A Thorn in My Side

August 1, 2013

Well, where to begin. I guess I’ll start with the fact that I just finished putting together my photography website. This project has been a thorn in my side for years, years I tell you, and really to no one’s fault but my own. Back in the day I made a site using iWeb which, frankly, looked a little chintzy but it did the job. Then there was another version that I can’t remember, then I started a blog so I just put my photos there,  a few years back I traded wedding photography for a perfectly lovely site my friend made in WordPress but I was stuck in a rut and daunted by the idea of going through all my photos and narrowing them down to my favorite seventy-five out of a billion. I will say though, this is one of them.

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It can be the tiniest bit scary committing to something you love, and other than Drew, my next true love is photography. I’ve tried to escape the hold it has on me many times over the last twenty years. I used to only shoot buildings, like for two solid years I don’t think I took a picture of a single living, breathing person or animal. Not even a leaf on a tree. Or a stalk of corn. Only buildings. And the occasional alleyway. Everything else seemed like too much.

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But then one day a friend of mine needed a second shooter for a wedding so all of a sudden I went from taking photos of doorknobs and windows and street signs to capturing perhaps the most intimate day two people can have. As well as every living family member and friend. And it turns out I liked it. I liked the challenge of human beings. And weddings are crazy and fun and I always leave with great stories.

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Like the time I shot a wedding for a couple who was super duper organized to the max, everything had to be just so. But lucky for them the only glitch of the evening was the dinner that was supposed to be served at 7pm but the caterers didn’t show up with the food until 10pm. The teensiest little hiccup. And it’s not like the reception was in downtown Minneapolis or something where you could just skip out and at least order a bunch of pizzas to tie everyone over. Nope, we were out in the middle of no where Wisconsin on some random county fairgrounds, the next closest town nearly an hour away. So needless to say, for three hours the chocolate fountain and an open bar were all anyone had to keep their hunger at bay. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out how that turned out.

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For a while I thought that to be legit I had to focus on one aspect of photography only. But I can’t help myself, I love it all. I’m definitely most drawn to food, music and weddings, I’d be lying if I didn’t say one of my dreams is to shoot a cookbook, or follow a band around on tour. But lately, and maybe it has something to do with how unbelievably gorgeous North Carolina is, my eye has been drawn to capturing that sort of beauty. In the same way that the list of cities I want to visit keeps growing longer, that desire to document the way I see a new place, to be my version of a tourist.

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So, if you have a few spare minutes, please take a look at carolynmanney.com. It feels good to finally have a website, to close this chapter and begin another. To stop over thinking and just go with it. It makes me think of a quote I used to have on my fridge from a card my friend gave me a while back. “Let yourself be silently drawn by the strong pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”

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