I got a new camera. And other things.

I've wanted a new camera for about 500 years. Okay, so maybe not that long. But for quite some time.

Let's rewind.

I really wanted to minor in photography in college. But I had three years to plow through undergrad, two-and-a-half if you take into account the last semester was student teaching. So two-and-a-half years, two majors (English and education). Certainly not enough time to squeeze in a minor. I guess I could have petitioned to take 24 hours a semester, but 21 hours was a stretch, especially since none of those were "fluff" classes. At the end of one semester, I had two weeks left, and thirteen papers that I needed to write. I did it.

So now I have this new camera, and I am happy to report that there is so much I don't know, and I can't wait to put in all the practice to figure it out. I've had a very good camera, but it's quite old in the digital camera world, and while it did allow for room outside of auto mode (it actually has a manual mode), I've been ready to move into the world taking full reigns of my compositions. I'm already kind of particular. I like moody photos. Natural light all the way, and minimal post-processing. I like movement in stills. And keeping it real.

Here are some pictures from this evening. The girls had been in bed for about 30 minutes when Cora came in wanting help pulling a very loose tooth.

I love the contrast between the first photo where Jake is explaining the process, and the last photo where his glasses have slid down, and they're just about ready to give it up for the night and try again later.

I did my first shoot on Saturday morning. I got some lovely shots, even though conditions weren't my favorite. (It was thickly overcast, so light, which is my favorite part of photography, wasn't on my side the way I'd hoped). I had beautiful, happy subjects which made it fun, and I'll look forward to sharing some of those photos in the future. I'm also looking forward to doing many more shoots in the future.

Today was Jake's last day at Church of the Open Arms. Twenty-two months of Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings. It wasn't always easy because Jake's schedule is so full anyway, but I LOVE that Jake got to be part of COA, and that COA is forever part of us. When Jake sent inquiries/resumes to various churches to be an accompanist, COA was not on his radar. I don't think we even knew it existed. After a few weeks, he got a call from the then-pastor, who said she'd heard from another pastor that he was interested in working at a church. He went in to meet with them, and the rest is history.

Church of the Open Arms is a beautiful, Christ-centered community. Every time I've walked through the front doors, love greets and envelops me. I've learned more about how to be caring and share love through my encounters with this faith community. They made my humanity a little better, and my understanding of the divine a little clearer, and for that I am grateful.

PS: In the middle of writing this, I started hearing people outside. I looked out the window, and saw some folks filming something. From the looks of it, I'm going to go ahead and say it's next summer's blockbuster.


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