Monday, December 21, 2009

Being the Only One is Okay

I'm not sure how to frame this particular blog entry so that it makes any sense to the world outside my head. So, I'll just try my best and see where that gets me.

I have been different from the rest of my family all my life. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of things I have in common with my brothers and especially my mom. Bleys for instance is very loving and is easily offended. Michael is passionate in his opinions, and can tell a damn good story. David is artistic and has a good way of letting others know that he is superior. My mom is intelligent, articulate, and likes to be the boss. All of these traits are mine in varying degrees. Some I possess in heaps and others I could stand to gain in. Still others I could get rid of all together.

The major difference is that I am not the same ethnicity as the rest of them. Other differences are more subtle. All of my siblings seem to have more addictive personalities than I do. I was fortunate enough not to get that particular trait. My mom smoked on and off when I was younger, but she never had any major addiction problems. It puzzles me a little when I think how my brothers fell into the trap of addiction then.

So I am different, but how does that get to be an entire blog post? Well, I was thinking today about that. I am 28 years old, and I have just in last few years come to realize who and what I am to some degree. Growing up the only Mexican in a family of whites was easier than any person would expect, but my younger brothers sometimes made racial comments to upset me. They were never racist mind you, but we always did know how to pick a fight in my family. I did get to hear some truly horrible racial comments from strangers and aquaintences when I was a teenager in Florida though. Those never really had the bite they were supposed to have, because largely I remained oblivious to the whole racial thing. I didn't really know what it was to BE Mexican. It's only since I married another half Mexican who has had access to that side of his genetic makeup all his life that I really started to get it. What's more I never even realized that I look Mexican. I look a lot like my mom. So the fact that I was a tad darker was never really a big thing. One day I looked at a photo of myself and just thought, "Wow I really look Mexican!" So, here I am blogging about how different I am.

So what does that mean? What's the point? I guess the point is that at 28 almost 29 years of age I am just now getting to know myself. I've realized things about myself that I never would have understood had not the test of these past years come along. I realized that I am actually not a coward. I realized that I want to work in photography if the field will have me in some form. I know now why it is okay to be conservative and a minority. That the two are not at odds at all. Mostly I have have learned that there is always more to learn about one's self even when one is inching toward 30. There is a lot of life to live, and I am by no means limited by the fact that I am a wife and a mother of 5 children.

Maybe I over shared a bit, but I've had some of this stuff on my mind for quite some time.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Let's Have some Professional Pride Please!

As far back as I can remember school photos have been (mostly) about highlighting the awkward stages of our development. It's amazing how little has changed since I was child. School photographers possess the unique talent of making even the cutest kids look downright goofy. This is the subject of today's post.

I recently put my girls into public school for the first time. It was hard at first, but it is getting easier.I was homeschooling, but I soon realized that more than two students is too much for me.

Then came school photo time. It's the magical time when a parent has to debate weather or not to buy photos that may or may not turn out. We decided since it was their first year in public school we would spring for them. I'm not sure I will opt for them ever again. Let me explain. I love my kids, and I think they are beautiful as any parent should. BUT I'm not delusional, and I know a good photo from a bad one. This photographer took probably 3.5 seconds on each photo for each child. This person probably said, "say, cheese!", took the picture, and shuffled the kids off so that he/she could get through the day quickly. It's not that the pictures are terrible. They're just... awkward. Do you think this person could have taken the time to get just the right kind of smile? Maybe made sure there was no hair sticking up?

I remember one school photo that was taken of me in the 5th grade that turned out amazing (as good as school photos can go at any rate). The photographer took the time to make sure that I was posed and smiling nicely. It was a good photo. I just wish that the girls' school photographer had as much professional pride as the one I had for my 5th grade photo.

Don't you all think that a photographer better make damn sure that a child's parent can't take a better picture with his/her eyes closed? For examples please see previous posts.