this is me.

there comes a time when you have to stand up and shout:this is me damn it! i look the way i look, think the way i think, feel the way i feel, love the way i love! i am a whole, complex package. take me...or leave me. accept me...or walk away! do not try and make me feel like less of a person, just because i don't fit your idea of who i should be. and don't try to change me to fit your mold. if i need to change, i alone will make that decision. when you are strong enough to love yourself !00%, good and bad--you will be amazed by the opportunities that life presents you. - stacey charter

the other day, i so longed to shoot for me--to create images that emerge from my soul. with the goal of pleasing no one else but me.  selfish? i guess. needed? absolutely. as a portrait photographer, i'm commissioned by families, to shoot for them. while i always stay true to my style and a part of me is infused into each and every photograph, in the end, i'm still shooting for them.

so on monday, while the little ones were at gymnastics, kiele and i went to go find a location to shoot. thankfully she was game to shoot too. having a specific shot in mind, as i usually do when shooting for me, i desired a forest-looking location. we found one cool woodsy area, but not the right light. then behind a building, i noticed the perfect little spot--weeds, trees and great light. there even seemed to be a bit of a matted path, which made it easy to walk further into the woods. so i parked behind the building and began shooting kiele in the weeds. soon thereafter, i noticed these men smoking on the side of the building. clearly, they were employees. kiele and i followed the path a bit further into the woods when all of a sudden i hear,

hello. helllllooo. (whistle. whistle.)

hellooooo. (whistle. whistle.)

i'm not sure why, but my initial thought was that it was some kids and we needed to go. the keys were in the car, along with my purse...and everything else.

kiele. come on. hurry. come on.

of course, she couldn't hear me because i had put her implant in my pocket, while shooting. so pulling her in my hand and kiele with raven mask on, we appear from the woods and two men (aka DHL employees) are looking in my car (they had opened my passenger door). they told me that i'm not allowed to park on their property and i have to leave immediately. i had parked in the very back, right next to the woods, where there was parking spots, nothing.

i shared a few words with them and left, hoping that i had gotten what i longed for.

and i did. these make my heart happy.

p.s. my fav image of the three is the last one.  i'm planning to go out again to do different shots, focusing on the nest (no mask).  we found the nest at the apple orchard, while apple picking.  it had fallen out of one of the apple trees and was sitting empty next to a tree.  i love it so.