How to: Fit an Apron Over Bunny Ears

Hint: it mainly involves blind determination

I’m pretty sure this is what all of adulthood feels like.

I’m pretty sure this is what all of adulthood feels like.


Oh my goodness, my website launches tomorrow. This fact is both terrifying and deeply satisfying, given all the work I’ve put into the thing. Since the launch happens tomorrow, I thought I’d share with all of you lovely people why I chose the image for my temporary landing page that I did (also pictured above).

The little girl pictured above is the child of a dear friend of mine. She’s an intelligent, independent, and spunky little girl. Her parents are among the best I know when it comes to emphasizing reading and education, and her grandparents are the kind of people who know how to capitalize on every possible teachable moment. She routinely tests well above average in school, and she has more wit in her pinky finger than I have witnessed in some adults. Suffice it to say, this is one smart kid.

Her parents are also really great at organizing fun things to do around holidays for her. They’re constantly seeking out fun festivals, events, and activities to allow their daughter to live a full and vibrant childhood. It’s really cool to watch, actually.

On the day pictured above, it was Easter, and they were about to dye eggs and bake a carrot cake together.  The mom had purchased an adorable Easter dress for her daughter: pastel stripes with enough of a flare in the skirt that it would fan out when her daughter twirled, which she did often. Mom also purchased bunny ears for everyone to wear for the occasion.

My friend also insisted that her little girl wear a plastic apron to keep her dress clean while they dyed eggs. Her little girl loved the dress, and seemingly tolerated the ears up to a point, but when the apron got thrown into the mix, she was no longer amused. Determined, in true four-year-old fashion, to do it herself, she set about putting the apron on over the bunny ears. The strap of the apron kept getting hung on one of the ears, thereby discombobulating the ears and becoming a simply unmanageable situation.  It was a bit of an ordeal for a few moments.  I kept shooting because the determination and frustration on her face just said so much about her, the situation she was in, and how she was choosing to persevere.

Eventually, with Mom’s help, she was able to get the apron on, ears and all.

 

 

Putting on an apron while wearing bunny ears and donning a four-year-old level of determination is exactly what it feels like to build a website.

 

 

I consider myself to be of “at-least-average” intelligence. I always had good grades as a kid, and I graduated college with a bachelor’s in 3.5 years while working two jobs. Heck, I even largely taught myself how to be a photographer (thereby rendering that 3.5 year college degree worthless, but hey…). I may not be the smartest person in a given room, but I have a reasonable amount of confidence in my intellectual abilities.

None of this mattered when I delved into the world of web design.

If you’ve ever set out to build a truly good website for your business (one that considers things like SEO and user-friendliness and blah blah blah), then you know that you’re constantly finding new needs for the site that you’re building, so you’re constantly reaching higher and higher to get the apron of your website to encompass everything that it needs to.  The only way a site like this ever gets finished successfully is if you press on and keep building the darn thing because DAMN IT, THIS IS GOING TO WORK EVEN IF I LOSE A BUNNY EAR IN THE PROCESS.

This photo speaks on so many levels, though; it’s not just website building or putting on an apron. Everyone has encountered a task or a project that seemed simple at first but that proved far more difficult later on. And the only productive reaction is to push through, learn how to climb the mountain, and come out on the other side a more capable, well-rounded person than when you began.

This is why I do what I do. Images like this resonate in so many different ways. They capture something about the experience of being human that we can all relate to. It’s not just about how cute a little girl looks on Easter. It’s about the greater story of who she is, who she is becoming, and her journey there.

I’m so excited to be launching this new site tomorrow. I’m stoked to share with you the new features and navigability and portfolio-worthy shots that are included in the site. And I’m proud to say that somehow, in the whole process of building it, I don’t think I lost a single bunny ear.

All the best,

Renee

The 1996 Olympics...and my Instagram re-launch

Me, messy-haired and snaggle-toothed…like any respectable kid should be.

Me, messy-haired and snaggle-toothed…like any respectable kid should be.


It’s story time, guys.

This is me at my aunt and uncle’s house during the summer of 1996. My aunt is a very warm, caring woman, and is definitely the most skilled in the family at keeping track of sentimental things. One of those sentimental things is a fudge pie recipe that was passed down to her.

You should know that this fudge pie recipe is no ordinary fudge pie recipe. It was passed down in her family (through her grandmother, I think) and as such had probably been baked dozens, if not hundreds of times.  It’s simple (six ingredients), quick to make, requires no complicated methods or ingredients, and is perfectly fudgy, dense, and decadent. It’s what fudge pie is meant to be. This is little-old-southern-lady fudge pie. 

 

I think I visited them for about a week that summer, and every single day that I was there, my aunt baked a fudge pie with me and let me eat as much I wanted over the course of the day. All of us in the house would eat the whole thing by the time we went to bed that night, and if any happened to be left over until the next morning, it became breakfast.  Yes, my aunt was very cool. 

I only know this was taken in 1996 because that was the year that the Olympics came to Atlanta, and I because of that, I gained a new role model: Chinese gymnast, Li Xiaoshuang. I was glued to the TV anytime the gymnastics portion of the Olympics came on, but when Li came on, I was transfixed. I was really big into climbing trees as a kid, and he got to climb and jump and swing and twirl in mid-air in ways that I only dreamed of when I was hanging one armed from a tree branch. He was the coolest, and I wanted to do what he could do. (Because of him, I ended up begging my mom for gymnastics lessons for the next two years until she gave in, hahaha!) 

There at my aunt’s house, every time the Olympic gymnasts came on TV, I would sit down (not too close because it could ruin my vision) with my plate containing an unreasonably large piece of fudge pie, and I would eat every bite of pie and watch every second of the gymnastic routines. It was the absolute best and probably the closest thing to heaven I had experienced up to that point in my young life.   

It was such a simple thing, but this memory has stuck with me for years. A kid, sitting and eating her favorite food, watching her favorite thing on TV, and dreaming about what she could become. 

Years later, my aunt gave me that recipe. I myself have also made it dozens of times since then. Every time, it takes me back to watching the Olympics in my Aunt’s living room. 

And I didn’t stick with gymnastics. I do a lot of yoga now, though, and I still climb trees when a climb-able one presents itself.

 

But I still love that feeling of dreaming about what I could be, and I cherish the progress that I see while I work to attain the goals I set for myself…even if those goals no longer include becoming an Olympic athlete.

 

There are so many other moments like this that I wish I had photos of from my own life. These moments exist in everyone’s life. They are the reason I pursue photography as an art form. Truly, I believe they are the highest purpose for which photography exists.

 

I’m hoping to share more moments like this from my own life and the lives of those who so generously allow me to photograph their favorite memories. Feel free to follow me on Instagram or Facebook if you want to read more stories like this in the future!

https://www.instagram.com/studio1825/

https://www.facebook.com/Studio1825/ 

Thanks again!

Renee