Monday, November 09, 2009

La Esperanza (the hope)

The hurricane had sucked out all the breeze, which meant it was perfect for me to photograph my little purses on Tia Ilna’s seaside bench. Bigness, being the baby of the family, Ilna is an older sister, along with Ophelia, Ester and Isabel. It is my favorite place to photograph, but you have to time it just right, the sun canting to the west, a slice of sunlight between the palm branches and the beautiful afternoon golden light streams through. I can feel the light when it is right, and it only lasts about a ½ hour. I have to move fast to get all the shots in today because I am leaving Caye Caulker to go back to Chetumal Mexico. My wedding photography jobs are done and I am headed back to what feels like home now.

I dump the purses out onto the bench, here sits three weeks of work Three whole weeks. I wonder to myself, how much they will sell for at Pretty Ethnic and Belizean Arts in San Pedro. I can only make about 2 a day, and there is no way I can charge for my time. I am competing with mass produced, imported bags from Bali, China and Guatemala. I hope that people can see that they are one-of-a-kind hand beaded on hand painted silk. Truly original, wearable art. I hope, they read the tag which tells them that they can hand wash them, that they are fair trade products. I hope a fancy designer from New York buys some and decides to use them as inspiration for their next collection, and credits me. I also hope that my mother remembers that I am her only daughter.

The funny thing about growing old, is that nothing really changes, we just become more of who we are, softer or stiffer. I hope that Age will soften me.

In February, when my mother visited I found out a couple of new things about her. I found out that when she was a teenager she wanted to play the base violin, not with the bow, but to pluck it and play in a jazz band. He mother made her play the piano, she hated it and wasted the lessons. As a girl, I studied classical piano, or rather tolerated it. I loved the piano, but quit the lessons at age 16 because I just wanted to play like Elton John circa 1976. I can still read a little music, and play every so often, not often enough to keep unrusty though.

I found out that my mother had had a pregnancy before my oldest brother who was born 2 years after my parents married at the ages of 16 and 18.

I found out that the older I get the more like my father I become. Introverted, cerebral, needing a lot of time, brain space, can’t be rushed, quiet. I read the i

nstruction booklet before I start. My mother, who should be my biggest fan, isn’t. And it has always puzzled me. I am not a drug addict, or bank robber, or prostitute. I am just a girl following her dream, wherever it takes

her. My mother doesn’t approve of me. I don’t fit tightly into the box my she wants me in. I’ve tried it, it doesn’t fit me.

It was the quietness of this year, the year I quit my life in Belize, that I had enough head space to create new things. And many new things were created. So, now that I am talking about it again, I will share these new things with you, a little bit at a time.

Favorite Photo - Go Slow (the dog)

Heather & John, November 7, 2009

Here is a sampler from that dayLivingroom of Caye Reef

Getting ready, one of the bedrooms at Caye Reef.

The ceremony was on the beach, in a most unlikely place, to the right of Sobre las Olas and across, the street from Herbal Tribe, behind the street vendors.

This makes me dizzy to even look at. But it was shot on the rooftop of the new Caye Reef, under the Lanai. The sunny sky was to the west, while the storm was to the east.... (below). You can sorta see one of the feeder bands behind the hammock.

No, folks, this is not a painted background, this is the real deal.
Chilin on the lounge chairs at Caye Reef
Awe shucks folks, I AM a sentimentalist
Costa Maya Beach Cabanas and Tsunami Adventures dock.

Shot on the beach right in front of Costa Maya Beach Cabanas & Tsunami Adventures

Heather's lucky blue beads. I love the texture on his shirt.

I also love weathered wood.

Greetings from the Peanut Gallery.

More GuRlz!

All Eyes on Ida

While all eyes were on Ida churning up the coast of Belize, seemingly just beyond the reef, I was watching...

Gurlz with ATTITUDE and Bride on Bike! I love the purses and high heel sandles, and it was a hoot to watch them teetering on the sand. Practicing in advance (about 10 years in advance) for the Miss Lobsterfest Pageant.

I came back to Caye Caulker on the 4th, to shoot a wedding on the 5th, during the system that preceeded Ida, finished that one and faced down Ida on the 7th. Sally, Caye Caulker's wedding coordinator always has her contingency plan, she's on top of the weather situation. Sometimes I think she has a crystal ball. Now, me, I'm a sweaty hyperventillating mess, just prior to shooting, even on a good day. It is not that I don't like shooting weddings. I love it. It is probably one of the most fulfilling jobs I have ever had. It is the nervous tension I self generate, and I can't seem to stop it. maybe I should stop trying to.

"Babes, I don't even know where the plywood is." Bigness tells me that morning. This always catches us like this, late in the season, we think trouble has passed, and then boom, we are right there in it.

"The water is cool cool cool, too cool for a hurricaine." I keep telling myself. And it was cool, both on the 5th and the 7th, the air temperature dipped down into the 70s.

My couple was from the coast of North Carolina, where they understand "WEATHER." And in talking with them the day before the ceremony, the groom was actually grooving on the weather and said "Wouldn't if be great if we could get some lightening in the background of some of the photos.?"

I said, "Well that would be cool, but you wil be standing out there by yourself, because when I see lightening, I run for cover." I remember well the lightening storm that raked across the beach a few years ago and electrocuted a man. All in all, when the time came, the day was perfect, with the storm to the east and sunny sky to the west, cool temperatures. What more could I ask for? It seemed like we all got what we wanted that day.