Hi, there : ) Tamara here. This was supposed to go up on Saturday, but I wasn’t ready. I don’t know if I even am yet, or if I ever will be, or if I’m being ridiculous. Especially since, on the surface, there’s nothing in this post that suggests *anything* that one *shouldn’t* or *couldn’t* be ready for. Or who this post is even meant for. Clients? Peers? Ourselves? But, here it is. There’s lots + loads. Change is nigh. It’s big, but it’s not. It’s inevitable but it’s surprising. And this sounds vague but I don’t mean it to be.
It could be said there are no words to describe the last two weeks for Kim + I but, the truth is, there are almost too many. In fact, this here could be among the longest posts in W+W history…
I guess we could start at the beginning. The second beginning, really. You already know the who + the what behind W+W, but now for the why.
See, Kim + I met at the Jinky retreat as detailed here but delving further, it was the city of angels that really bonded our professional tango. While we had been friends since the workshop, it was a trip to the west coast for some further learning that really opened up the lines of meant to be.
Los Angeles has that effect on people, I think. Like a Bermuda Triangle for dreams.
That first Sunday in LA together saw us at the Melrose Trading Post, quite possibly one of my top ten favourite fun places to be on this planet. At the very back of the market is a collection of tubs, each filled to the brim with old photos ranging from 1 – 100 years old, all collected from storage units or estate sales, we gather. Tubs + tubs + tubs of people’s lives, laid out to be sifted through. Other people’s memories, childhoods, FAMILYHOODS. All there for anyone not only to skim, but buy. Talk about engaging yet estranging all at the same time.
There, lying in plastic bins at the hands of indifference, was the exact antithesis of why I do what I do. Why we do what we do.
We may have been in a warm climate, but the avalanche effect was no joke. By the end of that week/end, we were professionally connected in ways that both excited + inspired. There’s little like a cruise along the Pacific Coast Highway to find out day in the life photography had long been a mutual passion. A mutual goal. And a mutual wish on both of our lists for our own families, even well before me almost having lost my daughter earlier that year to a missed T1 Juvenile Diabetes diagnosis.
It’s been a big, long, blessed year. So many families, so many fun sessions. But so many late nights juggling it all, so many learning curves as we blended two businesses into one. So many days justifying what we do. To ourselves, to our accountants, to inquiries, to the sciatic nerves from sitting at the computer. (Seriously. What do sciatics even do, besides aggravate?!) Those tubs are still a hot topic for hours on end + come up time to time, keeping our mandate anchored deep in the sea of our ideas. And we’re blessed — for the most part, everyone else gets what we do + why we do it too. Things are good.
It became increasingly important for Kim + I to attend WPPI — the biggest photography convention in North America — this year as a means to punctuate the end of our first year together in business or, rather, kick off the new one with a bang. We had talked about it this time last year, how an annual pilgrimage of sorts was something to be considered. What did we get out of Vegas? Um, a lot. And that’s an understatement! During our time there, we connected with photographers we love + admire. Some meet-ups were pre-scheduled such as a fun + feisty afternoon fete with Dana Pugh + Ashley Skjaveland, while other meet-ups were hilariously impromptu, such as literally dancing right. into. my old friend + colleague Karolina Kuras in the middle of an industry bash at Planet Hollywood! We spent a day with Yan + Becky for a mentoring session like none other. Sorry, yes, that’s Yan Palmer. And Becky Earl. (Still letting it sink in, that’s how giddy we are about it. We clicked + shot + ooooh-ehhhm-golly it was everything we hoped for + more.) We even ended up piled in our bed, if you can believe it. Ha!
Between Yan, Becky, Dana, Ashley, WPPI… Not to mention a dinner that felt oh-too-short with a rockin’ photographer + friend Rachel Del Grosso… Vegas was a blast : )
THEN, pair Las Vegas with an additional few days with (AHHHHHHMAZING) friends in Los Angeles while we assisted a client turned colleague turned DEAREST friend ever in some exciting west coast + Oscar related extensions of her (absolutely stunning children’s luxe accessories) brand Liv & Lily, + we were on cloud nine, even despite missing our little ones ridiculously much.
I flew home feeling at once like I knew everything yet nothing at all. Same with Kim. In fact, we alternated odd fits of quiet sobs for about an entire day. Yeah, it was really overwhelming. Strange? Well, no stranger than both sticking our feet in the same whirlpool tub after a long day of walking. But that’s how much we love this : ) How much we’re in this : )
To say a lot of questions — ones about ourselves, that we didn’t know we even had — were answered in the west would be skimming the surface. Of this? All I know is this. Photography may be business, but it’s a subjective business. So long as you’re keeping proper peer-to-peer etiquette of not copying as well as maintaining the safety + courtesy of your clients as a top priority there are no other rules. Which basically meant we came home to break all of our previously thought-to-be-golden rules in the best. way. possible. WHEEEEEEE!!!!
Things are going to grow in 2012, that for certain can be said. This is by absolutely no means a slam to our former work, or the images each family in the W+W ‘family’ has taken home with love + excitement. If nothing else, it’s an ode to it. We did it because we loved it + we loved them. Those sessions, each + every one, were necessary steps to get us to today. To feeling good about breaking the rest of the rules.
And now, our only rule for 2012 is: more. More love. More documentaries in multi-media. More to you so, in turn, more to give your children to remember their familyhood by.
Come sit in the ‘trust tree’ while I tell you a secret: blogging here is my least favourite to-do. I’m sorry, dear readers, but it just never clicked for me. I can blog on my daughter’s blog countless times a day but putting together a W+W post was akin to filing a tax return pieced together from shredded, coffee-soaked scraps of paper. But now, I’m excited to blog. The key has been unlocked. The posts won’t always be this long but they will always be this real. Because a day spent with your family is a day away from ours, which is awesome because it’s what makes this business/life balance world of ours go ’round, + that means they’re our days in our life, too.
So until I pull out all those blog posts waiting to be queued… And until we can get words together to explain the new fun to be had this year… here are some images of how I saw Vegas/LA these last few weeks.
Now, because I’m a hugger…
ooo – Tamara