Thursday, April 29, 2010

Did you know I'm super shy? Really, I am.

I was seventeen years old, chubbier than I am now and more timid than the definition of the word itself. Public speaking, public anything for that matter, was not at all appealing. It was right out frightening. What in the world was I doing competing in a pageant? I-HAVE-NO-IDEA!!! Perhaps it was the thought of feeling glamourous or the smile that came to my mother's face when I told her someone had the audacity to suggest I should enter the local town's pageant. Me - compete for the pageant?! They were crazy - CRAZY I tell you! But I think their lack of mental stability at that exact moment has completely defined a large portion of my personality today. As a contestant in the pageant I messed up in so many possible ways - I was {Well, I am still not} a dancer and for the love of everything chocoloate I cannot hold a beat or keep rhythm. So all the weeks of rehearsals and practicing smiling made little to no impact on my style

I fondly remember wearing heels for the first time and having my mom teach me how to walk like a lady. That was my favorite part - hanging out with my momma ;) During the personal interview portion of the pageant I completely fell apart - nervously of course ;) We had to stand during our interviews and no matter how hard I tried to stop shaking from being so completely nervous, my right leg did it's own little dance. Really, it shook so uncontrollably the panel of judges must have wanted to laugh. What made me nervous was the public speaking. For most of my life I had been so timid and ultra shy. I'd rarely speak - even to my own parents. I was just shy. The pageant went along and I messed up our contestant dance but who cared - I just wanted to the night to be over. Then the most dreaded part came up - the Onstage Interview.

I was definitely not looking forward to this moment at all. A multitude of weird thoughts crossed my mind. What if I can't physically speak? What if I say something irrelevant and not-smart? What if I just stay there and listen to the crickets sing? What if I had just stayed quiet... Then I definitely would not be who I am today. I answered my question and vaguely do I remember what I said. It was something short and to the point and then I quickly walked back to my spot. The moment of truth was upon us contestants and the judges were ready to announce who they chose as their winner.

If you think this is a complete happy ending and you think I won you are most certainly wrong! But it was indeed a happy ending. I'll tell you why... As they called out the names of the girls who made the top five I was nervous. I just wanted the curtains to close and go away. Then something amazing happened, I made it to the top five. I swear my mother has a picture of me with the most confused and bewildered look on my face. Then as they announced the winners I was shocked to have earned the second place. What?! I was really excited and in a split second after having my name called as a runner up all the shyness I once possessed mysteriously went away - well, almost ;)

That night changed the way I viewed myself as person and possible role model. I realized participating in the pageant helped me overcome minor obstacles preventing me from expressing to the world the little person inside me full of ideas, creativity and lots of love. I competed in a few other pageants and each time I enjoyed losing, placing, and winning. And each time I learned a little something about myself. Overall, I learned I very much like public speaking and enjoy talking to people on a personal and more general spectrum.

Now why have I just bored you with my pageant novel? Dear reader and beloved friend, I thought I'd write this to remind myself that only I can keep myself from climbing higher and being successful. Sometimes I step back and notice myself crawling into a little shell because I feel helpless and very shy. I noticed this a few weeks ago when I attended the 2nd RGV Photographer's Hangout. I was shy, quiet pretty much wanted to crawl into my shell. Sometimes when I meet new people they are a little shocked to find out all the extra things I do and organize in my life aside from my normal life. They'll comment how they'd never expect it from someone so shy. I know, right? It bewilders me still. But I've noticed that when it's something I really enjoy and makes me smile I become the Marisol who talks to much and can't stop smiling. But deep down inside I am still quiet, sometimes too quiet.

I've written this post to remind myself that even when an occasion seems like it's set up for me to fail and fall, I've conquered many obstacles and all it takes is belief in yourself and a good heart. I believe in myself... I think I just had to remind myself. Thanks for reading ;)

On a more lighter note... Here are a few announcements... I have booked another wedding ;) Yay! That makes 6 weddings booked since January 2010 - Thank you Jesus :) I have also been keeping busy with many things including lots of photo sessions so I'll be blogging those very soon - promise. I have three more sessions scheduled for this weekend so lots of photos to see next week too. I'm off for lunch with my parents so I'll leave you with a peek at a last minute session I did a few weeks ago. You'd never believe the location, really -- It's funny :)

Happy Thursday :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wohooo... My life is Good :)

Dear friends, yes you my faithful reader, I am very excited about all things photography :) Yes, indeed I am. I have a special project I have will be working on within the rest of this month and all of May. Boy am I excited. I really can't divulge details at the present moment but you should just know that God is Good and I am thankful for all his blessings. Every night when I say my bedtime prayers I have long talks with God. I pray the usual Bless my family, my Chris, his family, our friends, my pets, those that are not my friends. Bless the world Lord, Bless us all... and always throw in the most random prayer requests - all the time! Please Lord I pray that you help me understand how to properly expose every time, pleeeease.

I'm not kidding, ask God. Since he is the father of this beautiful world he created I know he can properly expose, I know it. So just as I pray for Christ's mind in all my daily actions I also ask for photography knowledge. In fact, since starting my present office job a few months back I've asked for an accounting brain, too. Time after time, God always delivers. And for every single time I am very, very thankful. God, thank you. Yes, God reads my blog too :) He knows it all!!!

Yay! I've blogged for one whole week straight :) I'm telling you, God is gooood :) I'll fill you in the big announcement soon - I promise :) I have a productive day ahead of me tomorrow... and an important meeting with Harley Davidson - Mission... wink ;) So for now I leave you with a good night kiss, the knowledge that you're in my prayers and a sneak peek at a session I'll be blogging soon :)

Happy Tuesday :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday...Maybe Monday ;)

I literally just came up with the following concept, literally. I want to create a more consistent reading flow with this blog so as I typed out the title to this post it just came to me. Well, my fingers actually... Maybe Mondays. Maybe Mondays will keep you, my faithful and trusty blog reader, up to date with all of my musings... whatever they may be. <-- Ha ha, maybe. On a more concrete note, I will use my Monday postings to reflect on what I should have done instead in hopes of making my Mondays much more productive. For some reason we all feel sluggish on Monday morning and know that there are many tasks to accomplish for the week yet I, personally, often feel I waste my Mondays thinking I'll do that tomorrow. I will make my Mondays much more productive, maybe.

Regardless, I hope that my Maybe Monday's relieve the stress of having Too Much To Do Tuesdays.... The ultimate goal, for now, is to realize that all of the maybe's for Mondays will become actions and make me much more productive. During college I learned great time management skills. Apparently I seem to have lost them after graduation. I need my Maybe Mondays to push me back in the right direction... time is of the essence :)

So, for today's Maybe Monday... Maybe I should have gone to the gym right after work today so that I could have been home early and begin editing a wedding. Hmmm... Maybe ;)

On a side note, I'm never too busy to photograph my chipoodles... ;)

Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April Showers bring May Flowers.

I am currently 24 years old. I've been driving since I was 20. Yes, you've read right. I became a liscenced driver at the tender age of 20. What?!!! Don't be alarmed... I've gained some experience in the past few years ;) In the short time I have been a driver I've experienced some interesting road rage moments, some other weird drivers and, thankfully, minimal traffic. All that has changed this weekend - thanks to the beautiful thunderstorms the Rio Grande Valley has been having. The first time I drove in the rain I was nervous, but I overcame it. This past December I felt comfortable and confident driving around the valley while it rained {aka drizzled}. Fast forward to Friday and yesterday and it's a whole different story.

Friday and especially yesterday I have been caught in the bad thunderstorm driving to my specific destinations. It was scary and oh-so-heart stopping. I love thunderstorms - when I'm safe at home! Not so much when I'm driving in my little Honda with no tinted windows - imagine the brightess of the lightning! Yes, I was scared. But I remembered God loves me and if a lighting bolt was meant for me then I just had to accept it ;) Really, though, I feel like I've added another notch on my adult life belt - driving in thunderstorms. And I survived - could this be a metaphor for my life? Why thank you God ;)

Ooohhh! I'm "on-call" for a newborn session... Baby will be born anytime within the next two weeks. I feel like a doctor, kinda' :)
Happy Sunday :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Come along for the ride with me.

This morning I gave a presentation to the collegiate chapter of Delta Zeta at the Univeristy of Texas Pan American about DZ Fashion - Dress to Impress. I felt honored to have been chosen but panicked for a split second about whether I was the appropriate alumna for the topic. Then I realized, Hey! I definitely am! Frumpy is typically my style but because I choose to be comfortable. But I love a great fitting pencil skirt, beautiful jewelry and ah-mazing shoes... I do have somewhat of a sense of fashion. More importantly, however, dressing to impress is something I have taken much more interest since college graduation. Pursuing a career definitely requires presentation, on all levels including personal appearance. As I dressed this morning and looked through my closet, I asked myself What kind of impression do I want to make to my audience? I want my peers to respect me - to value my knowledge and expertise. So as I sat there quietly trying to organize my thoughts before I had the floor I thought this opportunity came at a  perfect timing in my career - my photography career.

Back in February I had a meeting with a prospective client. She sounded so enthusiastic about hiring my photography services and was eager to meet with me and talk more details. My life is constantly busy and I sometimes find myself having a multitude of appointments to meet on a single day. Fashion, thus, is not always on my side - not even make up sometimes! I remember meeting my prospective client one evening and realized through the conversation she had lost the excitement of my photography based on single aspect - she questioned my age. Now she did not flat out say, Wow, you are young! or ask How old are you? But the look in her face said it all. I looked, well, frumpy. Thankfully, I look much younger than I am - way younger. I'm sure as I near my fifties that will be a big plus. At the moment, however, it is sometimes a struggle. I feel people often forget I am educated, smart, and have potential to learn simply because I look so young. Dressing frumpy certainly does not help.

Speaking to the ladies of Delta Zeta helped me not only help them but help myself. I remembered the importance of looking your best - always with a great attitude. I interpret dressing appropriately as respecting myself. I felt this was key to explaining to the girls. In the process of my presentation, I realized my own message was for me as well. My photography business is growing; it's growing quickly. I will let my work speak for itself but help with my personal appearance. I want to be respected in my profession, don't you? My life is one crazy ride, but I am glad I have opportunities to take a step back, analyze and work on making things even better. I have God to thank for that ;)

I'd like to thank the ladies of Delta Zeta for inviting me to their chapter retreat. It reminded me of the fun collegiate days as an active member of my beloved sorority. I wish you ladies lots of luck and hope you come on board to the alumnae chapter after graduation ;)

Happy Saturday ;)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Smile! It's F-R-I-D-A-Y!

Frumpy. <-- This word describes most of my collegiate style. As a member of a sorority I had to always be on my best behavior and do my best to dress appropriately. Don't get me wrong; I come as modest as a girl can get. Really... I found myself googling modest wedding gowns a few days ago and guess what - I liked what I saw :) Modest is not a problem I have. Dressing appropriately, that's a problem. It's not that I am incapable of putting a stylish outfit together. Really, it's not. It's the fact that I have to put this outfit on me and wear it that bothers me. I love all things girly... dresses, pencil skirts, jewerly and oh-so-fabulous shoes. I love it all. But I happen to think it looks so much prettier in my ginormous closet than on me. In reality, I am just a quiet and frumpy girl. Frumpyness is indeed my struggle. So much to my amazement, I have been chosen, as an alumnae, to give the collegiate chapter of my sorority {DELTA ZETA} a presentation on Fashion: Dress to Impress. WHAT?! I almost couldn't believe it myself ; ) Actually, it makes me giggle to think I will speaking to my chapter about how to dress appropriately. Me, a true believer of mismatched outfits, unbrushed hair, and a clean face :) Interesting, huh?

I am really flattered, however, and oh-so-very excited to speak to an eager set of ears! The collegiate chapter is in for a treat ;) I have also been asked by the chapter's director to donate a prize as part of some awards for the girls. I have decided I will be donating an exclusive portrait session for one girl with me. It will include all the works and I'm excited to give back to my sorority who helped me become a better person and a good leader. I'll let you know how it went ;) and what I wore...

I hope you have a really ah-mazing weekend and enjoy your days to the fullest. SMILE! It's F-R-I-D-A-Y!

This is Chuy, remember him?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Weddings are full of love... ;)

Sometimes I think I have become infatuated with all things wedding and love probably because I have  recently become engaged. But then - a split second later - I think about how I've been obsessed with weddings since before Chris ever though about proposing... more than six years ago! So I think I am just a normal girl with a little bit bigger obsession for all things sparkly, weddings and everything about love. Last weekend I photographed my very first wedding... and guess what? I survived :) Nathan and Mary hired me as their wedding photographer and were scheduled to be wed in their home state Kansas... but a few weeks ago they emailed me and asked if I was available for a sooner date, a much sooner date. We quickly planned something and worked out the details. Thus, what would have been my second wedding turned into my first. I was nervous but definitely much more excited. I love weddings and the nerves quickly faded away. More on their wedding soon...

Yesterday I had the opportunity to hang out with lots of really talented and cool photographers from around my area, the Rio Grande Valley. It was an organized hang out with models and lots of tips... I'd like to thank David Pezzat for inviting me :) I'm really glad I went and although I am quite the shy-introvert at first, I hope I get to mingle with these faboulous group of people some more throughout my career. I'd also like to thank Eddie Gonzalez for teaching us the "white towel method"... it is a new trick I will certainly add to my bag ;) More on what I learned at the hangout later ;)

I'll be blogging the pictures sometime next week but I'll leave you with a look at the groom.
Happy Thursday ;)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Life is S.W.E.E.T. :)

Whoah! Bloggernet... I've neglected you. I'm sorry :(

Being busy is no excuse, really - BUT - I really have been extremely busy! Good news, though, is that I've been busy because of photography :) Yay! It brings a smile to my face. I've spent the past few weeks photographing some fun sessions and my first wedding... yes, my first wedding!!!! Nathan and Mary, congratulations!!!! I am honored to have been a part of your special day. I wish you the best in your marriage full of God's blessings. I'll be blogging wedding photos very soon :) I also have a very important and special announcement that I've been meaning to blog about but I don't want to randomly blurt it out to you internet. I want it to be a special blog post... because it is a very special announcement :) For now, I just want you my dear reader to know that I have not forgotten you - I've been feverishly working away :) Regardless, I enjoy being busy... it means my life is sweet :) And because pictures make words lots more fun, here is a picture from another party I organized and made decorations for... yummy cupcakes ;)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

2010 Pharr HUB Phestival

I don't know if you recall, but a few weeks ago I mentioned in a post I was hired to photograph the City of Pharr's 2010 HUB Phestival... remember? If you don't, it's okay... I just told you ;) Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of working behind the scenes during the festival as the photographer for the day. My day was long and started pretty early with a late ending but the experience was well worth it. I enjoyed sitting back and viewing the event through my camera. It was really nice to see people smile at me in hopes of having their picture taken. And it was really, really nice to get all access! Ahh, the perks :)

Two weeks, loads of water, and a really bad sunburn later... I have realized I really enjoy photographing my surroundings. As I have spent the past days editing the batch of photos from the festival, I find myself amazed at what the camera can capture... the beauty of humanity. But well before I get philosophical on you tonight, I'll end this now and leave you with a few pictures from the parade and the festival. I'd like to personally thank the City of Pharr for allowing me the exciting opportunity and a special thanks to Mr. Gary Rodriguez for seeing talent in my work. I hope the job I have done as the photographer can speak for itself and bring me lots of more fun opportunities... minus the bad tan lines ;)

I'm really sleepy and very much tired so I bid you good night and come back to read tomorrow! I have many announcements to tell you :)

Happy Tuesday ;)

Monday, April 5, 2010

AGHHH!!! I've neglected my blog for more than a week now :( I am truly sorry bloggernet but I have been extremely busy, truly I have. Lot's of work with photography, regular work, life, and oh-so-many exciting announcements. My engine has been working on overtime these past few weeks and this is only the beginning. Regardless, I am so excited and did not want to go to sleep tonight without writing a quick blog post. Aren't you glad? I have a few major announcements but for now I will just leave you with a quick announcement. I have booked my first real senior session... a college senior session to be exact. Laura, I look forward to photographing your fabulosity in the coming weeks and Congratulations on your impending graduation! Good night my brothers and sisters. May you dream sweet and make life beautiful :)
Happy Monday ;)