Tuesday, 29 May 2012

What looks like a grown-up, sounds like a grown-up, acts like a... Oh, wait.

I am a bit stuck. I found myself in a suit today, for the first time in a long time (I got rid of most of my formal clothes when I moved, what with the change of career and luggage limitations), as I was going to meet my accountant.

I just said that. My accountant.

I have an accountant. I have a business. I couldn't be more excited. Or terrified. Or grumpy.

There's no way to tell if my mood is linked to my newly birthed sole proprietorship, and I am inclined to think it's just a coincidence, but as it's made a lovely little mental correlation in my head, I'm inevitably thinking about why doing this has "made" me grouchy.

If anything, I should be celebrating, or at least doing some kind of promotional work for my new venture. Instead, I am grumbling along and worrying about things that are either a) irrelevant because they've not happened yet or b) irrelevant because they happened so long ago that making myself feel bad/guilty/angry about them now isn't going to make anything positive happen. I am seemingly convinced that I am just playing along with being the suit woman until someone catches me out. So I am stuck.

It'd be good to pretend that my mood is hormonal. That would at least be some form of "logical" cause (albeit with no solid evidence, but let's pretend I'm not empirically minded for a minute) for an emotional dip that has no precipitating factors whatsoever. If anything, things have been going better than usual. I've had time with Ben, time with friends, work is amazing, I shot my first wedding, I am reading a lot of photography material, I bought a bike, I've lost weight. I now not only have wonderful friends here but friends who I actually feel comfortable enough with to tell them that I am having an irrational mood swing, and who are amazing enough to empathise, talk, and bring wine over. While I am definitely homesick for people I love back in England, I do not want for being loved here.

So basically, I'm actually a big baby in a suit, and until I find the root cause of the issue I'm going to rehash exaggerated versions of worst-possible-scenarios, along with maybe pretending that this is all part of being "an artist". That at least makes me laugh at myself.

If I were braver, I think I would face the fact that I fear failure. And not just failing itself (getting things wrong is often not a bad thing, but a learning opportunity, so even failing can have positive results because you at least tried), but what failing means. My brain loves to find ways to point out that I don't deserve the things I have been so lucky to experience and gain, so the more wonderful stuff going on, the louder that voice gets, I suppose. If I fail, I am sure that voice will have an I-told-you-so monologue all prepared so that I can thoroughly explain to myself why I don't deserve anything good. It's no wonder I became a psychologist. And no wonder I became a photographer, either: being behind the camera makes everything else melt away, and there is peace from this ridiculous cerebral diatribe.

What to do, then? Because sure as the sun's going to rise tomorrow, no one ever succeeded by dwelling on the past or by being so anxious about the future that they can't move forward. So, to succeed, I need to tell that voice where it can stick it. There's no reason that I can't try, and who I was two, five, ten years ago shouldn't be stopping me either. The fact that Maslow's Hierarchy is making a play for my attention at this point is another guilt-inducer. First world problems like these shouldn't be blog-worthy. I should be grateful, and move on. But the fact of the matter is that I am grateful, and my brain is still a bastard sometimes. So I guess I will still write, and I do need to reach a solution to stop this frequent cycle of self-doubt and anger, and this helps.

I think Nike has the answer, although it's not the easiest one. Getting into a meta-blame situation is entirely possible if you start wondering why your cognitive processes are so harsh to you, and it just becomes another thing you are doing wrong. Dwelling on it isn't going to help. So, here's my solution: put on a suit, look the part, see your accountant, make a price list, update your website, advertise your services, shoot like a motherfucker, deliver effectively, read more, learn more, ask more, and just. do. it.

"If you're lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it."
-- John Irving 

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Thank Jesus for beer!


The title really doesn't have much to do with this post, other than the fact that Hamilton and I seem to be having a discussion about Jesus' beverage of choice. This is a test video that Jim shot last week when we were getting set up for the Kangaroo 'Salute Our Troops' initiative, where we needed to jabber for a bit while Jim checked the sound and so on. A brief insight into the life of an assistant!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Waffles and boobs

I've actually had neither of the things in the title this last week (well, obviously the latter, but I meant in addition... anyway...), but I promise that it is relevant. I'm not just trying to get your attention. Much.

This week has been an absolutely brilliant one in terms of photography. I have been assisting and shooting every day this week, and will be assisting again tomorrow before a meeting to arrange a possible MOL shoot for next week, followed by a much needed sensor clean for the D3. It's been fun, challenging, exhausting, and extremely varied - exactly what I love and need. I shot my own stuff for I AM not the MEdia on Monday evening (as Jim not only let us use the studios, but also shot some talking heads for us too - amazing!); Tuesday and Wednesday were two 14-ish hour days spent assisting and shooting for Sharonview Federal Credit Union in South Carolina; today was an afternoon event shoot where Jim did video and I shot stills for the Kangaroo Express 'Salute Our Troops' campaign; and tomorrow is a short assisting job doing corporate shots for a local attorney. Phew! What a fantastic week.

So, why waffles and boobs? Well, 6AM yesterday saw me and Jim at the Waffle House near to the motel we crashed at on Tuesday night, guzzling coffee by the gallon in preparation for a long day's work. Jim happened to mention to our waitress that it was my first time ever at a Waffle House (they're pretty notorious around here, so being here seven months and not having been yet is a bit of a shocker!), and they ended up posing for a group shot with me, and giving me a Waffle House hat!

Waffle House, Grandview Drive, Simpsonville, SC

This may have spawned a new tradition: whenever I go to a "typically American" place like this for the first time, Jim takes a shot of me with the staff, if they're up for it. Brilliant! So today, we got our next opportunity in Concord: Hooters. No hat this time, but I did get to pose with some very hot ladies!

Hooters of Concord, Gateway Lane, Concord, NC

All in all, just a bloody awesome time! I'm looking forward to having a whole day with Ben on Saturday, which is the one thing I have missed this week. Only seeing him for a couple of hours here and there, and being exhausted during that time, obviously isn't conducive to quality married time. But this is what I love doing, he is wonderful enough to support and enthuse about me doing it, it's not often it's this busy at the studio in just one week, and he and I do have a full 36 or so hours of "us" time as of tomorrow evening - much better than having an ocean between us and the joys of Skype for communication (which we were reminded of during my SC stay on Tuesday!).

So, cheers to the weekend, to this week of opportunity, and to the lovely folk that are making all of these fabulous happenings happen.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

You've gotta give for what you take

I am beyond disappointed. NC voted for Amendment One. To vote for prejudice, for discrimination, and to diminish the rights of others.

I'm also tired and sad, so writing right now doesn't seem like something I can do well enough to explain how awful this is and how hard we are going to fight back. If you want to read something awesome like that, please check out the brilliant Everyma'am, where the wonderful Leah Burleson has written an amazing post about the unwritten histories of revolution.

The only consolations I have right now is that I am surrounded by amazing people who are not giving up the fight (so please don't think of me as the English girl who's wandered into the southern American moral desert all alone), and that Mecklenburg (our county, bottom and middle-ish blue section) voted against.

"Tonight we mourn. Tomorrow we fight."

Post title from George Michael's song "Freedom '90".

Tuesday, 8 May 2012


Queen's English now has a tumblr. I figured it made sense to announce it on here! Click on the logo image below to take a peek.

Other than that, there's not a whole lot of news. I can work now, so I am earning what I can at the studio and through My Other Limb, while keeping my eye out for part-time positions to supplement my income. I've been doing some awesome event shoots, including Dances of India and the 50 Women 2012 gala evening, and had the pleasure of an on-location engagement shoot, too.

Everything is starting to feel a bit more "normal", so right now I don't have much to update on! We have the results of the Primary and vote on Amendment One tonight though, so it may well that you'll hear from me again tomorrow. Until then...