Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Photos (and Video) From a Rainy Afternoon in Belfast, Maine.

There are two subjects I love to photograph more than any other ... the coast and my handsome son.

We recently spent a rainy afternoon in one of our favorite coastal cities, Belfast. I love the colors of a cloudy, rainy day ... especially as the sun goes down. 

Here is what I came up with. They are more personal than artistic. But I hope Isaac looks back on this blog in the future to see how much I loved to photograph his growth and his life. 

ALSO - I created my very first creative video this day. It is novice to be sure, but I do love it so. See end of post for video. 


Thank you for looking ... and sharing my joys with me.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Isaac's 12th Birthday: Daddy's Shirt Fits Now.

Yesterday was Isaac's 12th birthday. We spent it just the way he wanted to ... dinner at Governor's then the movie Logan at Hollywood Cinemas. He likes small celebrations (proof that he is not from my DNA).

When Isaac turned two years old, Halis and I started a tradition of taking a yearly birthday photo of him in his Dad's green button-down shirt. We would have started this tradition on his first birthday, but he was still residing in Haiti. I am embarrassed to say that I missed two years of doing this ... but we have nine years of photos in this shirt ... and that is pretty great.

I have blogged many times about my little man in his Dad's shirt. And because I can't seem to find those older photos right now ... you can look here, here and here for previous posts.

Someday, I will gather all the photos together and post them on here in chronological order. But until then ... here is our young man, Isaac Watson, fitting perfectly into his Dad's shirt at the age of 12. I expect that next year it might be a little tight.

Happiest Everything to You, dear Isaac. We love you SO freaking much. And are so proud of you. Thanks for choosing us to be your parents.

Jodi aka Mama

Thursday, March 2, 2017

None of My Business, but ... well, Feminism ...

Recently, I was sitting in a hotel lobby ... falling in and out of sleep while trying to maintain an upright position on one of their couches. I was waiting for Halis and Isaac to finish up some meetings in a Northeast Shoe Conference thingy they were attending.

(Check out how handsome my boy looked for these meetings ... )

Sitting across from me was a small group of people conducting an interview. Two men were interviewing a woman about a position within their shoe company. It seemed to be a marketing position, but I can't be sure. I really wasn't trying to eavesdrop. In fact, I was mostly reading the subtitles of the latest Spicer press conference ... and shaking my head in bewilderment of how we got here as a country. However, I picked up on a few key pieces of the interview conversation. And then I stuck my nose in it. Because, well ... feminism. 

(I purposely kept the compositions dark so that these people's identities were kept private).

As I was inadvertently listening to the interview ... I heard one of the men ask the woman about her husband's job ... his salary ... and then about her kids. His tactic in doing so was that he said their company was very family-orientated and that they were all basically "one big family". (cough ... gag). When asked about her husband, she simply replied that they were "a dual income family" and then she looked right over at me. And we locked eyes. I will never know what she was thinking in that moment but I took it as an invitation to write her an encouraging note.

I believe it went something like this ...
"Dear Lovely Lady,
A man would never be asked about his wife's job, her salary, or about his children in a job interview. You know this. Fight the patriarchy! I heard what they offered you. It is not enough. You are worth more. Stay strong and keep up the good fight.
~ Jodi"

I passed it to her as she left the interview. I hope she understands the spirit with which it was given.

Maybe it was watching Spicer spew his alternative facts ... maybe it was the way she locked eyes with me as though she were looking for back up ... or maybe I am just so sick and tired of the double standards ... but minding my own business was not an option. I don't think it ever has been. And most certainly not in this political and cultural climate.

So, rock on "Lovely Lady" ... whoever you are ... and may you get whatever job you wish for in this world.


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Many Faces of Sweet Presley.

My niece. She kills me. Not only is she one of the most adorable people on this earth ... but she has a wonderful sense of self that some might call "attitude". I LOVE attitude. She's as sweet as can be ... but she knows what she wants. And she is not going to do anything that she doesn't want to do. I respect and encourage that in kiddos (unless of course it puts them in danger, I think you know what I mean).

She also makes THE BEST faces. And she doesn't even try. They are just her natural looks. And they slay me to no end.

When I ask her to take a photo ... this is usually what I get ...

 And if I wait patiently enough ... I might end up with something like this ...

Good Lord, I love her. And her parents.

That face. Those cheeks. Those eyes. That hair. She makes my heart sing ... even if she is not all that interested in me :)


Saturday, February 25, 2017

104 Things to Photograph: Unmade Bed & Afternoon Sun

Still plugging away at this book. I even carry a list of prompts with me wherever I go in case I spot something that is on the list of 104 Things to Photograph.

Yesterday, I shot two of the photo prompts:

I give you "unmade bed":

That lovely lady lounging on Halis's side of the bed, is none other than Miss Lyra Jones. She is the Queen of this house. Over 6 years ago, I blogged about finding my way to her. If you are interested, that post is right here.

For my second photo prompt of the day, I give you "afternoon sun":

This vintage pencil sharpener is screwed in to the desk I use to edit my photos and to type these posts. The sweet little desk cost me $15 at a Kiwanis barn sale ... and sits in my bedroom, right by my front window. From the side window to my left, the afternoon sun was ablaze ... casting major shadows on the wall ... and highlighting my super-cool-Sears-crank-handled-pencil-sharpener. So, I took the shot. Not high art, but the point is to photograph things you might not notice otherwise.

Now, Miss Lyra ... SHE is high art. (Look at the way she models so effortlessly ... she's both a natural ... and a Diva).


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

104 Things to Photograph: A Graveyard & What's in Your Pocket

Since writing yesterday's blog post, I feel quite determined to complete the book: 104 Things to Photograph (see this post).

Today, I asked Isaac to pick a photo prompt from the book that he would be willing to model for. I should have guessed he would pick: "a graveyard". But he didn't want to do anything scary or macabre. He just wanted to look handsome. And yeah ... he's pretty good at that.

This is what we came up with ...

He looks pretty aloof here ... it's not his favorite expression ... but I like it. It's him. And I can still see some "baby face" in his cheeks that I am certain will be gone all too soon.

This is our favorite graveyard (if one can be so odd as to have a favorite graveyard), Mount Hope Cemetery in Bangor, Maine. The interesting history here is endless and the grounds are so beautiful. We catch frogs here in the various ponds during the summer. Much of my toy photography work is done here, as well. So yeah, it is a favorite spot for us. We picnic here, go for walks, and even bring company along to enjoy the space.

Now, I can check off "a graveyard" from the list of 104 things I need to photograph.

But I wasn't content with this being the only photo of the day ... so I chose a prompt as well ... "what's in your pocket". Since we went beachcombing on Monday, I knew my coat pocket was filled with all sorts of seaside goodness. Here is what I came up with ...

I started pulling things out of my coat on to the table ... no rhyme or reason ... and without knowing exactly what was going to appear. I can't tell you how often my coat pockets contain similar items ... because it is so often. I can't and don't go to the ocean without grabbing at least one rock, one shell, and one piece of sea glass. I get giddy when I find bottle necks, so this was an especially good loot day. And yeah, that moss ... awesome.

These treasures have now been bottled, awaiting more flotsam and jetsam to join them. I especially love their colors against the red. And now I can check off "what's in your pocket" on my list.

Just 101 more photos to go.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

104 Things to Photograph: Book Covers.

It might be over a year now since I purchased the book: 104 Things to Photograph by Chronicle Books. It has sat on my bookshelf waiting for me to gather the motivation and time it takes to complete such a project. Once upon a time, I thought that I would complete this book within a year by photographing two of the assigned photo prompts per week. But now I realize that if I do not put time constraints on such an endeavor, I am far more likely to complete it.

This book is very basic, and also quite charming. It contains thick pages of paper that have little slots cut in throughout, so that you may place your completed photos above the assigned photo prompts. 104 prompts, 104 photo areas, 2 photos per page.

And tonight I was ready to begin!

I asked my best girl, Bronwyn, to help me with the prompt: "book covers" .... and we headed to Books-A-Million to complete the task. I knew that I wanted to find a book cover with a face on it, and have her put it in front of her own ... but I had no idea what we might find. I think we hit absolute jackpot with this one ...

Here is my first entry into this fine scrapbook-of-sorts. I look forward to 103 more prompts. And maybe I will finish this by 2018.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Dear Isaac: Mosman Park in Winter.

Dear Isaac,

Today, the temperature was about 46 degrees. And you know what that means. If the temp is anywhere near the 50 degree mark ... in the middle of winter ... we head to the coast. It is simply a rule in this house. Sure, we just had a record snowfall about three days ago ... but we are Mainers. And we are ocean loving creatures who absolutely need a whiff of salty air to get our juices flowing. So we headed out to one of our favorite spots ... Mosman Park in Searsport, ME.

It wasn't THE most beautiful day. But it was sunny, and Daddy was willing. He just bought a metal detector ... and that is how we were able to convince him to join us.

You and I started out by walking out as far as we could on the sand bar that juts far out into the sea. The tide was coming in, so we knew we didn't have much time. I found some gorgeous sea glass, as I always do here. And then I snapped this photo of you ...

We weren't the only ones who took the trek out to the sea today. There were a few groups of people there. We were certain that no one else would want to brave the staircase down to the sea, as it was full of about 3 feet of snow on each step ... and plenty of ice to break a body part on. But those folks must have been sea creatures, too.

Several young kiddos saw Daddy out with his detector and wanted to learn more about it. He had a crowd going around him for awhile. But you and I took off to look at one of our favorite spots there ... where a stream flows into the sea. During the summer it is so full of beautiful, bright green algae ... and long ago you named it: Green Land. However, it is quite barren and lacking in any color this time of year.

We did find a gorgeous spot of rust colored rocks and ledge ... and I knew it would be a great backdrop for a photo ... so I also snapped this one of you ...

You love this picture. You helped me post process it in Photoshop. You wanted a darker look to it then I was giving it. You have opinions on photography now. This makes me so glad. You recently bought this leather jacket at a KMart going out of business sale ... and you feel so good in it. It ages you a bit (which you love) and I am having a bit of a hard time watching my baby grow up so fast.

I have long heard of parents lamenting how fast time goes by when you have kids ... and how they become so grown so quickly. I now know this to be absolutely true. You are almost 12 now. And I have no idea how we got here. I have spent every single day with you since you were 13 months old. Yet, somehow I feel like I missed entire months or years ... because this can't have happened this quickly ... you becoming so adult looking.

After some time spent looking for sea glass and other flotsam and jetsam, we trekked back to Daddy, who was busy finding all manner of useless metals under the sand. He was having a great time with his hunt. It mattered little that he was pulling out nails, soda can tabs, and chunks of steel from the ground ... rather than gold coins. The thrill of the scavenging was keeping him well entertained. His only wish was that you join him in this new hobby ... so you did.

It turned out to be pretty fun and exciting. Daddy looks forward to taking you out to search for more treasure. We are headed to Florida in less than 2 weeks, and Daddy says he is going to spend some time with you and the metal detector. I am hoping you both find something that we can retire on!

You and I did get bored with it much quicker than Daddy did (he would have kept going till well past dark if he had his way - and hey - that means he will join us at the coast more!), so we decided to make a game of jumping from rock to rock. The sand was hot lava. And you were the first to fall in ... so I dubbed you Anakin Skywalker ...

Today was a good day. Tomorrow I am going to make a jar to collect Daddy's first metal detector loot. I'll post a photo later. You and I also found some super cool glass bottle necks. I'll start a jar for those as well. Anyway ... I so look forward to spring so that we can build our collections, go boating again, and finish up our lighthouse visits. Till then, we shall look forward to more 40-50 degree winter weather!

Love you always.