The day started well enough. The sun was up which is definitely on the better than average day scale. Then I made time for a walk with my mom and Maliea along the beach and spent the afternoon working on administrative tasks. I was planning on a “funset” session with M&M playing in front of the shimmering backlit leaves of the eucalyptus trees at the San Clemente State Park.
But then Maliea fell asleep for a late nap. She has been trying to recover from some kind of respiratory virus so I thought it best to let her sleep as long as necessary. It’s this stuff that still throws me off. I never know when she is going to nap or not nap. That’s where I have to be patient as we teeter on the edge between infancy and childhood. I am a mom and my kids come first. I still spend a lot more time nurturing their amazing minds and energy than I do of my photography business. It’s this balance that I have to respect right now, as challenging as it can be.
When Maliea woke I scrambled to grab some jackets, shoes and dinosaurs and we all hopped in the car. My heart was filled with joy to finally have a moment to be a mom and a photographer. I haven’t been doing as much of that as I used to so it was exciting to set everything else aside to do just that. However, my vision was shattered when we pulled up to the gate at the State Park and there were 2 trucks with trailers, a motorhome and a camper waiting to get in. We sat for a few minutes and I decided that we would lose the sun if we waited any longer. I had about 10 minutes before it was too late.
So we turned around and drove down to Calafia to go play in the sand. I was more excited about the State Park so my heart wasn’t into going to the beach. Merrik didn’t want to go down to the water and Maliea didn’t want to play up on the rocks. So it was a stand-off and I surrendered. I snapped a few shots of my beautiful kids just being who they are and when Maliea had to pee I knew it was time to go.
I think the hardest part for me on this day was that I wished I could have been photographing other people’s kids too. I want to photograph people all the time-it almost feels like I’m addicted to it! But when I don’t have a session booked I start to question my purpose and my acceptance by others as a photographer. It’s hard to be an artist who relies so heavily on how good the work I do is and if people value it. But in the end I do my photography because I can’t help myself. In the end, I have to remind myself, it’s just what I do and who I am so being validated by others really doesn’t matter.
After screaming and fisticuffs about which side of the car Merrik should get in on, we finally headed back home as I broke out in tears frustrated with not being able to photograph the vision I had and overwhelmed with frustration over the relentless sibling rivalry. When we got home, I ran a hot bath for the kids and Maliea hopped in while Merrik rebuilt his fort. I sat down to the computer to work on a wedding contract for a client and checked my email. I hesitated opening the one from the Center for Fine Art Photography expecting a “We’re sorry but…” Then I read, “Congratulations! Juror Phil Borges selected your work, out of 1,419 images, to be exhibited both in the Center’s gallery and in the Center’s online gallery for the Human + Being exhibition.”
I broke out in tears-again. The last time I was selected to exhibit in the International Fine Art Photography Exhibition by the Center for Fine Art Photography at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Fort Collins, CO was June 29 – August 29, 2004. It is such an honor to be selected to exhibit my work alongside Leah Zawadzki, Susan Bryant and Sara Forrest and it gives me chills to see so much thought provoking and unique photography in one place.
It goes without saying that I am constantly reminded that no matter how challenging it seems at times to be a photographer, I still can’t imagine living my life any other way.
Here is my image that was selected for Human + Being…