4:47am – Ugly Things

It’s 4:47am – I’ve been up since 12:47am, so exactly four hours since I walked into “I can’t sleep” town. It’s very quiet here.

I’ve been kicking around on my computer, hoping it would tire out my eyes and I would go back to sleep, but I think it’s just waking me up.

There’s a buzzing here – grasshoppers or some sort of summery sound. Also someone’s air conditioner which is bizarre because it’s so cool outside.  The moon showed up in my back yard which is funny to see because it was in the front yard before I went to bed.  That was a short lived event.

I’ve been looking through photos of actors and musicians on their websites and facebook pages. Mine included. There is this re-occuring theme of “look at the most beautiful photos of me.” Poised, graceful, intriguing, beautiful. I love posting photos like these. But the more I’m looking at all of these beautiful people the more I’m realizing that we’re forgetting to share in the fact that we all have not-so-beautiful moments.  Not beautiful by our standards, anyway. We want to show that our lives are wonderful and that we feel grateful and blessed for all that we have. And it is true for me – I feel grateful and blessed for all that I have in my wonderful life.  But that doesn’t mean that life isn’t hard sometimes.  Sometimes it’s downright ugly. Sometimes we don’t feel beautiful. Sometimes I’m afraid that if I write a song that doesn’t show off how beautiful my life is, you will judge me as being ungrateful for all that I have.

But then I remember that you have those days too.  Days that make you sad, angry, confused, afraid.  But know that those things are not ugly.  They do not make you ugly.  They tie us together. It is what is special about being a songwriter. Yes, I have to promote my work with photos that make listening appealing…but the heart of it is the music that hopefully makes us connect to each other. We need that most when we are sad.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that, on the days when you don’t think you’re beautiful, just remember that I do.

(I do think you’re beautiful, that is.)

Moon over my back yard, 4:47am

Surfin’ USA

I know I’ve mentioned a few times before that a love of mine has always been taking pictures. It started when I was young and I most definitely got the bug from my Mom, who always had a camera in her hand while we were growing up. (And still now, as it seems we will always be growing up.) In high school I earned the nickname “Kodak” from my friends – and while they complained, everyone knew they could come to me for pictures from fun events.

The older I get and the more I travel the more my enjoyment in the art of photography grows. I love to capture people’s expressions during unforgettable moments, as well as the beauty of the nature around us. We get so used to our day-to-day surroundings that we forget to see The Beauty of it All.

Through the generosity of a wonderful friend of mine, I’ve been able to take photos of my beautiful new surroundings and would love to share those pictures with you.  I plan to post more photography more frequently, so I hope you enjoy!

Surfin’ USA:

“If everybody had an ocean

Across the USA

Then everybody’s be surfin

Like Californ-I-A…”

Last week I headed out to Venice Beach with my friend Mike and his surfboard – it was just about 5pm when we got there – my favorite time to start shooting the sun. These are some of the highlights of the shoot! (We’ll start with my personal favorite)

“Surfer Sun”

“Chinook Surfer Sun”

I found this photo particularly exciting because I hadn’t yet seen the two Chinook helicopters that were about to fly by.  I just caught this one as it made it’s way past the sun. Nick used to work on the Chinook program at Boeing so it was a fun thing to see.

These are my favorite shots from the day – I hope you enjoyed this trip to the beach!

Next up for the photo blog will be Laguna Beach and San Francisco/Napa Valley.

(Special thanks to my Surfer Subject!)