{prologue to} a how to

It was the summer after my senior year of college and life had changed. I still lived in the same house with some of the same sweet friends, still had the same awesome boyfriend, still couldn’t wait to marry said boyfriend, but all the sudden I had this real-deal, 8-5 job. I was grateful. The economy was awful and I was blessed with a job that is a great fit for me and my abilities – lots of writing, a little bit of creative and design work, really great people, ten minute commute.

Campus Sky

So, I jumped head-first into the job. In the beginning I thought – no more flexible college life, no more strolling around campus and running into friends, no more naps – no big deal, I’ve got a diploma! I am ready for the real world! Shockingly, when I didn’t actively deal with that transition in a healthy way,  when I tried to coast on my own, and just ignore my restlessness, things were not good.  I became pretty selfish and whined about life a too often. (For real, no more naps!?)

It is taking me a while to realize it, but I’ve slowly learned two things that are probably basic for other people, but not basic for me: 1) Not only is it my responsibility, but it is very life-giving for me to actively strive for creativity, movement, and improvement in my craft, my job and my office, 2) I need personal creative pursuits. If I ignore internal restlessness, pent-up feelings and {creative} energy will angrily bang on the inside of my head, insisting to be recognized.

lonely house

In recent years I had really enjoyed taking photos on trips to London and China, and always loved snapping shots of our family farm. Photography wasn’t a passion, but I enjoyed it.

Then one day that summer I heard a friend say the word “Holga” and I saw her neat plastic camera. The Holga sighting led to Google, which led to learning about lomography, which led to my brain being drawn like a magnet to lo-fidelity, boot-leg, turning-back-the-technology-clock, magical film photography.

happiness

It started with the Fisheye. Then hedgehogRussianRandom red. Superheadz Slim White AngelHolga. Polaroid S-70. Instax mini. Polaroid 600. Olympus OM-10. Some were gifts, some were random finds, and several were late-night-impulse online purchases.

I hadn’t used film since middle school, but all of a sudden, that’s all I wanted to use. For me, digital began to seem too simple, too self-focused. Digital made me feel like I was in control, but film lo-fi cameras reminded me that the real fun comes when you accept that you’re not in control.

I learned that shooting lo-fi film is like living life. You ain’t in control. And it’s better that way.

circle lense flare

Since I wasn’t fully in control, film forced me plan more, think more, really look more.

Look at the sun’s rays,

Road Trip

look up through the trellace,

Terrace

look down at the crumbled bricks.

crumbled bricks

Film made me take chances. Dreaming through double exposures is always fun.

Unlcock My Heart

Film surprised me. Again, and again.

reflected wheelbarrow

Now all those lo-fi cams huddle together next to the hubs’ Shiner bottle collection. Slim gets used pretty much constantly, but most still get used at least monthly.

Milano faded stories

Like on our honeymoon

crossroads

vibrant woods

smokey moss

And in Austin

Austin shop

And in everyday life adventures

Saturday morning club

Over a year since my personal film-loving revolution started, I’m so grateful that I picked up film and started looking more closely at the world around me. Now I’m married to the sweet man that was the boyfriend, I miss the girls that were the roommates, and I’m enjoying being settled into the full-time gig.

And I love my new eyes.

During a time when I forgot how to see beauty and purpose in everyday-boring-shoestring life, shooting film was one of the things that the Lord used to teach me to SEE again.

I’m still in the process, of course. Still learning to look down, look up, look in, to peer through empty facades, and seek {with abandon} street-side truth and beauty.

me walkingthis last shot is of me, taken by my sweet sister.
thank you for reading my story.


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8 Responses to {prologue to} a how to

  1. wow. these are amazing.

  2. Pingback: More and less |

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  4. Since reading your FreshlyPressed article today, I had to snoop around a bit more. Your passions are very simiar to my own – photography, writing, knowing the Creator better. Just wanted to say, “Pleased to make your acquaintance”, and looking forward to snooping around a bit more! I love your fun, simple writing style!

  5. Eryn Wong says:

    Very well done!!

  6. Jillian says:

    I think it’s fate that I bought my first lomography fisheye camera and came across your blog all in one day. Thank you for the beautiful inspiration!

    • Thanks so much for the kind words, Jillian! I am by NO means an expert on lomo or film photography, but feel free to email me questions if you have them – I might be able to help! Mostly, my advice is to just experiment with it! 🙂

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