charleston on film {life}

Do people say they hate to travel? I'm sure some people do, and that's totally fair, right? We're all different, after all. I love to travel, but I sometimes think I'm not very good at it. It helps when we do these after Christmas trips with my in-laws. Someone else does all the planning, and I just show up. That's nice! :)

It also helps that we know and love Charleston. We know what we like to do there and we know our way around. I fell in love with this city years and years ago, when I was a kid, going on vacation on the Isle of Palms, and it hasn't lost any of its charm now that I go back as an adult. Charleston gets it right.

These shots of Charleston mean a great deal to me. Cheapie Fuji Superia (their consumer grade film), and my first roll through the camera that Cal gave me for Christmas. It felt great to shoot with it, knowing that he wanted me to have a camera, and it felt great to aim my lens at some of my favorite things, the ocean and beautiful buildings. Oh, and my family too, I guess.

There's been a lot of talk on some of the wonderful film groups I belong to about finding your style or voice, and in truth, this is a concept I struggle with. I'll talk a bit more in another post about the film class I've been taking, but during most of it, I let go of voice/style and focused solely on fundamentals. At times that felt frustrating, like I was moving further from where I wanted to be rather than nearer, but I know that laying a strong foundation in the technical aspects of this work is the right thing to do. Batting practice.

Right now, all I know is that I love taking pictures of stormy seas and beautiful architecture, and if I can convince Cal to get in a frame or two, all the better.

everything old is new again


There's not a whole lot I'd ask from the universe than more days like these. A deserted beach. Sun-lit fog. My family, walking with me, goofing off. You name it.

Our first day in Isle of Palms was glittery sunshine, and we took a long morning walk before heading into Charleston for brunch. After that, the weather for the week was a mixed bag, but it never dampened our mood. Rain on Shem Creek while we ate shrimp and grits dockside. Rain again for fried oysters in the same spot a day later. And then there was this. This brilliant, foggy seascape that seemed lit from within. The air fairly glowed. I could have wandered in it for days, searching for distant surf and watching shadowy shapes appear and disappear. Layers and layers of gray on silver-spun gray.

It was a lazy, slow moving week. Fender-benders and fathers-in-law aside, things have been rather stressful behind the scenes here at Casa SPL this past fall, and slow moving was just what we all needed. Cal taught his grandfather how to play chess, and I read actual books! I wasn't reflective or thoughtful or ruminative. I simply sank my feet into the sand and soaked it all in. Time enough to ruminate in the days to come, I suppose.

Our last night in South Carolina was New Year's Eve. My sister-in-law, who'd done most of the restaurant planning, felt (and we agreed) that traveling into Charleston might not be our best bet, so we opted for the party at the resort where we were staying. It was unexpectedly sweet and lovely. Held in a ball room and packed with families, I was immediately reminded of Dirty Dancing (another movie Cal needs to see!). The sweetest dad and his pre-teen daughter were there together on a "date," and he was up and dancing to every Cupid Shuffle and Electric Slide with her. It was awesome. Little girls giggled in corners and teens shuffled into slow dances together. One older couple, they had to be in their eighties, danced nearly every dance, from Bollywood to New York, New York together. Like I said, it was awesome.

The music was just a little dated. Not quite the right set of songs for the teen crowd (or their moms who listen to the radio in the car with them), but it was still pretty perfect (Although I draw the line at Lady in Red. I nearly left the room at that one.).

If you know me IRL (that means "in real life," mom), you know I tend not to be a dancer. It's just not my bag. I'm more of a watcher than participator in many things, but this especially. And yet.

Yet. I found myself on the dance floor, dragging Cal and then Neel with me. And as it turned out, I ended 2014 and started 2015 by dancing. I thought, as I looked down at my impractical wedges, this has to be a metaphor for something. I'm still working to figure it out. Maybe it wasn't a metaphor for anything. Maybe it was just fun.

Here's to more fun in 2015. Here's to more time behind my camera and with my guys. More sunny walks on the beach and more foggy ones too. Here's to slowing down and sinking in. I have the feeling that exciting things are in store for us this year, and I can't wait.