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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Guest Blogger: Heather

Knowing that this week of moving is going to be crazy and I'm not going to have much time to blog, I've asked some awesome friends and Internet acquaintances if they would be willing to do some guest blogging/interviews for me. The first of these guest posts/interviews is my sister in-law Heather. She's a great friend and she has really completed the extended family circle. Thank you so much Heather for agreeing to do this!

So Heather, you moved around quite a lot before you moved here to marry my brother in-law. Where was your favorite place to live? Do you have a photo from that place you could share?
So many of the places I've lived have different great things about them! It's hard to narrow it down to just one. I'd have to say my two favorites have been Asheville, NC and New Orleans, LA.
Asheville is a sort of second home to me. I have friends who have become like family that are still in that area, and I love going up there anytime I can. What I love the most about that area is how easy it is to find a place to 'get away' there. There are trails and parks with the most spectacular views that offer serenity like no other place I've lived. The downtown area also has a folksy, homespun feel to it. It's definitely a unique area!

In many ways, New Orleans and Asheville are like night and day. New Orleans always has something going on, someone celebrating something somewhere. It's a louder city both visually and auditorially. New Orleans definitely is a funky kind of city! I loved going down to the French Quarter and just watching performers and tourists, photographing the different architectural colors, designs and textures, sampling all the unique flavors of Creole Cajun food, and hearing the Zydeco music blasting from every corner. One of my favorite photos from my point-and-shoot camera is this one from New Orleans
You got married a little bit later in life and had a while to be single what was your favorite part of being single and do you see benefits to staying single?
The wording of this question makes me laugh. I think most girls who have a desire to be married some day feel that they got married later in life than they hoped or expected. I was 26 when Mark and I met, 27 when we got married, and I must say... before meeting Mark, I really was one of those girls. I always thought I would be married by 24 or 25 at the latest. In those years of wondering and waiting, I definitely had moments where I would break down, wonder when (or if) I would ever get married. Along with those times, though, I learned a lot about myself, the kind of guy I did (and did NOT) want to marry, watched and learned from a lot of successful and unsuccessful marriages, and just tried to enjoy the season of life I was in.
I know some of these things were beneficial for me, but they are not things that I would necessarily call a benefit for everyone. Some people grow up knowing the type of person they want to marry and learn these other things as they develop in their relationship with their spouse. In my opinion, if you are single longer than you hope/expect, make the most of that time. Learn to become the wife you someday hope to be. If you are married young, be the best wife and committed spouse you can be and learn who you are as two individuals who have become a couple.

What is your favorite thing about married life?
My favorite thing has been learning how much I still have to work on and seeing my shortcomings so much more clearly, but in the context of a loving, committed relationship. Knowing and regularly seeing that Mark is committed to God first allows me to rest secure in his commitment to me and also know that he cares about helping me become the woman I am created to be.

Have you always been interested in photography? How did you get started? What was your favorite thing to photograph? Do you have a photograph from your "early days" you'd like to share?
No, I have not always been interested in photography. The way I got started was by seeing some things another friend had photographed. He had apparently been making regular trips to the French Quarter in New Orleans, just to practice. He invited me to come along, and I used the inspiration of some of his photos that I had really liked as well as a few angles and moods I wanted to capture. At the time all I owned was a little Kodak Easyshare camera, but at the time, that did the trick for me. Those trips around New Orleans developed in me a love of line, texture, and light. One of my favorite pictures from the very first day out is this one.
What has changed about your photography style since then? In what ways do you feel you've improved? Do you have things you want to work on? Do you have a favorite recent photo you'd like to share?
I feel like my basic style of photography is still the same. My best inspiration still comes from line, texture and light. I like it when I am able to use those things to evoke a feeling or mood. I think the biggest source of improvement for me has come from the generosity of my husband in buying me a DSLR and in a friend (another of your brothers-in-law!) teaching me the technical parts of how to use it. I am currently trying to work on mastering the technical side of photography, both in my use of my camera and in learning how to creatively process the digital images. I feel like if I master those, it will allow me to capture the vision I have for each photograph.
I would also like to work on having the courage to photograph complete strangers candidly. To me, there is something beautiful about the simplicity of everyday life. I would really like to be bold enough to capture more of these no-frills moments that make up a life.
This photo is one of my current favorites. It was a result of my beginning stages of playing with my camera to manipulate what I saw with my eyes into what I envisioned in my mind.
As an artist, what inspires you?
In a few words, the uniqueness of life. Sometimes that means interesting architecture. Sometimes that means the way the light moves across a scene at a particular time of day. Sometimes that means catching people just living life.

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