What did I take away from listening to Jon Reid – travel photographer

If I could walk out of my 8-5 desk job, I would be a travel photographer. I’ve always known this. Simply because I am curious, love exploring, being absorbed by a new culture, making new connections & I know there is so much out there – waiting for me.

Last night I attended a talk at the Cape Town School of Photography . The speaker was Jon Reid of Nomadic Vision. A teacher turned travel photographer.

I must say, I hung on every word! It was as if I was the only person in the room & he was having a chat with me…then some random voices popped up asking questions. But, what I took from this experience is a lot of what I already knew & more of what I didn’t even think of!

When you hear “travel photographer” you think… Wow! Imagine travelling the world, taking photographs of your journey & being paid for it. What I know is – its hard work. Your success is determined by your effort, more so than your talent. Jon spoke about exactly this. Saying, his shots are not the ones that would necessarily get 1000’s of likes on Instagram, but he is gripping you with the emotion of the shot, opening your imagination & drawing you into that far away land. I absolutely identify with this!

He touched on how & where he started. It’s taken him 10 years to get where he is today. (Reminder to self: Success is not achieved overnight. Check!) Jon spoke about travel challenges, imagine your flight is cancelled & you have to be somewhere because this is your job! How does he overcome these challenges? With a little creativity – he calls it creative problem solving. I love that 🙂 The preconception is that all photographers must be creatives, after all their work is art, right? Well, no… Creativity comes in many different forms. And as he explained, solving problems for the challenges he faces, is his creativity.

Aside from getting to-and-fro challenges, there are countries rules & regulations you need to get past. Needing permits for locations & permission from authorities for all sorts of things. And with that, come costs. Researching your destination ahead of time, interpreting & understanding the brief you’ve been given by your client. Jet lag, acclimatizing, being fit enough to handle walking for hours with your gear, having back up equipment or available funds to replace if your gear is damaged, stolen or lost. These are some of the things I never thought of. And now my eyes have been opened.

I like that Jon spoke to us about his business as a travel photographer. He shared tips, insights & good advice overall.

I left the talk feeling motivated, awe inspired & a bit emotional – because it hit home. There’s nothing stopping me, but myself. I did not leave feeling deterred by those challenges. Life is full of challenges. If you are doing something you are passionate about, you will go the extra mile and beyond.

My first Kidult party!

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’ve picked up on some new interests over the past couple months. One of these is Coloring in for Adults – relaxing with art.

My curiosity led me to flipping through a book in store & I fell in love with the sketches. (Needless to say I purchased it!) Somewhat mesmerizing, the little girl in me was awakened as these images drew me in. Coming home from a rough day at the office, picking up my colour pencils & settling down with a cup of coffee… I found I was losing track of time while just completely relaxing.

So imagine my delight when I found a group on Facebook, hosting a Kidult party! Essentially, it’s a kid’s party for adults 😀 Hosted in a quaint little coffee shop (Am I in heaven?) in Kalk Bay this past week-end, tables filled with color pencils, pages of sketches to be filled with color by all those attending – it was different, yet I didn’t feel weird at all. (Don’t ask me why I thought I’d feel weird in the first place)

I sat at a table with 5 complete strangers – medical students, a father, a self-employed lady, a photographer – all there for the same reason. To just be a kid again! It was also really cool to see other people’s approach to coloring. Some keeping within the lines, others just going free-hand, some blending colors. Really inspiring!

It was a really cool experience. After two hours, I was very eager to mention I’d certainly be interested in the next party. I chatted with Joy – the hostess, whose name really suits her – and told her what a great idea I thought it was & I wished her much success. Check out her site here:

http://www.meetup.com/Play-school-for-grown-ups/

Below are some of my first color attempts…I love them 🙂

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Eye love…

I’ve often said, I hope I never lose my eyesight. I see beauty in so many things. This is why I love photography so much. To capture an image that made me smile for some reason and to share that with someone else. A picture can transport you to a world you never knew existed. A picture can open your mind to wandering streets of far away places. A picture can make you feel! How powerful is that?!

Do feel free to check out some of my pictures on the “My Pics” page in this blog. I’ll welcome any comments you’d like to share.

https://lotshappeningupthere.wordpress.com/my-pics/

Today, I’m sharing one pic in particular. Simply because it’s cold & rainy in Cape Town and this pic reminds me of how glorious our summer was. (Although, Autumn is my favorite Season… 😉 )

Proudly South African

Proudly South African Surfer

 

Does it ever end?

Peer pressure doesn’t magically disappear when you turn 21. It’s something that takes a different form once you’re an adult. Sometimes it’s just blatant bullying.

For example, why don’t you have a boyfriend? (In the “what’s wrong with you” tone) You may even get nudged (or bullied) into a fix-up.

Now I have a great guy in my life, so the shift moves to “when are you getting married?” You then get reminded that you’ve been in a relationship for however long they can remember you being together. Also, you are reminded how many others have tied the knot. Ever consider, maybe we as a couple have just not found this to be a priority? That maybe we are happy & content with the way things are? And last I heard, weddings are frikkin expensive – we’d rather TRAVEL!

Next up…the “when are you having kids” questions. Oh my hat! Having been in said “long relationship”, my partner & I discussed this at length & came to the decision that we have no interest in having kids. We don’t have to justify or explain our decision to anyone. But the amount of brazen reactions we get, like;

  • You don’t know what you’re missing out on
    • I’m sorry? Sleep?
  • Who will you have when you’re old
    • I am enough & plan for my “old age”
  • Don’t you want to leave a legacy
    • Doing so everyday
  • How can you be so selfish? There are women struggling to have babies & you choose not to?
    • Am I to become a surrogate to ease your conscience? “Choose” = Choice = MINE

I live my life. I am not a sheep in the herd following what everyone else is doing. If something works for me, I am going with that. Surely, if I am happy, that should be enough? It’s hard enough being an adult, having to deal with grown up pressures, work stress, bills to pay, etc. Dealing with other people’s ideals is certainly not on my priority list.

Thank goodness I’ve gotten over the “people pleasing” otherwise I may just have popped some kiddies to “fit in” or make others happy.

So you really have to be clear on what it is you want. Before succumbing to the peer pressure & making life altering decisions.

Please feel free to comment on this topic.

Yawn…

I’m tired! Tired of being a people pleaser. Tired of wanting to be liked.

I think this is the point in my life where I’m realising just how exhausting & draining it is. The people in my life, the people I allow into my world, know me. They know all my quirks, get my sense of humour, cringe politely at my bluntness, they get me. Those who aren’t in this magical circle, don’t get me. I get that now. And I think I’m becoming ok with it.

So what if I’m not included in your hush conversation or private joke. Just because you’re giggling, doesn’t mean you’re giggling about me. This is something I really need to let go of. I am not the centre of other people’s worlds…haha! I mean, really now!

I’ve always wanted to be included & liked. From as far back in my memory as my brain allows! Often, this came at my own expense. So much so, that I don’t really know who I am. After always wanting to be something someone else wanted. Or, always thinking I had to be the same as someone else. This has to stop! Good grief! How am I going to live the life I love, do the things I love, dress the way I love, eat the way I love or just LOVE my way… if all I ever do is seek approval (albeit secretly / subconsciously) from others? So I smoke, I swear, I have a flabby belly… I’m not perfect, but I have yet to meet someone who is. So why do I seem to have the misconception that others are “better” than me, that who they are, what they are is better than what I am? Strangely enough, with all my imperfections, I am loved. I am liked. I am enough, just not for myself it seems.

Now where do I start? It’s so daunting! Having realised this, I now have to face change. Change in my mind. Shame, poor little head-space is overflowing! Ok, ok. I am also tired of putting pressure on myself, so I am going to take this one slow. Rediscovering who I am. What makes me tick? What makes me laugh, cry, hurt, enjoy? Over the past few weeks, I have started realising there are things I like & enjoy that may not interest people in my life. (More on this another time J ) Just because no-one else is doing what I do, enjoying what I enjoy, doesn’t make it wrong. It doesn’t mean I should stop, or be ashamed of it. This is part of who I am.

If the people in my life, in my magical circle, can’t understand these things about me or don’t like me the same because of it, then our circle needs to be re-evaluated. After all, not all circles are unbreakable.

Return of the finger…

I’ve been afraid to come back here & put typing finger to keyboard. Reason? Because it’s been a while since my last post. I started this blog with great intentions of getting out of my head-space. Then I missed one day & it became two days, suddenly I “didn’t have time” and “didn’t know what to write about” Now I feel like I’ve flopped…more accurately, failed!

Maybe “afraid” isn’t the right word. Maybe I’ve just been procrastinating. But I seem to be putting unnecessary pressure on myself to have to do this now. And when something becomes a “have to” I usually gravitate away from it. I don’t want this to happen because I remember the excitement & positive vibes I got when I started. So I am going to make a concerted effort to keep on! No pressure, just to enjoy the process. It’s quite fulfilling.

So watch this space 😀 (hopefully it won’t be empty space…haha!)

Isn’t that corny…

I very rarely forget a dream.

Often, my dreams are vivid, detailed, sometimes gory violent, sometimes riddled with emotion – so much that I wake up with those very emotions, sometimes extremely pleasant & happy… I’m not one of those dreamers regularly falling off buildings or being chased or screaming with no sound coming out. No, I am living in another world most times in my dreams. I am seeing people I haven’t seen in years or don’t even know, I am doing things I don’t normally do, liking things I don’t normally like, etc.etc.etc

Just last night, I dreamt about corn. (I know, right?!!) Well, a deep discussion was being had about how to hold corn so you don’t burn your hands. An older person suggested the best way is by using a pair of pliers. This was happening on one of those American style front porches, with lots of open land & probably around dusk. I remember looking up at the sky & smiling.

Shortly after the first suggestion, I remember a roaring laugh & then some chatter about how ineffective that was. I kept thinking… what about those little spike thingies? Why is no-one suggesting that? Just as I was about to put forth (what seemed like my ground breaking idea!) there were birds… lots of birds. Not in a creepy way, but suddenly there was no more corn, or talk of corn. I felt so robbed! Maybe the lesson here was: Speak up! Or eat more corn! Who knows 🙂
Now, this often happens in my dreams… Instant change. One minute I could be in tropical paradise, the next on a race track. LOL The wonderful world of inside my head-space!
Even in dreamland, there’s lots happening up there!

Big Little Bugger

I’ve often been asked why I’m afraid of creepy crawlies.

It’s not so much a technical fear, knowing what their bite can do or how deadly their specific species is. It’s more about the sensation of them crawling over my skin. My mind plays tricks on me that way! Pictures form in my head-space that often involve this one creature multiplying on my skin. As if I have a special secretion that will allow it to do so.

My reaction to seeing anything with more than two legs/arms, scurrying across the floor or wall is usually a gut wrenching yelp! The kind that may have my neighbours thinking my darling boyfriend is slicing my skin with a blunt object… when in fact he’s usually rushing to save me! (What did I do before he became my spider-chasing hero?)

That doesn’t make it any less of a fear I don’t think. I know logically that I am bigger than this creature, I have the power to save it from my human dwelling & set it free back into nature where it belongs. But, even knowing all of this, reminding myself of it… when it happens all logic goes out of the window! I just want to squish it & make it go away. Then I get grossed out by squishy bits left behind & often feel bad.

Unfortunately… little fella… it’s me or you in that heat of the moment! Because my mind is in fight or flight mode! Most times I go with “flight” There is the odd occasion when I feel like Wonder Woman & go with fight.

And I always win!

A Mysterious Fascination

Many things fascinate me. From what makes people tick, to coffee art, to Egyptian geese… let’s just say my fascination is diverse!

One such thing that has gripped my grey matter… is the very popular & public disappearance of 3yr old Madeleine McCann. Since she vanished in 2007, I have found the reports & stories so interesting. Even more so that there are so many unanswered questions. Where is this child? 

Some say the parents had something to do with her disappearance, some say there was a known paedophile in the area where they vacationed, some say she was trafficked, some say she is dead & buried and then there’s the forensic artist’s impression of what she’d look like at age 9.

Every time I find myself in a bookstore, I gravitate towards the biography section & it’s as if subconsciously I always pick up a book about what someone has to say (while making loads of cash doing so) about this little girl & the crazy, weird, suspicious circumstances around her going “poof” Oh I’ve even started looking in the library for more literature on the subject. But it’s not an obsession – just really a now-and-then fascination 😉

I guess we’ll only know when she is found – dead or alive unfortunately. Because let’s face it… If she’s been trafficked & married off or stuck in a dungeon somewhere – those creeps won’t be blogging about her.

Maybe I should get into the elusive “dark web” there’s something else that fascinates me!!