fall, photography and looking ahead without dwelling behind

September 30, 2009 |  Category:   family life









It was chilly today. The wind didn’t help and today was perhaps the first day that truly smelled like Fall. I got a whiff of that burning leaves/wood smoke Fall smell while I was pushing Claudine to her class today and I couldn’t help but think that happier times are ahead: pumpkins, Halloween, crunchy leaves, turkey, bountiful farmer’s markets and all those cute cool weather clothes we’ve all been dying to wear. It really is my favorite time of the year and the thought of all things Fall just makes me happy.

This is a good thing because lately I’ve been struggling to keep anxious thoughts away. Seems like our family has been struck with a rash of bad luck lately: 2 car accidents, one of which was serious, a fairly severe burn injury and a big event happening any day now that has been tainted by difficult family bullshit. Plus, I am not working these days…which means there are no upcoming paychecks. Guys, it is weird not to work. I am not used to it at all and I’ve come to realize that I am only really comfortable when I am juggling multiple projects at once. So the no-working thing is throwing me way off, but somehow the day gets filled and hours fly by. I’ve been spending most of my days trying to enjoy this current life of semi-leisure (all relative though, right? There are still the kids and the business to tend to everyday) while finally checking long overdue tasks off my to-do list (like the most dreadful of tasks, updating the portfolio) and trying to keep unnecessarily dramatic thoughts that we’ll all end up destitute in check. It’s been stressful.

On the bright side, I plan to spend more time with my camera, learning more about exposure and lighting while I bear with this slowdown at work. I’ve taken photography classes before in art school and also as an elective while I studied music, but that was ages and ages ago and taking a class is something I’ve been considering. I’ve come to realize that as much as I am non-committal towards design, I feel the most creatively satisfied these days with the camera and I wonder if there is any room for a gradual career switch. I don’t know if that is realistic, financially. What I do know is that we should all be given the opportunity to explore the path that brings us happiness. Client-based design is not that path for me. Just having that clarity seems like a huge step.

So…it’s about looking ahead. And focusing on the positives like Mark’s mom, who is here visiting and is now cancer free. It’s about keeping the nerves in check and keeping busy so there is no time to indulge my overactive imagination. Soon enough all the leaves will have fallen, the weather will be too frigid to enjoy outdoors and we’ll all be pining for spring. Let’s enjoy Fall now.

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  • Kitty September 30, 2009 at 1:42 am

    I love Mia’s coat/jacket.

    Hmm client based design…argh. I work in design but we do our own stuff ie an existing range people can select from. Still not all that straight forward though.

    That is great news re Mark’s mum. My friend’s mum is now cancer free + my boss’s mum is also a cancer survivor. It’s so important to catch it early (+ well get top treatment).

  • selkie September 30, 2009 at 6:43 am

    Good energy (embracing the camera more) evolving out of old energy (work slowdown): change. Hope and Faith. Onward….

  • Mery September 30, 2009 at 7:03 am

    Yay for Lani!!!! That’s great news!

    Try not to worry about work. I know exactly how it feels but things always have a way to work out, really, they do!

    Have you thought about teaching? I don’t know if that’s something you’d be into, but I’m sure with your experience you could be a lecturer or visiting professor at …I don’t know… Pratt, The New School, SVA? And then you can get your MFA in photo slowly without having to dish out the big bucks. I think you are a great photographer! And with your impeccable taste it doesn’t sound too far fetch for me to have a change in your career path.

    These images are so coll, and, of course, Ms. Mia, stylish as usual =) !

  • Perideau Designs September 30, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Congrats for Lani and being cancer free! Here’s to many more years of life. I too love Mia’s coat, where do you get the kids clothes from again? Enjoy your downtime as I love seeing your photography come to life.

  • Anna September 30, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Oh. Em. Gee.
    Mia’s outfit is breathtaking.

  • Sheila September 30, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Your daughter’s outfit is adorable! I’d love to have a women’s version of her jacket. Whenever I check out your blog, I always admire how stylishly dressed your kids are.

  • Lecia September 30, 2009 at 10:39 am

    I didn’t know you’d taken photography courses before. You’re a brilliant photographer and I’m sure would be successful should you choose to follow that path. Do what you love, right?

    I’m sorry to hear about all of the difficult things that have happened recently.

  • Kristi W September 30, 2009 at 11:14 am

    i too am a freelancer and am feeling the same way. it’s scary out there now… but your honesty has really helped me come to face my own anxieties and say it’s okay to be anxious, it’s okay to worry (a bit), and it’s okay to relax. thank you for being honest to yourself, you are truly an amazingly talented woman.

  • rorie September 30, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    now that’s what i’m talking about!

    (and i love love love that little jacket)

  • Alicia September 30, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Love the updates to your portfolio! Didn’t know you did the Daily Candy redesign, very cool. 🙂 You’re a great designer! I admire your work, Jenna.

  • Annie From Seattle September 30, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    A)I think this is the post with the most clarity that I’ve seen since you started the blog.

    B) Changes are never easy, are they? I guess that’s why so many people find themselves trapped at our age. Cheers to Jenna the photographer!

    C) Despite the really bad family shit that seems to be going down, can I hear a roar of approval from the masses that Lani is CANCER FREE? Jesus, that’s just awesome news.

  • Kristen-Apartment Therapy October 1, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Hey Jenna! Have you seen this site for full-time/freelance web/graphic designers? I was reading Swiss Miss a few minutes ago and saw a link to it. (I’m sure you’ve already seen it) But, maybe it’ll help 🙂


  • quyen October 1, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Hi Jenna,

    The kids clothes are wonderful! Maybe go into designing kids clothes since you have a great eye.

    Thanks for providing so many inspirations.


  • Jenna October 2, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Kristen, thanks for that link. Much appreciated.
    quyen, I have a few friends who run children’s clothing lines. They are wonderful…and it’s hard work! I will leave the creating to them…thanks for that nice comment.

  • Kristen October 2, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    I just have to comment on how absolutely adorable your girls and their clothes are! I just can’t get over it. I love their little hair cuts and stylish outfits! So cute.

  • olivia rae October 29, 2009 at 11:56 am

    your daughters are stunningly gorgeous and elegant. i want my daughters to be like them someday! xo