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Work

Work and Life Balance | by +Krisandra

Have you ever been so wrapped up in something that everything else just seemed to ….Disappear.

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Something like a new companion, school, a project, or WORK? Everything else like family, friends, but mostly YOU? Where you don’t realize what day of the week it is you just know what you have to do that particular day because the calendar says so. Where you can’t seem to remember when the last time you talked to your friend actually was. Where you can’t remember if you answered that text message. When you are at a red light and suddenly remember you had better cook that chicken that has been marinating in the fridge or it WILL go bad.

This is where I am. RIGHT NOW.

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This past weekend was busy for me. I auditioned for a television commercial, I photographed a family at the Atlanta fair, I snuck into an abandoned building and finally did a shoot that I had been planning for months, I spoke at a photography workshop, I even photographed a sideshow event. But, you know what else happened? I heard (more than once I might add) from friends, “Where have ya been? Why don’t we talk anymore”.

….dang

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Mark (I thought was joking) said a while ago that the only time friends get to see him is if they are at the event he is photographing. He wasn’t joking. While I can sit here and justify it to myself that this is a good thing, it really isn’t. Yes, this means I am working hard at mastering my craft. Yes, this means I finally feel like I am in a good place with my photography career. Yes, this means I am producing great images. Yes, this means I am finally doing what I love full time. But… this also means I have neglected friends, I have neglected my house chores, I am so tired a nap turns to anxiety because I am not sure if it is 6:30 a.m. or p.m. when I awake. I have forgotten ME.

I can balance this! Work and life! Even if it means I have to start putting my friends, chores and ME on my calendar. If that is what it takes, then so be it.
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I wouldn’t be where I am today or who I am today without you. I can’t forget who modeled for me before I really knew what I was doing. I can’t ignore the ones who supported me when I was 48 hours straight without sleep because I was working on my portfolio in school. I can’t neglect those who care.

This blog is dedicated to you.

 

 

Falling down | by +Krisandra

So, what happens when the words don’t come? I sit in front of my laptop and get distracted by anything and everything because I can’t come up with something interesting to say. Something that makes you ponder. Something that makes you say, “wow, yea, I get that!”

I have youtubed the Gang Related soundtrack and wound up on New Kids on the Block music videos. Listened to the Ghost World soundtrack and ended up on Christmas songs- yes, Christmas songs. I tried to convince my boyfriend we needed to go and have a nightcap somewhere… on a Sunday… at 11pm. Anything to avoid writing; anything to avoid getting personal.

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The truth is… during a shoot this past weekend my whole week came into summary by way of a mud puddle. I fell down. I literally fell down. Not only did I fall down, but I did one of those movie type splits down- in mud. Luckily, my client was behind me and didn’t do the same graceful maneuver. I got up and found a stick to scrap the inch thick mud off my behind, leg and shoes and answered “YES, I am ok!”

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[enter cheesy metaphor here] The truth is… the last couple weeks have been a roller coaster for me. I was laid off  (laid off?!) from my “day job” of 3 1/2 years, I took on the role as photo editor with LeahAndMark.com (yay!), and it took me actually landing on my behind to realize- I AM GOING TO BE OK!

I am one of those people who worry about every little, and not so little, thing. It has always been preached to me not to quit my “day job” until it affected my photography or vise versa. So, you can imagine my worry. This is not how I planned things. It wasn’t suppose to happen like this! Or maybe, just maybe, this is the way it’s suppose to happen.

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Truth is… I want to show you images, but I want to tell you stuff too. I don’t only want to talk about f stops, ISO, and other technical mumbo jumbo. I want to tell you stuff too, perhaps personal stuff. Like how I can get so caught up with everything that is happening around me (work) that I don’t see what is right in front of me (a BIG mud puddle). I warned you about the cheesy metaphor!

Atlanta Boudoir Photographer | Krisandra Evans | LeahandMark.com

The truth is… sometimes you just need to find a stick, scrape the mess off and keep going. It took me falling down to realize it’s just stuff. And guess what? I’M OK!

Friday by +Debra | Make Do, Make Great.

I used to be a line cook, kinda like the ones you see on Hell’s Kitchen.  Except real kitchens aren’t like that, so don’t buy the hype.  Real kitchens are make do, or make great.  There’s no die, there’s no not do.  It’s all about get it done.  The person who ordered their food is expecting their food, not an empty plate coated in excuses.  One of my chefs would hear people making excuses, why they were slow, why they ran out of an item, etc.  He would always stop them in mid excuse and say, “no stories, just results.” That philosophy has haunted me my entire adult life.  It’s an important lesson in being a professional.
No stories, just results.  Make do, Make Great.
Last Sunday morning it was the phantom voice of said chef that drove me from my bed to shoot for a sunrise shoot that saw no sunrise.  I’m not gonna lie, I whaa whaa’d to myself in the dark about the cold rainy weather and the early call time I had arranged.  Lack of sleep, and a glass too many of wine the night before had me in less than chipper, let’s rock this sunrise in the park shoot, type of mood.  Not to mention that I have a 4 month old baby.  Sleep is a rare luxury.  Then I remembered, I am a professional, and professionals get up and make it happen.
 No.Matter.What.

If it was your wedding day, the wedding would happen, whether it was raining or not.  If I was your photographer, you would expect nothing short of amazing from me.  I got out of bed, texted the models and Interns, giving the option to back out to anybody who wanted.  Everybody was en-route, and ready to give it a go.  Yay!  I got dressed a bit haphazardly, thank goodness for sweats.  I soon realized I wasn’t the only person in my house who wanted to snooze the rainy morning away.  Who could blame them.  I bundled up my son, and together we hit the road.
Again, with the snarling face of aforementioned chef in my mind, and the refrain: “No stories.”
Make do. Make great.

Jessica and Johann left their houses at 5:30 am to meet me and Intern Sooji for the shoot.  You may recognize Jessica from my Downtown Shoot.  Jessica is vivacious and witty.  She’s the type of person you could bottle up and drink for an energy boost, or eat as a protein snack.  I mean that in the high energy way, not like the cannibal way.  Err, metaphorical, yeah.  Either way, she is awesome.  I wish I could put her in my pocket, and make jokes with her all day.
Her boyfriend Johann is a perfect match for her.  These 2 exude all those warm happy fuzzy feelings, it was almost like we didn’t need to be sad it was overcast and the sun never came out.
They make their own sunshine.

Off we went, with models and intern Sooji confirmed to meet at the park.  It was an excellent opportunity to work with less than ideal conditions, and also a great warm up for the upcoming weddings I have.  I am so excited for the couples that are getting ready to get married, and thrilled that they are taking a chance with me.
We started out in a particular field, and Intern Sooji helped me watch my son Shannon.  She held him so I could shoot for a bit, and then when it was her turn to shoot, I perched atop his stroller (that thing is sturdy!) and nursed him back into an early morning nap. It was a peaceful morning, with just a few joggers, a couple million spiders in the grass, and me doing what I love, with my son there to somewhat experience it.  Having him there is sweet, but it is also a mental distraction.  I can’t help but worry if he is ok, and what you don’t see in these shots is that he is sleeping in his stroller, surrounded by tall grass, just a few feet out of frame.  I see now that working in these conditions has helped temper me for future shoots, honing an ability to focus, concentrate, and deliver.  Much like cooking for 200+ people a night.  Focusing amongst bustling bodies, screaming chefs, clanging pots, fire and knifes is much like  focusing with a sleeping baby, waking spiders, and a headache.
Make Do.  Make Great.

When I hear people say things like, “oh I didn’t get the shot I was too tired”.  I hear that you didn’t care enough to move yourself into the right place, at the right time. Maybe you were too lazy to make the extra leap to get the shot.  When people complain they are tired, I laugh.  I have a kid.  Go ask any parent you know if they are completely rested.  Chances are, they aren’t.  Go ask any business owner, entrepeneur, hustler, or dedicated worker if they are tired.  It’s not a part of their vocabulary.  Your laziness is my chance to succeed.
No excuses.  Just results.

Special thanks to Sooji, Johann, and Jessica for taking a chance with me that morning, for hustling, carrying a stroller through tall grass, and for being all around awesome.  Thanks to that chef, and the many people who have honed me into the hard working, no sleeping, baby juggling photographer that I am today.  Thank you to the couples who are entrusting their memories to me, and thanks to my supportive family, friends( new and old) who keep this dream alive.

I am doing everything I can to exceed your expectations, and my wildest hopes.

Good stuff

I spend a lot of time at my desk these days.  Although probably not as much as I should.  But there is life to be lived and breaks to be taken.  Ultimately, I know that all the work will get done.  It just tends to get done realllllly close to the due date, rather than far in advance.  And I’m learning to be okay with that, because it means I don’t feel insanely overwhelmed and burnt-out.

I’m soooooo happy that Mark has a job!  And one he likes, to boot, without a ridiculously long commute.  I love our apartment and the warmth and insulation it provides in this chilly weather.  (Not something I appreciated until I grumbled through two winters shivering in a drafty house with an ancient heater-box-thing).  I was feeling stressed out and tired last night, but I got a great night’s sleep and gave myself a good pep-talk and I’m in a much better frame of mind this morning.  I just have to remember to see the bigger picture.  So I have a lot to do right now.  So what?  It’ll get done.  And I’ll learn a whole lot in the process.  A little hard work won’t kill me.

(But I’m still very much looking forward to Dec. 11 when the semester ends and I have a break to rest my brain and process everything I’ve taken in since August.)

I hope y’all have a super awesome day!

Us (circa 2005)

Pack Everything in a Box

Even though this is only a four day work week – it’s still Monday – so we’ll begin with something that makes us happy – Baklava! Honestly, I hadn’t ever eaten ANY baklava until… about 3 years ago when Leah’s grandparents? sent her some in the mail (well, you know, ordered it and had it delivered so it was still relatively fresh – and absolutely awesome.) Baklava has got to be in my top 10 ummm… dessert/pastry/type things ever. Seriously. Unfortunately, I could eat it for days. If by some unfortunate circumstance you’ve lived without ever having eaten any baklava – go and get some right now. Like RIGHT NOW.

As mentioned in an earlier post, we made our way to Ikea this past weekend. We bought a new sofa and a new bed/mattress. In the picture below, Leah’s pushing the Sofa and I’m pushing the bed frame parts. It was a good thing I had so much practice pushing our other sofa/bed combo to the curb the other day because I had to pull this down from the shelving and onto the cart since there were no Ikea reps around in sight. (On a completely side-note, I wasn’t sore or hurting at all after any of the furniture moving and hauling – and I normally would be all screwed up someplace, probably my back and shoulders area – except I’ve been doing workouts that mostly consist of running a lot, and using heavy kettlebells that they have my gym now. Ummmmmmm. Offtrack.)

These are Leah’s vegetarian Chiknuggets – which we ate at around 2am on Saturday night because she couldn’t sleep and was watching the 2nd season of Dexter (you have GOT to see this show) and I was attempting to work on some homework. Which brings me to another subject – how we don’t really have much actual FOOD inside of our fridge. It’s that weird situation where our fridge is FULL of stuff… but nothing to eat. We do have a large collection of condiments and parts – oh yeah, and of course Eggs… but not much real food.

Sunday morning? Belly of course! But I’ll spare you the latest pictures of the latest Nutella & Banana Panino sandwich. We also bought two Sunday papers for packing paper (and then realized that I could’ve just grabbed 4 or 5 of those ‘free’ papers like Creative Loafing or… Sunday Paper.

Looking back – it was a really, really long weekend – partly because we had the moving/packing/boxing job looming over us the whole time. We did get a whole lot done – about 3/4ths of the stuff and we even did yard work. Part of the problem is that I feel the need to box EVERYTHING. I mean almost EVERYTHING – and anything that’s not in a box… well, then it’s in a bag that we’re taking over and not having the movers bring over.

I just have this whole thing about having movers move anything that’s not big enough to be considered furniture, and stuff that’s not in a proper box that’s been taped closed. So that means I want to pack EVERYTHING in a proper box that can be taped shut and stacked. Other wise I feel it’s like… handing them a rolling cart full of loose items. I don’t know. Plus, we’re also trying to cut down on the time that the movers have to be there so the more ‘packed’ we are, the less ‘packing’ that actually has to go on when they get there – saving us money.

We ate a spot called ‘Tin Drum’ over in Sandy Springs this weekend and it was a good choice – not anything adventurous, but after our relatively terrible lunch at Saigon Cafe in Decatur… yeah, Tin Drum was awesome in comparison.

Penang chicken up above. Seriously. Lately I’ve been on this big um, ‘penang’ kick. It’s such a good flavor!… and I’m sure the coconut milk has relatively few calories right? I mean, like none. And fat? zero. Definitely. Well. Um. I guess I’ll take comfort in that it’s not ‘breaded and fried’ chicken right?

So. Work today. Homework. Yeah. Like every class, this latest one is really a bit of a struggle only because of the timing – but about half the time it’s really inconvenient anyways. I can’t not do the paper this week because it’s worth double the number of points of last week’s paper (which I did not due after the cost/benefit analysis of time vs. paper) so… this week’s paper, a MUST do. Hopefully I can knock it out relatively easy. Sometimes… it’s a real battle. Tonight? It’s the battle of me against the clothes.

 

Anna’s Place B

 

These are shots we took when we visited our friend Anna (of Anna & Chris!) back before we went to Summerfest – I never got around to posting these shots ’cause um, well it happens often and we keep doing things and then those get pushed to the front and shots from days like this get pushed to our filler days or when we simply just haven’t had the time to edit/upload the new photos (like ones from last night’s art show @ Dresscodes.) But still! It’s Friday! Seriously. Seriously, thank goodness it’s… well, close to the weekend.

I didn’t really get nearly as much as I had hoped last night, what with the thing and then also having to go over to the house sitting place and turn on the lights, try to convince the cat to come inside and feed her – which we didn’t do since there was another cat in the yard and so the rightful cat decided to fight/scare off that other cat away – since y’know, it was encroaching on her property. But we left food on the back porch (as instructed) and I checked it this morning – all gone so she probably ate it.

This whole letting your cat outside for the day or night is crazy to me – simply because I’ve never let One-Two or Three-Four out and about. Never. Which is good and bad for reasons I’m unaware of, but at this point, they’re not going out there – even if they think they want to – and the few times they have escaped for a second – they freeze once they’re outside and run back inside anyways.

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This shot and the 1st one up above are my imitations of Jan Vermeer paintings and his window lighting.

I’ve been going to the same spot for coffee in the mornings – Bagel Boys Cafe – near work and recently, they’ve started giving me the whole ‘regular customer’ treatment – which isn’t hard since I usually only get a large coffee, and rarely get a sandwich (they’re good there by the way) – but yeah, I forgot how nice it is to be a ‘regular’ somewhere and have the staff actually remember you. Even if they don’t know your name (even if they did, they’d probably only remember my drink anyways – you know, that’s just how it is when you serve coffee or drinks all day) but still, I’m apparently sucker for any amount of recognition. It also helps that they have really good flavored coffee (I’m over being a coffee purists and wanting to only taste the natural flavors of coffee.) They have this chocolate macadamia nut flavored blend… and then a good vanilla hazelnut one… just add half & half and I’m good – I don’t even need to add my usual 2 cups of fake sugar.

Okay. I just got the hang of Twitter – but now I’m lost on how useful/accessible plurk is going to be – of course, that could just be me since um, it took me until yesterday to upgrade the WordPress version around here – and it was only a matter of two clicks since we use Bluehost.

Enough rambling, let’s get to the end of the work day already!