Friday, May 27, 2011

true story: death threats, racism, and me

I have a disorder.

In short, it is this: sometimes I'm a complete and total loser. I try to say something and it comes out all wrong. Yes, I know. Common mistake, right? Well, for me it happens all the time. Like tonight's utterly foot-in-mouth worthy example.

Tonight I shot bridal portraits for a lovely client that will be getting married in a couple weeks. I've already shot her engagements, and so I feel familiar and comfortable with her, her fiance, and her family. In fact, I feel like we're friends. Buddies. Pretty close to besties. I'm not bragging or anything about having awesome clients that are also friends. I just want to explain my frame of mind when the Disorder occurred. You'll see.

Disorder Incident #1
While shooting Madi, clouds covered the sky and the lighting dimmed. I decided to lower my shutter speed to pull in more ambient light. So to help keep a steady camera hold, I braced my back against a nearby fence. Madi's uncle, Kurt (also a friend of mine...again, not bragging) came to the shoot. I thought he was standing behind me. I thought he was also propped against the fence. I thought he was the one banging the fence over and over and over again.
So when I yelled over my shoulder, "Stop that or I'm going to KILL you!" I didn't expect to turn around to find Madi's lovely mother staring wide-eyed at me in complete shock. Apparently she's never had a photographer threaten her life. I guess there's a first for everything.

Disorder Incident #2
Flustered and completely embarrassed, we left the first location (after I apologized repeatedly) and sought out a spot that was better lit. Upon arriving at the second location, a light rain began hitting us. I wanted to hurry the shoot along so beautiful Madi and her handsome fiance, Cesar (take note of his name now) wouldn't get drenched.

"Madi," I said from across the field, "turn to face the poppies. Oh lovely. That looks awesome. Perfect."
Snap. Snap. I shot a few more pose changes, and then decided it was time for Cesar to jump into the picture.
I looked up to where he stood near the side of the road, waiting to be called into the shoot.
"JORGE!" I yelled. "Jump in."
He looked at me. Madi looked at me. Madi's lovely mom who I threatened just minutes earlier looked at me.
Then Kurt (did I say friend earlier? I meant former friend) turned to me. "You mean, Cesar? Wow, Erin. Just because he's Mexican doesn't mean you can throw any Hispanic name out there. Are you a racist or what?"

In that moment, I wanted to die.

Disorder Incident #3
After apologizing profusely, in between laughing so hard tears were streaming down my face, I recomposed myself. I was determined to finish the shoot without one more moment of complete mortification.

Five minutes later. "Madi, now you and Jorge..."

Son of a flipping mother! I said Jorge again. Apparently I am a racist-death-threat-throwing photographer. Apparently I have a Disorder and it doesn't matter that my clients are like friends...because that probably wont last very long with my record.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Reading Update. Need a book suggestion?

Books are crack, and I'm a full-on addict. Thus, the reason I've been working on writing my own YA novel for the past three years. I'll be the first to admit I've written some serious crap, but hopefully I'll one day rise from my pile of great stink and produce something worthy of publishing. Something as awesome as the list of books I've come up with this evening.
Since the weather's been down right sinister lately, I've had a lot of time to read. And I've read a lot. Some good, some not so much. I'll skip the mundane, boring, and serious lame books. I'll only suggest the awesomest of all. These are the books I give a 5 out of 5 stars. That way you can be sure of your next Amazon purchase because any book on this list has my stamp of approval.

1. DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth
This is the first on my list. Probably because I just finished it ten minutes ago, but mostly because it was wickedly awesome fulfilling all of my dystopic novel dreams. It's the Hunger Games meets the Matrix. Men, women, boys and girls alike will think this book is crazy cool. And if they don't? They're pansies.

2. WITHER by Lauren DeStefano
Leery, I was when I first picked up this novel. So I checked out some of the Goodreads ratings. They were mixed reviews and left me wondering why some people would hate this book while others loved it so much. Could they all be besties to Lauren? I didn't think so. So I read. Polygamy meets The Forest of Hands and Teeth...but without all the zombies. Just death. Imminent death due to a post-apocalyptic world and medical science gone haywire. Then you mix in a little polygamy with the eeriness of a controlled society that comes with all dystopic novels and you have something that's at it's core is sickening yet fascinating. Basically I couldn't put it down.

3. A BRIDE IN THE BARGAIN by Deeanne Gist
First off, I never venture into Borders and head to the historical romance section. Never! It's just not my thing. When a friend suggested I pick up this novel I scoffed. Maybe said a few disparaging remarks...I can't seem to recall. Whatever, I read the book. It sucked me in. I loved the adventure that the Seattle territory brings to the plot. And I thought the idea that a man could purchase a civil-war widow as a bride was intriguing. I read the thing from start to finish without stopping. It made me laugh, sigh, and even cry. It was eloquent, and heart wrenching with a perfect ending.

4. CRYER'S CROSS by Lisa McMann
This book isn't for the feint of heart. It's creepy. But the spookiness of the story is presented in such a humorous, and poignant, yet simply stated package that it left me in awe of Lisa's writing style. She can write one small sentence and invoke a spread of emotions. I loved how she weaved the complexities a teenage girl with OCD might have to face into a deadly mystery. It's a quick read that will leave you chilled to the bone. You should read it, but I suggest you don't do so at 2am.

Alright, this isn't the first novel in the series. In fact, it's the fourth. So this book suggestion is kind of a cheat. You have to read the first three books in the series before you reach this fourth one. Check out: The Summer I Turned Pretty, It's not Summer without You, We'll Always Have Summer, and then It's Not Summer Without You. They are are heartfelt story of a girl who moves into maturity and finds her first love. Sounds silly and girly, right? You are so wrong there. They were crafted in a way that you can see the individual emotional growth in each character. Of all the series out there, this one is one of my favorites.

There's my list for this month. If you are a reader like me, you can become my friend on Goodreads. We can share books we like, and ones we don't.

Or, have you read anything good lately? Let me know, and I'll pick it up.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

food glorious food...and other conference pictures

In January I stopped eating sugar and drinking caffine. Well, mostly. Alright, so it was a little hard when we went on vacation to California, and then even harder when Harts (my city's beloved gas station) has free drink day, but the hardest when I went to a writing conference last week and EVERYBODY was drinking and eating what I wanted.

So yeah, I broke down. I drank the Diet Coke and ate the M&Ms. I swear I wasn't thinking about food and soda the whole time, but when I look back at the pictures I took, I wonder if maybe I was just fooling myself.

You decide.

 That's a snickers.
 Yeah, and a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. Yum.
 An apple. So I was trying to stay least in thought.
 Food, glorious Food!
 Yes a gummy worm. And sadly, if she offered it to me I would have eaten it from her nose.
These may be the unfortunates that didn't win a Whitney at the 2011 Whitney Awards,
but I just see them as Cheesecake lovers.

Yes, I'm guilty of being a food lover.
luv, erin

Sunday, May 08, 2011

two loves.

First, Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mother's out there. I can't say enough good things about my own mother and the many women in my life that have raised and supported me throughout the years. I'm truly blessed by their influence, and grateful for all that these wonderful women do for me.

Second, because it's Mother's Day, which essentially means MY DAY, then I figured there could be no better way to celebrate today than by posting about ME ME ME ME ME ME ME!

Yeah, you get the pic. I'm slightly self-centered.

Regardless, I want to share with you what I did this last weekend. I went to the 2011 LDS Storymaker's Writing Conference. And I attended as the "Official Photographer." No joke. That was my title. You know, I dab in photography now and then.

Besides hearing amazing speakers like (prepare for unbelievable name drops): Janette Rallison, Agent Sara Crowe, Agent Sara Megibow, Agent Becca Stumph, Josi Kilpack, Tristi Pinkston, Elana Johnson, Larry Brooks, James Dashner, Sarah Eden, Clint, Tyler, Brothers: Rob and Dan...notice how I'm dropping to a first name basis like we're total besties. Yeah, we pretty much are.

Ok, don't go asking them or anything. They might be modest and act as though we've never really met. But trust me, we have met and we are BFF'S.

The point of my endless self-enduldged monologue is that while I was there I shot lots of people's pictures. Basically I was in a semi-heaven with the combination of my two hobby loves in life: writing and shooting. Learning to write (because apparently I haven't figured this one out yet) and shooting lots of name-droppable people made me feel happy and warm inside. I don't have time to share much, but here are some pics I nabbed of two of my favorite ladies.

Happy Mother's Day!
luv, erin

The famous Tristi Pinkston:

The amazing Shari Bird: