Since school ended May 29th, my birthday, things have been busy busy. We were fortunate to be able to take several weekend mini-vacations this first half of summer. We went fishing in Ludington, Michigan, hung out with friends in Jellystone campground a few hours east of here, kayaked and canoed in Peru and Shades State Park, and hit the Indiana Dunes a few times. My oldest was in weight training/conditioning for football and took both pool and gym in summer school so that meant lots of driving here and there. Yesterday was the last day of summer school YEA! - and he even gets a few weeks off before actual football practices begin again. So it has hit me, and I'm happy and proud; my oldest is a Freshman in high school! The same school I went to. He seems very excited about this next phase in his life and is motivated to do well. Fingers crossed it lasts.
I had to miss a few writing and photography meetings lately, just too much going on, so imagine my surprise when my friends from Write-On Hoosiers contacted me to tell me that I won an honorable mention in the National Federation of State Poetry Societies' Contest. Fellow poet Tom Spencer was actually at the convention in New Mexico when they announced my name. Super cool! I got a certificate in the mail a few days later; 7th out of 242 entries in the Ohio Award. Little successes keep me from giving up so I sent materials to two more children's magazines. I am also going to submit three poems to the Naturally Yours - Poems and Stories about Indiana State Parks book. I just wrote about one about our time in Shades.
Since I can't put down my camera for more than a moment I am still constantly taking pictures. I like to take of everything which is my downfall. I have no specialties, I don't excel in any certain area - I just want to do well in all situations. My latest challenge has been taking good portraits. I have taken some photos of groups, events, and extended families at different locations but never set up an actual studio here. I did purchase lights a year ago and some backdrops but really needed a stand. So my husband ended up making me a backdrop frame and it has helped tremendously. After that I decided I needed to work on advertising so I set up a Facebook page just for my photography. Next thing to consider: selling. One way to make my photos more available is to set up an online place to show and sell my prints. I have a friend who uses RedBubble so I set up an account and put some things on that site. Just a few pictures to start, but the hard part is over. I'd be thrilled if I even sold a note card or two.
I have done one photo shoot since all that and I was very pleased with the outcome. I also have two more shoots lined up. It is with my extended family, which is perfect. It gives me a chance to practice without all the pressure of doing everything right. I also have been buying and gathering and even painting props. I guess I am taking this pretty serious even though I don't want to ever do a wedding or take portraits full time.
Now fair time is just around the corner. I am entering 7 photos in the Lake County Fair and even one drawing of a bluegill, inspired by our MI fishing trip. And I again wanted to put myself out there so I tried to get into a photo exhibit. Just a few days ago I was informed two of my photos will be on show at the Reflections Photography Exhibit at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond. I couldn't be happier. This is pretty official. They want a head shot of me and the other photographers and are going to make postcards to promote the event. The photographs will be on display August 15 to September 30. There is even an opening reception and I can have purchase information and the prices available if I desire :).
My favorite quote: "You miss 100 % of the shots you don't take." by Wayne Gretzky. Guess that is why I keep taking chances and can't seem to slow down. Everything keeps leading to something else.