The time of year has come where my family has begun asking the burning question, “What would you like for Christmas?” As I grow older, my list seems to grow shorter as the things I want in life are no longer items from a catalog. Can I have less debt for Christmas? How about all of the sleep I probably need? Perhaps a never-ending supply of gas? If all else fails, puppies are great too.
Making my list. In my younger years, I remember begging my family to go in on larger gifts, often convincing them that I would surely perish without whatever item it was. (I was rather dramatic). One of those “had to have” items was my Canon Rebel camera.
I remember opening up the camera on Christmas Day, ecstatic to begin the family photoshoot that was bound to follow. I took pictures for hours of the most trivial things, and fancied myself an amateur photographer. I’d like to say I’ve become wiser in my old age and looking back, those photos were mediocre at best. Hell bent on improvement, I carried that camera with me everywhere for the next 6 months, seeking interesting subjects and adorable animals.
Needless to say, that phase faded fast and my camera found a home inside my closet, neglected. Much like this blog, for a long time, I didn’t think I had a reason to take it out and began making excuses. I’d say,”It’s heavy/clunky. I can’t fit it in my bag. I don’t want to drop it and ruin it.” To put it frankly, they were crap excuses for neglecting improvement.
Unearthed. During my seasonal closet shuffle, my camera managed to find it’s way back to the front of my closet. Sitting up high on its shelf, I stared at it, feeling guilty that the bag was beginning to gather dust. I felt this nagging need (much like I nagged my family to purchase it) to take it out and start shooting again. My fingers itched for the click of the shutter and the weight of the case. With nothing left to do but begin, I set up a shoot time.
Being a fan of all things spooky, creepy, and vintage, I planned a hauntingly beautiful graveyard shoot with my friend, Rachel. As the morning progressed, the Oregon weather made up its fickle mind, deciding to open the proverbial faucets and let it pour.
Rachel and I are no stranger to wet weather, so we decided to brave the downpour and take our cameras out in the cold. We trekked through two graveyards that could give even the eeriest movie set a run for its money. As our hairs stood up on the backs of our necks, we explored the swampy terrain in search of the oldest headstones we could find.
What you can’t see. When it comes down to it, I’m a real person too. Life isn’t always as glamorous as my Instagram. Sometimes to get that shot you have to dig around in dusty corners and sometimes you end up resembling a mud monster. But under stained jeans and scraped knees, lies the shot you seek.
I’ve said it once and I will say it again, life does not seem to care about my plan, or my boots for that matter. With each swampy step, my socks squished inside my boots, welcoming the water. Groundskeeper, dig me a grave, because those shoes are toast! Despite my best efforts, I had frozen feet and contracted what felt like a small plague.
Behind the scenes Rachel and I spent the majority of our time contorting at odd angles, brushing off moss, and trying not to fall into any holes in the ground. I can assure you that falling into a grave is not as much fun as the movies make it seem like. But behind all the moss, muck, and musty smells was an incredible adventure. My boots may be ruined, but the memories are much more valuable.
The product. Here are a few of the haunting shots from our adventure. Making things look easy isn’t easy. Take your time and enjoy the process, and don’t let your hobbies collect dust.
Stay spooky, friends!