It was Women2Women's Annual Spring Expo and I decided to set up a table this year. I was so thrilled when I first jumped on board, but then realization hit with how tight the budget had gotten. I considered dropping out because I couldn't order any of the things I wanted to make a great display. The prints and mats were ordered Friday and arrived Monday; the event was on Tuesday. I had to get creative so I bought a moss table runner, wood glue, and gathered dead grass that had been cut back and saved for a project. I pulled out old supplies of twine, paint, satin varnish, brushes, stain, and two old frames I was going to use for yard decoration.
A week before the event, I repurposed the frames with a fresh coat of paint, antiquing, and then added a satin finish. Happy how that turned out, I then worked on where exactly I wanted my focus. I decided to focus on a challenge I had read about. I wasn't so sure at first if I could do it, but then realized just how important this was and would be so worth the work. Challenge accepted!
The Challenge is to photograph 30 women in 30 days beginning May 1 through May 30. I want to hold a public gallery showing and then after that, the women I photograph would get their complimentary matted 8x10.
My next project was to put together a brand new keepsake box for my Women in Portraits program. John finished his handcrafted box just days before the event and delivered it. It was gorgeous with the exotic Zebrawood I had requested! I looked inside and realized something wasn't right. Nooooooo! It was too short for the mats I had ordered. I spent the evening driving my poor husband nuts trying to figure out how to make it work. We eventually came up with a plan.
It was time to finalize things. Prints, mats, and business cards were ordered. The cards weren't the fancy ones I wanted, but they were still nice and would arrive on Monday. Frames were ready to receive prints. That was another compromise. There wasn't enough time to have the prints mounted and spray finished so I had to just wing it.
I bought fabric with fantastic coupons and got what I needed to make beautiful pouches for prints in the keepsakes boxes. They turned out perfect with buttons and twine to finish. Next I grabbed an old can of gold spray paint and painted the dead grass reeds some with tassels. I forgot the easels and had to wing it once again using a box and a chair. Not perfect, but it worked.
The last craft was a project I had seen on Facebook to make your own orbs out of wood glue, a balloon, and twine. Ohhhhhh that was not so easy and was very messy. I thought it had hardened enough so that when I popped the balloon, the whole thing started to cave. Noooooooo! I tried to push it back out and then just left it. I still had things to finish and couldn't waste anymore time. It was the night before the event when I did that. The funny shaped orb had hardened overnight so that the following morning, it didn't looks so bad. I added a mini set of battery powered lights and it was perfect for people to put their cards in that were interested in my portrait challenge.
It ended up being a late night; I had to be at the event by 6:30 A.M.
Once there I got to work and set up the moss, golden reeds of grass, and orb with lights. There was an Earthiness, which I found comforting. The images I brought were also Earthy. The table was simple and focused. A lot of women stopped by and after hearing about the challenge were happy to sign up. I felt really good, but then I noticed another photographers table. It was beautiful with gorgeous framed prints. Everything was perfection. I began to feel inadequate until one of the speakers, who also had a table across from mine, came over and talked to me for a bit.
She told me how she likes to work with people who have trouble discovering their passion and helping them develop it, but she could see that I knew my passion was photography. I mentioned the other photographer's table and how perfectly it was put together.
She said that I had a different connection than the other photographer. She said I had more of a natural connection and touched the moss and orb and that my work came across as artsy. The other photographer had more of a commercial look. I hadn't been able to put to words what I thought was so different in the works until she pointed it out. It wasn't that one was better than the other, just that there were different connections and I had achieved what I felt in my heart. I wanted a sense of magical wonder in our surroundings.
I had kept the focus on my challenge and Women in Portraits. I wasn't looking to be commercial, but rather to be an artist. I was so glad to hear that others got this!
It was a great day and I made some wonderful connections with hair and makeup artists for women who want the glam experience. I'll be scheduling all those awesome ladies over the next couple of days and will be blogging about these sessions one by one.
Love & hugs!