Monthly Archives: July 2013

First day back to work….yay.

My first day back to work after being out for surgery and it’s such a cluster…you know what. First of all this morning, I walk into the Board Office which the Transportation office is moving into, but we’re only halfway done. So half of our stuff is in one building and the other half is in the other building. I don’t think we should be moving anyway because the mechanics already think they are kings of the  castle, and I can tell you that they are not. So, I walk into the board office and there’s a note on the door to go to the other building to pick up field trip forms and the keys. So I walk over to the other building and the first thing that happens, is Jason, pointing at me and saying “You! You!” and I’m like “What?” and he’s like “Your bus was the messiest bus I’ve ever seen.” And I was like “That mother…flipper was clean when I left” (I was out for surgery at the end of the school year so it was someone else’s responsibility to clean the bus for the end of the year). And he smiles and says “I know. Brandon obviously didn’t do anything at the end of the year. He just walked off the bus. There was actually garbage sticking up out of the seats.” So, he, Karen and I chat for a few minutes, with them welcoming me back and I’m like “Thank you, and look, the first words out of my mouth are mother…flipper,…jeez”, and I head inside to get my field trip form and key. I then head out to bus 63 and pre-trip the bus and proceed to Goddard school to pick up my students. That all goes swimmingly. I was fifteen minutes early, we got the coolers (filled with the students packed lunches) loaded on the bus and the kids got on, I drove them to the elementary school for the day, parked my bus and went home. I didn’t have to be back until 4:00pm to pick them up and take them back. I get to the bus lot at about 3:55, (It only takes 30 seconds to get from our parking lot to the one at the school where I pick the kids up so I would have still been early) and the first thing I notice is that the seat has been moved all the way back and the air had been let out of the seat. It’s an air seat, so it bounces up and down when you’re driving. Then, I reach for the keys and they’re not there. I’m like…what the heck? So I look in the pockets behind the seat and the cubby next to the seat, thinking that maybe they just hid them, so nobody would come and steal the bus. No go. Not there. So I walk up to the bus garage hoping that MAYBE someone is still there. No such luck. Not a car in sight. So I pull my phone out and start looking up phone numbers. Who to call? Cindy or Michele? I choose Michele. While I’m calling her I walk around the building thinking maybe they put the key in the mailbox, where we put the keys at the end of the day when everyone’s gone. Nope. No Key. Michele Answers and I tell her what’s happened. She says she’ll be right down. So I start meandering down towards the bus. Figuring she’s going to pull up to the garage, because that’s where the keys are, right? A few minutes later this small silver car pulls up in front of the board office and this blond lady gets out and goes into the board office, but I’ve never seen this person before in my life. After A little bit she starts heading down towards me and I say in my best customer service voice, “Can I help you?” She says that she’s looking for Michele (that’s me) and she has the key for bus 51. And I tell her that I need the key for bus 63. So we head back up to the board office and look at the wall where the keys are and the four keys for the four buses that are being used for field trips right now are not there (because they are up inside the other building like I thought in the first place!) So The lady (who turns out to be Michele’s daughter) hands me the phone & I tell her (the other Michele) that those keys are not down here they must be in the other building, and she says “Can’t you take another bus?” and I say “I can, but I don’t know which ones can be driven” (Because we are in the middle of summer and they are all being worked on and can’t necessarily be driven until they pass inspection). And she says “Just take one”. So I pick bus 56 and say the words to her “With your permission, I will take 56” And she says fine. We hang up, I tell her daughter thank you very much for coming down here, I run over to bus 63 and grab my purse, run over to 56, do the fastest pre-trip in history, and drive the 30 seconds over to the school to pick my kids up, 23 MINUTES LATE! Needless to say, the kids were nuts, the teachers were frazzled, the parents were waiting at Goddard when we got there, and I was furious. Quietly furious, but furious none the less. When I got back to the bus lot and parked the bus, I called Cindy (who is in charge of field trips) and told her what happened and she says, horrified, “You took 56? That bus is not supposed to be on the road.” And I told her that we didn’t know which bus to take and that Michele told me to take 56”. Ugh! I hate being late. I hate making someone wait for me. A couple of minutes is one thing, but 23 minutes is just not nice. So, because someone else screwed up, I get to look unprofessional. I’m still shaking, I’m so mad. But now that I’ve written this up I feel better. Sometimes you just need to get it off of your chest.

   Last year I bought this fabulous new camera

Last year I bought this fabulous new camera. A Nikon 5100. I love this camera. It takes fabulous photos. For the last 27 years I have been a portrait photographer, albeit, at a national portrait studio, for the majority of that time. The rest of the time, I was a stay at home mom, constantly following my kids around taking photos of them with this fantastic film camera that my mother in law gave me,  practicing the skills I had learned. Of course the camera and the studio was already set up for me so I never really got to learn the technicalities of the art.

So last year, I bought this fabulous new camera. I got the expensive one. I bought the one with all the bells and whistles. I have no clue how to use this damn thing. I get very frustrated. There are so many settings that I get overwhelmed. But I have a good eye. I like to photograph things. I see things that please my eye. I like to play with light and shadow. Just because I don’t know how to do the technical stuff with the camera, does that mean I am not a photographer? Just because I didn’t go to school and get my degree, does that mean I am not a photographer? Just because I have no clue how to use Photoshop, does that mean I am not a photographer? I don’t know to be honest with you.

I bought it because, I had folks asking me to photograph their kids, their grandkids, their families, their pets. So… I put the camera on my credit card thinking that I would start photographing all of these clients and my dream of being a portrait photographer in my own right, without the benefit of a studio would come to light. I hated the stupid rules that these businesses put on us. Now, most of them were for the companies good, which is fine. But a lot of them were stupid. They didn’t make any sense and I dreamed for years of doing my own thing. I KNEW how to run that studio. I didn’t need anyone looking over my shoulder.

After I bought the camera, I started networking. I started advertising, trying to build up a clientèle. I have the skills. I have ideas. I know how to photograph kids, and make them look fantastic. I know how to photograph a family and make them look fantastic. I can put a family group together in a shot and make sure everyone looks good. I LOVE to play with light and shadow.  I have been doing this for YEARS. But as soon as I bought this camera, nobody wants me to photograph their kids, or their family, or their pets. What the heck??? They’ll say things like…”Oh…you’re starting photography?”.  I guess it’s the mentality of a “mom with a camera”.

I was always the one they called to straighten a studio up if an employee was not doing their job. I was the one they called when a customer was unhappy. I was the one folks would wait for to photograph their kids because they loved me, bypassing the other photographer who was doing nothing.

Now? I have only photographed two kids since then. So here’s the deal…I start getting some clients in the next month or I am selling this camera. I have to pay off this credit card. I am determined to learn how to use this camera properly. I am determined to learn how to use photoshop. So there it is.

I once heard in a movie, Sister Act 2, Whoopi Goldberg told the young lady who wanted to be a singer, but was having doubts…”If you wake up in the morning thinking about singing, spend your day thinking about singing and go to sleep thinking about singing, then you’re a singer.” Well I wake up in the morning thinking about photography. I walk around thinking about photography. I look at things, people and places, wanting to photograph them. All. The. Time.

I think that this makes me a photographer. So what is in my life, that is blocking me from my dream? Whatever it is it needs to get the hell out of my way. I have a dream and I am bound and determined to follow through. Now… Who wants me to photograph their kids?