PHOTOGRAPHY CLASS

Have you ever had inspiration to do something completely out of your normal? I had that today. I’ve been wanting to kick off this blog (and a little bit of photography) for quite some time. But I didn’t know where to start, or where I wanted this to go. I have a pretty good eye for a good photo, but my editing skills were lacking. I barely know how to use my super fancy Nikon.

A few weeks ago, I helped execute a bridal expo at work. One of the vendors, a semi-new vendor friend of mine, was at the show, across from our booth. His booth was so cute, complete with a neon-pink sign and balloon arch. Oh and he had petit fours. Our booth was amazing too, complete with the largest charcuterie board I’ve ever seen (credit to my Director of Sales), but for the sake of inspiration, we’ll focus on his booth for now.

I have met Dale a few times throughout my time working  within the Northwest Arkansas hospitality industry, the first time being when I was still in college and he had a shoot at the hotel where I worked part-time. I’ve always admired his work. He and his fiancé, Tyler, were prepping the booth and we all kind of hit it off – the petit fours absolutely had something to do with it. I mentioned how badly I wanted to learn from Dale and his photography skills, and even sent a few brides his way. By the end of the day, I owed him my sister’s vegan pumpkin muffin recipe.

About a week later, his Instagram story had an announcement about a photography class. I instantly signed up and invited one of my friends to come with me. I couldn’t wait. The class was at 21C Hotel Museum in Bentonville, about 30 minutes North of Fayetteville. I had been to this hotel and museum before for a luncheon, and I was excited to see the Green Penguins.

My friend and I planned the entire day – starting with a trip to Target for a cute notebook and pens, which conveniently had a Starbucks inside. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, Starbucks is the way to my heart, but when you combine Starbucks and Target, it’s even better. When we were leaving Target, a kiddo around the age of 3  was screaming that he didn’t want to leave. We felt that on so many levels. After getting our caffeine, we drove to lunch at Big Orange in Rogers. Their menu has gluten-free buns, which makes a gluten-intolerant person like myself very happy.

After lunch, we drove to 21c, arriving early to get the best seats. Dale gave two presentations: Portraiture & Composition and Camera Settings. He touched on aperture, f-stop, shutter speed, iso, and exposure. We learned what effects adding flash creates. Dale talked about the best angles to take photos, leading lines, framing, repeating backgrounds, foreground vs. background, sizing, and more. As he went through the presentations, I realized that some of the elements he mentioned, I naturally incorporate into pictures.

Overall, I learned a lot from the entire day. I downloaded and discovered more with Adobe Creative Cloud applications, such as Lightroom and Photoshop, on my computer and phone. But something that happened after this photography class – almost completely unrelated to photography – is that I gained confidence to actually start blogging regularly.

A long time ago, I thought about what motivates me. What impact do I want to leave? I still don’t know exactly. What I do know is that I want to live a life of altruistic hospitality. I want to always serve others, and welcome them into my life in the kindest way that I am able. What I do know is that when I spend time with my grandparents, I love hearing about when they were children, young adults, newlyweds, or before they had grandchildren. I love reminiscing with them, and one day I want to do that with my own family. I take pictures all the time, and I enjoy documenting my life on social media. I love to document memories. But I love to write. And I want to write more – about my life, my job, my family, my travel, my dog, and everything in between. So what motivates me? I said something one day to a friend of mine, and it’s always stuck with me…

Document everything. Someday you will be embarrassed, laughing, crying, or smiling, and remembering how you didn’t take that moment for granted.

XO – MC

EVERYTHING IS RELATIVE

People are constantly saying that your 20s are for “finding yourself”. We typically start our 20s while in college, have our first legal drinks at 21, fall in and out of friendships and relationships, pick up and quit hobbies, and soon enough we’re a quarter of a century old.

In the first 3 and a half years of my 20s, I was in a serious, long-distance relationship with someone who I believed to be the love of my life. He was younger than me, though not by much. As I watched my classmates get engaged, married, and start to have kids, I knew that I was ready for the serious decisions in life. He was not. As time progressed and he made less-than-serious decisions, we went our separate ways.  Maybe one day I’ll tell my story in another post, but today is not that day.

I realized soon enough that time is relative. Healing is relative. It may take 1 week, 3 months, or 1 year for someone to tell you that they love you. And it may take 1 week, 3 months, or 1 year for a broken heart to heal. A broken heart may never completely heal, because we’re human and we’re flawed. But it’s how we strengthen ourselves after the broken heart that really matters and eventually that defines who we are.

I’m not completely sure what this blog will be about yet. I’ve heard sometimes it just comes to you as you go. I don’t want it to be “just another blog” that blends in with others and is eventually neglected. It will be about confidence, growth, and discovery. For now, I’m going to use it as an outlet. I might talk about my job, traveling, my family, falling in and out of more friendships and relationships, and those hobbies that I decide to pick up. I can’t wait to share how I figure out life with you, and look back on this one day as a time-capsule of memories that I want to treasure forever.

XO – MC