Picture Perfect

A month or so ago, we got a secret invitation to Megan's surprise 40th birthday party. We enthusiastically accepted and made plans to travel up to Maryland on Sunday. A few weeks later, I got a quick note from Kim saying there was an opening in a photography workshop with Kyle Cassidy on the Saturday before Megan's party in Northern Virginia. It's like fate was telling me I HAD to go.

And just like that, I was dusting off my camera and cleaning out my memory cards, prepping for a workshop. I wasn't sure what to expect but I didn't want to get too excited since I didn't have a lot of background. I just knew Kim loved it last year and it was a good price ($100).

A few days before, I started getting emails from one of the organizers about bringing a few things for the day. Her list included:

Handcuffs A rosary Pimp Outfit/accessories Rope (for noose) Police Tape Glass Coke Bottle(s) Condoms Syringe Police Badge A goat A copy of Don Quixote (preferably hard cover) Yellow toned foundation or other make-up

I started to wonder what the hell I had gotten myself into. But I was already going to be in area and like I kept telling Rich, it was a day to spend with my bestie friend Kim and play with my camera. It was also a day toddler-free, which I could use at the time.

I was dropped off Saturday around 10 and we got a slow start to the day. I dug out my camera and played with it a bit, snapping some shots of Liz's tiny shoes lined up on the floor. I had brought some sample photos to share from my work, but it just made me remember how much I've just been snapping iPhone pics lately and ignoring the dSLR. We were supposed to work on an artist's statement but I totally punted on that, playing up being new to this.

We all sat in Rob's basement and compared our photos, talking about projects we'd like to work on and what's been keeping us busy. As everyone kept talking, I just kept texting Rich.

"Having so much fun!" "So fun. I hope you're having a good day. I really needed this. xoxox" "Still having a blast. You are the best husband ever for tending to our son while I play." "And I have some totally awesome photos of me that I've had taken."

as the day wore on, I continued updating Rich.

"Still having fun, but getting tired." "The fire breather is here so I may get my second wind."

That last one he sent to Texts from Last Night. But DUDE, a fire breather!

I learned so much! I had such a great time! I'm so excited to use my camera!

I was exactly what I needed. I learned how to use a flash. I learned more about framing and light. I learned about how to take pictures of unwilling subjects. I learned how to take pictures of fireballs (I should put that one on my resume).

So thanks to Kim for the invite and thanks to Rob and Liz for the hospitality and thanks to Kyle for the inspiration and guidance.

center of potential triptych click the image to see the whole set of photos