Journeying through life

Long exposure, bouncing through Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on May 2nd

You may have noticed that some of our posts aren’t about travel per se.  Although Brian and I are on a round-the-world trip, we’re still on our personal journeys through life, independently and together, and we’ll be posting about those here as well.

We are what you you might call seekers.  Of course we are, you could say.  Who else would leave behind the comforts of home and the safety of good jobs to see the world and discover new things?  Well, that’s just the beginning.

We both left our careers in Silicon Valley.  Brian is fairly certain he’s identified his life’s work, but he’s not sure what direction he’ll take to pursue it.  Me, I have no clue about my life’s work or what’s next for me, career-wise.  I guess you could say I have clues, but either the big picture isn’t clear or I’m being willfully obtuse about it.  I have too many interests, possibilities and ideas to settle just yet.  Brian has three years on me, though, so maybe everything will become blissfully clear when I’m 35.  I can always hope!

For the past several years, we’ve also been working to improve our health and fitness.  Thanks to a healthy eating workshop we took in 2009, we generally eat local, organic foods with simple ingredients (bye-bye, high fructose corn syrup and incomprehensible additives!).  Brian also runs regularly and is currently training for the Kona half-marathon, I take zumba classes and we share a regular yoga practice.  At 6’4″ and 180-ish lbs, Brian is almost at his target weight.  I have a little more work to do, but I’m working toward my goal.

Spiritually, we’re also seeking.  We want to know the meaning of life and how the universe works, which has led to our study of metaphysics and the law of attraction.  The latter was a big eye-opener for me!  Anyone who knew me in college could attest to my general negativity (which, of course, I claimed was realism at the time).  I’ve worked hard over the past several years to recognize and come to terms with how my attitude (ahem…vibration) drew certain people and events — both good and bad — into my life.  As little as three years ago, I had a basic understanding of the secret, but I still thought that bad things were happening to me not because of me.  Although I’m not perfect at maintaining alignment with my conscious intentions even now, I am able to take responsibility for everything that happens in my life, even when I don’t like it.  This is huge for me!

As we continue our journeys, we’ll be updating you on our progress and new ideas.  And, although we’re pretty committed to metaphysics, we’ll try not to get too woo-woo on you.  We hope you enjoy the ride.

We’d love to hear your story as well, so share away!  Are you a seeker?  What are you exploring in your personal journey?

Aloha,

Jody Yarborough - Hey Kate,

Thanks for writing. So yeah, I mean I thought I would like Disqus, but
when I actually went to use it as a commentor, I would like it better if
you could option out of having to register to the service just to leave
a comment. Did you know it was that way? That you can’t just comment
anonymously, you HAVE To register as a user with Disqus. I commented
this to Andrew and he said it was a detraction for him for the one time
he did comment to you about your contest, and he has already forgotten
his login and password. lol

Not that the whole world is based on Andrew types… but, ya know. I
think Disqus has the potential to be great for people who have a
well-established blog and are part of a large blog network themselves. I
think it is a great tool feature for bloggers just for the reasons you
list. But for non-bloggers and just general comment generation (which is
what I think you are wanting right now) it may be counter productive.

But enough about that! Glassblowing! Sounds exciting. You are in a good
place for it, among the land of fire and volcanoes. :) Wonder if they
will let you photograph inside the studio (not that you might want to) I
just think glass and glass blowing art is so pretty. What else are you
up to these days? Like what is your typical Thursday like? My assumption
is a lot of reading, sight-seeing and beach lounging.

Life is going okay here. My heart is still aching a bit from losing
Ernie. But I am keeping busy with work, and working on getting my blogs
up and running. (Thank you for being such a great support and fan! I
really appreciate it! I love that we can be that for each other even
across the miles) Tomorrow night Drew and I are going to see the opening
of Sex and the City.

Okay, I’ll stop rambling now.

Hugs,

Jody

Kate - Hi Cassandra: I'm only repeating what you've told me! But if that's helping to inspire you to explore your own calling, that's cool. You have a lot of really positive, meaningful impact in my life, too. Thank you!

I agree that blogging about whatever you want feels best, and will have to keep telling myself that when doubt creeps in. I think that's why I lost interest with my old blog – I was too cautious about what I wrote. Cheers

Kate - Thanks, Jody!

Really, you don't like Disqus? We'll definitely have to give that some thought. I like that it has replies direct to each person and will capture all of your comments on various Disqus-supported blogs in one central location where you can log in and view them, but…if it's discouraging comments, we definitely don't like that. I would like something where you can subscribe to subsequent comments, too, though.

I've definitely had some jobs that I have no intention of repeating, so yes that's helps. At the moment, I'm into exploring other art forms. I'm so excited (and a little nervous) to be taking a glassblowing class later this summer. And thanks for reinforcing something Cassandra's told me before: that my “calling” can change. I don't know why I assume that it's a fixed thing, but I always have. Glad to hear you're pretty content and settled in your own career these days!

Kate - Thanks, Mama Tee! I like your no-nonsense approach to getting Brian back in the game. I couldn't find a Maui on the Cheap, but if you Google that term, you'll find some articles in the LA Times travel section with ideas. Have a great trip!

Jody Yarborough - Great blog Kate. I wrote a longer comment but I wasn't logged in to this Disqus thing and now it's gone :( If you want more comments you might consider disabling this feature for a while and going back to just the basic commenter. Some people might be discouraged by having to sign up to disqus to leave a comment.

Aside from that part of what my original comment said is that I too, can identify with being a seeker. Even though I am feeling more settled in my career path, I am constantly wanting to seek out new things, experiences, learning things, conversations. Things of personal growth and renewal. I also deeply believe in the laws of attraction. I'm wondering though, as you try to think about and decide what your (career) path will be, do you know for sure what you don't want it to be? Sometimes that can help provide direction. But besides that, who says you have to just pick one thing? You can be a photographer for five years, then do something else for five years, then something else…. Hugs!! Jody

Coach Cassandra Rae - Oh, Kate, thank you for sharing how your Calling can change! You really are inspiring me to explore my own Calling. You have so much more of an impact on me than I’ve expressed and I’m so grateful for you. *hugs*

About Disqus…I use it because I like how it organizes comments into threads making it easy to have conversations instead of a random bunch of comments. I will also check my settings and make sure you don’t have to log in to comment. Oh! I also love how I can share my comments on Twitter & Facebook with a link to the blog post. What a great way to invite others to add to the conversation :~)

Coach Cassandra Rae - Oh I love hearing the woo-woo stuff :~)

I just returned from a 4 day women’s retreat and one of the message that came through the experience was:

Blog about whatever you want to blog about no matter how woo-woo and trust that you will engage with the perfect peeps and all will unfold beautifully.

Ah…I like that! It’s too much pressure to worry about what I think people will want to read and comment on. It’s so much easier to simply speak from my heart about the topics I am interested in.

Kate - Thanks, Danielle! Good to hear from you. Are you thinking you might take off from the valley one day? Do tell!

Kate - Thanks, Danielle! Good to hear from you. Are you thinking you might take off from the valley one day? Do tell!

Terri A - Ok Brian, here is a comment so get back to work. Kate, dont you hate how easy it seems for guys to be at their “target” weight…I have been searching for mine for 30 years.
By the way, think there is a “Maui on the cheap?” I'll be there in 3 weeks…

Danielle - Keep on writing! We love reading about your explorations and the adventures you have. You could say we are living vicariously through your fearlessness to take off from the valley!

Danielle - Keep on writing! We love reading about your explorations and the adventures you have. You could say we are living vicariously through your fearlessness to take off from the valley!

Art Adventures: Origami

Last Thursday, Brian and I drove up to Honoka’a Public Library on the beautiful Hamakua coast for a free class on origami, the art of Japanese paper folding.  We read about the class on an awesome local website: Big Island on the Cheap.  Coincidentally, we also met one of the website’s founders at the class.  The Big Island is a small place!

Our class of eight was taught by Deb Pun Discoe of Aloha Origami.  Deb and her husband also have an egg and tea farm nearby.

Our project was pretty involved for this first-time origamist, but Deb was always there to lend a helping hand.  We each made two tulips with leaves, a frame to back the tulips (more complicated than it sounds) and a small, scrap-paper box.  Here are my efforts:

Pretty good for a beginner, I think.  Anyone else do origami?  What is your favorite thing to make?

Kate - As if passing notes in school wasn’t enough fun, yours were pretty! How cool is that! Thanks, Sherry

Kate - As if passing notes in school wasn’t enough fun, yours were pretty! How cool is that! Thanks, Sherry

shercahn - I just make the little frogs but used to do the “orgami” letters to pass notes in school. I used to be able to do the box that you blew into to make big, the “jewelry box” type, the trinket box . . . . My cranes never worked out right.

Mahalo, Harbor Gallery

Five years ago during our honeymoon in Hawaii, Brian and I stopped at a little restaurant on the way from the Kona airport to our first rental cabin in Hamakua. It’s name is Cafe Pesto, and it’s located in the tiny village of Kawaihae on the Kohala peninsula. Remembering the place fondly, we visited it again last week and were happy to find it still in business. As we recalled, its walls were decorated by the Harbor Gallery next door, giving patrons something to gaze at if conversation lags.

You know if there’s a gallery in sight, I’m headed to it.  We spent at least an hour wandering through the koa creations, photos, jewelry and other artwork.  Upstairs at Mountain Gold, we struck up a conversation with proprietor and jeweler Moses Thrasher, who has specialized in creating custom jewelry on the Big Island for more than two decades.  He told us that he was the original creator of Hawaiian whale tail jewelry and other island-themed charms.  I personally love his tiny honu charm and have added it to my wishlist.

After wrapping up our conversation with Moses, we headed back downstairs to talk to Harbor Gallery owner Gunner Mench.  As I mentioned, I’m a fan of the work of Victoria McCormick and I inquired if she had any numbered prints available.  Although she’s no longer issuing them, Gunner helped us dig through his inventory and we found several older limited editions.  We liked what we saw, but I mentioned that what I really wanted was one of my favorite images of hers, even though the limited edition had long since sold out.  To our surprise, Gunner immediately picked up the phone and called Victoria to ask if she had any numbered prints remaining from the extremely popular series.  She did!  She had reserved a small number of artist proofs and was willing to sell us one at an excellent price.  “Done!,” I responded. He arranged to pick it up from her and had it for us at his gallery the very next day.  What amazing service!

Big thanks to Victoria, Gunner and Harbor Gallery for adding to my photography collection.  As a result of Gunner’s efforts, Brian and I are now the proud owners of a one-of-a-kind print of The Journey Home and a limited edition of Point of Tranquility.  It really pays to ask for what you want, doesn’t it?

Do you have an example of a time when overcoming fear and asking for what you really wanted landed you something great? Please share!  We love hearing your stories.

Mahalo,

P.S., I know we’re on a world trip and I wrote a whole post about not acquiring any new stuff, but when it comes to art, I have very limited control.  What can I say, I’m a collector!  When we’re done in Hawaii, we’ll send the prints home to be stored safely until our return.

Kate - Thanks, Cassandra! Of course, asking for you want doesn’t always work. I’ve asked a couple of folks about art lessons recently and haven’t heard anything yet… Maybe it’s not the right time or place.

Kate - Thanks, Cassandra! Of course, asking for you want doesn’t always work. I’ve asked a couple of folks about art lessons recently and haven’t heard anything yet… Maybe it’s not the right time or place.

Coach Cassandra Rae - *very cool*

Recently a client asked me if we could reschedule and I was like, “Yup, no problem.” I gave her exactly what she requested and then I said, “See…all ya had to do was ask!”

It really is that easy.

An homage to sunsets

In a nod to Earth Day, we’ve prepared an homage to nature’s beauty: a trio of Kona sunset photos.  All were taken right outside our ohana (home) with our little point & shoot.  Today we’re off to see another type of fire, this one of the earth-forming variety.  Stay tuned…


Kate - We didn't even see that. How funny!

Coach Cassandra Rae - All fab photos & that last one is breathtaking – the way the light creates a cross is stunning. Can't wait to see more :~)

Rekindling the love

One of my favorite working photographers recently posted a list of “20 perfect things” on his blog, recognizing the simply perfect, small pleasures in his photographic life.  His #19 really resonated with me:

#19. Photographing what you love without regard for what anyone else thinks. Sure, it’s nice to hear people rave about your images, but at the end of the day the only thing that really matters is that you love them and loved making them. Being a so-called amateur has this strongly in its favour. Don’t ever forget why you do this. David duChemin

For the past several years, I have run my own wedding and portrait photography business.  What started with an intention to shoot exactly what I wanted, how I wanted — which for me meant purely candid, artistic images of people in the moment, laughing, loving and being themselves — over time morphed into a conglomeration of other people’s advice, desires and expectations.

Here are just a few of the suggestions I’ve gotten over the years:

  • People prefer tender images of their children looking into the camera.  What you want to shoot doesn’t sell. — Photographer
  • Photojournalism is for lazy photographers.  You need to pose your clients. — Photographer (Note: If you’ve ever seen a photojournalist in action, you’ll know this is hilarious!)
  • Photojournalism is dead.  It’s all about fashion photography now.  You need to continually update your style. — Photographer
  • You need to diversify and provide all types of photography: head shots, commercial, portraits, wedding, etc. — Business owner
  • You have to do in-person sales consultations with a projection system in order to make money. — Industry expert
  • Never sell the digital negatives. — Industry expert
  • Never post your prices on your website. — Industry expert
  • I love your style but can you change [insert fundamental aspect of my style] just for me on my wedding day? — Prospective client

I think you get the picture, and there are dozens more where those came from.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not pointing the finger here and I take full responsibility for my predicament.  I got wrapped up in the well-meaning advice of people who were older or more experienced, and I discounted the advice of my own heart.  But here’s the secret no one cops to: Even if the advice given was truly the “secret sauce” for that person, I am not him or her and I can’t replicate another person’s success by doing exactly what he/she did.  So, what now?

I’m commencing a personal detox program:

  • First, I’m going to take some time off.  Although I’m taking gear on our trip, it’s going to live in its cozy, little bag until I feel inspired to pull it out.
  • Then, I’m going to take some time to shoot what I want, when I want and how I want in order to rekindle my love for photography.
  • After some time has passed, I will revisit whether to keep my love private or go public with it (i.e. to keep photography a hobby or to put my shingle back out).

If the latter wins, I will define very specifically how I work, and I will make that clear in all of my promotional materials. I can’t do everything well and, more importantly, I don’t want to.  I resolve to be true to myself going forward, and to develop selective hearing loss to ensure that well-meaning advice and suggestions no longer make me second-guess my convictions. Probably easier said than done, right?  Well, we all need goals.  😉  Stay tuned to see how I’m doing.

Is there anything in your life that you loved but have lost passion for?  What happened?  What are you doing to reconnect, if anything?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Cheers,

On Creative Recovery and the True Self » KateWatson.net - […] is my second time through this material. The first time, I was completely blocked. I had just closed my photography business after a several-year-long slide into creative depression […]

Art Aligned™ » Blog Archive » Freeing your creative energies - […] September 2011. When my husband and I left home, I thought I’d never pick up a camera again. My creative flow was completely dried up. I started taking classes in other art forms to find a new passion. What I found instead was my way […]

Kate - Thanks, Rachel! I am very grateful for the support I’ve been receiving from clients like you during this process. If my experience can help others, I’m all for it. Cheers to you and Tom!

Kate - Thanks, Rachel! I am very grateful for the support I’ve been receiving from clients like you during this process. If my experience can help others, I’m all for it. Cheers to you and Tom!

Rachel and Tom Herbst - I just read your whole blog and I say Awesome… We loved your photographs and I still brag to this day that I did not have any posed pictures during my wedding!

I hope you find what you are looking for and just so you know I shared your story with my High School art class as a way to not lose the passion and do what you love!

Rachel and Tom Herbst - I just read your whole blog and I say Awesome… We loved your photographs and I still brag to this day that I did not have any posed pictures during my wedding!

I hope you find what you are looking for and just so you know I shared your story with my High School art class as a way to not lose the passion and do what you love!

Kate - Thanks, Jody!

Kate - Thanks, Jody!

Jody Yarborough - Kate,

I indeed did enjoy reading this blog. I think you said what needed to be said without sounding “pissed off” lol I think too, the Valley is in hyper-drive and very competitive. That lends itself to a lot of people just talking to hear themselves talk, i.e. all the unsolicited, or even sometimes, solicited advice.

I think just like you and Brian having the guts and the courage to embark on this life-changing journey you are about to go on, you will have the inner compass to know IF and HOW you should return to photography. We’ve talked before how something can become “not fun” anymore, and that is never a good thing. Whatever “it” is, it has to bring joy and happiness and be fun! at least moreso than less.

Here is to fun!! You have a God-given talent behind the lens. I am sure you will find your fun with it again. And if not, that is okay too.

Love,

Jody

Jody Yarborough - Kate,

I indeed did enjoy reading this blog. I think you said what needed to be said without sounding “pissed off” lol I think too, the Valley is in hyper-drive and very competitive. That lends itself to a lot of people just talking to hear themselves talk, i.e. all the unsolicited, or even sometimes, solicited advice.

I think just like you and Brian having the guts and the courage to embark on this life-changing journey you are about to go on, you will have the inner compass to know IF and HOW you should return to photography. We’ve talked before how something can become “not fun” anymore, and that is never a good thing. Whatever “it” is, it has to bring joy and happiness and be fun! at least moreso than less.

Here is to fun!! You have a God-given talent behind the lens. I am sure you will find your fun with it again. And if not, that is okay too.

Love,

Jody

Kate - Hi Angie: You are the one who proved that first piece of advice wrong. You understood and loved my style back when I was 100% unposed and in-the-moment, and I will always be thankful for the opportunity to work with you and your family. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Kate - Hi Angie: You are the one who proved that first piece of advice wrong. You understood and loved my style back when I was 100% unposed and in-the-moment, and I will always be thankful for the opportunity to work with you and your family. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Angie Bice - As a former client, I surely hope you return to the business… in full “Kate” style. And I have to say that most all of the pictures I’ve purchased do NOT include my children looking at the camera! And I would never have thought that before meeting you. 😉 Your eye is the BEST for getting the great shots that will enable me to remember how my children REALLY were at the ages of the shoots. I look forward to continuing to hear about your journey. And, yes, I really really hope that one day you’ll come back to us for pics… maybe Jimmy’s grad shots? Maybe that mythical city-shoot in SF that I’ll never stop wanting!! :) :) :)

And, I LOVE the woman and her child pictured at the top of this post. Seriously, I really LOVE them! :)

Angie Bice - As a former client, I surely hope you return to the business… in full “Kate” style. And I have to say that most all of the pictures I’ve purchased do NOT include my children looking at the camera! And I would never have thought that before meeting you. 😉 Your eye is the BEST for getting the great shots that will enable me to remember how my children REALLY were at the ages of the shoots. I look forward to continuing to hear about your journey. And, yes, I really really hope that one day you’ll come back to us for pics… maybe Jimmy’s grad shots? Maybe that mythical city-shoot in SF that I’ll never stop wanting!! :) :) :)

And, I LOVE the woman and her child pictured at the top of this post. Seriously, I really LOVE them! :)