i live in the shutter speed

I sat at a table near the dance floor watching friends, family and the newlyweds shake it it to the Black Eyed Peas, laughing, smiling and getting lost in the evening. I couldn’t help but smile as I watched these people, many of whom were complete strangers to me. As a guest at the wedding, I admit, I was tempted to join them out on the dance floor but something was holding me back from jumping out there.

It was because I was capturing these moments in my mind. Moment watching. People watching. And then as if it was a natural reflex, I grabbed my Nikon and clicked my shutter moment after moment.

And in those moments, I realized why I love being a photographer. Not that I hadn’t thought about it before. It just was something hard to describe. For some reason it was so clear to me in the fuzzy, I had-one-to-many-reislings evening.

I love being a photographer because while everyone is living the moment, I am capturing it. Capturing it on my camera and in my mind. I am perserving a moment that may have gone unnoticed for ever. We all learn to live in the moment. I like to think I live in the shutter speed (cheesy, ya, ya, I know…). I live in the one nanosecond where I can capture the groom’s eyes welling up as his bride walks down the aisle or the half-second where the bride looks at her father to signal she will always be his little girl.  I look for the moment of the bride laughing with her friends and for grandma kissing her beloved husband. The moments between the first kiss, cake cutting and first dance. I capture the in-between.  The moments that people might not notice, but the ones that are the most amazing to see after the cake has been cut, the dance has been danced and the honeymoon is over.

Photographer or not, I am always viewing a wedding through my viewfinder and looking at things one shutter click at a time.

my list of goals :: july

Summer is officially here, and I can’t believe I’m writing my list of goals for July already. July reminds me of the mid-summer point…so as excited as I am for the upcoming month, I am hoping to make the long days last. While this post is a little late, it is better than not posting it. :)

Before I get into my July goals, I wanted to update you on my June goals.

– Network with other photographers and learn from their experiences/mistakes. I have been working on this a lot – especially by reading lots of forums online and staying in contact with all my J* Facebook people. I am hoping to have a meeting in the next few weeks with my cousin who is a wedding photography superstar.

– Photograph the bachelorette party I am hosting like a stylized shoot. Submit it for publication on wedding blogs. Well, I was avoiding answering this one because I did not achieve this completely. In my crazy, overambitious mind, I thought I could be the party host, rockstar bridesmaid, friend and event photographer. Let’s just say I took on too much. By the time I was ready to shoot my hor’ dourves spread, it was half eaten.  Live and learn.

– Get back into the gym. For real. It is beach season now….I made it there a few times. That is progress people.

– Use my speedlight more including as a fill flash on outdoor shoots. I started doing this more toward the end of the month, and I can see a huge difference in my work already. I will keep at this goal.

– Increase my number of Facebook likes on Brittany Bekas Photography. I am not exactly sure what the number was when I posted this, but I have had more likes over the last month. Now I just need to keep at it!

– Make 4 new recipes. At least two recipes need to include meat for the boyfriend. I’m not going to lie. I totally waited until about 8 days before the end of the month to do this. (Oh yes, procrastination.) But I successfully made a burrito pizza (con polllo) that I had ripped out of a magazine 2 years ago, three cheese steak sandwiches (thanks Food Network), spinach dip cups and mini peanut butter cupcakes (Pinterest). All were delicious.

Now here are some of my July goals:

– Learn to shut down my computer one hour for bed (i.e. stop bringing work into the bedroom!)

– Launch Brittany Bekas Boudoir. I have been shooting boudoir throughout June, but I want to get my boudoir site up and start booking more clients! Anyone interested?!

– Spend two afternoon/evenings shooting things that inspire me around Chicago. I get so caught up in weddings, events and portraits, I forget to sometimes just capture the day to day around me.

Chicago Photography, Chicago Theater

– Read two books – one non-fiction and one fiction.

– Create my new packaging for my clients. I’m thinking purple, black and white….just need to tie everything together!

Well, here is to achieving these goals in the next 21 days!

the fire in my dreams

We were sitting in the yard enjoying the bonfire when the nearby tree caught fire and started to blaze around us. The flames engulfed another tree and were continuing to grow. I quickly grabbed my purse and iPhone and ran. And ran. And ran. As far as I could to escape the fire that was surrounding us. I feared what would happen if I slowed down.

…..beep. beep. beep.…. My alarm clock chimed. Whew, IT WAS ONLY A DREAM. Relief came over me as I recovered from the realistic visions that danced in my mind only moments ago.

I have always been intrigued with what subconscious thoughts race through our minds as we sleep and what the underlying meaning is around those images. I’m no doctor, but I really think the thoughts reflect things we are going through but are not ready to deal with in our conscious state. So, after my morning cup of green tea, I booted up my laptop and headed over to DreamMoods.com. Phil laughed at me for turning to such a website, but I love it (and secretly live by this and horoscope.com).

I was pleasantly delighted to learn the meaning of my fire dream which is:

“Depending on the context of your dream, to see fire in your dream can symbolize destruction, passion, desire, illumination, purification, transformation, enlightenment, or anger. It may suggest that something old is passing and something new is entering into your life. Furthermore, the dream may be a metaphor for someone who is “fiery”. It represents your drive, motivation, and creative energy.”

I believe my subconscious is telling me to finally letting go of my old life and enter into the next phase which is full of complete bliss, utilizing my talents and finally learning to trust myself and go after my dreams.