And just like that, summer has arrived. May was an incredible month full of fun adventures that left little time for much else. It rained nearly every day (at least that's how it felt) and so I was not left feeling sad that I had so many things to do that would keep me from being outside. Now that the sunny days are here, I'm ready for things to settle down for just a bit so that I can have some lazy summer days (probably deluding myself).
We started off the month by going to Indianapolis for a long weekend to attend a diesel event. I almost didn't share this part because I don't want you think we are just basic country folk who are just into trucks (not that there’s anything wrong with that). (cough cough there's that enneagram 4 for ya needing to be all unique). So let me clarify: my husband is a performance diesel mechanic. He's like crazy good at his job and has been working on vehicles since he was a kid (like a literal kid. he changed his first engine when he was 12). In the same way that I am passionate about photography and being a creative, he is passionate about diesels. He's been to this particular event every year since it started (I've gone along to all but one) and it's become a tradition. It's crazy because we're both so different and our passions lie in such different places. But I love the fact that we can take a trip like this and still play to our strengths and passions. For example, we stayed in the cutest Airbnb that was a couple of minutes from an awesome coffee shop (for my sake) and he attended the truck event with friends (for his sake).
On a different subject entirely, the airbnb we stayed at had a chemex & fellow pitcher for coffee and that pretty much instantly sells me on any airbnb. They also had the most gorgeous black/charcoal countertops that were matte and almost had a soft feel to them. I wish I knew what the material was--it wasn't granite, it wasn't corian, I don't think it was concrete. Maybe slate? River rock? Whatever it was, it was gorgeous.
The set up: 50mm f/1.8 1/125 ISO 800
While we were in Indy, all of the snowball bushes were in full bloom. We were right next to the Monon Trail that runs through Indy and they have lots of them planted along the trail. My dear friends Austin and Rosanna came down from Ohio to spend Saturday with us. They had not yet announced on social media that they are expecting and wanted to grab some photos that they could use for that announcement. The snowball bushes made for a perfect backdrop! I did not want to put my camera down with this beautiful bush, beautiful light, and even more beautiful soul.
The set up: 100mm f/3.2 1/500 ISO 200
No words necessary.
The set up: 50mm f/2 1/160 ISO 800
As I'm sure you can imagine, all of the rain in May made it pretty hard to schedule any photo sessions. I was so thankful for a gorgeous night after rescheduling only once to photograph Josh and Rachel. We had an absolute blast hanging around the Des Moines Art Center and Rose Garden. Agh, this is what I love to do. I mean, every freaking time I look at this photo I can't help but smile. They are so precious and I am so honored to be able to capture it.
The set up: 50mm f/3.5 1/1250 ISO 280
Let's talk about reality for just a minute. I just thought of this after typing up the description to my previous photo. I really really hope you don't think that I have spontaneous moments of beauty just occurring in my life where all I have to do is show up with a camera. I hope you don't tell yourself that I'm simply more fortunate to be surrounded by so much beauty. I hope you don't think that I only get perfect clients who are like super duper romantic. I hope you don't think that I have a super cool wardrobe and that I must be really rich and get all the breaks when it comes to finding cute clothes. I say this because ugh and oh goodness, how often I think this of others.
The reality is that beauty is everywhere and can be found in anything. But you also sometimes have to style things to get them to that point. Sometimes you have to learn how to slow down enough to see the beauty. All clients are just normal humans and you still have to learn how to get them to reveal themselves on camera--no matter how cute they are, a huge part of the way they look on camera is up to you (ugh though I still can't quite get over the notion that some photographers only get hired by people who look like models and act like they're in the deepest sort of love). And about the clothes? I 100% have a pile of clothes that I own solely for the fact that they look beautiful--these are what I wear for bouquet photos and they're all things that don't actually look good in real life (bouquets hide a multitude of sins). Also, if you know me, you know that I thrift all of my clothes (except for that time when I bought a bunch of stuff from roolee and piper and scoot only to find that their clothes are not in the slightest bit made for women of my shape after which I promptly went back to the thrifting life). I will not deny that I have found some fantastic pieces thrifting.
The set up: 50mm f/3.2 1/500 ISO 280
Thankful for another gorgeous evening for this session. I just can't hardly even believe that I took this photo.
The set up: 50mm f/2.8 1/200 ISO 200
Like previously stated, my husband is into the diesel world. That means that I get exposed to various motorsports Youtube channels and such and honestly--I find the automotive world super intriguing. I don't know much about cars and engines and things but I can say things like turbos and spool and horse and torque and know enough to ask, "So what have you done to it?" This leads to feeling that I would be interested in getting into photographing and possibly videoing (who am I kidding, I know nothing about video) more cars/trucks. Ugh what am I even saying? I'm interested. That's all. Now for the story behind this actual photo.
At the end of April, I was in Iowa City for an afternoon to do some shopping. I went to the mall at the end of the day and there was a car show happening in the back parking lot. My initial thought was, "I should take my camera and go walk around." But there were lots of people out, it had been a rushed day of working and shopping, and things like walking in a crowd of people in which I do not feel like I belong, especially with my camera, gives me anxiety, so I just drove past. Then last week I was in Iowa City again to do a little shopping and coffee before a photo session. And what do you know but here the car show is happening again! (turns out it's a last Friday of the month thing) I looked it up and it's from 4-9 pm--my session was scheduled for 7-8:30ish and I needed to get going to the photo session. On my way back towards the area after the photoshoot, I really really wanted to stop and snap some photos (don't ask me why). The closer I got, the darker it got, the closer to 9 it got, the more classic cars I passed that were heading home. I pulled back into the mall parking lot and parked in front of Homegoods. There were very few cars left and there weren't really any spectators out any more--just owners huddled in their little groups chatting. I almost just left at least twice. I pulled my camera out, I put it away. Guys, I seriously had to do battle with my will to step out of my car, walk across the lot and then snap a handful of photos. My hands were shaking. It was the most awkward thing I've done in awhile. No one talked to me--I think I got eye contact and a smile from one person. Ugh it was awful. But I really really like this image. I walked back to my car, switched my camera for a wallet, and went into homegoods and bought myself a gorgeous blanket as a reward for going forward in the face of anxiety and fear of looking ridiculous.
The set up: 50mm f/2.8 1/250 ISO 1600
There were so many things that I did this month that I didn't even take photos of! I helped my friends Austin and Jess put on an event at their church, which was so fun. I traveled to Goshen, IN to second shoot a wedding with Kendra Miller--which involved lots of good coffee stops. And when in Iowa City I got to drink coffee with the wonderful Grace Keller at the new Dash Coffee location. So wow, it was a good month. Here's to hoping June will not disappoint. Much love, Melody Rose