Here we are, the week of Pelotonia.
Guess who JUST got her bike this past weekend?
I finally rode my bike yesterday. For about less than a mile. This tired face was the outcome:
I think it’s time to openly admit that this ride will be super tough on me, but very entertaining for anyone watching.
In an effort to help boost my fundraising efforts, I created a package to offer photo sessions in exchange for donations to my account. Those who booked with me had the option of a 30 or 60-min session to take photos and then will receive an online gallery to view and download their images. I am overwhelmed, in the best possible way, by the response I received from those I told. This allowed me to combine my passion for photography with my desire to make a difference in finding a cure to cancer.
I always have fun shooting and working with people to capture their special moments, but there was something different in the air. My first session was on a gorgeous summer evening, with two individuals who were very clearly in love. Having been engaged for over half a year now, and less than a year til they say “I do”, I enjoyed every moment I was with them. Their laughter, kindness and friendship humbled me and was contagious.
The next morning, I worked with a two-and-a-half-year old named Avery. She was giggly and excited when she arrived, but the second she saw the camera, she had a melt down. Anyone who knows me personally knows that I’m not a natural when it comes to interacting with children, and I’ll fully take ownership of that. Compliments didn’t work, begging didn’t work…but asking her to pick some flowers for her aunt Meme did the trick! She even picked some for me! It was those light-hearted, candid moments that I captured that made me realize that sometimes you just need to roll with the punches and grasp onto the unexpected.
That afternoon, I pulled on my cowboy boots (oh, how I love to wear those while shooting!) and trekked some back country roads to a horse barn that was nestled into the woods. Something about that drive over relaxed me, and when I arrived and was immediately greeted by three tail-wagging pups, I was in my happy place. I was working with two young ladies and their gorgeous horses and the friendship between them was so easy-going and fun. The sun was beating down on us as we went for an adventure walk into the trails. It was a bonus that I got to lead Badger, an older bay gentleman who accepted my kisses and neck scratches as we walked. The girls lead us to a very scenic bridge in the middle of the trails and it was something about the combination of horses and nature that just soothed my soul. Later, I was able to take photos of them as they jumped some fences in the arena and we all celebrated together as “the Whale” cleared a high oxer!
My last session of the weekend was with a new couple who wanted to document their journey of waiting (as patiently) as possible to be able to announce they have a little one on the way. My heart warmed as I watched the husband interact so tenderly with his wife, who orchestrated the entire thing. As many would guess, most sessions that involve a couple usually indicates that it was one person’s idea and the other is just going along with it because they were told to. But he was there, 100%, in body, mind and spirit to support his wife and that tenderness touched me so much. In an effort to not expose too much of their story, I just wanted to share this one photo and express how touched I was after being in their presence.
These sessions allowed me to feel raw, beautiful emotions and that in itself is a gift I will gladly accept. And from these moments with these individuals, I received a solid reminder to expect the unexpected. I expect that around this time on Saturday, Aug 5, 2017, I will be sore, exhausted, sweaty and probably a little irritated at myself for not training harder. But I hope that I will also experience joy, for being involved in a cause that is super important to me. I hope I will be overwhelmed with the sense of team, community and togetherness. This has been an incredible journey so far, both for me as a person and as someone who is riding in Pelotonia. I look forward to sharing my story with you next week.