In 1999 when I moved back to American, settling in Portland, I really thought that I had given up photography.
I had *loved* working with bands, hunting down the who I thought would be the next great thing, or who had a sound I loved (and I had good taste.... Travis and Snow Partol - hehehe).... oh - and I really loved touring.
Life on a tour bus is.... unique. Your time tables morph into this strange world where you don't live by light and dark, or what most people consider 'morning' or 'night'. Instead, you live by load-in and load out times.
Most tours start at midnight - as you pay for the tour bus and the driver by the day, lots of tours 'load-in' at 12 midnight. You pick your bunk (which is your home for the duration) and -
Each bunk has curtains that run the length of the front of it - and, so there you are with your pillows, blankets and clothes - all in your (very small) bunk. There are usually two lounges - one up top and one down below. Each will have a fridge and a TV and some manner of video games, and one usually has a largish table for eating while the other has couches.
You load-in at midnight and settle-in and the tour starts. Usually your "day" starts at load-in at the venue, the bands loads in, there's a sound check and the venue usually serves dinner. If you're *lucky* they have a shower (usually sans a door or curtain of any kind) - and hopefully a laundry mat nearby.
Oh- and ps... if you're *the only* girl on a tour: you'll be doing all the laundry.
At least that's how it was for me.
You sound check, then you eat dinner, get back on the bus or hang out backstage, do meet and greets, see local friends from the area, do the show, more fans, more food, usually lots of drinks, then you load-out, hit the bus and hang out, then you drive away and fall asleep... usually around 3 or 4 am.
It was fun, it was exciting - but, it's not conducive to any kind of real life - at least it wasn't at the time. My cell phone was *huge* - and still had the kind of antennae you pulled up by hand. lololol We didn't have texting or wifi or anything.... so it was hard for me to maintain relationships with men - especially when you're the *only* girl on a bus of 'rock stars' and crew.....
So, after I got sick and moved home, I knew I didn't want to live in LA or New York, I didn't want to chase down the next band, making all the right connections, blah blah blah.
So I enrolled in community college with the intent of getting my Associates in English (which I did) and then get my BA in English from Portland State University (which I was accepted, but did not attend).
Which was fun.... but I got bored. lololol
So I went to the local radio station and was hired by Jenny-Jenn to cover all bands and radio promotions for the station which was perfect, it gave me access to artists, but I didn't have to make calls and beg for passes or whatnot. One of my first jobs was at a Pink concert - it was a meet and greet and some artist work.
Pink is gorgeous... but so, so tiny. She wore these torn pants and a OPEN WEAVE black 'mesh' top - only the mesh was at least an inch in circumference and over her nipples were these teeny-tiny circle band-aids. The kind of band-aids your grandpa always has on their little nicks and scrapes... only I'm guessing your grandpa doesn't put them over his nipples under a mesh shirt.
But there we were all lined up, teenage kids, radio people and Pink with her band-aid nipples.... and Miss Nicolle.
Nicolle was new to the morning's radio program and this was her first event, and it was the first night I met her. it's been nearly 13 years and I'm *still* the only official photographer for all of Nicolle's head shots and business work. As a local personality on TV and radio, Nicolle gets lots of offers from other photographers and such.... but she's only ever worked with me.
That's kind of a big deal: at least to me it is.
This weekend, as she revamps her entire site, we spent Saturday re-shooting several different scene's in an around Portland area business' and city scenes. We ended up a shot at her house in her Portland Girl t-shirt (she's wearing daisy dukes people.... don't worry. lololol).
Aside from the fact that I'm *still* awesome - natural light, no flash, no rigs, no crew... just me and my camera... rad. I'm still really really really really humbled by the fact that I've managed to create and maintain friendships and working relationships with people... especially Nicolle. I suppose in all this sign business.... the business I've done for decades has gotten lost in translation a bit - I've become this 'bitter' and 'scorned' woman who writes a blog and wrote a book..... but - it kind of leaves out the one thing I've been talented at all along: photography.
On top of spending an *awesome* day with Nicolle - taking photos and reminding myself - after months of not really working - how much I like taking pictures.... I got to spend the afternoon with the people who bought my house.
We already had plans to have lunch - and they went and got locked out of the house. When we met up for lunch they were in a bit of panic and asked me if (in the future) they could give me a key to the house in case they got locked out again.
We had a wonderful lunch, I have enjoyed seeing all the cool things they have done with the home - and... in general, they are just such great fantastic people. As my life unfolds, I am reminded of my Grandmother's words: Everything happens for a reason. As I continue to evolve and change through this process, these two have come to be important figures in my and the children's lives, and I can't help but pause and wonder if events haven't taken place *just* as they should, weaving together our lives in a manner that I am forever grateful for.
It's crazy to think about... and perhaps a bit Hallmark and sounds like bullsh*t... but it's true: I never would have met them were it not for the fact that they came to look at the house. Of all the offers and all the people who could have bought the house, I felt it was their's, that they somehow belonged there and.... in the end, it's me who has benefited the most from knowing them.
It's not about silver linings.... it really isn't.- stepping back and looking at the bigger picture.
My bigger picture is pretty rad... hard, no doubt, but... rad all the same.
Oh.... and they're getting me a key to the house... so I can help them next time they get locked out.
How ironic is that .... *they* came along, buying my home: the key to my freedom from financial obligations with El Capitan..... and now they want to give me a key back: so I can be there to help them when they need it.
Yeah.... that's kind of a really awesome bigger picture to be apart of.