.
As always there are a couple that jump out at you where everyone looks OK, and as always those images get pulled out and edited and then I rarely ever get back to the rest of them. It didn't take long to edit because I had a very clear idea of what I wanted long before I shot the photo. I had thought I'd like a backlit, sun kissed, landscaped image which would have required a bit of extra layering but when I saw the image in all its realness I didn't want to change it at all ...meaning...
My hair was way overdue for a cut...Nathan looks like a dirty mexican...a have pained look on my face and a remote control in my hand.....Dani doesn't like it and Warren declared he looks like he has a stick up his arse!.....but hey Rory and particularly the dog look FANTASTIC!
But the point is...this is us and I don't care about any of that stuff....this is a photo, albiet a very posed one, of all of us and the image as a whole I LOVE!....it also has a rainbow spanning half of the image going through all of us. Once upon a time I would have got rid of that but now its one of my favourite things.
Now coming up to Xmas....the budget gets tight. I got it all ready to upload to my beautiful canvas supplier only to realise that I really couldn't afford my own product at cost, at this time of the year...major bummer!....the longer I put it off the closer it got....then past the deadline for Xmas deliveries. I closed up the studio for Xmas and vowed to take a break and not go back until 2014.
Now I know all you organised November Xmas shoppers will be horrified by this but for me and most of my tog friends, we don't get to do our shopping until we have already supplied all our customers with their Xmas presents and closed...that means usually the 3 days before Xmas. I do all mine in one or 2 days and then wrap on Xmas eve. This Xmas eve I thought I would stop at a local framer (which is mostly full of rubbish) and just see on the off-chance if there was a frame I could do something with. I needed a sign from the heavans to go ahead with it. I spotted this large pewter gold landscape frame which was a rejected custom frame (therefore quite nice) for $150 and thought that I would be able to use it for something if it didn't work with our portrait....then raced into the studio....turned the printer back on and shot out my large landscape. I had already printed smaller versions weeks earlier for the family presents but couldn't get through Xmas without it being in the place I had intended it for as well.
Xmas day came and we put it up....not too many comments other than the ones before mentioned, but with Rory on the other side of the world and the rainbow binding us all through thick and thin...as a whole unit and a piece of artwork on the wall, with all its little imperfections...it is just the way I wanted it. In time it will be looked upon with memories of a beautiful afternoon, in a beautiful place where we were all together if only for a brief interlude. It is us .... and for me , right now, that is the only thing that is really important.
I'd like to wish you and your families a belated Merry Xmas and a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous and Peaceful New Year....roll on 2014...looking forward to the adventures you will bring :)