Floral Design Day was proclaimed into existence in 1995 by then Massachusetts governor William F. Weld. If you're interested in how and why this came about, you can read about the origins, and the proclamation of purpose here! There are also lots of ways to celebrate. Of course, if that's not your jam, today is also Public Sleeping Day.
Taking these photos actually ended up being a very introspective process for me, which took me by surprise. I recalled that one of the first times I took photos for the pure joy of photography, as opposed to preserving an event, was an occasion my mom brought home flowers. A bunch of peachy pink peonies, which she knew would soon fade but hadn't been able to resist at the grocery store.
I hung a white sheet from the bookshelf, opened the front door for light, and shot a series of macro images with the point and shoot I had at the time. Those images are floating around my external hard drive, and I'm still quite fond of them.
It was a while later before that photography seed actually bloomed into anything, and was actually fostered in the greatest part by my father, who has continued to be my biggest supporter of my enterprises.
It was love at first sight. I bonded with that camera so hard, it was difficult to hand it back to him. He went through my photos, glancing back and forth between me and the viewing screen. He told me they were pretty good.
For the rest of the trip, my father was quick to lend me the camera. He would take his own shots, and then eagerly pass it to me, seeing how I created my images. I thought he was simply being nice, but sometime later he admitted that he liked my photographs better than his. When we got back, he bought me a new camera. Another point and shoot, but it was much nicer than the one that had been stolen. He continued to let me use his camera, and for my 21st birthday he made sure that I got my own, a Nikon D3000 which is still my baby.
In the meantime, directly after I had graduated from high school, I started working as a photographer for Lifetouch in their retail studios. That job was a hellish nightmare; three and a half years of screaming, kicking, being cursed at, bad parenting, even worse managers, missing lunch breaks, being a terrible salesperson, being vomited on, and working some really painful Friday mornings (it was college, after all). One of the best days of my life was quitting that job, but I learned a lot about photography, and my passion flourished. I quit Lifetouch to study abroad in Florence; a whirlwind four months of traveling, eating, and taking hundreds upon hundreds of photos.
My semester abroad ended two years ago now. For two years, my camera has sat waiting for me to return to it, to remember the happiness it brought. To remember that the iPhone can't really capture everything, now matter how many filters you use. For two years, I let the things in my life shackle me, blamed it on everything else, while it was me that stood in the way.
Part of my goal for this blog is to inspire myself again, bring me back to the core of was excites me and brightens my outlook. I've started another new job, a good one but not creative in the slightest, and it becomes all too easy to let my more imaginative pursuits slip away in the undertow of paperwork and commuting.
Instead, I'm buying flowers. I'm taking pictures. I'm making tassel garlands for my new home and trying out cocktail recipes. I'm planning a vacation and allowing myself to not be stressed out by the fact that there are still a lot of things in my life that are unsettled.
In general, I'm remembering to be happy.
I hope everyone has a good weekend (Sunday is the Oscars, but the really important day is Saturday, which is National Peanut Butter Lovers Day). Cheers, and see you Monday, Rachel