As many of you know, I love to take pictures. My parents got me my first camera as a Christmas gift when I was a junior in high school. And I took that thing EVERYWHERE. If you knew me back then, I’m sure you remember me snapping away at dances, in school, at parties etc.
Also, if you knew me back then, you’re probably now nervously wondering if I still have all the party shots I took at places like Phil’s Camp or Andy’s Farm. The answer is yes, of course I do. I’m waiting for one of you to become incredibly famous so I can sell them to the National Enquirer and make a fortune.
I continued this tradition in college and beyond—though I’d like to take this moment to breathe a sigh of relief that Facebook, Instagram, etc. weren’t available then as I’m pretty sure I would have made some poor posting choices. “It’s not inappropriate, it’s funny!” I would have said, completely oblivious to the fact that I was ruining my and my friends' future employment opportunities for the sake of a quick laugh.
Anyway, I finally got my first digital camera around the same time that my first niece was born. I—and her grandparents—took so many pictures of her as a baby that even now she can sense a lens pointed in her direction and can freeze, pose, then continue on without even noticing the interruption.
Seriously, this is her at 12 stopping to pose ON A WATERSLIDE.
A few years after this picture was taken, Opie got me an amazing camera for Christmas. And immediately became my trusty assistant, lugging my camera equipment around the park, up and down mountains, and into the woods while I learned how to get the best shots.
He has since refused to participate in what I call “encouraging the wildlife into activity” and he calls “running through the woods like a lunatic.” But that’s possibly because the one time I did convince him to run through a flock of seagulls on the beach (so I could get one of those cheesy vacation photos of him with birds in the air all around him), the seagulls thought they were in a Seinfeld episode and didn’t move out of his way – except to lunge at him in a threatening manner, hissing and making other angry noises.
I'm not going to lie, it's really put the kibosh on further bird-startling adventures.
Anyway, for years people have asked me “What do you do with all your pictures?”
In the early days, the answer was “Print them out and stick them in a drawer.” After the digital age dawned, the answer changed to “Post them on Facebook then stick them in a file on my computer.”
But this year the answer is changing in a more interesting manner. For Christmas this year, my parents took some of my pictures and turned them into handmade photo greeting cards – to encourage me to take the initiative to make more of my pics into handmade photo greeting cards.
And, since they are so much smarter now than they were when I was seventeen (weird how that happens!), I have decided to take their advice and try my hand at the handmade greeting card business.
If you've liked my pictures over the years and would like to check out my online shop, Shot In The Park, I've included the Etsy address below. If there's a picture I've taken that you like that isn't currently on a card but you'd like on a card, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll see what I can do.
Unless, of course, the picture in question is one of my nieces or nephews and you're not related to me because, let's be honest, that's creepy.
In all seriousness, I'd love it if you'd check out the shop, check out my Facebook page, and tell your friends. I promise I won't bombard you with constant emails and updates or beg you to buy my stuff!
FYI, if you're one of the people now nervously wondering just how crazy you were in the Phil's Camp photos over the years and just how much it would cost you to get those negatives destroyed, you can shoot me an email too and we'll talk. 😝
Etsy Shop: Shot In The Park
Facebook Page: Shot in the Park on Facebook