Back Up Your Computers, People.

Sorry for the absence. My computer died Wednesday (we’re assuming it’s a hard drive problem) and I’ve been making up for the loss of all of my files amongst photoshoots, work and other such busy-ness.

Not having my own computer has been an interesting experience. I don’t think I’ve been in a situation where I had to rely on community computers since I was in elementary or middle school. My family always had a home computer around, so even when I didn’t have a laptop I had a computer where I could safely store my files.

Luckily, my school is pretty good about having computers available for students to use, and they have most of the programs that I need in order to get things done. It’s just weird having to store anything I do on an external storage, as well as having to start over on everything every time I go to do work. No leaving any half-finished edited pictures up overnight for me.

I should hear back about what is actually wrong with my computer today hopefully, but until I hear otherwise, I have to assume that I have lost all of my pictures not backed up (which thankfully was not as much as I originally thought) all of my documents, and all of my music. I think the worst of all of that actually is the music, since I have original files of a lot of my pictures, and documents can be recreated when needed… but my thousands of songs organized, with artworks, from years of downloading… that one hurts.

I’ll be spending a few weekends fixing all of this once I have a working computer again.

Saturday, which should have been the day I posted, I was in Phoenix again for a cosplay photoshoot. I had a lot of fun, met some great people, but I’m still hoping that this weekend was the last of those types of trips for a while. I’d love to go back and spend more time with some of the people I have done shoots with, maybe do some individual shoots where it’s not so stressful to get everyone done, but for now, I need to concentrate on surviving the rest of the semester.

After three weekends of being away from the apartment, I definitely feel like staying in for a bit and sleeping in my own bed, just being in one place for a while… but with spring break coming up at the end of this week, that’s not going to happen. My sister and I are headed to Disneyland, and will be driving from California to Tucson for a few days after we are done with the fun.

It’s supposed to rain while we’re at Disneyland, that will be a first for us. We spent a good part of this morning reading up on what the parks are like when it rains. I’m actually excited, as long as it doesn’t rain too heavy, it will end up in our favor, hopefully it won’t be as busy as it usually is. Also the last time we went we accidentally ended up going on the ¬†opening date of Disneyland on its 60th anniversary, so really it can only get better from there as far as crowds are concerned.

For now, I’m just concentrating on getting through this week, not ending up in a puddle due to a huge stress-enduced meltdown before Thursday afternoon.

 

Out of curiosity, do any of you have suggestions for laptops that would be great for photo editing and potentially gaming?

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Why Is Liz So Stressed Out?

Entering in to my last semester of college, I thought everything would be business as usual, nothing too crazy, that I would just get through my classes for the last time and graduate.

I was wrong. Very wrong.

This semester I decided on four classes: three photo classes and an online business class that would last for the first half of the semester. Sounds pretty simple, but it’s proven to be the ingredients to the busiest, most time consuming group of classes I think I’ve ever taken in all of my college years. Three photo classes is just not as easy and carefree as it sounds, really.

To be fair, it’s not only my classes that are taking up my time, work and social life events are also a factor. This year has been the busiest socially for me, which I’m really alright with, and with my new position at work, I have more hours there and less time at work that I get to work on other things since I don’t just sit at a desk the whole time anymore.

It would probably help my case if I took better care of myself. Somehow I have been sick for most of the semester, and it seems like I haven’t been 100% healthy at any given time. My eating habits aren’t the best (though I am working on that) and I definitely don’t drink enough water to keep my body happy (also working on that.) I don’t get enough sleep, but that isn’t all my fault. Noisy room mates who don’t sleep and have no regard to others who may want to be sleeping tend to keep you awake it would seem.

This weekend coming up will be the third weekend in a row that I’m traveling, and the second one of the three wheee I’ll be doing a big shoot. After the last weekend I did traveling and with big important shoots, I have to admit I wonder if I can handle it again so soon. It may require very high amounts of caffeine, some crying, and a very decent playlist to get me through.

I plan on actively trying to fix some of my issues, working to keep myself organized and healthy. It just feels as if I’m adding more to my plate by trying to fix those issues while trying to keep up with the rest of life.

I shouldn’t complain too much, this is probably pretty close to what life after college will be like, crazy and full of stress, but I can only wish that things are especially crazy right now and I won’t actually have to go through lack of sleep and being overwhelmed so often in life when I’m done with school.

This is a Short Post

I missed my post on Monday, and this one is really late, sorry, but I have good reason for such bad posting habits this week.

This past weekend, I was overloaded. I mean, seriously, too much on my plate, I didn’t sleep, I definitely had Starbucks coffee for about 6 of my meals. I had to get through three photoshoots, write a 7 page research paper, do a bunch of work for an online class, the list goes on and on. Long story short, I spent this weekend getting no sleep and working myself to death.

So Monday I was still recovering and forgot to try to post, and the busy lifestyle just keeps going. Weekends don’t really exist and there’s never nothing to do. Having a life and getting work done simultaneously is an olympic sport and I’m training for gold.

On the bright side, I managed to get some really great photos, got a good amount done otherwise and didn’t actually die from lack of sleep and real food. Hopefully I can recover soon and start at least attempting to function like a real human being again. Also I will try to share some of my images as soon as I work on them a bit. Because seriously, it was a productive weekend in the world of photography.

Until then, this is a short post and I will try to queue some more so you all won’t have to miss me too bad…

Becoming a Real Photographer

I’m a photographer, that is not a secret to anyone. I have social media accounts for my photography business, I post pictures I have taken, I often talk about ideas I have for photography projects, I work at an equipment checkout facility where I deal with photography equipment almost every day, I go to school and take photography classes… my life is full of photography in all of its various aspects.

Well, sort of.

It’s funny to think, that if someone were to spend a full week with me, go to school and work with me, take part in my social events, see me while I’m at home, follow me wherever I go, and know nothing about me… they might not consider me to be a real photographer. They’d see me studying photography, working with the equipment at my job, sure. But actually taking pictures? It might happen the last day of the week for a project that’s coming due.

It’s a terrible thing to admit.

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I promise, I do actually take pictures!

My problem is, I’m a timid photographer. It’s not that I don’t like taking pictures, or that I’m lazy about it, or I have no time, etc. But I’m nowhere near being considered a paparazzi. I tend to avoid taking my camera anywhere because I’m afraid it will freak people out. If I do take my camera to events I try to blend in and stay hidden instead of coming right out and letting people know I’m taking pictures. I try to stay out of the way and out of sight, which is hard to do when you’re trying to get a specific angle or lighting.

I’ve been at plenty of events or even just out and about on the town where I see photographers casually taking pictures of anything and everything. They usually don’t try to hide, they don’t seem to be worried about what people think about them taking pictures… and they get their shots, specific angle or lighting and all.

One of my goals as a photographer is to become more active in photography. Even if I’m not taking pictures at events, I want to take my camera out more, become the person who “looks” like a photographer. Perhaps I’ll gain more business that way, I’ll definitely build a better portfolio. When I went to New York, I let myself become a tourist, taking pictures of everything I could, and I think maybe I should consider that to be a normal characteristic of mine.

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Some of the wonderful equipment I get to work with.

I think it’s my last step into belonging into the “world” of photography. When I first started in the photo program at my school, it was hard for me to feel like I truly belonged in the world of photography. I just wasn’t at the same level as so many of the students around me, but I learned. I definitely think that changing my “photographer personality” is the last thing I need to do to feel truly a part of it all.

Not that the learning will ever stop, of course.

Photographers, what’s some advice you would give someone diving into the world as a photographer? How do you keep your camera out and your images flowing?

I Made Friends… Again.

When I quit band, something that I thought I was going to have serious issues with was making friends. Turns out I was completely correct. Band was the perfect place to make friends, because you were actually forced to whether you wanted to or not. People started to rub off on you after five days of band camp, and suddenly you were best friends with people you hadn’t known the week before. Or at least you thought you had become best friends until the next week when you found the people you were actually compatible enough to be semi-good friends with.

So when I moved from Tucson, stopped all musical ensembles, was a part of zero clubs, knew basically no one… I pictured myself struggling to build relationships with anyone around me. It didn’t help that I was going in as a “sophmore” when I should have already graduated from college… I had nothing in common with the people in my classes. Even the people who were in the few photo classes I started out with seemed a bit alien. Halfway through my first year, I accepted my fate, I was just meant to get through the three years, focus on school… I was past the party scene anyways, and it didn’t really matter much if I didn’t make any friends.

Except that’s still a pretty lonely life to have. My sister tried to loop me into her group of friends, but that wasn’t meant to be, and with my closest friends at least 4 hours away, Netflix became the best friend I had. (It just understood me when I needed to cry about fictional characters at 2am!) This wasn’t the life that was intended for me, and I’m glad I was pushed in a different direction.

The second half of the second year I was at NAU I was informed about a Christian group on campus. This wouldn’t have really interested me a year in advanced, but you see, I had been through some changes. After a bad breakup, way too much time by myself, and just enough Netflix binges (it is bad for you I suppose…) I had a night when my life was changed and I considered myself a new and true Christian. Fast forward about 6 months and I’m meeting up with a girl I didn’t know, literally a friend of a friend, to participate in a bible study.

I wish I could say that I was magically transformed that night and I was charming and opened up and allowed myself to make friends and I was happy, but the reality is I panicked and ran the other way (back into the arms of Netflix.)

But loneliness is worse than the fear of looking like a fool in front of new people in an unfamiliar environment.

So I tried it again another handful of months later… I honestly don’t know what made things different the second time around. Maybe I was more willing to be myself. Maybe I had prayed enough and God was answering my prayers. Whatever it was that made the second time around the right time… I’m thankful. Humans are not meant to feel alone.

It’s weird having gone through the process of making friends again as an adult… I definitely value the friendships I’ve made a bit differently, just as I value the friendships I’ve kept over the years a bit differently. But the weirdest part is considering that I was able to make friends without band, without being forced to do so, on my own time… it’s a different process entirely, and I couldn’t explain how I managed to get through it if I tried.

The moral to my story is this: everyone can make friends at any point in their life, but you have to TRY. Putting effort into it was something new to me, and I think that’s why so many friendships after high school fail. But the silver lining is that the friendships you make when you actually put that effort into making them and keeping them, tend to be of a better quality, so it’s worth it if you’re willing.

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Excited to be Awake

It’s the last day of January. Has anyone else ever noticed that as you get older, time goes by a lot faster? I wonder if that’s because we are capable of remembering more, or if we’re more aware of time in general? I remember as a kid, 5 minutes seemed to be the longest period of time. “5 more minutes” meant something profound. Today, 5 minutes goes by without much thought. It’s weird.

I read a post online recently where someone was saying they miss the feeling of being excited about being awake. Like when you’re too amped about something that’s going to happen to fall asleep or when you stay up late because you’re so elated about life. I miss that feeling too. I feel like I thought high school sucked for a majority of the time I was in it, but really when I think about that time when I was just excited about life, that’s what comes to mind. That’s the last time I can really remember being able to wake up and really get out of bed right away because there were people I wanted to see or places I wanted to be.

I’m not sure when things changed, but now it seems like I never get out of bed right away when my alarm gets up. It’s a struggle to get through the day, sometimes I have an event to look forward to, sometimes I don’t and I just trudge forward. But I think by doing so, I definitely miss the point of living.

When we’re in school (before college, generally) there’s a routine, your life moves forward on a regularly greased wheel, there’s not a whole lot of fear of what’s ahead, but when you become an adult (whenever you consider that to happen), that changes quick. You are expected to grease that wheel of life, make your own routine and face the fear of what’s ahead in a timely manner. I haven’t really done well with this, to be completely honest with you… actually when it comes to proper adulting, I really suck at it.

So here I am, a mere four months and some change before the real world hits me like a truck. What do I do to change things around? What differences in my life do I pursue to make sure that I want to get out of bed every morning? I’ll keep searching for the solution, and I’ll keep you all in the loop if I discover the secret. Maybe there’s some internet research that I can do.

 

In other news, it is thunder-snowing in Flagstaff right now. If I have to commute in an insane amount of snow tomorrow morning, I will be sure to document that and share it with you all.

 

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I’m better at being a laser fox than I am being an adult.

The Library

I am officially in my last semester as a college student. My classes are just about set (I have one more photo class to override into) and my work schedule is complete. I’ll be organizing the rest of my time today in my nifty online schedule, entering in due dates and setting myself up for success. Although really should I count on being any more organized than I have in my 12+ previous semesters? We’ll see.

Thursdays are my “day off”. I don’t have class or work, but it’s officially my homework day. It’ll be my date days with the library. It’s been a few semesters now that I have relied on the school library as my place where I really get work done. Last year when I was in a pretty bad living situation which involved being room mates with several extremely loud people who liked to bring even more loud people home with them no matter the day or hour… I discovered the library, its silence, its free warmth, electricity and water, and its wonderful ability to put me in the mood to get work done.

Back then it was an escape. Now it’s a second home.

Reasons I love working at the library (a list):

  1. The environment. During the normal course of the semester minus midterms week and just around finals, the library is usually pretty empty, and the only people there usually are the type that want to be there. So it’s quiet, no distractions, nothing keeping you from actually doing your homework.
  2. It is a place where it is completely acceptable to drink obscene amounts of coffee without the chance of being judged. You can come in with a starbucks cup, drain it, go downstairs and buy more coffee, drink up, have your friends bring you more coffee… the people around you will just assume that you’re working on something really important.
  3. Like I mentioned before, free warmth, electricity, and water. Usually when I go to the library I make camp. I have my laptop, phone, tablet, music device, and I charge all of them. I have to have a table that has an outlet or else there’s no way I’m staying very long. Sometimes I even bring batteries for other electronics that need to be charged. The library is usually pretty warm, but almost always warmer than my apartment, so that’s a plus. And I can fill my water bottle up at a filling station as many times as I want. (When I’m not overdosing on caffeine.)
  4. It’s not just a great place to do homework. I’ve worked on NaNoWriMo, edited pictures, caught up on my tumblr posts, done bible study… whenever I just want to get away and do work on my own, the library is a fantastic place to do it.
  5. You can wear sweatpants. Nobody cares, especially during high-testing weeks. Get comfy and get to work