Tuesday, January 24, 2012

what's in my bag today!; a recipe; and an explanation of ignorance.

so, i promised to explain why a photographer should never leave home to shoot an event without a backup camera.
and while this may seem like common sense to just about everyone and their brother, so is no texting while driving... we all need a reminder from time to time. every once in a awhile, somebody else's misfortunes will help another. so please, allow me to take one for the team and remind you... It Can Happen To You.

allow me to break down {my near breakdown} how One Very Smart and Somewhat Paranoid [her equipment will break down] Photographer, we will call her...heidi, found herself oooooohhhhhhh nooooooooooooing it with maybe a few more choice words after her camera's. SHUTTER. stopped. working.in. the. middle. of. a...WEDDING!


okay, let me take you back a bit...

it's four days after christmas. it was a lovely christmas, which i haven't blogged about yet! however, about two after the big day and the holiday season of photography sessions almost to an end, i crashed so hard that if my water were to have broken right there on the couch, quite possibly i would labored and given birth to healthy 20 pound baby all while sleeping through the whole thing. i. was. out.

i had been excited about shooting this wedding as i knew it was going to be an intimate affair, which are by the the way, my favorite kind of weddings to shoot!

a few days before and in between sleeping and eating...i charged all batteries, checked flashes, cleaned and packed extra memory cards, dusted lenses, packed my new AWESOME bag, and yes, it is as great as everybody says it it. i packed my second bag with additional lenses, cloth to wipe down lens faces, a bottle of water to stave off dehydration and a small ziploc bag of raw almonds. i included a list of creative ideas i had been inspired to come up with throughout the the last few months and...i felt pretty good except for one thing.

i didn't have a backup camera. i usually do have one when i need one, but this time i didn't because it had stopped working some time earlier. the original plan was that my best friend and amazing photog was going to be with me to shoot the wedding. it was a long ride and i wanted the company, so we thought we would make a day of it. a few hours of shooting and a few hours of playing around the fishing village we were going to be located.

well, i guess this is where i can blame everything on her, LOL! totally kidding. because, she went away on a surprise birthday trip to michigan that weekend and there went my backup camera.

the night before the wedding i had this horrible feeling that something bad was going to happen the next day.

would i get into a car accident?
would my camera break during the wedding?

these were the two thoughts that kept looping through my head all night and day of the wedding.

when i talked to jeff about it...he blew me off. "heidi, you've had a hundred shoots in the last two months and nothings gone wrong. why would it now?" so, maybe i can blame it all on him?!

nah, can't pin it to anybody but me. it was all me. i take it!

his logic did seem to put me at ease. i had had 13 photography sessions in december and even more in november. hadn't had one problem. why would something happen now? at a wedding? smack in the middle of two people's most important day?

so, i carried on with the shoot with the thinking that yes, i should have a backup camera but since i don't, there is no reason to believe that anything will happen today of all days.

i drove an hour to the wedding clutching my wheel as if the tires were going to blow at any moment. when i finally made it to the wedding location, i realized i had been so nervous on the drive up, that my breathing was weird . i finally, let out a long and relieved breath and i said out loud...to myself because i guess i'm crazy like this,

you made it. you are here. you will rock out this wedding. you know what you are doing, now do it! and right after that a simple prayer,

"dear god, thank you for getting me here safely. please, if something bad happens to me today, please see my kids through it and if something bad happens at the wedding today, please see me though it. i love you. amen."

then, i called jeff and kelle and said..."something doesn't feel right."

kelle said, "you will be awesome. you are never like this. promise you will be fine."

i didn't believe her but i carried on and started doing and enjoying my job. the light was beautiful, the bride and groom were in love, and i heard some birds singing in the background. it was a good day. i was in my groove and i FINALLY relaxed. nothing bad was going to happen! i was a freak.


after i completed the first look photos and the ceremony, thank goodness for that, i was smack dab in the middle of taking the family formals.

the handsome groom and his beautiful mother were standing arm in arm, soaking in the moment when...


all i could hear was the horrible sound of a shutter that wouldn't budge. people around me seemed unaware of my near nervous breakdown as i tried several times to revive my lifeless camera. i dropped to the lawn and began CPR on my beloved canon 50d. i tried powering off my unit, changing batteries, memory cards. i think i even kissed it and promised it french fries after the wedding.


when i knew i had to look up and face the confused groom and his mother, i was overcome with fear and guilt.
i started kicking my own butt. it was my fault. i knew better than to not have a working backup. now, i would have to tell them everything was going to be okay, but i didn't know how it was going to be.

i felt the soft, and suddenly cold, damp grass on my knees and realized that all i wanted to do was cry and run away. i quickly recovered. this was their wedding. i had to do something. fix it. make it better. i was heidi darwish photography...memory catcher. it was up to me because they were depending on me. i hoisted my big self off of the ground and calmly walked over to the bride. i explained what was going and i ended it with, "everything is going to be okay. i'm going to figure this out."

she should have slapped me right there, scolded me for being so irresponsible, started crying and told me i ruined her day. the most important day of her life so far. but she didn't...

"oh, it's okay. you know what i'm thinking...thank goodness you got jon and mine's pictures earlier. that's all i care about!" then she flashed me a huge smile and said it was okay.

was she an angel bride? god sent her to me that was all i knew. her understanding and excepting manner only made my mission to save the moment all that stronger.

suddenly, my adrenaline was pumping throughout my body and i could hear my own heartbeat. i saw someone i knew across the lawn...she was a guest at the wedding and also a friend and client of mine...

she just bought an slr camera for christmas, don't know what kind, but i'll ask if she has it. if she doesn't have one, i'll move on to other tactics.

i ran across the lawn...picture hugely pregnant person racing across a field in the florida heat. it couldn't have been a pretty sight.

"leah, do you have your camera with you?"

"yes, but i forgot my battery! why?"

i wilted.

"my camera just stopped working. please, can you grab your camera and let me see if my battery will work in it."
i knew it was not going to work, but i wasn't sure what else to say or do.

she pretty much RAN back to the hotel, grabbed her camera and ran back to me. while i was waiting with her husband, he said it would be okay while he was stirring what looked like to a mojito. it was icy green and i, in my bewildered and desperate state of mind, pregnant too, thought it would be a normal thing to grab the drink out of his hand and begin gulping it down my throat.

no, i didn't do that, but it crossed my mind and that was bad enough.

leah comes back and hands me her camera.

GET THIS...YOU will NEVER believe this....

IT WAS THE SAME CAMERA. it was my camera. a canon 50D!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! what were the odds of this?

my battery fit, my cards, it was a perfect match. i made out with leah, promised her my next child, and a free photo shoot and ran away with her camera to pick up where i left off with the bride and groom.

i had an hour left of shooting and it went off without a hitch.

can you believe it? my story ended well, but it could have been so. much. worse. i get chills whenever i retell this story and i think it's good to tell it. to remind people, myself what can happen.

also, intuition. listen to yourself. if i had really listened to myself, things may have been different.

we lost about ten minutes of shoot time, but it could have been worse.

i'm pretty sure HE did see me through this.

so... in a nutshell...get a backup camera. if you are shooting any kind of event...it's worth the investment!!!

i have to leave, so i will quickly let you all know what it is in my bag at the moment:

I have a Canon 50 D which will soon be my backup camera as i will be ordering the Canon 5D mark ii or whatever canon decides to come up with in (crossing fingers) march. yes, there are rumors out there that canon is bringing out another camera to replace the 5d mark ii. these are rumors, so if they do not...the Canon 5d it will be because that camera rocks my world. i have shot with it before and it's ahhhhhh maaaaaaa ZING!

my favorite lens evah:
Canon 50mm 1.2 L
(used to have the 1.4 and i LOOOOOVED it)

LOVE. super buttery bokeh.

up until yesterday, i had the Canon 24-70 L 2.8.
loved it's wide angles but was not happy with the sharpness, so i am shopping now for either the

16mm prime lens

or the 16-35mm.

i'll let you know which one i go with.

last lens:

so, let me just conclude that i didn't start out with l series lenses. i worked my way up. when i started making money, consistent money, i would save to buy for a lens that i wanted. i have sold lenses that i no longer use and made up some of the money that way too.

i started with a 50mm 1.8 and worked up to a 50mm 1.4. if i had a little money to spend and wanted to practice shooting and yield good results, then the 50mm 1.4 is like the best bang for your buck!

i have to run, but if you have any questions, email me at heididarwish@gmail.com and if i can help out...i will!

and because i am wanting to post some photos of my babies and i don't have time because i have a baby appointment, here is one...

shot with my little point and shoot camera!

and here is one of Tagalong:
at 31 weeks!


happy shooting!

oh and the recipe for my citrus rolls that i have been asked for, i posted last year. here is the link...enjoy!


Friday, January 20, 2012

a photographers, OH NO!; a big ass; and feeling blessed

i'm just going to keep it extremely real here...i have no excuse for not posting a single syllable or megapixel of a photo in nearly three weeks, but i can tell you...i've probably been eating...or sleeping...or making some random excuse as to why, "i just can't. I just can't get off of this couch unless the house in burning down."

i am so tired. i have been so tired. blessed with a slew of amazing people who wanted me to take their photos for the holiday season, i have finally granted the fatigue to wash over this hugely pregnant body like a wave might slap you in the face, when you didn't know it was coming and it leaves you breathless and unable to save yourself. gasping...for...air...

yes, i let the proverbial handsome *lifeguard, carry me to shore and take care of the rest. my *husband has been amazing...he's taken over many things that i have stopped doing and has basically just walked on by the big hump of a {beautiful} belly-lounging in bed with not much more than a cock of his head to one side and a chuckle. a chuckle that i am assuming can only LOVINGLY mean, 'could you be more useless?'

but he doesn't say those words...instead he usually offers me a skinny cow ice cream sandwich with a chaser of orange juice, shaken-not stirred poured over crushed ice.

yes, sleep, oj, and ice cream sandwiches may as well be a free trip to paris in the spring. at this moment in time, i can't imagine loving anything more than these three luxuries. well, maybe a chocolate filled croissant.

so, after trying to catch up on just about everything this these last few days...i started feeling a tad overwhelmed. i felt the cold and unmistakable feeling of sadness start to creep into my mind. with only 6 more weeks left to prepare, i started to feel like maybe i hadn't been organizing my time wisely and had possibly taken on more than i could chew. i stopped sleeping well; i hopped around the house like a bunny looking at all of the piles of crap i had to deal with...clean out this closet and that one; paint that, distress the other; spend quality time with the kids; cook A meal, get those photos out; answer those emails; call back...my list is growing and i'm about to put out an all call to my sisters and mom to please get out here asap to help me not lose my mind.

i was in the process of losing my mind and my delightful personality-until i woke this morning and started laughing at how RIDICULOUS i had been allowing myself to feel. i have absolutely nothing to be upset about. it's laundry and cluttered closets...how bad could it really be?!?!?! i decided...not that bad.

i reminded myself that i couldn't be happier about what is about to happen to us in such a short time and i don't want to spend my last few weeks of life-as-we-know-it feeling all overwhelmed and stressed. besides...boooo hooooo- i've got nothing to complain about...really...


our bean is growing
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the doc said the baby is a tad on the small side, but i'm not worried. both of my babies were on the small side and my lower half will be happy about that when the time comes to, 'bear down!"

i haven't seen my feet in a long while
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and i'm loving every single second of this little miracle.

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i don't want this pregnancy to end...i know it has to but i just love feeling this little body move around in the tight space that it has left. it is even more magical this time, but only because it is tangible right now. soon, i will almost forget what it's like. time will dull the memory, so i will savor each and every last nano second of this baby belly as i know it is my last.


a few weeks ago, i went to michigan to see {and say goodbye} to my sweet, sweet gram. i am told that she will not likely make it through january, so i flew there last month while i could still safely fly.

i went home with one goal in mind: to enjoy my grandma and to spoil her rotten, like she used to my sister and i when we were little.

the plan:
a sleepover and all that goes with it short of spin the bottle and new kids on the block tapes playing over and over again.

i had big plans... to do her hair and make-up, paint her nails, watch a girl movie and eat like there was no tomorrow.

we didn't get to all of that, but we did laugh

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we did eat
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we dug up old photos of old boyfriends
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and maybe an ex-husband (and our gramps) too! she ripped him to pieces in the most loving and hysterical way...the way someone might if they've known someone forever and when their words have no consequences or any real mallice...it's just plain funny! she is one funny lady!
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she felt my baby move.
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don't let the above photo move you to tears...she was super annoyed at me for trying to get her to feel the baby move when it was moving... it would stop each time she placed her cold hand on my tummy. however, i was determined to get her to 'touch' that baby. to connect with him or her just once.

"um heidi, i think you are a crazy person. the baby is NOT moving!!!"

i looked over at my sister and declared defeat with my eyes and then we started laughing like we were in the audience of america's funniest home videos. gram didn't know what was going on, so she just started laughing too.

my story will always be that she felt the baby move that day.

life is constantly changing

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babies turn into toddlers and then school age children

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young and vibrant matures to experience and wisdom
(mom, gram, and i)

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and in some ways...more beautiful.

i said my goodbyes to my grandma over at our favorite mexican food restaurant. i didn't actually say goodbye, but i know it will be the last time i see her. i ran to the bathroom that day about every ten minutes to have a good cry in the bathroom stall that i feel i have a relationship with now.

each time i returned, my gram looked at me and said something hysterical...
"heidi, why you sure are getting fat! ha, your butt is getting big!"
and when i would start singing christmas music at the table to keep the mood light, she would look at me with one of her, what the hell is wrong with you faces and say something like, "heidi, i think you need to stick with your day job!" and my personal fave of the afternoon was, "you are ruining my lunch!"

this new sense of humor comes from the place she is in now. i think it lets her be a little more free with her thoughts and words and i couldn't have been more honored to be there and to let her tear into my sister and i and then, the next breath...laughter. laughter that didn't seem to stop the entire lunch. it was a unique and special way to end our physical time together. over beef enchiladas, extra brown gravy and double rice, no beans. we laughed and loved and my heart said a sweet goodbye to the woman who has shaped a lot of who i am today. i'm not ready to say goodbye, but i will when i have to. until then, i know she's always good for a real laugh.

i call my gram throughout the weeks now, and she sounds amazing. she sounds like herself most days and i find myself praying for a miracle, but if i don't get to ever hold her hand again, or breath in her smell...pond's cold cream and estee lauder eau de toilette...i know i'll always have the times we have spent together. and in talking about gram; i know that will call her first thing in the morning because i miss her so much. i'll probably tell her that peyton asked,

"mommy, when there is a baby growing in your belly and your belly gets big, does that mean your butt grows too?"

i think she'll like that one;)

and to end tonight's post even though i could go on forever, let me tell you a little story in a nutshell
{i will give you all of the gory details in the next post which i PROMISE will be on monday}

especially if you fancy yourself a photog, like myself...

for now, i will share with you the BEAUTIFUL bride and groom, Jon & Lesa. i had the pleasure of capturing their big day a few days after christmas.

can i just say, this bride is as amazingly beautiful inside as she is on the outside. i have never met a more thoughtful and kind person on their wedding day. a day that should be all about the bride, she constantly thought of others, including me.

lesa and jon, thank you for making my job, if you can call it that, so enjoyable and fun!

here is your sneak peek of your First Look:

lesa and jon opted to see one another before the ceremony and i'm so glad they did. the bride and i found a hiding spot in the woods and waited for jon to spy his girl in the white dress...





and my favorite...
because you can see how much she loves her man.

on monday, what's in my bag...because i've been getting asked that lately and my photography horror story and my recipe for my citrus cream cheese rolls!