Not A Wedding Photog

I have a confession...I love shooting photos. I love creating art. I love capturing moments that my clients will love their whole life. That specific moment in time that instantly takes them back to the second the shutter snapped.

I do not, however, love to shoot weddings.

That may surprise some folks (especially the weddings I've shot, which--honestly--is a low number),but it's true.

Now...I can shoot weddings. And I have. And the allure to do so because of the potential income is always there. But it's not where my heart is.

And...if I'm being honest--I don't have a passion for shooting weddings like some photographers I've met recently.

And it was this week, while sitting in a workshop on lighting that it clicked for me. The presenter (an AMAZING wedding photographer) said (and I'm paraphrasing)..."Don't take a shoot if you're not 100% in to it. It's not fair to your clients who are super excited for their day. And it's not fair to another photographer who would LOVE to have booked that shoot"

And that's when it clicked.

I don't like shooting weddings.

I love photography, so I can find elements of shooting the wedding I love. But overall there's just something about shooting weddings that makes me uncomfortable and takes me out of my zone.

You know, the zone where I can shoot...and feel what's going on and get that moment captured. Yeah, that zone. It's VERY difficult for me to hit that zone when I'm shooting a wedding.

Senior pictures...yes.
Family portraits....yes.
Kids photos...sure.
Band performances...oh hell yeah.
Various events and actiony type thangs (air shows, car shows, etc)...definitely.
Engagement photos? FOR SURE! (I love love LOVE capturing the essence of a couple in love).
Nature shots...in a heartbeat.
Candids/Street Photography...yup, that too (although I don't do as much as I'd like to with the Street Photog side...but the zone is there).

And the same 'zone' that I can hit with these other events...the same stride..is just slightly out of reach when I'm shooting a wedding. Not sure what it is. It just doesn't click in the same way for me.

And now the hard part is going to be telling prospective clients that yes, I would love to shoot their engagement photos...but I'm not the guy for their wedding. I think though, that it will work out better overall for everyone. They get someone shooting their wedding that really has a passion for it and not someone who's going to overthink everything and be a bundle of frayed nerves by the end of the day. I just don't have a head for everything that goes in to shooting a wedding...and I've known this for a while...but ...meh...no...I don't know why I've still done it (favors to friends and family, perhaps).

There will, I'm sure, be special instances where I will shoot weddings. Dear friends and family will always rise to the top of who I will shoot for. But I won't be soliciting wedding photography jobs for the foreseeable future.

There are some amazing wedding photographers in Columbus (some of them are my friends)...so, fear not. Someone will be able to capture your moment in time with the passion and caring that it deserves. :-)

I don't know why that felt like an apology...I guess in a way it was.

I think it was really more to just put out in to universe. The thought had been swimming in my head for a while and it wasn't until I heard someone else vocalize it that it all came together.

And the hardest part for me from all of this will be saying 'no'. But the presenter covered that, too.

If you say 'no' to the things you are not passionate about, you are making room for the things that you ARE passionate about to come in to your life.

And that makes a lot of sense.

I love it when we are shown a glimpse in to the innerworkings of the universe.

I went to that workshop to learn about lighting (which I did)...but I came away from it having gained insight into myself.



T-Shirts? F**k Yeah!

I love t-shirts....the quirkier and geekier, the better. I had some kick-ass ones that got recycled to the thrift stores because I outgrew them.

Well, let's be clear. I got fat. And I was ok with that. Honestly I was. I have as of late always been comfortable in my own skin. It was only when I tried to do things that my body couldn't do because of the weight (see Party Rock Anthem Saved My Life for details), that I had real issues and reservations about the 150 extra lbs I was carrying around.

Oh. Yeah. The doctors said that I should weigh (at the high end) 185 (which was my weight my senior year in high school). I was pushing upwards of 330...easily.

And, like I said, for the most part I was ok with that.

But I really had some sweet fucking t-shirts.

The fattodd way of wearing them was to always wear them pulled over a long sleeve t shirt that was ridiculously oversized. Somehow it worked (at least in my mind). But as I said...I still wound up recycling some of them (RIP Atari Logo Shirt).

Some of them I kept.

Like this guy.

I got this shirt when the first Transformers movie hit the big screen. And I wore it a couple of times (always 'fattodd style').

Now, if you don't know, the first Transformers movie came out in 2007. Which means I probably got this shirt in 2006 at either Kohl's or Hot Topic (neither of which is too fond of selling XXXL shirts (although you can find some at Hot Topic..for that obese wannabe-hipster).

So, yeah. this shirt is a 2XL.

And you can't see it here, but I'm wearing it the normal way. You know. By itself.
No shirt underneath it.

It's actually comfortable on my body...not tight...not stretched.

In other words it fits.

It fucking fits.

And yeah, sorry about the cussing (but not sorry enough to edit it out)...because this is a huge deal for me.

And it's going to be an even bigger deal when I post that this t-shirt is too big.

Will I be upset to let this shirt go?
yeah, sure I will. It's a kick-ass shirt.

Will I be happy as a pig in shit to be taking clothes to the thrift store because they're too big instead of being too small?

Fuck yeah I will!

It's happening. Day by day. Pound by pound. Inch by inch.




How Party Rock Anthem Saved My Life*

Before we get too far in to this post, watch this. Go ahead. I'll wait.

OK. Did you watch it? Did you see all the dances in there? People focus on 'The Shuffle' throughout that dance, and yes, it does play a major roll in that video (it's pretty much the go-to move).

25 years ago when I was in shape (and dancing all the time), we called that the Running Man.
There are actually quite a few 'old-school' dances in the video. To name a few:
  • The Running Man (a.k.a. the Melbourne Shuffle)
  • The Worm
  • The Kid-N-Play
  • The Moonwalk
  • The Tom and Jerry
  • a section from "Thriller" (the Zombie dance)
And I could do most of them. 20-25 years ago. I danced those dances (and others) every week at Flamingo Isle...and school dances...and my room. Point is...I knew the dances and had no shame in busting them out whenever the mood or music struck.

Enter 25 years later. Add about 150lbs. (in high school I weighed about 185....this past October I tipped the scales at 330).

I heard Party Rock Anthem for the first time about a 6-8months ago and was blown away. It was the quintessential dance song. Had all the synthy-smartness of today's dance tracks and such a stupidly Old School feel that I went mental over the song.

And then I saw the video for the first time and was absolutely gobsmacked.

I knew all those fucking dances.


So...next time I heard the song at my local watering hole, I was called out to the dance floor like Jason's Argonauts.

And I busted the hell out of those moves.

For 2 minutes.

For the remaining 3 minutes of the song, I went into funky-but-decidedly-less-cardio-stressing moves. Don't get me wrong...I still looked good and rocked the shit out of it, but it was WAY tuned down.

The song ended and I rushed outside for fresh air. I was pretty sure that the little face-huggers had visited me in my sleep and I was about to give birth to a very ugly alien bursting out of my chest. Either that or my heart was sick of being in my chest and wanted to see what the outside world was like.

Either way, the shit wasn't good.

At all.

So...I gradually tried working up my endurance...but really could never make it fully through the song without wishing for death. And if there was another old school jam on right after it, fuggedaboudit.

Enter a couple of friends of mine with information on a lifestyle change...a program...a nutrition overhaul. It had a 24Day Challenge element. I bit. I knew I needed something.

So I did the challenge. Started on November 14th. Which put it squarely through Thanksgiving. Not my smartest move...but I figured that if I could make it through the most gluttonest holiday of the year, that the rest would be gravy..so to speak.

And I made it. I think I lost about 13 or 14 lbs on the challenge. Which is not an amazing number to some. But to me it was HUGE. It was the scale going in the right direction.

A few weeks ago I started exercising too. So now...I'm eating a hell of a lot healthier than I have in...well...ever. And I'm riding my stationary bike every morning. I walk too and from the bar most fridays and saturday nights (hey..small victories).

But that's not the coolest thing.
It's been about 3 months since I started this journey.

And I'm below 300 lbs. THAT, my friends, is huge. It's easily been 10...maybe 11 years since that was the case.

AND....(to me, this is even bigger)....the last few times I've danced to Party Rock Anthem at Brew-Stirs....I have NOT been winded. I felt good. I wanted to keep dancing.

I made it through the whole song...shuffling my formerly fat ass all over that dance floor.

And damn it feels awesome.

So...did Party Rock Anthem actually give me a cure for my lard-assedness?

No...but it was a hefty, albeit, unusual motivator.

I have an autographed picture that my sis-in-law got me of Redfoo. She doesn't know how cool that really is to me (well, she might know if she reads this). But it's cool because it's a reminder. A reminder that every day I'm shuffling.

Shuffling that lard ass away.


PostScript:(I've been posting on Twitter with the hash tag of #nomorefattodd come along for the ride!)

Talk to you soon!

PostPostScript: If you want to learn the 'routine' that they do after Redfoo and Sky Blu are turned in to Zombies, this is a pretty kick ass tutorial:

Alright now I'm done.
Have a great day, peeps!


78 Days of Little Things

It's a bunch of little things. Really it is. If you haven't seen me in a while, it may seem like one big thing. But, really, it's a bunch of little things.

It's a couple of friends that knew how much I was screaming inside at the lardass that I'd become. And they cautiously offered something they thought could help.

It was a subtle change in diet. Drastic at first from the sudden fast food abstinence. But gradually it became a little thing.

It was shopping out the outer walls of the grocery store (where the non-processed, or lightly processed foods reside).

It was giving up pop. This was NOT a little thing. To be sure. At 6-8 cans a day, this was huge. But with the tools in the 24Day Challenge, there was no caffeine withdrawal headaches. And 78 Days later, I can honestly say I don't miss pop.

It's little things.

A comment here. A text there.

Little words of encouragement (that meant so much more than I can adequately express) on Facebook...or Twitter or via text. You guys tell me I inspire you....thank you, but you're getting the short end of the stick here. Without you cheering me on, this would have faded in to the background and become one more little thing I couldn't finish.

It was the little shift of the belt from the well worn hole, to the one just behind it that had never been used. And just recently the one behind that.

It's finding out my pants are too short because I'd been wearing them wrong. To be fair, my pant size has only gone down A LITTLE....but....the difference is...now I pull the pants up to my waist where they belong...instead of cinched tightly below my flopping stomach.

Little things.

4 little inches so far around my waist....3 little inches gone from my arms....2 little inches from my thighs. Little things. Hardly missed.

The 3rd chin...(as cute as it was)...gone. The second chin will be gone any day now, I can already see it's getting bored without its playmate.

Little things. There's an X in front of my shirts and underwear....it used to be followed by 2 more....and then an L (XXXL for those that need to visualize it...eww...sorry...didn't mean for you to visualize me in my under..shirt.)....somewhere along the way one of those X's decided to leave. Not sure where it went. Not sure I care.

Oh sure...on some shirts, it's still there. But they're not as tight as they were. They fit a little better now...a little looser.

Little things.

78 days of little things. Little pounds here and there. A 328.8 became a 324....and then a 320...318...315....310....304...300.....

little by little.

I didn't put all the weight on over night (but I know the year it started...I know the event that triggered it....I can outline in vivid detail the depression that fueled it...the anger that spurred it on...oh yes....all those negative little things that slowly but surely moved me in to the 'morbidly obese' category (ok..one doctor said 'morbidly'...the other said 'dangerously'...as though I was going to smash a small city of overdubbed foreigners sometime in the near future).

Nothing major.

Little things.

Little things like being able to just about be able to dance all the way through one of my favorite songs without my little heart wanting to jump out of my chest Aliens style.

Little things like being able to run up and down the stairs without feeling like my leg is going to spasm and seize up.

Little rides on the stationary bike...20 minutes...nothing major. It's not the tour de France in my basement. Just a little ride...on a device that for the last year or so made a quite lovely shelf.

And what's amazing to me throughout this journey (because I'm not where I need to be yet, but I'm a little bit closer)...but the amazing thing is that it's carrying over in to other areas of my life.

I'm a little less angry at the idiot drivers on the way to work.

I'm a little less inclined to engage in the water-cooler bitching.

I'm a little less likely to scowl as my initial response upon being greeted in the mornings (which are a little less harsh these days).

I started this with the idea of making a movie. That may or may not happen (I came across another movie on this journey (thanks to a little recommendation from a friend) that really just blew my mind...so I'm not sure if anything I made would be a copy of that or not...but I'm still keeping video journal entries along the way.

So...in the meanwhile, I'll be tweeting more (is that even still a thing?)...and if it's about my weightloss journey...this little trip I'm on...I'll hash tag it with #nomorefattodd (feel free to follow along @FilmDude71). Not sure how often I'll tweet, but it's another little change.

Speaking of little. I've carved a little chunk out of my goal. My target on this journey is to get down to 225 and then see if I want to get down to where the doctors say I'll be 'uber-healthy,' which is 185...we'll see about that)...so...328.8 to 225...that's a little over 100lbs.

I just checked..and I'm about 28% of the way to my goal. Just by making little changes...little adjustments.

And I'm not going to lie....as good as this feels now...I'm not stopping. I dipped briefly below 300 last week (I haven't seen a 2 at the beginning of my weight since Clinton was in the White House). So I'm not stopping any time soon.

I have a little bit more work to do.

Some little things to take care of.

But before I know it, I'll be there.

Stick around. Laugh with me...cry with me. I'm not going away anytime soon.

Well, not all of me anyway...just the extra part that I don't need to carry around anymore.



Failing NaNo - 4 Years and Counting

I looked, Dear Readers, and noted that the last time I saw fit to let the words fall from my brain bucket and onto these virtual pages was o...