Blog Archive

Friday, September 15, 2017

Say Cheese? - Grove City, PA Senior Photography

As someone who is decidedly more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it, I completely understand how the idea of being the sole focus of an extended photo shoot could be overwhelming.  While some people feel completely natural being photographed, it isn't everyone's idea of a fun way to spend an hour or two.  And, while Gray here was a total pro at smiling for the camera, he wasn't looking for a long and complicated photo session.  He was more at ease being photographed near his home and staying in one outfit that made him comfortable.  I thought his session was a perfect example of how a photo shoot doesn't need to be long and involved to produce a variety of great results.  Sometimes, simple is ideal.  Thanks, Gray!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

. . . and now for something completely different

     When Amanda contacted me with an exciting idea for a family photo shoot, I was humbled and excited for the opportunity to photograph her beautiful family and bring her vision to life.  We planned to meet and capture a some portraits in the beautiful golden hour light before lighting up the sky with some paper lanterns.  We ran into a few hiccups with decade-old lanterns that were hesitant to catch fire and an unexpected fear of being anywhere near the flames, but the end result was still a lovely record of time spent together.

 Thank you all so much for a fun and adventurous photo shoot!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

On My Mind

Hello, internet.  It’s been a while.  I’m not gonna lie.  The last year and a half has been a whirlwind of awful.  I wish I could say it’s all better now, but it’s so not.  If you’re not into stories of personal drama or if you’re particularly squeamish, feel free to skip on down to the photo-sharing portion of the blog.  I will not judge or be offended.  It’s really okay.  In fact, I’ll share the photos before the dramatic stuff so you don’t even have to scroll on by.  Here’s what I’ve been working on lately, after a loooong break from creative photography.  I hope you enjoy.

Meghan Clemm

Meghan Clemm

So, if you’re still here, I’m betting you’re the curious and iron-stomached type.  Welcome to the rest of the blog.  I’m happy to have you.

I made these images as a nod to my experience in the world of psychology.  I was a psych major in college, and I remember feeling so special and excited when, in one of my classes, the professor showed us a set of Rorschach inkblots and made us promise never to show them to anyone else (so they wouldn’t be influenced if they needed to be evaluated with them one day).  These are sort of a reverse inkblot where I’m the ink and the darkness of the tunnel behind me is the paper.  I’ll leave the interpretation of the shapes up to you.

I also happen to have a much more personal connection with psychology.  If you know me, you probably know I’ve struggled with depression as long as I can remember.  I’ve tried lots of therapy and various pharmaceutical interventions, but to no avail.  Sometimes things seemed to get a little better on their own, but in February of 2016, my depression got a turbo booster shot. 

After almost ten years of marriage, my husband and I decided to try to have a baby.  In December, I found out I was pregnant, but in February, I found out I wasn’t any more.  Everyone has their own reaction to a miscarriage.  I was broken.  I’ll probably always be at least a little broken.  We had worked so hard to come to a decision about expanding our family, and it felt like we were doing the right thing.  When our baby was taken away from us, I didn’t know what to think or how to make sense of it.  If there’s a God, and He wanted me to have kids, why would He put me through the process of deciding to have children only to crush me so quickly? (I realize not everyone thinks about life and death and spirituality this way.  This is just my limited understanding.) 

Though the time to announce our happy news was getting close, we hadn’t told many people we were expecting.  So, when the miscarriage happened, it felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone about it.  It didn’t feel fair to force my friends and family to engage with such a heavy topic out of nowhere, and I didn’t feel like I could trust many people to react with the compassion I needed in my fragile state.  And maybe that’s not fair to the people in my life who would’ve liked to know what was going on, but I wasn’t ready to make myself even more vulnerable.  I wanted to hold on to what little control I had left.  Instead, I sought out some professional help once again and began to work through my grief mostly in private.

After I had recovered physically, things started slowly to morph into a new normal of post-pregnancy life.  For a little while, I felt fine physically and was only (ha, only) heartbroken.  But then the physical pain started.  I’ll spare you the graphic details.  At first, my doctors thought it was a simple infection.  I could take a course of antibiotics and be cured.  But the first course didn’t work, so they prescribed a second, and then a third, and eventually I had taken 6 rounds of antibiotics.  But guess what?  My pain had not improved.  In fact, it had spread and gotten worse.  I started to seek out various specialists who might be able to help me solve this puzzle, but with each one I visited, I ended up with another set of normal tests.  I’ve lost track of how many doctors I’ve seen now, but I know it’s more than a dozen, and still, no one knows why I’ve been in pain every day for the last ten months. 

I know there are plenty of people with chronic pain for whom ten months is just a drop in the bucket.  I’m afraid I’m becoming one of those people.  There’s a certain kind of psychological torture in not knowing what’s causing this pain and what I can expect in the future.  Right now, the future doesn’t look too bright.  I can’t predict whether we’ll have other children, and the pain doesn’t seem to want to budge.  I’m not sure whether I’ll ever be happy and healthy.  There are no promises.  Right now, all I can do is work when I can, enjoy what I can, and try to make it through each day with as much sanity as I can cling on to.  Sometimes art helps.

Except, these days I haven’t had much mental energy to focus on art.  I feel responsible for everything that’s happened, from the miscarriage to whatever this illness is and my inability to recover from it.  It doesn’t help that some of my doctors have blamed me, too (at least for the illness part).  I’ve asked for forgiveness, for guidance, for mercy, but so far it doesn’t feel like I’ve been granted any of those things.  Though I’ve worked hard to regain some peace through therapy, yoga, self-help books, prayer, and meditation, I haven’t made enough progress to be able to focus on thinking creatively.  This is my first attempt to create something meaningful in a long, long time.  I hope it won’t be the last.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Caitlin and Tony - Engagement Photography

As a thoroughly northern girl, I love a good romp in the snow, which is why I was psyched to be able to do this out-of-town engagement shoot in a wonderfully snow-covered park.  The bride- and groom-to-be were clearly in love, as their comfort with each other shone through in many many moments of silliness and laughter (some of which I've included here because who doesn't like a little bit of fun in their photo session?).

They were great sports as we explored the beauty of our location and our toes slowly froze in our shoes.  One of the perks of being the photographer in these situations is all the moving around, which generally keeps me from getting too cold (not to mention the fact that my shoes can be less-than-photogenic, and thus warm).  Caitlin and Tony powered through, though, and I'm happy to share the result of our time together with you now.  I wish these two all the best as they go on to start a beautiful life together.

Laughter seems like a good place to start :)

He spun her around . . .

. . . and then she spun him  ;)

Silliness was required to expose Tony's other love: Star Wars.

On to the next adventure!