Full circle……

I have not posted anything in a while and I apologize.  Things have become incredibly busy in my world in the past 1-2 months.

Back in Dec. ’16, I started a spiritual journey and asked God to reveal a lot of things to me and to show me what I needed to do to  finally get the answer to a prayer that I have been praying for many years now.

I still don’t have the answer to my prayer but I believe without a doubt that it will be coming soon.

A few weeks ago, I went to church and we had a guest Pastor. His message was very powerful and I felt like he was talking directly to me.

He preached about how we get inpatient and lose faith between the time of asking God for something and waiting for Him to answer.

Very often our time table and God’s timetable don’t always align. God will also not give us something that we are not ready for or something that we will screw up once we get it.

This was powerful to me because it just validated everything I felt when I started my journey–that there were things that I needed to accomplish and learn before I could have my prayer granted.

Since the start of my journey, I have grown by leaps and bounds and have made huge changes in my life. I have walked away from a lot of people, places and things that were dragging me down and holding me back, amongst many other things.

On Jan 1, 17, when other people were making superficial New Year resolutions, I decided to cross something off my bucket list-learn photography. It was something that I always wanted to do. So on New Years day, I ordered my first “real camera” and signed up for a 6 week class at a local college.

In Feb, I was elected as a Board Member to my state’s American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Chapter.

A couple of months, ago, I decided to learn more about photography so I became a student at the New York Institute of Photography and I’m currently studying through them.

At my daughter’s urging, I created a FB page exclusively for my photography to showcase my work to a larger audience, a couple of months ago. I have people that I don’t know emailing me and making complimentary comments on my shots and my “talent”

I have also  been selling numerous prints, have been asked to set up a booth at a community art event and someone has even spoke to me about me being an “artist of a month” in a local gallery. My CPA friend suggested that I get a Tax ID number, which I now have–I don’t know what the hell to do with it, but I have it.

To say that I have been blown away by all of this would be a huge understatement.

It has been all so crazy and unexpected but yet, at the same time, I am the most content that I ever remember being in my adult life.

None of the above that I described would have happened if I would ve had my pray answered when I wanted too because I would ve been so caught up in that I would have neglected myself.

See how God works?

A long time before I was a nurse, I was actually a “starving artist”. For years, I played the clarinet, wrote poetry, lyrics, shorts stories etc. I also wanted to learn the artistic side of photography back then as well. However, people always thought I was a bit strange and just didn’t “‘get me”. I suppressed a lot of myself because I just didn’t fit in very much.

So I became a nurse, when push came to shove when I found out that I was pregnant.  At that time I was a “professional college student”.

I was forced to “grow up” so to speak and had to get myself grounded so I could be financially stable to raise my child.

For years, I buried the artistic side of myself and forgot that it was even there.

Once my daughter started getting older and went away to her residential high school, the artistic side has gradually been coming back-obviously.

Now, I feel like I am finally the person that I should ve been all along. There is a lot of freedom and self peace that comes along with that.

Since studying photography, I have been traveling throughout my state and even went on a cruise to Cozumel recently.  In doing all of this, I have spent a lot of time alone doing a lot of soul searching. This would not have happened if I wouldn’t have picked up a camera..and I wouldn’t have a camera if I would not have asked God to show me what I needed to do.

Again, full circle.

I “get” everything now. Before I can get my answer, I have to first find out who I am and be content with myself.

At any time now, I know that my answer will be coming because I feel like I am where God wants me to be–happy, content with a full understanding of myself.

For all of you reading, if I have any message to carry it’s this. Don’t ever be afraid of who you are, even though people may not understand you. You may stand alone but at least you will be content and true to yourself. Also, don’t ever be afraid to start something new, no matter your age. I will be 46 in a couple of weeks and have just started a new career/business. It is NEVER too late to live your dream.

Thanks for reading…

Peace & love

~Tiff

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Easter……

While most families were doing traditional Easter things on Easter Sunday,…….

My daughter is an artist in her own rite. She plays piano, writes, draws, paints, acts, does theatre make up, and is developing her own graphic novel series…she does it all.  Next year she will be going to college and majoring in computer animation in pursuit of her dream to be an animator.

She also does very well with modeling and makes it so easy for me!! I love her style of dress and her outfit  that day inspired me to go downtown and shoot, after we had a brief family lunch…

It was a perfect day for it.  Since it was Easter Sunday, the streets were empty. I still struggled with shadows but I’m starting to understand how to work with light more.  In addition, I started experimenting with different angles. I shot them all in manual mode, which I’m excited about!

So far, I ve won an additional 3 Pixoto awards from some of these. The one of her on the bench was voted the  #6  best of the day (novice)

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Rip Van Winkle Gardens…

This is another place that I always wanted to visit.

It is located in Jefferson Island, La and the gardens were built around the Joseph Jefferson Mansion that was built in 1870.  The Jefferson family owned the salt mines that were located in the lake next to the property. There is a lot of history there so if you are a history buff it s worth your time to google it.

By this time, I was much more comfortable shooting, largely because I had more time to study and prepare. It’s evident in my pics because they look much more high quality then previous ones. I also won a couple of more Pixoto awards with some of these.

 

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Jefferson Mansion. The inside is amazing. Unfortunately, pics are not allowed.

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Hodge’s Gardens…

Hodge’s Gardens…

It’s a state park in north Louisiana close to the Texas/La border. I had always heard about how beautiful it was and always wanted to go.

A few days before my daughters prom, I read that the park is in danger of closing due to state budget cuts so I knew I needed to get out there soon.  Since I knew that it was not that far away from the town my daughter is in, I pulled it up on Google and researched it. It was only 45 minutes away from where I was staying.

The day after prom, I checked out my hotel super early in the morning and drove out there.

Just the drive there was amazing. It was all country roads with a lot of hills. I live in south La where it is very flat so being around hills is kind of a big deal.

The park is just awesome. I wish that I would ve had more time to spend out there! There are many trails and places to explore. My time was limited so I was not able to do everything that I wanted. However, I did very much enjoy myself and experienced some “soul healing”.

It wasn’t as sunny that morning and I was a lot more relaxed.  I felt much more comfortable shooting then the day before.  I was able to practice doing macro’s on the many flowers out there. Macro’s aren’t what I am best at but I did a much better job with them that day so I know that my techniques are improving.

Here are some of my favorites…oh and the one with the lighthouse won me an award on Pixoto..

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St Francis..
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the St Francis prayer…at the foot of the St Francis statue. It’s always been my fave prayer and I knew I was supposed to be there that day when I found it..
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my favorite flowers!-the simple white daisy! 🙂

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Texas overlook….stand in La and look into Texas….

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Prom….

I’ve been very busy lately and have not had much time to write…

April 8th was my daughters Senior Prom. She goes to a residential high school 2 hours away from home.

I made a hotel reservation in the historic area of the city that day and picked her up, along with 2 of her friends ,and brought them to the hotel to get ready. Afterwards, we took a walk and I took some shots. We had a lot of fun!

Remember, I still am very new to photography and I have so much left to learn. Before I go out and shoot, I do research and “study” up to prepare myself.

Since I was so busy prior to the Prom, I was not able to study like I wanted and I felt unprepared. It was full sun that day and it was a killer for me! If any experienced photographers are reading this, I’d appreciate tips on avoiding shadows on days like that!

The pics came out ok but I’m disappointed because I felt like I could ve done better if I would have had the time to prepare.

In any case, these are some of the best ones..

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Lake Martin part II

I went back to Lake Martin today. This is the same place that I took the sunset pics at earlier this week.

Today, I went down the nature trail and then went on a “swamp tour”. During the tour, our boat got stuck on a stump and we had to call for help. Someone with another boat came and knocked us off the stomp and we almost flipped over!

Anyways, I shot over 100 pics but these are some of my faves…

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