Feeding the Water Fowl

As you can tell, my blogs about my internship are about the day before. I can’t post the pictures I take until they run in the paper the next day. So, this one is actually about yesterday.
Laura asked me to go out by myself and find some “wild art” to shoot and to be back by 11:30 because it was the owner of the paper, Gary Rust’s, birthday party.
I decided to go to the park to see if there were any people fishing or playing disc golf. I found some people feeding the ducks  and geese. I went up to a lady, she had a very young son with her,  and asked if I could take their photo for the paper. She happily agreed. I tried to walk around them to get a better angle and the baby ducks started hissing at me, then the adults started in. Those things did not want me any where near their food. I had to walk completely around and come up on the otherside. I finally got their photo.  This photo was used in the paper today!

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When I was adding the cut line (the caption), I was told unless I know for sure what type of water fowl they were feeding, were they ducks, geese, or  swans, I must refer to them as water fowl. All information must be correct. I hadn’t ever though about who writes the captions for photos before, now I know. This photo did have some information about the weather added to it by someone else, to make it relevant I am assuming.
When I saw the photo this morning I text Laura and asked her if she ever got tired of seeing her photos used in the paper, as I expected, the answer was no.
As a photographer,  it’s an awesome feeling to see your work being placed in a publication that so many people will receive and read. It really is a wonderful feeling, and I feel blessed to have this opportunity. 

Tattooed Parents: What are you Teaching your Children?

I’m standing in the line with my grandson waiting to check out at the grocery store. There are two women and a little girl standing behind me.  I hear the little girl say, “Mommy look at that lady’s drawing on her arms.” I didn’t look back, but immediately knew she was speaking about me and my tattoos. I hear a woman say, “Honey don’t point it’s not polite.”  I thought to myself it was nice that she was teaching her daughter some manners, when I hear another woman say, “That’s crazy, I can’t believe people do that to themselves.”  I hear the first woman say, “Yeah, there’s no way I could get all them tattoos like that. What kind of parent does that? What is she teaching her son?”  The second woman says, “Not only that, there’s no way she’ll ever have a decent job with all that mess on her.”

I thought, “Do you really think I can’t hear you, or do you really don’t give a damn that you are being completely rude to a complete stranger?”  Even though I wanted to, I didn’t turn around and say what was on my mind. I had my grandson with me and didn’t want to expose him to that type of confrontation, so I will address it here so many people can read what I would have said, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll stop one person from being such a complete ass.

To the women that stood behind me in the grocery store:

First, I can hear you. You are not being at all discrete in your complete bias judgement of me. Your ability to insult someone without any hesitation is beyond sickening to me.  Do you not care at all how you made me feel, or my grandson for that matter? I have a seven year old standing with me listening to you degrade his grandmother (even though you thought he was my son, thanks for that.) You are obviously a rude, insecure, and hateful women.

Second, to address what am I teaching my children. Let me tell you what having tattoos has taught my actual children. I raised two boys, by myself. They learned to be creative and critical thinkers that can think outside the box. They learned it was ok to be different and that being yourself is the most important thing you can ever do in life. They learned it doesn’t matter what you look like, you can never know what is in someone’s heart by merely looking at them. They learned to be accepting of other people’s differences, and that those differences are what make people unique and special. They learned tolerance of other people’s views on life, whatever they maybe.  They learned it was ok to be an artist, a musician, a poet, or a writer, instead of being what society deems they should be.  They learned to embrace their own differences and build on those, use them to their advantage. They grew up to be well rounded, loving, intelligent, critical thinking men that don’t tolerate hate and injustice. They strive to help the ones that cannot help themselves.  This is what I have taught my children by having tattoos. I am certain my grandson will learn these invaluable lessons in life as well.

I feel sorry for your children that will grow up thinking it’s okay to degrade a complete stranger and judge people by their appearances. I feel sorry for them because you are instilling hate and intolerance of people that don’t think or look the same as you. I will hold hope in my heart for your children, and believe they will, in spite of you, become loving and caring adults.

Just a few of the wonderful art pieces on me.
Just a few of the wonderful art pieces on me.

Third: You doubt I can have a decent job with all this mess on my body. I have had the same job for 10 years; I believe that makes it a career. I have been afforded a job that not only allows me to have tattoos and express my individuality, they encourage it.  I am a massage therapist. Having tattoos has actually helped put my client at ease. When they see me covered in tattoos, they know I am not going to judge them. Many people come to my spa and are nervous and uncomfortable, but I put them right at ease. 90% of my clients have tattoos… 90%. Even the little old ladies that you would never even think would have them, have complete back pieces. They see me and automatically are less nervous. My job obviously affords me to pay my bills, have things I want, do things I want, and pay for these expensive tattoos on my body. Did you think they were free?  Quality tattoos cost money. You thinking that people covered in tattoos don’t have decent jobs is an uneducated, ridiculous, and an absurd stereotype, and aren’t you a little too old to be stereotyping and gossiping still?

So really, you insulting and hateful women, the question should be,  what the hell are you teaching your children?

Amazed

I got to go on my first solo assignment yesterday. Laura had to shoot the for another publication that the paper puts out. They have A LOT of publications. Anyway, so I was sent out by myself to shoot the annual 100-mile yard sale that stretches from Jackson to Kennett , Missouri.

I met some very interesting folks there. I stopped in Delta where they had a flat bed trailer full of all types of salt and pepper shakers. I have never seen so many salt and pepper shakers in my life. It was truly a once in a life time sight.

I then stopped in Advance where my friend Steve and his wife, Driea live. Driea owns a building in front of their house that used to be her hair salon. She is now battling stage 4 brain cancer and can no longer run the business. She is leasing out her building now. (Sending lots of love to you Driea!).

Finally, I stopped in Arbor. It was full of people and the sides of the highway was lined with vehicles. It was difficult to drive through there. The people of this little town treated the yard sale almost like a town fair. It had all kinds of little stands, kids and animals running around, it even had a BBQ food truck there. These people know how to yard sale!

I took lots of pictures and finally went back to the office to edit them for possible use in the paper. Glenn had to show me how to edit them the way they like it. He was extremely patient with me. I have never used a Mac before, and wasn’t sure how things were done, but Glenn was great and showed me everything and I got them all finished and went home.

This morning I woke up and got excited because I might have an image that I took published in the paper as a stand alone.

My first solo assignment image in the paper
My first solo assignment image in the paper

Sure enough when I picked up a paper and opened it, there it was, my picture, with my name under it. Obviously, I was stoked about it. But, as much as I was excited for this the amazing thing came after I saw my image in the paper.

Laura added a link to my timeline on Facebook. It was a link to a picture gallery on the Southeast Missourian’s website. A picture gallery of my images that I took yesterday. A whole gallery of just my images with my name under each and every one. She told me Glenn had put it together for me and posted it. I was amazed by this.

In the photography field, I have seen more bloated egos than I care to say. It’s so bad that it made me switch my major to something completely different than photography. It is still my minor, but I almost wanted nothing to do with the “professionals” of this field. These people tainted my passion, but then I got this internship and I get to work with two of the most amazing people I have ever known. Not only are they fantastic photographers, but they are genuinely good people. Neither one of these two have shown any type of “I am the god of photography” attitude that I have seen with most photographers in this area. They teach me what they know without hesitation. The support these two give me is priceless. They never talk down to me, or treat me like I am stupid. I truly believe that Laura and Glenn want me to succeed, and that is the best gift I could ever ask for from an internship. I am blown away by their support.

Needless to say, I became teary eyed at the sight of my gallery. It was a selfless and sweet thing for Glenn to do. I am more excited about this generosity than I am of my first image being published in the paper. I am honored and blessed to be working with such amazing people. If I get nothing else out of this internship, I have still gotten to work with them.

Wild Art

Yesterday I went with Laura to do an assignment that is called “Wild Art”. This is random images of something or someones that is interesting and can be used as a stand alone image (which means it won’t have an article with it, just a caption). I thought, “This will be fun, this is my kind of assignment”. Little did I know I had to approach and speak to random people on the street. I have never been good at just walking up to people and starting a conversation. I find this very difficult and is somewhat of a fear of mine. Laura, however, was great at it. She took people pictures and then went straight up to them and started talking to them. I was very impressed by this; I was also very envious. I would give just about anything to be able to do that.

We walked around on Main street looking for interesting people to walk by. It was raining pretty steadily, so the options were limited. Finally, we saw a couple of girls walking towards us holding two completely different umbrellas, but covering both of them. Laura got their pictures coming down the sidewalk, and I got hers taking the picture.

Laura taking wild art shot
Laura taking wild art shot

After we got these two girl’s picture, we walked around some more, getting our pant legs soaked from walking in the rain, also, I had on sandals so my feet were getting wet and cold. I learned to pay attention to the weather when I am dressing for work.

We walked up to an antique shop that had an old bike out front used as a planter, it was really neat looking so I took a picture of it.

Bike planter
Bike planter

The lady that owed the shop was named Judith. She was really nice. She was changing her window display to a more summery look. She was putting up all different kinds and colors of kites. It looked really good. She was kind enough to allow us to take pictures of her and her display.

Judith changing her display
Judith changing her display
adding kites to the display
adding kites to the display

Judith changes her display every week. That’s a lot of work, but she seems to really enjoy it.

Judith made my day pretty much. She was so sweet and nice, she tried to give us kites, but we are not allowed to accept gifts while on assignment, so Laura  politely declined.

We decided that was enough of getting wet and trying to catch people with umbrellas and headed back to the office.

I had a really awesome time doing this assignment. Laura says she’s going to make me just go out and shoot people so I can get used to just talking with them. My stomach kinda turned when she said that, but I know that’s what needs to happen. Somewhere in my heart, I know I’m actually looking forward to being able to do that. I think “Wild Art” days are going to be m favorite!

Side note:

Isn’t it nice that I am not using my phone and using my camera! the images look so much nicer!

First Assignment

The first assignment that I got to go on with Laura was at Cape Splash Water Park.
     The park is opening in a few days and is adding some new drop slides in.
     I watched Laura shoot and interview the guys working. She is definitely a professional.  I am happy I get to work with her.  However, she probably feels like I am stalking her or creeping on her. I’m constantly watching what she does and paying close attention to how she shoots.
     The guys working were very friendly and accommodating. They work for Solid Waterslide LLC. There were four of them putting slides together.  None of them were from here. Two are from Texas, one from Florida , and one from Minnesota.  They all travel together to every job they do. It seems that they all are pretty close, like a small family. There was of course playful bantering amongst them, but you could just tell they were family.
     Laura decided we should go inside the park and see where they were putting the slides in at. Once we got inside we noticed a few guys were cleaning the pools and fountains. 
One of the guys was balancing on the edge of the pool scrubbing the sides with a Mr.Clean Magic Eraser. His ability to balance and clean with out falling into the water was pretty impressive, so Laura got a few shots of him. She got down to eye level with him and got great up close and personal shots. It was fun to watch her. 
     I had a great learning experience with her on this assignment and look forward to many more.

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Top left. .Laura at the end of one of the slides.
Top right..Laura shooting the workers.
Middle right..Laura getting up close and personal shots.
Bottom left…fountains all working.
Bottom middle. ..Laura getting more shots
Bottom right. .Laura getting a more wide angle shot of this guys amazing balancing abilities.

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These are just some fun images I took on my phone.

First Day

     I was so nervous, I woke up extremely early this morning.  I went ahead and did my 4 mile hike and it made me feel better and calmed me down. (I’m training to hike a couple of mountains in August with my Outdoor Adventure class).
     When I got to the paper, Laura let me in. You have to have a code to get in the door and I didn’t have mine yet. Laura is the photo editor.  She is also the wonderful person that got me the internship( 3 cheers for Laura!).
     The first thing I saw when I went into the photo room was a really big lens sitting on the desk. I have never used a lens that big before, immediately I became insecure and nervous again. Laura was super nice and comforting though.
     Laura took me around and introduced me to a few people, took my photo for my badge, and showed me some things on the computer to find out assignments.
     She then took me to meet James, which is the web master. James was really cool. He does a blog on the Southeast Missourian website about all the cool hiking trails in the area. Imagine how excited I was to meet a fellow hiker and outdoor enthusiast. Anyway, James hooked me up with my own blog space on the Paper’s website. It’s named The Carousel as well. I will be doing a weekly blog on their website. I’m upset I didn’t get a picture of James, but I will sneak one in sometime.  
     I got to meet Glen and Fred as well, they are also photographers. I didn’t get a photo of Fred; he wasn’t there long enough.
     It was a good day of meeting people and getting things set up. Everyone was extremely nice and welcoming.  Great first day!

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Top left…Me already for my first day
Bottom left…That’s the amazing Laura
Top right…Glen and his chicken legs( He was teased about them today.I personally think they are proportional to the rest of his frame).
Bottom right…Big scary lens.

Orientation Day

   I am a couple of days behind. Mostly because I wasn’t sure exactly what I was doing or allowed to do. My orientation went really well. There was another kid with me, he is interning for social media marketing, named Travis. 
   My HR people were amazing and very nice. Diane and Kim. Kim will be taking over Diane’s job soon.
     We had to watch the usual anti-harassment and saftey videos. We watched a great sales video named

“Give Them a Pickle”. It was entertaining. 
     I was excited I got a “first two row” parking pass (because photographers have to run in and run out so much).
I also got my own folder in the photo room and my own Mac computer (which I have never used a Mac before).
All in all I was nervous about orientation for no reason and had a good day.

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Orientation

Top photo. .Diane, myself,  Kim
Left bottom photo..parking pass
Middle bottom photo..my own folder
Right bottom…my own Mac

P.S. I apologize for the quality of these photos and the first day/ assignment photos. I was not aware I could use my camera yet, so these were taken with my phone.