Wow. Has it really been almost a month since I've posted? Time is flying by! Between the project, work and family, I am definitely keeping out of trouble these days. I do miss writing, though. There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day anymore. At least for now. I'm ok with that because it means the project is going strong.
This weekend I traveled to Texas to photograph participants in Dallas, Plano, Spring, Houston, and Wichita Falls. A couple days before I left for Texas I had two photo shoots on the schedule for the weekend. Shortly after posting my travel plans on the project's Facebook page I scheduled five more, which was incredible. Texas brought it!
I spent Saturday driving from Dallas to Spring to Houston and back up to Dallas. It was an incredibly long day that started at 5am and ended around 11:30pm. But, I was able to get in four shoots that day with some really incredible people. Sunday was a bit easier, travel wise, because I only had two shoots and the first one was in Plano. After that I drove to Wichita Falls for the second then drove back to Dallas. That day started at 8am and ended at 7pm, so it was easy compared to Saturday. Monday was the easiest with one shoot in the morning then I was off to the airport to catch my first flight home.
One of the shoots on Saturday in Houston took place at the Houston Museum of Natural Science inthe butterfly exhibit. It is an amazing, tropical space in the middle of Houston. As you can see from the photos I've attached to this blog post, it's just breath taking. Every where you turned there was a butterfly fluttering around you or sitting on a leaf. I was so in awe that it was difficult for me to focus on photographing the participant! As she interacted with the space and the butterflies, though, I was able to get a shot I was happy with.
I received the best compliment after that shoot, as well. She told me that she felt very much at ease in front of my lens because I am so easy to be around. This means so much to me, being a photographer working with people. As one of the top headshot photographers says, being a photographer is 90% therapist and 10% photographer. I'm so happy that my energy puts people at ease.
This project has been such a blessing. In the book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. This project is not only helping me with those ten thousand hours, it's also expanding my world by being the catalyst to new friendships all over the US and Canada. Yes, the internet has that power as well, but the real life face-to-face connections can never be duplicated in the virtual world. At least in my opinion. Sitting in front of someone and listening to their story is powerful. I consider it a tremendously beautiful gift. Every one of us has a story to tell. Every one of those stories are fascinating to me.
Along with doing the shoots this weekend, I also re-connected with some family that I haven't seen in just over 15 years. My step-sister lives in Dallas and my step-brother flew in from Missouri for the week so I was able to see them both, which was wonderful.
All in all, it's been a great weekend. Despite the fact that my flight from Salt Lake City to Portland was cancelled due to mechanical issues yesterday leaving me hanging out in Salt Lake City for the evening and the better part of today. Delta has taken really good care of me though. Put me up in a hotel, gave me meal vouchers and gave me $25 to spend in the airport. Thanks for the new book, Delta. I bought Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers. They've re-booked me on an afternoon flight, which I discovered was oversold, so I'm hoping they find a spot for me. I'd like to go home now. I've heard from my “inside sources” that I'm third on the list and there are a few open seats. Fingers crossed.