This January marked one year that my friend Anna and I have worked together taking photos for her blog, Not Made in China Challenge. It has been really neat watching her blog grow. She’s had 1000’s of clicks, a shout out from Nordstrom Rack, several blogger awarded honors, and now has a gig as a guest writer for the Made in America Movement. She had a vision of educating others of the importance of taking care of our earth and is executing that vision amazingly well. Just in case you are new to my blog, in order to protect our earth and the people living on it Anna encourages people to make better purchasing choices by avoiding items made in China. China’s lacking emission standards and poor protection for workers lead to heavy pollution and the unethical treatment of workers. Sadly, for me 2015 included many, as Anna puts it, “felonies” of Chinese made products, but I could also start a new page of her blog and fill it up; “Items I walked Away From”. In the end that is all Anna asks, for us to think about our purchases and make changes how and when we can.
I’d like to think that I have been a cheerleader for Anna over the past year, but she has also been one of my biggest cheerleaders. She has encouraged me to shoot, let me practice taking pictures of her, patiently listened to me talk about the huge learning curve I have, and has listened to me whine about the incredibly expensive gear I have needed and still do need. And despite the fact that there are many photographers out there who are much more skilled than me, she still comes to me to take Lookbook pictures. It’s fun because our styles are typically in sync. In sync enough to allow for a fun, easy going, natural shoot, but not lined up so perfectly that our vision is always exactly the same. This is good because it causes me to think outside my box and usually leads to some really interesting shots.
As I compiled her pictures from the past year, I thought I would see more improvement. I still feel encouraged though, with two young boys at home it’s hard to sit down and throw myself into learning and as a stay at home mom I don’t have the resources to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars at a time on tutors, classes, and all of the equipment I need. Looking over the sessions with Anna I do see the slow and steady I intended. I am reminded that my big dreams are coming to be in just the way that I intended. I am excited because while I still have some big purchases to make, the business I have had has paid for much of what I bought. Just as I needed.
Lookout 2016! I’m now equipped with a monitor I can clearly see my pictures on and a computer that allows me to work with RAW files in Photoshop. Next on my list: the Nikon D750!! This is going to be a good year!