Monochrome Monday #35

Good (early) Monday to you. I am still up, slaving over my 3rd performance that I have to do for my summer class. The first two were a breeze. The one for today? Not so much. Not only am I nervous (more so than with the first performances…remember, I may be a theatre major, but I am no actor), I am pretty certain that this piece is not going to be believable like my professors want it to be. It’s complicated. (Wish me luck.) But, before I go back to rehearsing, how about an old-new Monochrome Monday? And by “old-new,” well, you’ll just have to see what I mean below:

A few weeks ago, I started revisiting images from photo shoots past (mostly because the summer photography season hasn’t picked up quite yet what with me taking a class and all, and since new material isn’t available yet, I need something to show for so as not to disappoint my readers). In the grand hierarchy of folders that contain the material for this blog, I have squared away dozens of photos from earlier photo shoots in my amateur career that I want to look at for various reasons: because they still hold promise, because I want to try some cool new editing tricks on them, etc. The above photo of Emma (look at how little she is!) has been one that I’ve been eying for months now to possibly post. And now here we are; posted.

Taken almost two years ago, this photo, called “Mona Lisa Smile,” is just another testament to Emma’s character. If you’ve noticed, every so often I post a photo of Emma where this is exactly what she’s doing: smiling and laughing. I think the reason I do this, and even more, find these types of photos so charming, rests in the fact that I always need the inspiration around the times I post them. For instance, I am currently stressing out about my next performance for class. But then I think about the innocence and life that Emma possesses in practically every photo she takes, and I simply remember that things will work out and turn out for the best, just as they are supposed to.

I think it also helps because I’m performing a piece from a play that Emma was in a few years ago. I’m playing a character that she played, and I’m finding myself inspired by someone who usually tells me that I’m the one who inspires people. This is what we call growth. Why? Because even as a photographer, I love learning. I love being inspired by my friends. I love when they come up with great ideas, when they flaunt their own talents for the world to see (save for those short moments of jealousy. I am human after all). I love when they are charming, beautiful, standing out in a crowd for miles and miles.

This photo is simple, yet effective…to me anyway. Emma is adorable. Sometimes insecure, mostly headstrong. She sees life through the eyes of a child (hey! prepping for future photo shoots!), yet she has the wisdom of the ages. Ok, so there are some bumps in the road. What about it? Just smile and keep moving. So things didn’t go exactly according to plan. Alright, then. Find a way to laugh about it and try something else. (How perfect this is for my rehearsal process.) Maybe if everyone took some time to keep calm and carry on, life would seem so much more wonderful, full of life and joy. That’s not to say that you’ll never come across that one puddle of quicksand, but at least you’ll be much more prepared for how to handle that kind of situation rather than letting yourself sink and drown (is drown even the right verb for death by quicksand…).

And so today, I am choosing to smile and laugh and not let this performance freak me out…completely. No doubt I’ll continue being frustrated well into the morning, right up until my performance later this afternoon, but hopefully an inner peace will come over me somehow and remind me that this is only a relatively small portion of my final grade, and I still have another week to perfect it for my final performance. Who new that one model and a photo from two years ago would have that kind of cheery, calming effect on me, the photographer, simple as the photo may be? Not my best work, but definitely still worth something.

Before I go, I would just like to update you all with some wonderful news: I have found the location (rather, one of the locations) of my big summer photo shoot courtesy of another model of mine. Let’s just say tree houses are involved. Now how’s that for childhood innocence? Well, I’m off to rehearse a few more times before going to bed. Happy Monday to you all!

Update: Class was cancelled for today due to one of my professors being sick. Sad as that is, I can’t help but to be a little thankful for an extra day of practice for this performance. It’s totally prolonging the inevitable, but for now, it’ll have to do. 🙂


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