Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"Dancers Among Us" (I'm in love..)

Blogging from A to Z Challenge Day 4:  "D" 

So I ran across something on Pinterest a few weeks back... "Dancers Among Us."  It's a photography series by Jordan Matter in which Jordan goes all over the place with his camera and shoots photos of professional dancers doing INSANE dance moves in everyday-life scenarios.  I'm in love.  I'm in awe.  I'm also impatient for the book to finally be published!  It's due to hit book stores in the Fall of this year... I can't wait!  Matter's blog can be found at:  He shares several of the pics on his website too!

I love this because I love dancing and photography... At the point when I first ran across Matter's work, I knew I wanted to play with dancer photographs, but I' never really tried.  Now I have to!  There was a while that I really wanted to photograph dancers in old church sanctuaries, and beautiful outdoor scenes with dancers are sure to be a win as well.  But lately, I've started rolling around a new idea:  dancers in trees.  Jordan Matter has one beautiful picture of a dancer leaning back on a long tree branch with her leg up in an attitude... it's very pretty, but I wanted to take it a step farther.  I want to find a way to photograph dancers dancing in the trees!  I had no idea how to make this happen until my photography date with my boyfriend (yeah, the one where my shoes got dirty).  He boosted me up into a huge oak tree... 
Richard looking at the tree..
When I got up, I found that in the center there was a dirt-covered, perfectly flat place to stand; it's about 1ft x 3ft... It's perfect for a dancer to jump! And the branches are big enough for a photographer to perch on.

A few days later a found another spot; this one is more of a "tree house."  It has 4 or 5 plywood platforms at varying heights—can anyone else see where I'm going with this?? Multiple dancers!  The wood isn't sturdy, so no jumping, but there is still potential for epic posing. 

Now I guess I just need to find some willing dancers!  Good thing most of my friends are ballerinas and swing dancers! 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Blogging from A to Z Challenge Day 3:  "C" 

I'm really tired... so this one might be lame and short.  (You have been warned.)

I have one food that I very decidedly dislike—celery.  Some times I wish I could like celery.. and then I remember what it tastes like, and I'm become content again with the fact that not liking it, means not having to taste it.  It's one of those foods that you really should try to like.  It takes more calories to eat celery than there are calories in celery!   I've tried to like it... with buffalo wings, with veggie wraps, with peanut butter and raisins, in soup, in tuna and chicken salad, but alas, I still don't like it.  Anyone know any ways to make celery taste like something other than celery??  

"My Shoes are Dirty Because I Have a Boyfriend!"

Blogging from A to Z Challenge Day 2:  "B"  (Woops... This one's a day late.)  

"My Shoes are Dirty Because I Have a Boyfriend!"  I said to my friend Brittney.  I had to share the news somehow, and in that moment that seemed like the best way to announce it—saying, "Guess what! I have a boyfriend!" is fun, but I prefer to mix it up.. 

The gent's name is Richard.  On the aforementioned day my shoes really were dirty, and it was partially due to him.  I'm a photography dork and a child at heart, so earlier we wandered to the Virginia Tech Duck Pond to feed the ducks and play with my camera.   He lured them closer to my lens, and I chased them away with my clicking... and then we repeated.  It was good fun; though, I must admit very few of my pictures turned out well... And my absolutely adorable TOMS were smeared with mud.  It was worth it.  Richard won points when he boosted me and my camera up into an EPIC tree and then followed!  He even let me take pictures of him!   If the ability to go on a photo adventure with me was really a test, he definitely passed it.  (For the record: there are no tests or point systems actually being given!)  My shoes are still a mess, and he is still awesome.  

We've been going to the same church for years and never met till this past summer.  My first memory of him was at swing dancing.  Our dear friend Kristen made a habit in my earlier days of dancing to find me partners.  I had just finished dancing with someone and walked up to her to chat.  She grabs my hand, and the next thing I know she's placing it in the hand of some stranger.  He seemed as shocked as I did.  I introduced myself, to which he responded:  "I know, you're on the dance team at my church."  He began to question me about what swing moves I knew.  I told him I didn't know what I knew, but that I just knew I could follow.  His response: "Good, then I just try all of the hard moves, and we'll see what happens."  It was so much fun!  He instantly became one of my favorite dance partners.  

My first day at my new job we had our first "date."   He made me peanut butter, pickle, and mayo sandwiches and brought them to my office. (I swear they are actually really good when made the correct way!!)  We've been hanging out now since the end of January.  I'm kinda-really a fan of this guy!  I'm sure there will be more tales to come.. stay tuned!  (Pictures and all that other cute stuff to come eventually...)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Angry Bird

I apologize to those of you thinking this post would be about the video game, Angry Birds. And I wish I could say this was a funny post about the antics of a grumpy bird..  Alas, today it was me, and not the birds, that was angry.  

History:  I used to rarely get angry.  (I still rarely get angry.)  As a kid I just didn't a knowledge anger as a legitimate emotional responsewhich by the way isn't actually a good thing.  I did not like what I called "negative emotions," meaning any emotions that were associated with bad things. I liked to be happy and preferred to process the negatives of life privately or not at all.  If by some chance I actually did experience anger, I very rarely expressed it.  I used to always hear people say that if you shut up your emotions, eventually they will explode.  I used to always wonder when I would explode... I thought for sure one day I would snap.  

I can still remember one of the first times I got angry and let it out.  I was mad at my friend John (a paramedic) for not letting me walk on a badly sprained ankle.  It was a pride/independence issue... He was right, and I knew it.  But I was mad; I didn't like his solution, which was carrying me everywhere.  He scolded me.  I sat down, steamed, and started spewing.  My friends had never seen me angry before.  They started laughing.  When I realized what was happening, I'm pretty sure I started laughing too... Though I still hate being angry I usually laugh about it afterwards. 

Today:  Today I got angry.  It surprised me... I got angry while I was teaching.  I'm not used to having to disable anger, while being unable to walk away from the situation, while also having to express myself in front of people.  I got angry and all eyes were on me—eyes of kids I love and adore.  The last thing I wanted was to lash out, to communicate anything but love to them.  It was just me and Jesus standing there in front of them, and I'll admit I couldn't really locate Jesus in that moment; I sure hope they could see Him.  I hope He was standing in front of me... 

I was frazzled and frustrated.  It took a long time to diffuse, and the anger oozed into every situation.  I couldn't see my other relationships in love.  I was fearful and agitated.  I couldn't rest.  I couldn't find Jesus.  I came home and started spilling my woes to my awesome roommate and her fiance.  They listened and then sent me to my room to pray.  I got upstairs and knew what needed to be done—it was time to start repenting and forgiving.  I had a little come-to-Jesus meeting on my bed... That being done I felt a lot better, and the day began to look up again.

I can't remember the address, and I'm choosing to be lazy and not look it up, but... I remember reading once about Jesus getting angry with the Pharisees.  His first action was to heal someone in the crowd. I want to walk in such a way that when my authority as a teacher is being challenged I can respond by healing someone in the class.  I want my mouth to be full of grace and mercy and for my discipline to be laced with love and instruction.  I don't want to be angry, but if I am I want my first action to be healing.