Hilary Spencer Creative Photography » Creative photographer specializing in weddings, engagements, and family photography. I'd like to make you smile.

Category Archives: Personal

This is going to be a rambler, I can feel it.

New Sara Barielles playing in the background, the dog is asleep, nothing is in my way, so I’m gonna ramble. Hold onto your knickers.

I need to talk about waking up.

Quick story for you, before things get too profound. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a morning person. I’m not a bright, bubbly, “Oh the birds are singing!” kind of a person. I’m a “shoot the birds and close the blinds, I’ll see you next week” if you’re lucky enough to get more out of me than a muffled groan in protest. I have to, have to set an alarm. Two alarms. Three alarms. It’s alarming how many alarms I actually set (har har). These are alarms on my phone, and I usually leave my phone far away from my bed to ensure my zombie self gets up and at’em to turn them off, hopefully and optimistically assuming that at some point in my journey I will WAKE UP. This… doesn’t always happen. I’ll bolt out of bed at the most undecent hour, turn off the alarm (snooze), and crash back into bed. Cue: the dance of the thousand snooze buttons.

Now. The sleeping wonder that (unfortunately) shares the bed with me does not appreciate this morning routine. I want to say that I’ve gotten better lately, but he’ll protest otherwise I’m sure. It’s as though I don’t have any conscious thoughts about actually staying awake after getting out of bed; I autopilot back under the sheets and have no conscious choice but to obey my body. It’s ridiculous. It’s not normal. Is it? Let a sister know.

The connection for this morning-glory story to the aformentioned profoundness is that… in recent weeks…

I’ve woken up.

This… is profound. I’ve woken up… creatively, business-wise, idea-wise, ambition-wise; I’ve woken up wanting to push again. Push? At what? Oh, that little thing that I forgot I love to do. That, my friends, is as sincere as I can get with a snoring dog drooling on my toes: I FORGOT I loved photography. Totally forgot that the subtle focus of rain drops on kittens (wait, what?) and toothy, gleeful grins that get my heart racing and eyes shining. I love what I do. And I do it, because I love it.

So where have I been before this revelation of epic proportions? Drowning in self-pity, in my negative levels of self-assuredness, drowning in the complete disbelief in myself and my talent. I decided that because I’m not making a million dollars and taking photographs of Miley Cyrus twerking, I’m not worth a single penny of anyone’s thoughts or business. This is just insane thinking, folks (much like the a fore-mentioned performance of the fallen Disney star). Insane.

If you can’t believe in yourself, WHO CAN?!

I can assure you: caps were needed in that last sentence.

So lets flash forward: how did I wake up? It was a normal day, totally unexpected; out of nowhere, my heart filled with something other than self-hate. I suddenly went OH. Weddings. Love. Light. Love. Photography… love? Love.

A friend has been diligently tweeting and posting over at her wedding planning blog, and I had read a tweet or two that morning. My head got thinking, my heart got beating, and I made a plan to get off the train and buy a wedding magazine. I had a wedding to shoot in the next week or so at this point, so I figured, inspiration is needed anyways. Magazines: expensive! But am I really prepared to say that my inspiration, my love and pride in myself, isn’t really worth $6? If there were any moment in which to spend some cash, this was it. I bought my shiny, beautifully-bound WeddingBells and hugged it like a bomb that would explode if I let go.

As I skimmed slowly through those slick pages, my heart opened up again. I kid you not, it’s as though I had closed a door inside me somewhere, locked it up, and hung up a sign that said “Given up; try again later”. Down goes the sign, and I’m off running through pages and pages of glossy, gorgeous inspiration. It was a real Grinch moment: heart growing so big, it was bound to burst out in a rowdy rendition of Here Comes The Sun.

And that was it.

I went home and blogged (hence the sudden re-appearance, I’m sure you noticed that). I blogged and I edited and I planned. I emailed clients that I hadn’t scheduled yet. I emailed old friends and made plans. I organized. I fantasized. I woke up.

I shot the wedding that I had been nervous about, and it was amazing. So inspirational and wonderful. I’ve since had several shoots, and two more coming up this weekend. I’ve got new projects planned. I’ve got ideas. I’ve got aspirations. I may not be where I want to be yet, but I am closer now with my heart open and my eyes focused. I don’t know what made me suddenly snap that morning (the wedding tweets, a bad batch of coffee? Who’s to say, really.) but I am so thankful for my change of heart. This, I feel, is what I’m meant to do. One way or another… I will inspire others, and continue to amaze myself with the possibilities ahead of me.

Profound, right? I told you so.

NOW: The homework.
I normally don’t care about this side of the blogging business, but I would love love love if you would leave a comment about a struggle you’ve had lately. About a great morning of triumph over your bad thoughts. A quip about some bad coffee. Don’t care; comment. It would mean the world to my tiny brain and over-sized heart that is now full of love, love, love.

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This song needs to be shared with the blogosphere. It warms my heart every year around this time, and whether good or bad my memories attached to this melody flood back to me every time I hear it. At least two years now I’ve listened to Winter Song for the full month of December and beyond, alone or with others, and I can’t help but force y’all to hear it too.

 There’s something about this time of year. Yes, the commercial hype of the holiday season is jammed down our throats with little room left after eggnog and candy canes, but the world changes. It shifts. There is a subtle change that tickles my senses and makes me think positively no matter what is happening around me. Something about the chill in the air and the crunch on the ground makes me yearn for that mug of tea (or coffee, or cocoa) and a warm hand to hold. I’m a sucker for the romanticized holiday season, but this year something is very different. Without the stresses of school I can, for once, appreciate the holidays without looming fear of deadlines and marks (granted work provides that stress, without written academic record, at least). I can finally breathe in the chill without rushing to class, decorate the house without procrastinating an essay (just photo editing), and smile without the hidden frown for what is hiding beyond the academic semester.

I feel like time has slowed just enough to let me savour the season, and there has got to be a rule instated that each household have a pet in attendance for the holidays. Something about his little nose (growing bigger) on my hand and his warmth next to me slows down my heartbeat enough to really take everything in. A dog’s life is a steady cacophony of unbearable joy towards his humans, and I can’t help but be thankful that I get to share my monotonous day to day happenings with not only the love of my life, but the new part of my life I didn’t know I could love this much. 

To those breathing in the chill, or soaking in the sun, I hope your December beginning is heartwarming and light. Keep smiling, friends. 

xo

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so naturally, I did some baking. I’d been craving something lemony all morning, and with a bit of searching found this great recipe.

If you know me, you know I’m all about the healthy versions of your usual “cheating” desserts and treats. So between Chocolate Covered Katie, Skinny Taste, and the rest of the Googleverse… I’m obsessed.

They don’t look as fluffy as the original recipe, but I’m quite over it. 
I’ve got so many updates to show but there is some epic wedding editing I’ve got to finish up, and then you’ll see the whole nine yards of my last semester of University EVER. (Until I saddle up and attack my Masters). 
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