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Lost

“Lost” ~ © Christine Erin Photography 2015

LOSTwatermarked

“For her, being lost was not in reference to geography, but about identity. To find out who she was meant to be and become, and to release the ties of what others thought she ought to be. To be lost is to be fully present and capable of being, amidst all uncertainty and mystery.”

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This was the second fine art piece I completed using self-portraiture.  We were shooting in an abandoned building, the old Watson Paper Factory in Erie, PA USA.  Now overrun with homeless people, rotting paper and wood, and decaying and falling in ceilings and walls….it seemed an ideal location to shoot “Lost”.

I shot this with the help of a fellow friend and photographer. I dressed myself in a flowing ball gown for the contrast of the two ideals (decaying setting/building with formal dresswear).  So many times in our lives, we try to be who others want and need us to be….and we forget (or ignore) the ideals and dreams we had for ourselves in the process.  To follow your dreams takes courage, to ignore them may seem easy. Being who others expect us to be is certainly a road to less criticism from others…after all, we are making their lives easier .  We are conforming.   Upon doing so, that part of us…that innermost core of who we are supposed to be, gets lost.  What a boring world this would be if we were all the same.  We were all created uniquely.  We all have a purpose in our life.  We need to listen to our calling and explore it, follow it, nurture it, and see what path (or many paths) it will lead us down.  We need to find out who we are.  That’s why we are here on this earth.

It will be a mystery, and there will be much uncertainty.  However, if you listen to the inner voice that is calling to you quietly, you will begin to discover yourself.  I send out love to all of you who are on this path.  It isn’t always the easiest one to take, but it is without a doubt the most fulfilling and leads to inner peace and happiness like you can’t imagine.  ❤

Namaste,

Christine

#christineerin

 

Main Street USA – Hendersonville, NC, part 2

How could I write a post about Historic Hendersonville without including some of the following images??? Chosen in black & white, as so to reflect the timelessness of the town.   Come and take a walk down main street with me……

A view of Main Street, from the intersection of 6th and Main

An ICON. The Mast General Store. Here you can find things from UGG boots, to fashion clothing, to old fashioned toys and candies, to candles, cookware, and books.

The historic old courthouse, now a museum

The Old Apothecary sign. Now "Mikes on Main" (an ice cream and soda shop---with some pretty good diner food as well!)

The clock above the current gem and mineral museum

The Black Rose Pub. Tasty Irish food (including good old bangers and mash) is served up here.

McFarlans Bakery. If you have never been, you are missing out on one of the best bakeries in the south!

I couldn't do McFarlan's justice with just a sign. I had to show some of their yummy treats!

Main Street USA….Hendersonville, NC – part 1

One of my favorite parts of downtown “Historic Hendersonville” is Main Street.  It was established in the 1840’s, and still remains quaint and timeless in its beauty.  While many (if not most) of the buildings on the main 7 block stretch are original….they are all transformed into a cultural and diverse display of modern tastes.  One does not need to walk far to find fantastic food, chocolates, art, clothing, and trinkets of any kind.  And I can’t write about downtown Hendersonville without mentioning the bears.  No…not real bears, but the bear statues that are painted by local artists each year, and then auctioned off for local charities.  You can read more about that here, if you like.  http://www.hendersonvillebears.com/about/

One of the Bears on Main Street in Hendersonville, NC

I walked down Main Street a few days ago, camera in hand, to take pictures of a few of my favorite spots.  I ended up coming home with over 150 pictures.  Just of 6 blocks.  As I poured over them, I couldn’ t decide which to share.  There is a place in my heart for every store that I love on Main street.  Every historic thing.  The kind store owners who always have time to talk, to help… to share their knowledge or their recipes or their directions to the best hidden spots to visit in these mountains.  So rather than post over 150 images of the entire street, I decided to do a 2 part series, and narrow it down to my favorite three places in part 1.  The places I always visit when I walk these streets, because something always draws me back time and time again.

Now….I am sure I would get arguments from many on what THEIR favorite haunts are in Hendersonville.  And they would all have their points, as these places  all have special enticements to each unique individual.  However, these are my PERSONAL favorites…and I am glad to have the opportunity to share them with any of you who are reading.  I hope you all have the chance to visit someday……there really is no place like Main Street.

My Favorite Art Gallery

WICKWIRE fine art / folk art

WICKWIRE's street sign

One of the many displays of beautiful art at WICKWIRE

Another WICKWIRE art selection, which speaks for itself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Favorite Restaurant

Never Blue tapas bar and grille


 

Ahhhh…..the Never Blue. While there are many fantastic restaurants in town, this one is a “MUST VISIT” for me, every time.
While I STRONGLY encourage you to take a look at the specialty drink menu from Never Blue (if for nothing else, for entertainment)…my favorite is the tried and true margarita.
” The Brownie”. Takes 20 minutes to make….you need to order it with dinner. Try one, and you’ll know why…..

Kids Top Pick:  The Toy Store!

Dancing Bear Toys

Dancing Bear Toys...the most fun your kids will have on Main Street!

....and this is only 1/4 of the store!

The people at Dancing Bear are kind enough to have some "mommy seats" with local magazines, while you wait for the kids to decide what they want.

So behind on blogging…….

I can’t believe how long its been since I have blogged!  I apologize to my many clients who have not had their (gorgeous) sessions put up!  I guess the birthdays and holidays of November and December have gotten the best of me.  😛

Here are a few snapshots of the beautiful couples and families that I have been blessed to photograph over the past few months!  A huge thanks to Leah and Johnny, the Showman Family, and the Young Family for allowing me to photograph them and get to know them a bit better! 🙂

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Inspiring Others…..

Something has been bothering me for a while.

At first, it was just a nagging little bothersome thing.  I could put it away and not even think about it—until it hit me in the face again a few days, weeks, or months later.

Each time that I was “exposed” to this bothersome thing, it grew.  It grew from a minor annoyance, to a bigger annoyance, to a major annoyance.  Now, it has become a thorn in my side.  A perpetual thorn, that in order to get rid of I MUST pull out.  I can’t just let it sit there and get infected anymore.  So, the way I know best to just yank it out is to write about it, to share it, to explain it.  Maybe then, I will understand it.  Maybe you can give me insight into it.  Maybe I will just feel better for venting.

I am a photographer.

Yes, thats right, I am a photographer.

I call myself a professional photographer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, how will you judge me????

Being a professional photographer, I like to surround myself with other photographers.  In this day and age, its very easy to do that.  There are blogs, facebook, twitter, and a numerous other amount of social networking sites that allow me to look at others work, see their ideas, hear their stories.  Is it because I want to steal from them?  No….its because I want to LEARN from them.  be INSPIRED by them.  Every time one of you clicks “like” on my blog or leaves a comment….I go to your site.  I pour over the pictures.  Some I love, some I just like.  Not because of your lack of talent or your greatness of talent—-a lot of it is personal preference in art.  But I am so thankful I have this medium to learn from you all.  To see HOW you manipulated light, HOW you composed, WHAT you saw.  Its all truly inspiring to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this leads me to my point.

Guess what???  You were a beginner once.  I was a beginner once.  There will be thousands of people that are beginners after us.  Did you have someone who inspired you?  Did you have someone who judged you?

The first time you picked up your camera, you may have gotten one or two good images out of 100.  A year later, it might have been 20-30.  The year after that, maybe 50-60.  Thats the learning curve.  We have all experienced it.

Although I have been obsessed with taking pictures for 18 years, I have been a “professional photographer” for 2.5 years now.  I have a LONG way to go to hit the level of talent of someone who has been doing it for 15 years.  But guess what?  Someone who has been doing it for 15 years has a LONG way to go before they hit the talent level of someone with 30 years under their belt.  Some of it is a gift…a talent…..a lot of it is knowledge.  Its a combination which, through time, training, and experience gets more and more fantastic.

So why…..WHY….do I constantly see posts by photographers who have been doing this for 10 or so years SLAMMING the new people?  Guys……don’t you remember when that was you??????  Don’t you remember when you started with a Canon Rebel or even a point and shoot?  My first camera was a Rebel, and while I have been fortunate enough to upgrade, it taught me many things and was a great camera to learn on.

 Don’t you want to inspire?  Why do you want to hurt?  Does it make you feel better about yourself?  Is it a competition? I just don’t understand.

This isnt something I have seen here on any of your blogs. I am also not referring to ‘constructive criticism’ that we all, as artists, can benefit from.  What I am referring to are usually : “And THEY call themselves a PHOTOGRAPHER” articles posted on Facebook or Twitter by other photogs I am linked up with. Things stating how TRUE this article is, and how EVERYONE should read this, and how if you have a Canon Rebel you are NOT a real photographer.  I would link you to these articles, but I don’t feel like embarrassing anyone today, and to me—these are an embarrassment.   These articles make me cringe.  Hmmmm.  Are they referring to me?  To the new guy?  Or to anyone they don’t view as good as them.  Some of these people posting this stuff need a serious check of their ego, because while they may be good….. they certainly aren’t the best thing since sliced bread.

My favorite photographer in the town I live in has been in the business for 30 years.  They are outstanding at what they do.  They make a great income, and are not at a lack of clients.  They are well known and well respected.  Do you know what else they do?  They offer classes, workshops, training sessions, and other forms of learning mediums to new photographers.  GASP!!!!  They are sharing their knowledge!!!!  They are helping the people who WANT to be professional photogs, or are new professional photogs,  get BETTER.  They are inspiring others!!!!!!!!!

I wish everyone was like this.

So this is my small, little challenge to you.  If you call yourself a photographer; regardless of amateur, professional, or hobbyist….. the next time you have the opportunity, please help someone who is learning.  You would be surprised how that little act of kindness could change someones perspective forever.  🙂  Come on,  it’ll make you feel good….  🙂

Mother/Daughter Memories

Bittersweet.  That would be the definition of my mother/daughter session last week.

I had the opportunity (and privilege!) of photographing my nieces and their mom before the girls go away to school.  One to a prestigious college, the other to a prestigious boarding school she has been dreaming of attending.  Both girls, leaving home and spreading their wings within 3 days of each other.  Bittersweet.

We chose an urban session in downtown Erie.  There are so many beautiful things downtown, we weren’t at a lack for gorgeous backdrops (and I wasn’t at a lack for gorgeous subjects to photograph!).  🙂

One of the things I most treasure about my job as a photographer is giving people memories.  Forever memories-to hang on their walls, to put into photo albums, to watch on slideshows on their computers or tvs-whatever they choose, I have helped to give them that gift.  Sometimes this gift is more evident than others.  Sometimes people realize it during the session, some more as they are looking through their pictures after the session is over, sometimes it might not occur to them until years later what they actually have in front of them.  A priceless moment, frozen in time by the click of the shutter.  I think these three ladies realize, as they are all embarking on a new path in their lives, what a priceless gift they have in these photographs.

Enjoy! 🙂

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