On Gossamer Wings

Think of the happiest things.  It’s the same as having wings….Peter Pan

A while ago I went to a garage sale and saw the most gorgeous little gold dress.  I knew I had to have it.. It was a simple design but I knew it belonged on a faerie.  I didn’t see it as most people would…. I saw the gossamer wings that belonged on the back of it and the sparkles of faerie dust that would dance around it, making it sparkle in the sunlight.  It made me so happy to put it in my car and take it home.  I put it straight onto a mannequin so it could inspire me to create my faerie.

I met the lovely Annica and knew that this dress would be perfect on her.  So, along with Kirsty,  the best assistant in the world (and one hell of a sports photographer), we went to a little creek here in Katoomba and got our glitter on.  We climbed over rocks and sticks to get the right look and I have to say, when I’d finished I was thrilled with the result.  I changed the colour in one of the images and left it gold in the other.

It’s not always the big wins that make us the happiest.. Finding the perfect dress for a shoot may not be someone else’s idea of perfection but it is mine.  Sometimes it’s the smaller things that put the biggest smiles on our faces.  And thinking of the happiest things IS the same as having wings.  Yes indeed!!

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On Gossamer Wings

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Reflections

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Try One More Time

When the world says “give up”, hope whispers “try one more time”…… Author Unknown

I had a memory pop up on Facebook this morning.. I hardly ever look at or share these pop up memories as I figure I’ve lived that day…..onward and upward, don’t look back.  You know the drill.    However this morning, I was a bit taken aback to see this particular one.  You see, it was two years ago that I posted an image that I’d just made of a mermaid.

It wasn’t a new photo that I’d worked on.  I had taken this photo of the lovely Hannah much earlier while I was still at TAFE.  I had already edited it and loved the slightly cartoon effect I had put on it.  I had already stepped out of my comfort zone when I edited it first time and it was one of my favourites from my time at TAFE.  Obviously two years ago, I wanted to try something a bit different again.

I had known for a long time that I wanted to make art from photography but really didn’t have the nerve to step out of my comfort zone and try it.  Then late one night, I gave it a go and Hannah turned into Hope, my mermaid.  I have to be honest, when I’d finished it, I was quite overwhelmed.  I felt like I had finally proved to myself that I could create what my mind imagined.

In all honesty, it was a fairly simple fantasy image but it will always be one of my favourites as it was a turning point for me and my belief in myself.  I named her Hope to match the quote which suited me so well.  Hope has become my muse.  She whispers words of encouragement in my ear when I doubt myself and tells me to keep going when I sometimes want to give up.  She is more than an image.  I could probably rework the image with all I’ve since learned but I won’t, as to me she’s perfect as she is.

It amazes me that it’s really only been two  years since I started to  create what I was imagining, but then it was only in 2013 when I started studying photography, having never picked up an SLR or DSLR in my life.  All of my photos up until that point had been taken with point and shoot cameras.  It certainly has been an eventful 4.5 years but they are years that have brought me much joy.

So now, it’s onward and upward again.  I am already working on a new mermaid shoot which I’d planned before I realised this was two years ago.  Now it’s time to create lots more art as my mind imagines new worlds and scenarios.  Time to take my work up a notch again as the learning process never really ends.  But right now, I’m having a glass of wine and drinking a toast to my muse, Hope….

Hope Whispers

 

Graceful – Weekly Photo Challenge

It is only our belief that we are trapped that keeps us bound where we are….Livonne

As some of you will know I’ve spent the weeks over Christmas and the New Year moving into a new home.  After shifting comes the mammoth task of setting a new home up.  I gave myself all of January off so I could concentrate on getting it just as I wanted it and then come February, I was to hit the ground running with works for exhibition as well as a few new series I have planned. Sounds easy doesn’t it? Take a month off I said.  It’ll be good I said.. Wrong!

Yesterday,  I couldn’t take the lack of creativity another minute.  Yes, I should have been unpacking and setting up things how I want them.  Yes, I should have been doing some gardening.  Yes, I should have been working on other stuff but my brain was screaming at me to create something… anything.

Luckily I have some lovely friends who are happy to pose for me whenever I want to shoot something in particular.  I got in touch with Janet and she happily agreed to be my model.  I had planned to shoot outside, however the beautiful mountains mists came in which, while beautiful and inspiring,  played havoc with my plans.  So instead, I set up an area inside, cut heaps of ivy off my fence and set about quickly planning something different.

I was inspired by the restless, trapped feeling I had when I had this self imposed break from creating.  Even though it was me that set the rules, I felt bound by them.  I could have stuck to my plan of not shooting over January but sometimes we have to listen to that creative voice that says “just do it”.  So I cast off those shackles and lost myself in what I love doing.  Yes my lounge room was a mess but it was so worth it.

I still have some more images to be edited but these three are the first of them.  Oh it felt so good to be creating again.

The Lunar Effect

Tell me the story of how the sun loved the moon so much, he died every night to let her breathe….. 

Halloween is on it’s way.  Yes, a month away but I decided to start early.  Kirsty from KLB Images who helped me with my photos this week decided she’d like to do something dark so avoiding the common zombie type photos, we decided to go for something more terrifying… Real life madness!

Throughout the years, the full moon has been blamed for madness amongst us.  It’s synonymous with werewolves, vampires and just plain lunacy amongst we mere mortals.  Of course, the word lunacy comes from the word Luna meaning the moon. Whether or not the full moon does affect our moods and our sanity will always be an argument that no one can win.  Personally I believe people are affected by it.

From my own battles with depression and PTSD, I know the feeling of not always being understood by the rest of the world and I wanted to convey how much effort it takes restraining yourself from acting out how you’re really feeling.   How sad and crazy you feel when you’re battling your demons all on your own.

I decided on an old building here in my home town, went shopping for some clothes to rip up and we were ready.  We headed to our location, a chair and a pink umbrella our only props.  It was unbelievably windy which helped make Kirsty’s long hair look even crazier in the photos.   It was difficult to get a shot without her hair completely covering her face  but I was happy with the photos I got.

When we got home, I started to edit one of my favourites of her with a pink umbrella, straight away.  She  was standing behind me when she suddenly said, “zoom in”.  I did and was quite freaked out to find someone standing in the window of the old building.  Now, I’m not saying it isn’t possible that it was a person actually in there, however, I took a photo 4 seconds before I took this one and there was no one in the window in that or any of the 162 photos I took.  Just the one I was working on.  The windows are all covered in plastic and although I know most people will write it off as just someone standing there, I personally believe it was not a living being.  You can make up your own mind.

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But beyond being freaked out by that photo, I have quite a few good images that I’ll be working on over the next few weeks from this shoot.  I have chosen 3 that I’m thrilled to share with you today.   I’m really looking forward to doing a few other spooky shoots leading up to Halloween that I’m sure won’t freak me out anywhere near as much as the photo above.

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There You’ll Be

In my dreams I’ll always see you soar above the sky.  In my heart there’ll always be a place for you for all my life.  I’ll keep a part of you with me and everywhere I am, there you’ll be. …… Faith Hill

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Never Fear What’s Ahead

Your biggest enemy was never the wolf…. It’s always been the fear of moving forward… Livonne

I’ve always been a worrier.  If someone was late home, I imagined they were injured or in trouble and couldn’t contact me to let me know.  If a letter came in, I wouldn’t open it for fear it might be something bad.  If someone asked me to join in something, I would find an excuse for fear I might fail at it.

Well no more!  I have lived through all those things and I’m still standing.  Sometimes those I love were late  because they stopped to buy flowers.  Sometimes, they never came home and my heart broke.   I’ve opened those letters… some were good, some were bad.  I’ve joined in.. Occasionally I’ve been laughed at but usually I’ve just had fun.

Our fear holds us back much more than the events that happen.  I’ve started to change my inner dialogue.  This is something I’ve been working on for years but lately I’ve really started to jump on the taunts I give myself and rephrase everything.  Yes something bad might happen, but what if it DOESN’T?  Do I waste the rest of my life preparing for the worst?  NO! I can’t keep living with fear.

This week, I faced my fear of not being good enough and entered a large art competition with one of my pieces of work.  As I hit that send button, I was completely terrified.  Then once it was done, I realised that nothing happend.  Nothing in my world had changed.  I’d sent an image to an art show.  Nothing more.  My mum always used to say “The worst thing they can do is say no”.  She was right.  The worst thing that can happen is that it doesn’t win a prize.  Probably 95% of the other entrants won’t win a prize either.  But I can never be in the top 5% if I never put it out there in the first place.

No more fear here… Well at least no more letting the fear win.  My enemy isn’t an external thing.  It’s all internal and it’s time to let it go.  It’s time to start moving forward. It’s the only way to live.

To Grandma's House

To Grandma’s House