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Learning to take myself a little less seriously

Its no lie I loathe instagram for brainwashing people into thinking that “retro” photos can only be had by people with iphones, or that its in any way an art form. BUT as i mentioned before I signed up and people didn’t quite get the memo about me being sarcastic about it…soon enough the complaints began to roll in by friends of mine who had found and added me on IG. Why don’t you post anything? When are you going to post something? You dont post enough!

So I caved to the peer pressure and started posting more. It started out with food posts I would tweet my healthy dinners I was experimenting with…and then it clicked. I GET WHY YOU PEOPLE LOVE INSTAGRAM SO MUCH. And by you people I mean the non-douchebag users who don’t really consider their post “art”… its a great platform for sharing seemingly pointless pictures without bombarding your friends twitter timelines or facebook. People come to instragram because they love the voyeuristic effect of it, and I know i’m a little late, but i’ve finally put two and two together. I’m coming around to it, I still think film is better, obviously, but i’m learning to take shit less seriously, especially the pics i’m tweeting. And hey if one of their filters is going to reduce the appearance of my uneven toned skin or make me look skinnier, I’ll take it.

Anyway I know I was like REALLY late coming to the realization that I don’t need to take EVERYTHING so seriously on the internet but i did want to share and explain why I’ve been on instagram lately, mostly because I still believe its evil for the reasons I’ve previously mentioned, but its also great for people who want to share their day to day snapshots in a straight forward kind of way. And if it keeps your creative juices flowing throughout the day when you aren’t able to bust out the real deal and snap a shot…then who am I to judge?

BUT LET ME BE CLEAR. The reasons I posted about before, for my hatred of Instagram STILL STAND.  :)

By the way, you can find me on there under the name of cheapeningtheart  ;)

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this is cupcake weather, time to turn on the heater or grab someone

in a whaling biggie.

Did I ever tell you about the time I fell in love in New Zealand? No? Well here goes.

I went on my infamous (its the only cool place I’ve traveled to besides Puerto Vallarta & its all I talk about) New Zealand trip in the summer of 2009… well it was winter there, but I didn’t care.  I guess when you put it down in black and white, I went because of a boy… but I think deep down I just wanted to use love as an excuse to get out in the world and be irrational for once in my life about something so huge.  Like flying 7000 miles across the ocean for a month of romance in a foreign country.

ANYWAY, I went during my summer, which was their freezing-cold winter. Looking back on it all I can remember were nights of cuddling, me begging for the boy to turn on the heater even though it would cost so much money, lots of wine, spending short afternoons bundled up in my peacoat, scarf, my bright pink hair all frizzy from the rain, and some sightseeing when we could pry ourselves away from all the gross cuddling. We even did the obligatory tearful goodbye at the airport. I remember crying for the majority of my first layover flight to Auckland and not giving a crap at the people staring at me like I was some sort of flying-phobic. It was a great trip. I’ll always have New Zealand.

I think if I would have stayed I would have been happy, granted a little lonely with out my friends or family, but I would have been able to keep up the lie that is the person you become when you are away from your natural element. In New Zealand I was loveydovey-lets eat healthy-and go on photo trips every single day-drinking lattes at Coffee Culture-and saying Sweet As constantly-Valerie. She was fun, she wasn’t me, but she was sweet.

When I landed reality hit. Once again I was drink iced coffee with shots-work her buns off at work for little pay-living at home eating fast food all the time-fast driving-sailor mouth swearing-vodka swirling with friends-hobbyist photographer-Valerie. She’s cool too, but she wasn’t who I wanted to be at that time (a lot has changed but its mostly sub-surface changes now cause I still love my iced coffee and vodka…ew not together you sickos).

My story doesn’t really have a “happy ending,” unlike all the movies I grew up watching. In the long run it didn’t end up working out, he didn’t want to move back home (hes from here which is how we knew each other), and I wasn’t in a position to just up and leave everything behind for only a chance at real love, which lets be honest, wouldn’t really be love if I had to give up my family and friends. Not to mention the fact that obtaining a New Zealand visa is a PAIN. IN. THE. ASS. and the only other place I wanted to be is Spain…and THAT sure as hell wasn’t going to happen. A couple Christmas vacations together later it finally set in that it would never work out with us and I gave up on that wanna-be movie romance. He wasn’t the one and its okay. At least I got a great memory out of it all.

snowangels in July... weird, right?

Looking back on it, I feel like I was so innocent giving into idea of a romantic meet up somewhere I’ve never been, giving into that kind of foolish hopeless romantic thinking, and for once romanticism didn’t really come back to bite me in the ass as bad as it had before. At the time I thought I was an adult making adult decisions, now I just see it as a cop out to be reckless and enjoy my life for once instead of planning everything and worrying about every single detail…which to be honest was a great feeling finally letting go and losing control of my life for a minute, being swept up in the moment.

The few huge things I took from the trip were the fact that I could make things happen like this. Like  make cross-world travel happen for lil’ ole me. Granted it might have been for the wrong reasons, or at least portrayed that way, but hell, I frickin went to NEW ZEALAND. I had never done anything so determined in my LIFE. I also learned things about who I wanted to be…its nice being that person when you are traveling, nothing really gets under your skin and you take it all as part of the adventure, and I’ve been trying to apply this mentality to my life here stateside. This is life, it really is an adventure and I have to learn to take things in stride. So maybe there’s a blizzard and you cant drive down from Christchurch to Dunedin to see the penguins which just so happen to be sorta out of season… there’s still stuff to enjoy locally. So maybe I didn’t take classes this semester or last or before that, at least I’m still planning on going back. Right? Who knows.

Right now 26 year old Valerie thinks she’s stopping to smell the roses, but who knows…27 year old Valerie might think that 26 year old Val is just wasting her precious time being a naive brat. That is the beauty of being an over-thinker, hindsight really is 20/20…and I’ll be sure to over-analyze everything once its past me. For now though, I’m okay with creating great memories like my trip to New Zealand. :)

but could you not fall in love here? southern alps and endless vineyards
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So I know this is small time stuff to ACTUAL famous people but I recently had a tiny mention in the Wall Street Journal last week. THE. Wall Street Journal. It was an article about instagram in journalism, mainly fashion right now. And we all know how much I love instagram and all….

I gave the columnist a 10 minute interview over the phone and all that stuck out to her from all my ranting was one small but hilarious phrase. “Its cheapening the art.” The whole day at work I would yell dramatically to my coworkers ITS CHEAPENING THE AAAARRT. We got a kick out of it. So yeah, small potatoes to some, but my mom made sure I bought a couple copies of the paper considering this is the first time I’ve ever been mentioned in a paper…let alone as a “photographer”… holy crap, that makes it official!!

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travel tuesday; dux de lux

Dux Cafe, Christchurch, New Zealand (this was the most delicious beer I had during my trip)

I could really go for one of these right about now. Tomorrow is going to be 97 degrees. Barf. Cold beer is needed.

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what a thoughtful thursday

Dillon Beach, 200 speed fuji superia film
Dillon Beach, 200 speed fuji superia film

I was recently asked to really look inside myself and figure out what I want from this (this being my whole quest to pursue my love of photography), and see where I want to take it. I’ve been trying to think things over, map things out in my head, but honestly I feel lost.

I don’t know any other photographers who’s main focus isn’t portraiture that have “made it” and I use that term loosely. “Making it” in my head means being able to be sustained financially through photography, or breaking even really. I know in order to be financially smart I need to invest in going digital for any professional work I do, and make my love of film a part-time thing on the side, but I would feel like a total sell-out if I started jumping into doing portraits, weddings, and events. Yes, I would like to try it out just for experience and to see if I’m any good at it since I’ve never really given it a shot, but its just not my passion. The easy answer is to just work a regular 9-5 job that can support my passion of photography part time and keep it as a hobby, but I feel like I would be selling myself short by doing something I don’t love full time and the things I love whenever I can create a spare slot of time in my schedule.

And to dig a little deeper, I’m not 100% sure I could even “make it” in the art or commercial photography world. So many photographers out there are so talented, and the ones who make use of old school techniques are being out shadowed by digital freaks who overuse effects that buyers tend to flock towards. The art is being lost I feel like. Its tough being in love with a dying art form, and not being sure if you’re even any good at it. I know I’m decent, and maybe I’m being overly critical of my own work, but I just feel like so many people out there are WAY better than me. Maybe I just need to practice more and think less, who knows.

Sorry this is so rambly and disorganized, its been on my mind all week and I needed to just get it out somewhere and maybe hear some of your feedback. I would like to hear your opinions or comments on this.  :)