This weekend was a perfect example of the art of getting things done. It was a busy weekend but oddly it was our first weekend that we did not have an engagement of any sort. Of course in my current state of affairs I see open hours as time slots for work, organization and activities; the exact opposite of having nothing to do. Matt and I coordinated our workout schedules, fun activities with the girls and sneaking in chores and freelance work when no one is looking. I have learned to get all my activities in some of them have to overlap and bleed into one another. Often one activity has an end result for two or more goals. A wonderful example of this would be hiking in the woods with my girls and taking pictures. This is a great activity for everyone, we all get some exercise and I get to work on my portfolio. I love this, as it is an activity that makes everyone happy and fulfilled.
I had two similar plans for the weekend that simply went awry! Here was my plan on Saturday after Matt went to his early workout. I would make breakfast and hangout with the girls. When he got back I will go on my long run. I will come home clean up and head out the door for lunch and errands with the family troop. We will return and Matt will play with the girls while I make dinner. Pretty normal Saturday right! The only difference (which should have been minor) was that the dinner I was making was for a recipe image for the Chambersburg Road Runner’s Club Newsletter. It is just a couple of props and lights no big food photography ordeal. Everyone gets a yummy dinner and I get another task checked off the list! Awesome!
Our plan was running along seamlessly until after our lunch out. I looked over at Matt and he had a small bump under his eye. I commented on the bump thinking it was some sort of bug bite. He mentioned feeling a bit woozy and itchy, he was becoming aware of hives on the back of his neck. I quickly sent him off to the pharmacist for Benadryl while I grabbed the rest of our supplies with the girls. Matt took the medicine; we checked out and raced home. Apparently Matt was having an allergic reaction to a soup he ate while we were out. He crawled up to bed and passed out until morning. I continued on with my plan, made a good dinner and photographed it. The girls were watching a show and were happy to hang out while I worked in the kitchen. It was a bit more hectic than I planned but Matt was feeling better so I was happy I was able to get something completed.
The next day, I had a list of to dos that were a little overwhelming but I thought I had a plan that would be fun for all. It was St. Patrick’s Day and as an Irish Catholic with a brother and nephew born on the holiday, we take the day very seriously. I had a delicious Irish dinner planned, another photo shoot, artwork, boring house chores and a very short recovery run planned. My first part of my plan included shipping my husband off to mountain bike. Counter intuitive, I know! While he was out I was going to start the dinner, paint with the girls, wash and dress everyone up for the photo shoot. When he returned I was going to have him interference with the kids while I photographed them. Painting, playing in the bath and posing for photo shoots! What a great day.
Well, I am crazy so I decided to allow my three year old to paint with acrylic on canvas. She actually did a fairly good job but her female Leprechaun turned into a brown blob that I was told was now a house. I created a green blob that was supposed to be a quick Irish landscape painting. LP was the only one with success as she created a lovely little female Leprechaun, a pot of gold, and Crayola rainbow. I carefully carried PP at an arms length upstairs to the bath as she wept about the paint on her arm and tummy. They hopped in the bath while I set up lights and cleaned up. Matt had not returned but we plugged on. The girls and I ate a quick lunch before the photo shoot to make sure that spirits stayed high.
The photo shoot was a very difficult shot. I had to take two self-portraits; a typical business shot and a funny lifestyle shot for the faculty page on our department’s website. My plan was to take a quick picture of myself and then setup my camera on a timer to take pictures of me taking pictures of the girls. All started off well, the girls were thrilled to pick out party dresses for their pictures. I was having a little bit of trouble staying in the frame of the camera during my self portraits but all was going fairly well. The girls began to giggle and jump in the frame. LP brought her lovely Penny the stuffed dog to the photo shoot and she began to direct every shot. I was losing control of my models as I turned to tweak one of my lights. I turned back to see PP climbing the other light stand. Her feet were off the ground and she was pulling her little body up the pole near the strobe light and umbrella. I want to write a testimonial to Manfrotto explaining the test that their quality craftsmanship was put under. I would add a sincere thank you as no children or lights were injured in this film. It was not a pleasant photo shoot in many ways but I did come out with an interesting series of images of the girls.
In the 5 minutes that I had their attention while we taking pictures, I captured this series of images. These pictures were taken almost by accident, as the camera was really just a prop. I can’t help snap pictures when looking through the lens. I turned on the camera with little attention to settings and snapped away while my other camera captured the scene. The girls were very interested in the idea of two cameras taking their image so they were attentive. It is amazing how a little gem can fall out of such chaos. My art of getting it done produced a series of images I will cherish amongst chaos. It is not a process I would suggest but it is a process that I seem to have to revisit all too often these days. Honestly, I would rather be in this state than with nothing to do. It is important to me to stay engaged and stay involved with my family, friends, and career. I maybe swinging a hair out of balance right now but I have the experience to accomplish what lies ahead. When it is done, it should be smooth sailing for a while!