Upgrade!

I have never had a professional level camera, ever. But I look at them and dream of the beauty and all that would be possible if I had gear that could actually handle all that my mind can think up. I have given tips and advice to people that have cameras I could only dream of being able to afford while I’m out shooting with my entry level crop sensor DSLR. I sigh. Their camera without the lens cost more than my camera with all the lenses and has so many more features.

It looks like 2020 will be the year. I have been saving up and putting aside all my sales and winnings from my photography and I’m roughly halfway to my new system. I’m going full frame and mirrorless. I know this probably doesn’t excite any of you, but I am very excited!

Research is going on now. I’m comparing all the options and narrowed it down to 3 very comparable cameras. I have my top choice and 2 alternates. Now I keep saving up and wait until Mike’s Camera does the demo day at the Sacramento Zoo in a few months. At the demo day you can check out items for an hour at a time and go around the zoo and try them out. I’m now sorting out lenses to see what would be best for me to start with since they can easily cost more than the camera. Of course I’m all my research I have realized that I can easily spend tens of thousands of dollars on new gear but, that is never going to happen unless I become a famous photographer for National Geographic. Let’s just say I’m not holding my breath waiting for that.

My goal… to have it in my hands before I go to Vegas to teach at the educational conference in November. If I can pull that off then watch out world! I’m going to have some awesome photos when I return because I’ll be out exploring when I’m not teaching!

Oh, and that long standing bucket list item of doing the sunset helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon then fly back over the Vegas strip at night is totally going to happen! I’m going to need strategic planning of my classes and a rental car.

The featured photo this time was taken in September on my UK trip. I may not have a new camera yet, but I can still look at all the places I have been and daydream while I wait.

Punk Rock!

20200110-DSC_0172Over the three day weekend I had a date day with my husband. Dates change a bit after you are married with kids. We went to see an “adult movie” (aka a movie that is not animated). The force was strong with us so we went to see Star Wars…at the 11 AM showing. Followed by a late lunch/early dinner and a few errands on the way home.

While we were on our way to the office supply store to pick up some address labels Anarchy in the UK by the Sex Pistols came on the radio. We crank it up and sing along as we pull into the parking lot and score an awesome spot right in front. As we get out of the car a few people are staring at us as we walk in to get our address labels. I look at the two of us and could not feel less punk rock.

Once upon a time I had multi-color hair and enough piercings to set off the airport metal detector (yes, I actually set it off once flying home from Southern CA). I dated guys with real Mohawks in various colors, long hair, piercings and tattoos that were in bands. To those who knew me back then it’s no surprise that I married a musician. But he is a clean cut singer-songwriter with no piercings or tattoos. I’m the one with the tattoos and while I took out most of my piercings I kept a few.

Looking at the two of us I could not feel less punk rock rebellion as I’m wearing my denim jeans with no stains or holes, my deep red t-shirt top with button detailing and my comfy tennis shoes with my hair pulled back in a pony tail. I look at my hubby who is dressed similarly. We just got out of my plug in hybrid car. We live in a house in a nice neighborhood. What happened to our rebellious pasts back when we were, well I was cool?

We talked a lot on the way home with our address labels. We decided we are going to be crazy and rebel! We are NOT going to follow the GPS and will take the road less traveled (only to see it was a dead end and we had to go back over to where the GPS wanted us to go anyway). Maybe we should get his and hers Dr. Martins (I loved mine and wore them ever day when I backpacked through Europe). Maybe we should make it to a punk show this year. Maybe he should find some other special needs Dads that play instruments and they should a punk band…

In the end we went home. I made my labels and cursed at the printer that kept saying it wasn’t online while I could see it was clearly connected to the wifi. Then dropped off some more artwork at the gallery and found out another piece of mine sold. He stayed home and put on a movie for the kids.

So I may not be punk rock anymore. I may not be young. But I was cool once. I lived my life to the fullest and did lots of crazy and amazing things! While I am no longer the person I use to be, the person I am now isn’t so bad. I’m married to a great guy. I have two kids. I have a job that pays well. I have a creative outlet. My photography business is growing. I finished writing my first book…

Then again… Maybe I am still punk rock. After all, I’m not just existing and following typical societal rules. Sure I have the house, car, dog and 2 kids and a sensible wardrobe… but I married a significantly younger man. I’m a cougar. So what? I’m setting goals and achieving them. I’m going after my dreams. I’m breaking the rules and rediscovering myself in my 40’s. Im not just existing, I’m living! I’m creating art. I wrote a book. Who cares if I do it all in jeans and a t-shirt while wearing comfortable shoes and driving an ecologically conscious car? Damn it, I’m punk rock! (As long as I can be in bed by 10 PM)

Rock on people. Rock on.

(the photo was taken over the weekend at sunrise. I have been fascinated with the mist lately and braving the freezing temperatures to get some great photos as it rolls in at sunrise)

Holy QR code Batman!

Sometimes awesome upgrades cause me more work, although they are pretty awesome.

One of my new goals is to go to opening night at the gallery every time I have a piece in that show that is close enough for me to go to. Saturday was one of those nights for the Shades Of Red show at one of the local galleries and they have updated their art labeling system with QR code’s so people can just scan them and poof they get right to the artist’s website. Pretty cool stuff right? Yeah, I thought so too.

So, what’s the problem? Well, my website has taken a bit of a back burner while I have been working on my book. Now I need to do some major updates. As they were talking about the updates to the modern gallery I’m standing there wondering how I am going to update my website to feature the photos currently on display. I’m so focused on thinking about my website that I let out a very unprofessional “huh” when they call my name and ask me to talk a bit about one of my photos that is in the front room of the gallery and is creating creating quite a buzz just before passing me the microphone. Thankfully I regained my composure quickly and managed to NOT sound like a complete idiot.

Lessons learned…

1. Always pay attention to what is going on.

2. Keep your website updated (last update was in September just before I went to the UK).

3. Be prepared to talk about each piece when I’m the featured artist in April. Some have nice stories. Some not so much. Some are boring like I just cleaned my lens and went to take some photos in my yard to make sure I got all the spots off. Beautiful photos, boring story. No deep meanings here. But I can tell you how I was feeling and what I was thinking when I took every photo.

For your viewing pleasure here is the photo creating the buzz. It’s really gorgeous in person.

This photo is on the promotional flyer for the Shades of Red show (it’s mine too)

I also have a third piece in this show it’s an actual sunset when the Napa Valley was on fire. We were a few miles outside of the evacuation zone so we were ok, but the air was chunky.

Happy New Year!

A lot can change in a year. I started this blog after a conversation with a friend. I also started my photography business after a conversation with that same friend. The idea to write a book came out of another conversation with her. We don’t talk much, but when we do we inspire each other to get out of our comfort zone and do amazing things!

2019 has been a year of change for me. I have been taking an hour a day to work on my goals.

I’m roughly halfway done writing my book. My goal is to have it published by my birthday in October 2020.

My photography business is starting to gain some traction and every month my sales are a little higher than the month before. I can’t quit my day job yet, but it’s a start. I’m still learning how to juggle everything but I’m getting better at it. I have been published in a few photography magazines. I have had photos shown in galleries around the world. I’m winning photography contests (the most recent was 1st place in color photography at the Northern California Regional Art Show and I got an honorable mention in Black & White photography). I have also become a popular local artist. (I had no idea until my sister called me and told me.)

With all that I am still working full time and a Mom to two little boys. I’m surrounded by boys at home between my husband and the kids. But, I have stayed true to my love of flowers.

I have also stayed true to my love of water.

I have explored my dark side.

Tried new things.

I saw some really cool stuff…

and I checked something off my bucket list.

Sometimes little things like a conversation with an old friend can bring us to make changes, follow our hearts and take that step toward making our dreams come true.

This post is my reflection on 2019. It’s a small glimpse into my life over the last year and shows what can be accomplished when you put your mind toward something despite whatever challenges we face. I hope it brings inspiration to all that read it and inspires them to go into 2020 and accomplish something amazing!

Happy New Year!

#workingmomtraveldreams

#jodiwebberphotography

Sometimes things don’t go according to plan…

That is a typical saying in my home. I had this layout planned of all these topics that I was going to write about back in August and I totally failed. How did this happen?

We all have times where we make a plan and then fail to actually follow through with the plan. Sometimes it is outside of our control (like your flight getting canceled due to weather). Other times it’s 100% our fault (like you are late for everything).

I know it’s hard to accept the blame ourselves, but I’m going to do it. It’s all my fault. I’m a chronic overachiever and tend to stretch myself a bit too thin. I’m one of those people who honestly could use a few more hours in the day. Not to sleep, but to get more things done. Although, I could really use the sleep as well.

How does this happen? In my case I work full time at a job that has a 1+ hour commute each way so I’m gone from 6AM to 6PM every day Monday-Friday. As annoying as that is it’s actually not that uncommon. Then we add in that I have 2 small kids that need my attention when I’m not at work. Add in the usual chores like grocery shopping, laundry, house cleaning ect. It’s already pretty busy.

Well, I’m an over achiever so I don’t stop there. I started this blog to help me get my life back on track and keep myself accountable. My goal was to write one post a week. Yeah, I’m still working on that goal.

Up next I missed having a creative outlet so I started doing photography again. Then on the encouragement of a friend I started entering photography contests and actually winning them. I was winning prizes and getting my photos featured in magazines and in galleries around the world. With all that I decided to start a photography business selling prints a year ago and developed a logo, portfolio website and website to sell prints. As if that wasn’t enough; About 6 months ago I joined the local Visual Arts Society and regularly have pieces in two of our local galleries. The shows change out every 6 weeks.

But all that wasn’t enough for me. I started traveling again this year. In May I went to San Diego for an educational conference. Then in September I went to Scotland on my first solo trip in years. I’m now planning on 3 trips for 2020 two with the hubby and one alone to teach at an educational conference in Las Vegas because oh yeah, I also decided to start teaching learning labs at conferences starting in October this year.

But wait! There’s more! I decided I’m going to write a book. Yep. For as long as I can remember people have been telling me that I should write a book. I feel that over the last year the universe has been dropping hints less subtly that I should write a book. So I am. My goal it to finish it by October 2020. I hoped to finish it by my 45th birthday in October 2019, but I didn’t make it so my goal is to be published before my 46th one.

So how do things get missed? Well, I feel like I’m one of those acrobats that spins all those plates on sticks. I keep adding more plates and sticks and sometimes I drop a plate and it takes me a little bit to get it spinning again. Why do I do this to myself? Who knows. I have been like this for as long as I can remember. I have always had a tight, full schedule. I carried a calendar in my backpack in Jr high and moved to a big day runner in high school that I used through college. I eventually went to an electronic planner (I loved my palm pilot). Now I use the calendar in my phone. I just keep spinning my plates.

The difference between my younger self and my older, wiser self is that now I allow a time buffer between things to allow for traffic or things running late. I usually plan on twice my travel time. So if my drive will take 15 minutes I allow 30. That usually helps to keep my plates from taking out other plates as they fall off their sticks.

So I’m not perfect. I try to juggle my own responsibilities, wants, needs and desires as well as the wants, needs and desires of my husband, children, friends and other family members. I occasionally drop plates since I tend to put myself as the last priority. But when those plates fall I try to regroup, shuffle things around and get them all spinning again.

My photography…

In 4 months I have not only gotten my website up but I have had several photos in galleries around the world. I have not had anything in a gallery since college.l until this point.

I also just found out that I’m going to have a photo published in a magazine! I have never been published before so I’m very excited about that. This is the photo that will be in the magazine:

It’s going slow, but it has been great to have a creative outlet again. To see more of my photos check out my website at http://jodi-webber.pixels.com/