Archery Lessons, a Wedding and Photography Etiquette

I feel like I’ve learned so much in the past few weeks!  I’m excited to share 🙂

First off, I am a Hunger Games fan.  So I immediately visited the nearest Bass Pro Shop (or Mini-Cabela’s as I like to call it) and perused the bows in the Archery section back in March after seeing the movie.   I asked one of the employees if he knew of someone who gave Archery lessons, and he said the only instructors he knew of were the Lodi Bowmen group, as they offered a four week course in Archery — all the way in October!  I was so disappointed.  Where’s my instant gratification, man?

I was starting to get nervous this last month, though.  My husband was not on fire about it as much as I was by September.  The prospect of waking up at 7:00 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday for the entire month of October, to travel 1.5 hours each way, he was def giving off the “I’m grudgingly doing this for you, Babe” vibe.

So last Saturday came… and went… wonderfully. 🙂  He was on board 100% afterwards!

I cannot speak high enough of this wonderful group of bowmen, btw.  Everyone greeted us quickly and warmly and told us to gear up, that we would be shooting immediately!  I was surprised at how quick the whole process is.  After my second round of arrows (we went thru a process of shooting 4 arrows before grabbing them and shooting again) I was getting consistent and my instructor asked me twice if I’d ever shot an arrow before and raised eyebrows when I replied I had not.  Soon all the groups were shooting as far back as they will let us, between 20 and 30 feet.  Another instructor then came up to my group and started talking to me, asking me if I’d ever shot before, and again the surprise when I admitted I hadn’t.  He adjusted the sights on my bow and tightened the draw and — boom, my next shot was directly above the target.  The second instructor had me shoot again and another boom, bullseye.  😉
James was doing absolutely awesome, as well!  He said he got the same reaction, the instructors’ surprise when learning he hadn’t shot a bow before.  But, he is a Combat Medic which makes him an automatic bad-ace. 😉

Now, what stinks is the next day when we went back for the second day of class, I didn’t do as well.  We started refining stance and my arrows were all over the place.  My instructor told me not to get discouraged, that I had wonderful form, but that my muscles were loosening because I’m building new ones and that they will tighten up and I will see better consistency again.  🙂  Anyways, to have so much fun and to be doing so well in the very first week, just amazing!!!

I also discovered within the last month that I can draw!  Its been so much fun.  Interestingly to me, I get really intimidated before I start each sketch.  Maybe its normal, I don’t know.  Before I start, I have thoughts of if the picture will turn out awful and I feel overwhelmed, like if I fail its a direct reflection on me.  But I eventually push through those feelings and start scratching away with my mechanical pencil.

The weekend before lessons started was James’ sister’s wedding.  She has two kids from a previous marriage and they are our absolute favorite little people in the world!  Some days, I think James loves his little munchkins more than life itself.  Needless to say I took more pictures of them than the whole reason for the day!

During the ceremony, I was struck by how much our mothers influence our lives as I saw our niece patiently and reverently watch as her mom exchanged sacred vows.  I wish I could have hopped out of the pew, but there was another photographer there and I didn’t want to be disrespectful of the other’s talent or of the ceremony.

At dinner, I couldn’t get over how adorable the kids were. These ones are wild, let me tell you, but they showed maturity and understanding that this was an important day for their mom and were both little wise souls.

James was asked to dance with his sister in the place of their father, Garry, who passed away almost 5 years ago.  Adorably, they were interrupted within a minute by our nephew and he got to dance with the bride the rest of the time, while James grabbed his niece and finished the song out with her.

We took the kids home with us soon after and got to spoil them rotten by stuffing them full of ice cream, pizza and staying up all hours of the night.  Heck, it was their special day, too, in our opinion!

Now lastly, I am going to share something I recently learned on Photography Etiquette.  Did you know its rude to take a photographer’s photo and edit it?  Maybe that seems like a no-duh type of thing, but I was happy I learned that before becoming an unknowing offender.  So, say a photographer takes your picture, spends time and love in making it a beautiful image that reflects her style of photography, and you don’t like the way the shadows fall on your face, or you want to cover up that mole you hate so much.  It is considered immensely rude and uncouth to do so.  For those who are like me, and want to know why, I shall try to explain it the way I understand it.

So you’re new, you want to try your hand at editing.  You over expose the image, you change the contrast so it looks brighter or darker, or you change the color tint on the photo.  What may look great to you, may not be great.  We rookies sometimes don’t see the whole picture, or vision that another photographer was trying to create.  So while you think you improved the image, you may have actually destroyed it without knowing.  And her name is all over that photo and now people may say, “Wow, she sucks!” and she may lose business because we wanted to try our hand at editing.
Another way to understand this is, say you are an absolute pro at editing.  Say you made that image look amazing!  And say someone else sees that… and wants to book with that original photographer because they’re so impressed.  And they’re disappointed because their pictures look nothing like the one you edited…  The client is pissed, and the photographer feels bewildered and unappreciated because the person who sought her out now doesn’t like her work which she put a lot of hard work and love into.  Make sense now?

For these and many other reasons, always curb the desire to edit other’s photos.  You can edit your fb friends list, and you can edit your photos, but you can’t edit your friends fb photos. 🙂