It’s been a crafty sort of day. It started with sticking and glitter at 7,30am as the kids added photographs to their books. Then Daddy took them to Cambridge and on to Granddad’s for the afternoon so I was able to ‘glam up’ a bit and take some head-shot photographs to save me the cost of a photographer.
My remote switch and tripod are both broken so I had to make do with my mini tripod, a box and the ten-second timer. I’m rather red-cheeked in some of the pictures because it got a bit hot hopping down from a chair for each of the eighty or so shots I took.
It was fun doing photography again. I don’t get to use my big camera often as I’m either worried about it being broken again or it’s too bulky and obvious. The kids aren’t always happy to have their pictures taken and you can’t sneak up with a DSLR! I was rather chuffed with the results given the circumstances of my imprompt photoshoot. Well, until I shared the pictures with my friends…
I need a new head-shot for the About.me page that shows on this blog, a new one for LinkedIn, and one to send to the Nene Valley Magazine to go with my article. I found it tough choosing because I am both model and photographer and I also prefer more formal pics of myself. So (foolishly it turns out) I decided to put what I thought were the best twelve on Facebook for my nearest and dearest to comment on.
Apparently in most of the shots I look either regal (!), superior (?) or just plain mean. In one or two I look like I’m shooting people with my laser eyes. Actually I can see that: I had to focus on where the lens was to make sure I was in shot and sometimes I focussed a bit hard. It does seem I might have to succumb and hire a professional portrait photographer as I clearly haven’t captured ‘me’ or taken a shot that is sufficiently warm and welcoming to help me build my social media platform.
Still, it was interesting to photograph something other than the children, even if it had to be me (I don’t like being in front of the camera much either. The ‘regal’ or ‘death stare’ looks are really discomfort.).
I’ve also had fun playing with the final images with our new copy of Adobe Photoshop, purchased for book cover design but useful for many things.
When I first left my job as a marketing manager to follow more creative pursuits I took a course in digital photography that concentrated on the amazing things that can be done with Adobe. It was the best career decision I ever made as it has come in useful for a multitude of things, from designing logos and book covers to winning photography competitions and making montages for friends. Unfortunately it can’t turn a meanie into a smiley person but you can’t have everything!
The day ended on a nice note with a lovely craft session with the kids, making sheep and lentil pictures and caterpillars followed by some colouring with Daddy at bedtime. If I’ve learned anything today it’s to never put something out in the world that I’m not ready to have criticised. I hope I get less upset by my first awful book review than I did by the comments from my friends on Facebook!
Clare woke to the sound of drums. The thudding noise filled every inch of space in the room around her. It was a few seconds before she associated the rapid rhythm with her own heartbeat. Slowly her senses fought the sound of the drumming. Her ears noted other noises: the rattle of water in old pipes, the swell of birdsong coming through the single-glass window. The pervasive odour of the room crept in her nostrils and reminded her of her location. Sticky eyes unglued and took in the dim glow of dawn seeping through the curtains. And still the drums pounded.
What the hell?
Claire tried to think what had forced her awake. The clatter of the pipes was loud but her earplugs were still half-in and she had become better at ignoring random noises in the night. The dawn light wasn’t bright enough to have dragged her out of sleep. Gradually the bass drum steadied into a regular beat and Claire was able to concentrate on her breathing.
She tried to recall her dreams, assuming they must have caused the thumping heartbeat and clammy sweat that she could feel freezing on her forehead in the chilly room. She grabbed at the images in her mind but they slipped away as if she had tried to catch a reflection and found only water. And still the sensations persisted. She wanted to crawl out of herself, to shed an itchy and hated skin.
The feeling of disquiet lingered like the bad smell still permeating the room. Claire plumped her pillow and fidgeted in the bed, trying to return to sleep. Every time she closed her eyes indefinable images swam in the dark and forced the lids open again.
What is going on? I didn’t have cheese for dinner. In fact I didn’t have dinner. No alcohol, no coffee. No reason for bad dreams.
Admitting defeat Claire rolled on her back and gazed at the underside of the top bunk, forcing herself to dredge the scattered emotions of her dream for meaning. She was conscious of fear and panic, as if she’d lost her phone or was late for a business meeting. No, worse than that. As if she’d lost her job.
Well, haven’t I?
Claire explored the thought to see if it was the cause of her unease. I haven’t lost my job, but maybe it is time to start looking for a new one, just in case. She rolled over onto her side, hoping the decision would calm her agitated brain and let her sleep. Still the jittering in her stomach continued. A bubbling sensation somewhere behind her belly button nagged at her. It felt like a scream building; a scream that would consume her if she let it free.
That’s enough now body. Get a grip. You are Claire Carleton, Melanie and Gerald’s daughter, Robert and Ruth’s sister. You don’t have nightmares or flights of fancy, they’re not allowed.
A word snagged at her mind as she gave herself a talking-to. Ruth. Suddenly a flood of images washed over her eyes. Ruth going to hospital, Ruth strapped to a white bed, Ruth watching terrified as a giant needle came towards her, her eyes wide and wild as she saw it approach.
Claire jerked upright, crashed her head against the top bunk and collapsed back to the mattress with a groan, tears stabbing her eyes.
My little sister. I’ve been such a cow. All I was concerned with was what she said about Michael, about how she envied me my perfect life. I should have been worried about her, facing this all alone, having to care for Sky and having no one care for her.
She rolled over and fumbled on the floor for her phone. 5.38am. It was too early to call. Claire tapped at the screen and wrote a text message, hoping it wouldn’t wake her sister but needing to connect.
Hey sis. Hope everything goes okay today. Text or call to let me know you’re alright. Thinking of you.
Claire looked at the screen and felt the thudding resume in her chest. It wasn’t right. It wasn’t enough. She tapped at the screen again and typed out two more words before hitting send.
- Are You Doing a 365 Photo Project? (apartmenttherapy.com)
- Let’s Try A 365 Project? (abeautifulmess.com)
- 52 Week – Monthly Technique – Photography Challenge 2013 (chloellaphotography.com)
- 365 Self Portrait Challenge: Day Three Hundred Sixty Six: (nurtureself365.com)