portrait of a photographer......  

Eros40 54F
141 posts
5/19/2006 5:35 am

Last Read:
6/2/2006 11:03 am

portrait of a photographer......


In my short time here at blogville, I have noticed that those that have the largest following are those that allow us to peek into their lives. Just their day in general. Their thoughts, ponderings, gripes, etc. They allow the rest of us "in". This morning, while draped over my cup of java, this all occurred to me. I have developed a small following of my own (not sure why, but hey....who am I to complain?!) So, todays blog will just be my way of allowing the rest of you "in". Into my daily life (nothing spectatular, really!), my thoughts, hopes, etc. My own self portrait, so to speak. As most of you know, I am a photographer. What most of you don't know is how I came to be a photographer. No, I didn't go to school for photography.....I'm a social worker by education, actually. Life took on a whole new meaning and perspective 12 years ago.... I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythmytosis (SLE). It is an inherited auto immune disease.... short form: my body treats EVERYTHING like an allergy...including my own body. It attacks my internal organs, breaking them down slowly, my joints where I get the pain and swelling of arthritus, just not the deformity. A cold to you is pneumonia and hospital time to me. When I was very first diagnosed, my doctors gave me 6 months to live. I was a physical mess. Kidneys shutting down, bacterial pneumonia I couldn't get rid of (I'm allergic to all the antibiotics used to combat it).... my body was just stacking one illness on top of another. All I heard was "you are going to die"..... I stopped. I stopped living, I stopped making any plans, dropped out of my final semester of college.... I was just waiting for the death certificate to be signed. I have a VERY dear friend that made contact with me during this. He is living with HIV. He point blank told me: "LIVE with it, or die FROM it, but make up your damn mind!" He put it in terms I understood! I chose to live with it. So, some life changes later, becoming involved in my own care, making my own health care decisions, etc fast forward two years. My husband and I moved from Az. to the midwest (we are both from this area originally). My lupus was going nuts. One flare after another, constant infections.... the usual. I've known that my days were numbered. I just didn't know the exact number involved. I decided to get a camera. A monster was born. The only reason I picked up that camera was I wanted to leave something for my kids after I was gone. I was starting a scrap book called, "mom's backyard"....just pics of what I saw, things that had an impact on me, the stories behind the pics. That sort of thing. Between my hubby and my kids, they talked me into entering one of my shots in a photo contest. I took overall 2nd place (color and black and white). It was the very first black and white shot I had EVER taken. It was an old house down the road from us, and I caught it at sunrise. So, I continue to just shoot pictures....anything and everything. Family photos, nieces/nephews, wild life....what ever caught my eye. After a few years of this and actually having some paid jobs my family talked me into opening my own studio. It was only then I decided I might want to look at some technical classes...... might help to have a clue! It was then my photography really took off! I learned very quickly I'm only limited by my imagination.....and I have one hell of an imagination! During all this time, our country was slammed with the horror of Sept. 11th. I volunteered to go..... where ever they wanted me, what ever they needed. When they learned I had lupus, I rec'd a polite "no thank you". Then the idea of a calendar.. hmmmm...... So, I started talking to firemen, one in particular that was my "mentor" into the world of firefighting. Who to talk to, how to go about it, etc. Low and behold, I had firemen that really wanted to do this and to make this work. I shot for almost a year then suffered my first set back...an entire department backed out. So, I had to trash everything and start over. So, we regrouped, re formatted, and did it again. It goes to print this next month. All the proceeds to this calendar (and all subsequent calendars with firemen/ police/sheriffs depts.) will be donated back to the communities in which the participants are associated with. For what ever.... equipment, community service they support, fund for the families of those killed in the line of duty...what ever they see fit. The city/county goverments will NEVER see a penny of the proceeds.... the participants would never see a penny if that happened.....they just tell me where to cut the checks! I wasn't allowed to be involved because of my lupus when Sept. 11th actually happened.... but I can be now. And, I can thank my lupus for that. Without it, I probably never would have picked up the camera to begin with. There is a song, "Live like you're dying"....I do every day. It's precious. I woke up, I'm upright..it's a good start. I've come to terms with my disease....I know eventually I will die from the complications surrounding it. I'm okay with that. Am I in any hurry? No! But, if I were removed from the living at this moment, I would go knowing the people closest to me KNOW I love them. I don't hide that fact. I know they will be okay. It will take some time, but they will carry on, and I want them to. My husband reading this will ask me, "so, living with or dying from today?"..... I can honestly say....I'm living with. And very thankful........... so, word of wisdom from one that's been there..... if you love someone? TELL THEM! Don't worry about expectations of "they may not feel the same"...who cares? They don't have to! YOU feel it.... that's all that matters....that and letting them know............everyone have a wonderful weekend...............E.

Eros40 54F

5/19/2006 9:30 am

...thank you. I owe my life to the guy "across the pond" that bestowed those words of wisdom upon me. I love him dearly and he knows it!! I had to be told I was going to die in order to learn how to live....not many are truly blessed with that gift. (if that makes any sense at all!?)...........E.


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