November 05, 2011

In Her Own Words - Guest Blogger {Heather @ HeatherWhittenPhotography}

(This lady here has been an inspiration to me in so many ways. I am in love with her realness. Her willingness to share. But her photos, y'all! Her photos evoke a feeling and speak to my soul. She's just so damn good, y'all. Her words below really hit home for me, at a time where I'm reevaluating what kind of photographer I want to be. Enjoy!)

Hi! I'm Heather Whitten.

I had my wisdom tooth pulled on Friday and I'm just now feeling like I don't want to die. Not quite ready to smile again… but I am happy to be here, guest blogging for the amazing Jessica while she's off enjoying LA!!

I wrote this post a little earlier. It came from a strange place in me. A place where I've been beating myself up the last few days. But, when I sat down and started typing I thought that maybe one of you needed to hear this. So here you go, Lady! I hope this makes you feel a little better today<3

I'm 25. Didn't finish college. I'm closer to that "seven year itch" phase of my marriage than I am to being a newly wed. I have a daughter that is no longer a baby but not quite her own little person. I'm from North Carolina. My husband is in the Air Force. So, I've lived outside of Tucson, Arizona for exactly 2 years [scary]. I don't work. We're in debt. I'm a photographer. And I'm inexplicably infertile.

None of these things are bad. All of these things have shiny silver linings and/or big, bright paths leading me out of them. But here I am. Today. Embracing all of these things. Owning them. Finding comfort in the act of listing them all out for you to read.

I'm ok with not being the perfect woman. I'm still a baby in a lot of people's minds - but I feel old. I have a 3 year-old child. I've been sleeping with the same man for 9 years. I have DDD breasts -that don't stand up where they used to, if you know what I mean;), stretch marks on my stomach that cradle three small scars from a recent fertility-related surgery, grey hairs on my head [one on my chin!] and I'm way too close to 200 on the scale. Most days I don't wear make up. Most nights don't have sex with my husband. But, I still feel sexy. I still feel powerful and capable. Even when I know that at 25 + 1 kid that I "should" look way better than this. I just embrace it. All of it. And I find my strength in it.

I'm ok with not being the perfect photographer as well. I tried to be a cookie cutter portrait photographer. It didn't just come to me. And, as lazy as that may sound, that just meant it wasn't for me. I didn't want to have to pour hours of my life into learning the newest and greatest tricks to making my pictures look like something that they weren't to begin with. I just wanted to take honest pictures. I wanted the work to be in the capture. Not in what I did afterwards. I wanted to be a photographer. Not a post-processor.

I've spent the last two years shooting personally. And I'm happy. I've grown. So much since I just started trying to get my own voice out and stopped trying to copy others'. I've fallen in love with shooting with film again. I recently sold most of my equipment to buy a few film cameras. Film is an expense. One that I can't afford all the time. So, I've got a bit of a "figital" mix going on in my work and that excites me.

I still strive to break out of photography molds. I still want my work to excite others and to be praised. But, most of all I just want my daughter to have it years and years from now and for her to be proud of herself through it. I would love nothing more than to bring that pride to others but a business just feels so trite to me at the moment. So that might come one day down the road. It might not. But I'll keep growing and I'll keep finding new things that ignite this passion in me. Because, what the use of having a passion for something if the way you're doing it turns you off? Riiight!?

Find some passion today. As a woman. As an artist.

Find some peace today. As a wife. As a mother.

Embrace the imperfections and run with them:)

Here's my blog. These irrelevant ramblings are commonplace there.

And, because Jess would hate it if I didn't include pictures…

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