I’ve found myself at a few emotional brinks lately. I tend to get there often. I stretch myself out until I have nothing left and usually end up in some kind of self-induced puddle. It’s not fun there. It’s desolate. Empty. I usually shed a lot of ugly tears in these spaces. But I’ve found that it’s here that the well usually starts to fill again. And sometimes, if I’m lucky enough, I’ll have help from outside sources. Today was one of those days. I don’t speak much about my loved ones. Or how much they’ve impacted my life. They get tucked away in a space that’s my own. It’s a sacred space. A space that holds time that seems to drip like maple syrup. Memories that smell so sweet that it only takes one whiff to send you cascading back.
My grandmother passed away a few years back. She was an artist. A gardener. A master cook. And just and all around solid woman. She had an air about her. It was calm and collected. It brings tears to my eyes. She was fiercely feminine yet embodied a cool masculinity that I was always drawn to. She had a way about her that just made you feel taken care of, watched over and protected. I remember running rampant with my cousins thru her house when we were younger. My finger tips scaling the cool walls that housed dozens of family photographs and push pinned polaroids. My toes sank deep into that plush evergreen carpet. The colors that reflected the pines around their outside pond. The pines that grew up tall like we did.
We lost touch over the years and I’ve found my adult self seeking her more. I don’t doubt that we have these ones watching over us. That they are still somehow, intrinsically apart of us. They come in the most unexpected and uncanny ways. Whether it be the passerby on the street with that same peculiar spark in their eye, the scent of a perfume that you’ve long forgotten or in a forgiving tone of a strangers sentiment. I think in the midst of our struggles there is always a space of peace. A dwelling.
We just have to have the capacity to look for it.
It's been awhile since I've been back here to write. The words seem to be just lingering lately, so I'm probably just going to ramble. This year has been one of many great shifts and transitions. It seems like every corner I turn there is a new person or situation stirring up some kind of deeply embedded seed of an emotion that I've chosen not to look at. I believe we see ourselves through the eyes of others. That people are placed strategically in our lives to unearth, expose and to shine a light on things we might not want to take a look at. This year has tested my faith. Period. I watched almost every plan and pursuit I had literally crumble before my eyes, redirecting me onto a different path. And I went into it swinging. This isn't where I'm supposed to be. I've tried so hard, it's not fair, I deserve better. I refuted it to the point that it had made my life a living hell, rather than just falling back and accepting that maybe there are larger things at play. Maybe, it's not all up to me. I feel like there is a time to insert our free will and ego into our lives and a time to completely step out of the game and rely solely on a higher guidance. It's made take a long hard look at myself and my intentions. Where do I see myself? Who is it that I really want to be. What do I want to give back to the world?
Happy to finally get these babies up on the blog. Back in May, my good friend Lee and I got to collaborate on some images for Lancaster County Magazine. Lee is Bar Manager at POUR on Prince and makes some mighty tasty beverages if I must say so myself. Our focus was a summer-inspired cocktail, in which you could easily make at home. Recipe below. Check it ✌️
Smith & Cross Traditional Jamaica Rum ‘’Navy Strength’’ 57% abv.
John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum Liqueur 11% abv.
Cilantro-Infused Pineapple Shrub Bar Keep Chinese Bitters
Grated Nutmeg Garnish
''And the starts blinked
As they watched her carefully,
Jealous of her shine''.
So glad to finally get these guys up on the blog tonight. Jake and Jess have been long time friends of mine and recently asked if I'd grab some pre baby pics before their little one is due in September. It's been a little while since I've shot at golden hour so I wanted the timing to be just right. I've been trying to push my work with light more so we decided on the Rockford Plantation in southern Lancaster where the sun seems to just sit magically on the horizon 🍂
I heard a quote once
|| Sometimes a forest must be completely burnt down in order to promote new growth.
I am here.
I've never been in such a place where old structures have been completely crumbling right before my eyes, but not without new, miraculous ones rising furiously. He called me into his study today. My grandfather. '' I just wanted to see where you were at with all of this''. I had to hold back tears. He had been such an ass lately, ripping me apart and taking the most low lying blows. But I understood. None of us want to go thru this. We were all scared, and we've just been taking it out on each other. ''I'll be okay, I've got some options''. The reality is that I've been flying terrified, by the seat of my pants. I have no idea and I'm not sure what's going to happen. But that's not the space that I want to be in. We can't do anything there. It's here, in the calmness of the storm that we can make that headway. That deep-seeded faith that it will all work out. I've fought for years to honor that feeling. That internal compass, that gut faith that all will unfold exactly when it needs to.
This is where you fall back.
Maybe I'm a little biased, because it is my cousin and all, but I'm totally diggin' on this engagement shoot. Kirk and Court are getting hitched in August and asked if I'd drive up north to grab a few shots in celebration. Wellduhofcourse. It was nice to get out of dodge for the day. Not that I don't like good old Lancaster County, but having some new scenery in the backdrop is always a treat 🌾