My last couple postings are more 'professional' than what I usually post here. That's great for me. The essence of running a website with a 'dot com' in the URL is business related. My curiosity turned me onto photography and that curiosity transmogrofied into a hobby and that hobby is now a little side business. Who knows what's next?
But the core of my photos and business is authenticity. More than anything, I want people to think of my photos and I as authentic, creative and inspired. And part of that is just being genuine with what I write. A lot of books and articles I read tell the photographer to distance themselves from their website (e.g. it's not about me, it's the about the photography). However, this isn't my sole business, and not everyone is going to see the world through the same lens that I do. Maybe I come off as too aloof, or maybe this blog is a bit too 'parental.' Truthfully, that's fine with me. The kind of people I want to attract to my business are people that are fine with posts about a Lego Millennium Falcon, meetings with Edgar Martinez, and stories about nonsense my kids say. There are a gazillion photographers who would be fine keeping that stuff behind closed doors. I'm just not one of them.
Which brings me to what the hell I've been doing for the last week. If you frequent my postings on Flickr, you may already have some idea, but last week we all loaded up the car and headed to The Great Wolf Lodge just south of Olympia. If you don't know about the Great Wolf Lodge, just know try to imagine what it would be like if an Embassy Suites had a giant water-park and J.K. Rowling and Ranger Rick did all the decorating.
Highlights include watching J.J. slide down the worlds shortest water-slide about 22 straight times, dropping a small fortune at the arcade (which Miles thought was pronounced: 'The R.K.'), and watching Miles squirt passers-by with a water-gun attached to a jet-ski.
And then there were the lowlights. How about five minutes into the water-park, where eight-stories-up, Miles and I tumbled down a flight of stairs while descending a water-slide we weren't prepared for? It's one thing to fall down a flight of stairs. It's quite another to do it shirtless while holding a four-year-old. Luckily we suffered nothing more than some good bruises and aches. The bruises looked terrific on me while I watched J.J. play in the kiddie pool.
Sidenote: kiddie wading pools are evil. I'm not exactly a svelte as I once was and I'm not the biggest of fan of standing in water that only comes up to my pale ankles, while all that separates me from strangers is a roomy piece of microfiber. Couple that with the fact that I stood next to Bruce Lee Clone (a gentleman who my Mrs. gave the 'Best Body Award'). We looked like the poster for that 80's movie Twins. The one where Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger play brothers. Only in the case, one of us was tanned, former Olympic athlete and asian. I'll let you try and guess which one I was. I stay behind the lens for a reason.
We made two trips to Seattle, the first of which was to take Miles to his personal Western Wall: The EMP. If you aren't familiar with the EMP, try to imagine the love child of Paul Allen and Jimi Hendrix. It's an extremely interactive museum dedicated to Rock'n'Roll. There are several soundproof rooms filled with drum kits, electric guitars, keyboards, turntables, and even microphones for laying down your own vocals. Miles would go there everyday from dawn-to-dusk if he could, but it was a lot to ask of J.J.
The next day we checked out of the hotel. One the way to breakfast, a guy on a road-bike rode past us.
Miles: Daddy, he was going really fast.
Me: Yeah, I think he's training for a race. Some people race bicycles.
Me: Yeah. In fact, in a week or so, the Tour de France will start. It's a big bike race with a couple hundred of people that race in teams.
Miles: I could ride in that.
Me: You think so?
Miles: Yeah. I'm the fastest bike-rider in the whole planet.
Me: Wow. Well...they don't have training wheels on their bikes, buddy.
Miles: *Looks dejected* Oh. They don't?
Shortly thereafter we headed back up to Seattle to watch our beloved Mariners host The Braves. We were lucky enough to catch King Felix take the mound, but luck wasn't on his side. I did however, quite serendipitously meet up with my old friends Nic, Jeff and Alex. Nic was getting married later in the week and the game was part of the bachelor party. Miles and J.J. enjoyed the game (particularly the pre-game softball home run derby and the find-the-ball-under-the-hat-game they show on the jumbotron in the fifth inning).
We came home later that evening and caught up around here the next day. Friday night we drove out to McMenamins - Edgefield to attend Nic's wedding. Any wedding that combines pinwheels, pizza, beer, a New Kids on the Block recessional and an acoustic cover of 'Hit Me Baby One More Time', will rank near the top for me. I've been to more weddings in the last couple year than ever and the best ones are those where you feel that the event really came from the combined minds of the bride and groom. Nic and Jessica's was a great example.
Independence Day was spent being thankful for the freedom I have to eat bratwurst and homemade ice cream. We had dinner with Rachel's family and actually got some decent photos of the a) all the kids -- and b) our family (I certainly wasn't expecting either). In my family, I'm alone on an island when it comes to fireworks, so I headed out to White Salmon to catch the local show. But you already knew that.
So a busy week brings me to this moment; where I sit with my lady on our sofa watching Masterchef. And I have no problem sharing that with you, whether you're a potential client, or not.