Happy weekend, everyone! We are on Long Island for our annual family Lobster Party! Andy and I drove down last night after work, which was such a great way to beat the weekend traffic (but oh man, were we exhausted). As I wrote on Facebook this week, I’ve been taking a bit of a social media and blogging break– mostly out of exhaustion. We’re in the middle of packing up our stuff and wondering if we’re getting a particular apartment, and I had virtually no mental capacity for anything other than working, eating and sleeping (plus, you know, looking at other apartments, too).
When there’s a lot going on, sometimes the blog suffers. I let that be okay, instead of making myself feel guilty. Because where does self-imposed guilt get any of us? Deep breaths and allowance for what is, however, are more in line with the self-care I’m trying to practice.
Nothing like a prior commitment to bring me back to the blogging game!
A few weeks ago, my friend Tamara had a great idea: for a fun twist, she suggested that we ask each other’s husbands questions for Ask Away Friday. As she put it, “I mean, come on – have you wondered things about Cassidy? I talk so much and he’s been silent..until now.” Be sure to check out Cassidy’s answers to my questions on Tamara’s blog, I loved hearing his point of view!
Also, I owe Andy a big one for taking so much time to think about Tamara’s questions and put together today’s post. Thanks so much, darling!
1. As a fellow photographer, I can’t resist asking you for some favorites. Are you Canon or Nikon? And what’s your favorite lens for: 1. Portraits 2. Buildings 3. Cities 4. Country 5. Animals
I use Canons though I don’t believe they’re any better or worse than Nikons. Once you have bought the camera and a couple of lenses your’re pretty much set on track.
I’ve always favoured wide angle lenses since my 35mm B&W days and am happy to walk around with one as my go-to lens shooting all of 1 through 5 (my current fave being a EF17-40mm f/4L USM). That being said I’ve been shooting with a EF85mm f/1.8 USM on occasion which is great for portraits. Funnily enough I’m not a great fan of zooms prefering to get up close to the action.
If you have not already played with one pick up a macro reverse ring for one of your lenses. They only cost a few dollars and allow you to mount your lens in reverse for some great macro action on the cheap!
2. I know you’ve been influenced by your father. Can you share a memory or photo from your childhood that really cemented your desire to be a photographer too?
My dad used our bathroom as his darkroom, filling it with trays, tubs, the enlarger, clockwork timer and glowing red light. I remember being fascinated watching the image magically appear before my very eyes. It always seemed quite a daunting affair though but as with most things practice makes perfect. I haven’t developed my own film/prints for over fifteen years now, so maybe a revival is in order.3. Can you share one of your favorite photos of Christy and tell the story behind it?
Here’s one from around about the first time we hung out. I was helping build a porch outside a friend’s trailer during the 2007 season at Omega and Christy came over to ‘help’. We chatted and I naturally took a few shots, the deck making a handy location for a photo shoot. Beers were drunk and a porch came into being. I tend to be a bit slow in these matters, and it took quite a while before I realised she had been there chatting me up.
4. As someone who struggles with situational anxiety, I am trying to learn how to better help my husband to help me during bad days. What is something you have learned about supporting a spouse through mental illness? Any tips? Wisdom?
All I can suggest is to be in the moment, be patient (with oneself as well as one’s spouse), love, listen, be a shoulder to lean on and a source of non-judgmental support. Sometimes it can be challenging to offer all of these at the same time, but if you are there and doing your best then you are doing something right.5. Do you read the Sweet and Savoring blog? What is one of your favorite posts and why?
I do indeed read Christy’s blog! Mainly to make sure I get a credit for my photos 😉
I tend to work behind the scenes – tweaking the code, installing updates and the like.
One of my favourite posts is the conversation we had about living with her depression.
It allowed us to talk about elements of our life that we normally never discussed. Having to think and verbalise responses to the questions deepened my understanding and empathy for anyone who lives with depression. Knowing it is the most viewed post on the blog, it is satisfying to think that it may in some way be helping folks out there in a similar situation.
6. I love to read Christy’s posts about food. I pass through the Hudson Valley a lot going to and from my parent’s house. What is a restaurant or meal that YOU recommend?
Should you ever pass through Hyde Park on Rt.9 do stop at the Eveready Diner. I have a soft spot for it as it was one of my first diner experiences in America. Go for the all day breakfast: short stack of pancakes, two eggs over medium on top with a side of home fries. They do have a very full menu and a cocktail menu, too.
7. What is your absolute dream trip to take with Christy? And your camera, of course.
The world is our oyster! Our first big trip will have to be to the UK. It’s been over a decade since I was there last and we have yet to meet the whole family as a married couple! It will be so much fun to explore, revisit old haunts, meet friends and family and maybe spot a place we’d like to settle down one day!
8. I ask this to all my Ask Away Friday partners but I think you’re my first photographer partner – What profession would you most like to try for a day? What profession would you most hate to try?
Anything that allowed me to be up in space even if just for a day. To be able to look on the earth and take it all in with a single gaze would be a transformational experience (as well as making a pretty cool photograph).
I find it hard to hate anything but working on the killing floor in a slaughterhouse would prove challenging. Hats off to the people that make your hamburgers possible.
It was the summer break between my second and final year at University in Wales when my friend Helen suggested I fill the time by volunteering at a place in America called the Omega Institute. I checked out the website, which back then had a chat room and animated gifs, and though ‘Why not?’. It was cheaper to fly over and work for nothing than stay and get by over the summer in Cardiff, so all of a sudden there I was, flying into JFK. The rest is history!
I would say that the thing I miss most is the sense of humour and how that permeates everyday life. The people are great over here, but there’s nothing that a few lessons in the appreciation and application of irony and sarcasm could not help with.
10. What’s the wackiest belief you had as a child?
Around the age of 6 or 7 I was fascinated by the idea of reading other peoples thoughts. Just because I couldn’t seem to do it, who was to say that others were not having a jolly time doing just that? I used to go to sleep at nights devising elaborate mental defences to counter such intrusions. Woe betide the casual thought reader that passed by our house!
Phew! Is it over now? 😉
Thank you Andy and Tamara! If you’d like to participate in Ask Away Friday, just let me know or pop over to our Facebook group to request a buddy swap. Enjoy the weekend, everyone!