When I think about getting in front of a camera, I absolutely cringe. When I think about picking the photographer to do it, it's even harder. I have so many amazing friends in the industry to choose from. However, the person I spend my personal time with and who I bug relentlessly with my photog techy, make my brain hurt questions (yup that's my technical terminology) I call on Angel Marie Dibbs of Angel Dibbs Photography. I knew my headshots needed to be done and I had been putting it off for far too long. I mean, seriously, how can I ask all of you (my friends, my clients, my lifelines) to get in front of my camera if I won't do the same? So I buckled down, bit the bullet and put in the work in front of Angel's camera. I gotta say....I much prefer being the eyes behind the camera. However, Angel made it fun and adventurous and easy. I asked her to guest blog this session for me since it was her work and not mine. It's just my "pretty face"! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. It was certainly a labor of love (been waiting on it for three weeks - almost choked her - yup she's that kind of friend - oh yeah and I love her). Angel is an awesome friend and this blog surely did make me cry.
A Tale of Two Silly Girls With Nikons and Their Unanticipatedly Quirky, Beautiful Friendship
By: Angel Marie Dibbs of Angel Dibbs Photography
Typically, I'm not the girl who likes surprises. I'm a micro-manager, a planner, a "don't spread yourself too thin" kind of girl. Sometimes life throws us curve balls though, and we can either duck, or try to catch the ball.
It was a typical spring Sunday afternoon in Northern VA about four years ago, when my daughter called from Virginia Beach to ask me a favor. "Mom, could you help my photographer friend edit some pics she took of me?" "Sure, have her send me an email with RAW files", I replied. I had been FB "friends" with Kierstyn Peterson for months via my daughter, but we had not actually communicated until that day.
Kierstyn was just beginning her journey towards becoming a photographer, and I had been in the biz since 2003-ish. Though I was facing my own personal challenges at that time, Kierstyn's excitement inspired me, so I helped with her editing project. After all, the images were of my daughter. My BABY. My HEART & SOUL! Additionally, when my kid asks me to help her friend, I know it's because she sees their potential. We have a long history in the creative world, both in the visual and performing fine arts. To say we get the chills when we see ambition combined with natural talent, is an understatement!
Fast forward to the following February, and I'd moved to VB from the DC metro area. My partner and I both have family here, and we own a small condo which needs remodeling before putting on the market , AND...his divorce has been long, ugly & more expensive than any of you would EVER believe. Soooo, (heavy sigh) we downsized from our 3 level home, put our things in storage and moved back to where we were both raised. Our effort to get past this "phase", get one of our daughters through private college (she attends Smith) while paying off attorney fees, has been..........yeah. Did I mention Darrin began traveling for business 4 days/week exactly 4 days after our relocation? Oh, and my photography business had to start over from scratch. Remember that thing about curve balls? Can I get a shot of tequila and a hug please? LOL!
If you know me, you know I'm strong willed and independent, and rarely let the universe bring me down. Hell, I make up reasons to have dance parties. One thing I refuse to give up on is Whimsy Wednesday (my version of a mid-week reboot). A little lunch, a little wine, and a lot of whimsy with my besties...trust me, it's the stuff that keeps you from needing antidepressants. I FINALLY got settled in, and invited Kierstyn over for W.W. It was Kierstyn's first time tasting Darrin's home made salsa , hearing my "special" language, meeting Yofa (my grumpy chihuahua), eating my gluten free chicken tacos w/soy cheese, and realizing I might be the most ADHD person she's ever met.
As I got to know her, I realized how uniquely different Kierstyn and I were, but who cared that our politics didn't align, or that we were raised on opposite sides of the country, a decade apart? Seriously, so what if I'm a hazelnut latte, Sundance boots, leggings everyday, city meets ocean, tap dancing, try anything risky, VW driving, wine loving tech geek kind of girl...while Kierstyn's an "appreciate the simple things", jeans, pink sweatshirts, Navy loving, sexy sports car driving, coconut rum, impeccable manicure, Broncos kind of girl, who happens to name her cars, cameras, laptops etc. (not kidding.) I began to see with Kierstyn, the biggest differences seemed smaller than usual. Politics, religion, philosophy...nope, didn't matter. There was depth to be found in our similarities, for example: we are both Daddy's girls and giant kids at heart. We are both compassionate and love deeply. We love children and family. We support all art. We are chronic romantics and people people, We put ourselves last when we are needed. We don't support inflated egos and freely admit our own flaws. We dislike PMS, grumpy teens, our men behaving like jerks and tedious editing. We believe in paying it forward and sharing our knowledge. With that said, there are just too many things we have in common to let the uncommon areas get in our way, right? (Our men are TOTAL polar opposites, lol!)
I'm smitten with Kierstyn's growth as a photographer, but honestly, I don't care what she does for a living as long as she is my friend. I'm not gonna lie, it's pretty cool that we can talk shop and support each other's work, but photography is what we do, not who we are. Without her daily texts messages, and her uncanny ability to know I'm having a bad day, I might have had a meltdown while rebuilding my business after moving. Kierstyn was the best curve ball ever thrown my way. I'm so glad I didn't duck! I'm grateful to have her friendship, and I wish her the best kind of success in her business and throughout her life. WHIMSY WEDNESDAYS FOREVER!
Sooo…we photographers are REALLY bad about getting pro photos taken of ourselves, yet we have websites and biz cards and marketing materials which require us to submit to the opposite side of the lens sometimes. We always make grand plans, but something else always trumps our “loose” appointments with each other. This time however, I had a maternity session on a Sunday and knew I could do Kierstyn’s head shots right afterwards. (Translation: if I did her head shots, she’d be my lighting assistant for the maternity session…WINNING!) It was a beautiful sunny afternoon on the Chesapeake Bay, albeit very cold with the wind chill. I’d recently gotten over the full blown flu, and Kierstyn was on her 2nd round of antibiotics for a bad case of bronchitis! Neither of us had any business frolicking on the beach in the winter temps, but we had to carpe diem! Rather than brave the colder wind directly on the Bay, we made our way beyond the dunes to First Landing State Park, where the nooks and crannies were plentiful. Kierstyn’s daughter Ashley became my lighting girl, and she was awesome…until her fingers got numb:) Let’s just say we started to work at a Nascar pace, and our big “vision” for a gallery of greatness was modified as the wind turned Kierstyn’s skin blue and made her bronchitis sound like pneumonia! I’m all…”one more shot, I promise”, in my most convincing but non-trustworthy voice:) Luckily, Kierstyn knows exactly what I know, which is that the last impulse shots are usually the very best shots! Ok not always, but we can go with that right? There are so many more great shots from her session, and I WILL get them edited…I swear! Until then, isn’t my quirky, beautiful friend gorgeous? P.S.-if you want to know which one is my favorite, here’s a little hint: I LOVE dead weeds!
Photographer: Angel Dibbs of Angel Dibbs Photographer (www.angeldibbsphotographer.com)
Makeup: Kierstyn Peterson
Hair: Glow Salon
Lighting Assist: Ashley Peterson Location: First Landing State Park