The holidays are hard on everybody, but particularly hard, I believe, on parents.
There is just SO. MUCH. PRETENDING.
I could probably audition for Cats The Musical and get the lead role with how much acting I do over the holidays.
It’s hard.
I work a full time job, come home to take care of three little girls, run a farm, work my hands to the bone for my crochet business and after all that SOMEHOW have to find the time to be creative enough to be a photographer.
It’s sucks!! It blow!!! It does all the things in between sucking and blowing that are too x-rated to talk about!!!

The stresses of the holidays brought on this picture to my mind completely organically.

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I was up in my studio, laying flat on the floor, with James Blake blasting on the stereo. (James Blake inspires me) And an idea sparked inside the very grotesque and hilarious walls of my brain.

I haven’t felt like myself in so long. At work it’s fake smiles and gritting teeth while dealing with unruly clients. At home it’s reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar for the 563,023rd time with a smile on my face (while inside I’m taking my fingers and squishing that little fucking caterpillar into a squishy oblivion). And somewhere in between I’m supposed to still be me inside there. Somewhere. 

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I’ve always had the best epiphanies late at night. I’ve always been most creative when the house is quiet and asleep. Yo! It’s so hard to do that when the sandman impromptly sprinkles his sleepy dust on your ass at nine pm! Get the fuck out of my creative time Sandman! I’ll punt your ass into next year!! 

Of course that doesn’t happen. Of course I give in and close my eyes and all creativity leaves me. And of course I’m sitting in front of my computer at noon the next day going “Derrrr!!” without the lubricating juices of creativity to wet my vagina mind. WHY!!!?! 

It’s hard being an artist. It’s hard being creative. It’s hard finding the time to let my real self come out. Life gets in the way.

So this picture represent me. In all of my dried vagina’d brain, in all of my fake smiles, in all of the pure joy I bring to my children for the holidays (when all I want to do is sleep, poop by myself, and take creative pictures).

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This is me clawing at the part of myself that I’m not ready to let go.

This is all of us. Faking it for the sake of others.

Maybe I’m just a bitch. Maybe I just need to shut up and shove another dozen homemade sugar cookies down my throat. But maybe I’m right. 

And maybe I’m having a hard time telling which side of my face is the real me anymore. 

Four Elements Series Continued. Water.

Welcome to the last installment of the Four Elements series. Shot, on location, in front of my closet doors (are you surprised?). Brought to you by I’m a cheap ass Productions. Directed by A seamless would be nice. 

As far as photo shoots go, this one was pretty straightforward.

I asked my friend/co-worker to be the  face of water because she is Asian. And I wanted that exotic look for Water. Water has secrets. Water has seen some shit. And I wanted Water’s eyes to tell a story.

Tara came to my farm, makeup bag in hand and we went to work. It went surprisingly quick. Shooting the other elements insured that I knew lighting and settings off the bat.

This shoot only took about 58 pictures to get the right one, which is a miracle because I can easily shoot upwards of 300 in thirty minutes. The hectic mom gods were smiling on me that day and we only got interrupted twice by my three year old. Can I get a hallelujah?!

I settled on this shot:

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Sexy right?! Her skin needed very little editing. A few taps with the heal tool and blurring of the rest of her face completed skin retouching.

I did eyes next and they were a doozy! Took me a few tries to get that “fish” look. *sniffs* I’m quite proud of the outcome. Very fishy.

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Speaking of fish, I’d like to introduce Mars.

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He belongs to my Mom. He is kind of a diva and insisted I only shoot his “good side”. Whatever that means. (You can’t see me, but I’m shrugging my shoulders).

I shopped Mars into Tara’s magical Water hands next. It took me a few tries to successfully create an orb of water. But it’s magicalness is full of magical magic!

This picture was hard for me to pull off for the main reason being that I HATE the beach. It sounds irrelevant but I assure you it’s not! With the Air picture I already had cloud photos to add as beautiful floaty layers. With Fire I had smoke and fire shots and with Earth I boast a whole folder of flower and nature shots. I don’t have any wave, water, droplets, bubbles etc in my plethora of texture and layer shots.

Having your own texture and layer shots is important to any photographer. When you pull “free” images off of google you run the risk of copyright infringement and other such devices. I guess I need to drag my ass to the beach and take some wave pictures….GAG!

So I improvised. Guess what I used for bubbles:

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If you guessed a glass of soda then go play the lottery right now. I used this bubbly goodness as the background. There are no rules with photo editing. That’s why I love it. With any other facet in life I might have balked at the idea of using something other than it’s means. But not here! Here I can make soda bubbles represent Water’s magical aura. Because I’m cool like that.

All in all I love this picture! And I’m happy to finally be done with the series (Because now I can start a new one!).

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You can read about Fire and Earth here: The Four Elements. And seeing my vision.

You can read about Air here: The Four Elements Continued. Air.

So what do you think of the Four Elements Series? Which is your favorite? Let me know in the comments. Happy Shooting!