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Thoughts and Reflections on the New Year

Seattle Wedding Photographers Kat and Justin Speyer at Persimmon Images

As I enter the New Year, this time full of health and vitality (not struck down by mono like I was in 2012), I find myself still contemplating taking it easy. It seems that more and more of my life is run at a breakneck pace but that I’m finding it easier to determine what is really important. I’m very privileged in that I worry about my life being too full rather than too empty and that I am not forced to work endless hours just to pay rent and feed my family, so I have very little to complain about and very much to appreciate. However, I still get overwhelmed (albeit by First World Problems) and often find myself turning to mindless busyness and distractions to keep me from facing important feelings and tasks, particularly anxieties about whether I am <i>enough</i>. (Enough what? For whom? Talk about irrational.)

My goals for the New Year are to stay focused on the important things and be gentle with myself and with others. Lately, I have been appreciating the Buddhist mantra, “when in doubt, contemplate warriorship.” I think this will serve me well if I carry it wherever I go.

It’s too early to tell for sure, but we will probably be spending almost a quarter of 2013 traveling. We just got back from Montana and are soon off to Hawaii. I have been dedicating time and energy to renewing my strength and fitness for a 2-week trekking trip in Patagonia this March. Then, in April, we are canoeing the Green River, followed by a few days in Vegas, a likely week in Glacier, and hopefully an Autumn trip to Japan and back to Santa Fe. It may be a “last hurrah” before a temporary travel hiatus: I think we are finally going to start our family and try for a baby as the year winds down. I will be deepening my meditation practice and getting my body into super shape to prepare for the physical and mental trials of motherhood the best I can. At 30, I’m starting to feel a few aches and pains that I want to stave off as long as I can. A quiet life and a steady body will take me farther than the alternative.

I plan to invest more in my relationships, too. Justin and I will be working on our communication, life goals, and finances together with a renewed commitment. I’ll make a concerted effort to spend my energy where it matters and not fritter it away in front of the computer or on mindless entertainment. I’ll also try harder to say “no” when I feel stretched thin and take time to rest and regroup. As I age, I feel that family and community are more important than ever, and also that it’s less worthwhile for me to bend over backwards to accomodate everyone and more worthwhile for me to just be confident and trust in my experience.

I feel unafflicted right now with the societally omnipresent desire to “achieve more.” I would rather experience more and continue to grow in that way. It seems that accomplishment follows naturally from experience. I stopped struggling and trying so hard last year and my business grew by more than 100%. I don’t expect a repeat of last year, but I also know that I don’t need to have visions of grandeur to be successful. I will take care of couple, every family, every individual I work with, appreciate them for who they are, and tell their story through beautiful words and pictures in a lasting way. I will trust in my experience and my expertise to guide them and learn from others with more experience and expertise when I have the chance. I will not tell myself I am the best, but rather that I can learn whatever I put my mind to and overcome the fear that stands in my way.

Let 2013 be a year of acceptance and a year of facing fear with gentleness and yielding. Let this be the year I take the advice of my recent ski instructor, Randy, as I point my ski tips down whatever slight or scary slope lies ahead, “Stand tall, open up, and go faster.”

Montana Wedding Photography Spanish Peaks Rocky Mountains at Moonlight Basin

Spanish Peaks, Rocky Mountains, outside Moonlight Basin Ski Resort in Montana

Island Life with Kitsch & Dog | Orcas Island Lifestyle Photography

The remainder of my days healing and resting on Orcas, I played with the rest of my lenses a day at a time. I didn’t push myself too much– no going into town or crouching for hours waiting for the perfect sunset shot (it mostly rained anyway). Instead, I puttered around the house and photographed the kitsch collected after decades of Island living, much of it antique and some of it belonging to the Moran Brothers, ancestors to Justin’s step-father and once-residents of Rosario. A few of the everyday objects in the Orcas house used to be a part of Rosario, like the Butler Bar door (below) and all the silverware (not pictured), which is stamped with “Rosario” on the back. I laugh because it makes me feel like I’m eating with stolen silver.

Justin was only up on the Island with me for a few days, before he went home to work a shift at the hospital. I stayed on, with Corwin for company. He enjoyed plenty of outdoor time when it wasn’t raining, and our daily trips to the sheltered ocean inlets, where he could swim if the water was calm. My little guy has developed quite the water affinity– if there is fetching involved.

Enjoy this snapshot of life in the San Juan Islands, and don’t forget to visit yesterday’s collection of Orcas Island macro and abstract nature photographs.

Orcas Island Landscape Fine Art Photography. Country lane near White Beach on Orcas Island. Dirt road through Pacific Northwest forestPembroke Welsh Corgi (Corwin) in the brush on Orcas Island. Sable corgi wearing Saint PattyDog fort commander Corwin, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, looks seductively at the camera on Orcas Island while wearing a Saint PatrickWhale watching binoculars in Orcas Island beach home. Orcas Island photojournalism and fine art by Seattle wedding photographer Persimmon Images.Justin Speyer sips his morning coffee on the deck at the Orcas Island house while looking at the Puget SoundCorwin the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Dog Fort Commander, looks over his command post from the Orcas Island house porchOrcas Island beach house lantern with antique gas light casing. Fine art black and white photography by Seattle Photographer Persimmon Images.Orcas Island Kitsch in an island home on White Beach. Copper oil lantern and sailboat steering wheel on stone wall.Corwin the Pembroke Welsh Corgi over a red rug at the Orcas Island houseAntique tools used by the Moran Brothers, owners of Rosario Resort on Orcas Island, in our family home on the Island. Charting tools and hardware in antique chest.Moran Brothers shipyard photographs. Antique photographs of the Sanwan, Rosario, and Moran Brothers shipping posted in a family home on Orcas IslandAntique ship clock in Orcas Island beach house where the Butler Bar door from Rosario resort is repurposed as a bedroom doorAntique metal music box records with working music box on Orcas IslandOrcas Island corgi on White Beach road and Orcas beach house dock. Orcas Island nature photographyPembroke Welsh Corgi photography. Corwin barks to ask for his stick while swimming in the sound on Orcas Island. Orcas Island pet photography by Seattle photographer Persimmon Images.Corgi fetches driftwood stick off Orcas Island beach. Orcas Island pet photographer.

Up Close & Abstract | Orcas Island Fine Art Photography

In early March, I spent a solitary week on Orcas Island healing from a long illness, taking things slow, and searching for inspiration and guidance. Each day, I made it my goal to take out one camera and one lens to make some photographs. I photograph with prime (fixed-length) lenses, because I love the image quality and light each lens lets in. I’m always challenged to choose the right lens for a shot and move my body to the ideal location, rather than just zooming in or out. Choosing just one lens each day and playing with the features and limitations of each taught me a lot about the qualities of each lens and will definitely help me with being mindful about my lens choices in the future. You’ve already seen some of my 85mm Hassleblad and 50mm Leica film photographs (both Zeiss lenses) that include images from the trip. Today, I’ve picked a handful of photographs from my playtime with our Canon 100mm 2.8L macro lens and 135mm 2.0L lens. Enjoy the delicious texture and detail!

Orcas Island beach photography fine art collage of macro images featuring patina on dock chain and rusted boltOrcas Island nature photography. Pacific Northwest moss on the peat forest floor. Macro moss photography.Black and white fine art photography of pine boughs and pine needles on Orcas Island. Orcas Island nature photography by Seattle photographer Persimmon Images.Orcas Island fine art black and white photography of knot in driftwood on White BeachOrcas Island orance and purple sea star. Colorful starfish texture and rough rope in black and white tied to dock post. Fine art photography on Orcas Island.Fine art black and white Orcas Island photography. Chicken wire and vines on a garden treeOrcas Island nature photography. Feathered moss on tree. Fine art macro image.

Rockaway Beach Weekend | Feb 2012

I love my friends, I love my husband, and I love my doggie. Last weekend, we all rented a beach house in Rockaway, Oregon, and spent some quality time relaxing. Sometimes, it’s nice to get away.

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