Brook is a dear old friend of mine. She’s not old: she just turned thirty. In Italy. I turned 30 in Finland last year. Today is her birthday. I could only wish for her a day spent in the dreamland that is Italy for someone so dear to me. She met North Carolinian Justin in South Korea while she was teaching. Are you getting the picture now? We are practically two peas in a pod, minus the fact that she has a financial degree and I’m one of those fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants starving artist types. Other than that, we’re twins!
- She’s tall, I’m tall.
- We both wear size 10 shoes.
- She’s lived in Italy, I lived in Italy.
- She doesn’t tan, I don’t tan.
- She’s blonde, I’m sometimes blonde.
- She’s been through some tough shit and I have, too.
- She loves God with a deep sincerety. I love him.
She’s a strong woman and I admire her drive and motivation to never settle for less than she deserves. I met Brook in high school and even though we went to the same youth group and ran in the same circles (which were all over the place, mind you), we weren’t really close. We were friends, sure, but I don’t think either of us realized how paramount our friendship would be in the future. When I moved back to Oregon from California during my divorce, she was one of the first people I saw when I came home–at a coffee shop. We instantly became friends again, only this time, closer. She had just graduated from Cal Poly and was in an in-between phase. So was I! We needed each other. Brook is now living in Italy (funny how paths cross, but at different times, sometimes), where Justin lives when he’s not being deployed or stationed elsewhere. These two are a hoot! Justin’s smile is incredibly contagious and he’s a perfect compliment for my friend and an amazing fiancé if I do say so myself. I’m so grateful they’ve found each other.
I love watching my friends fall in love.
Photographed in Grants Pass, Oregon in the winterly, bitter cold of the afternoon.
Fun fact: Brook’s full name is Brook Drinkwater. She became a Drinkwater when her mother remarried, which is pretty amazing, no?
Totally off the subject, but not really: I am an Alien Skin girl. Like–a long time, really loyal fan. I’m passionate about Alien Skin’s Exposure plugin for Photoshop. I love shooting film so much that I wanted to see if my digital images could have a similar feel. During my photography workshops in Oregon the last couple of years, I taught about processing using Exopsure. I haven’t shared this with many people because I feel like it’s a gem, to be treasured and respected. Also, I don’t want anyone to get the wrong impression about why I love ASE–it’s not like you can click a button and, boom!, your image is gorgeous. I love it because it’s dynamic and I have so much control (control freak over here) over many aspects of my final image and the results are stunning. It took me a lot of time creating and reinventing my process to achieve not only satisfactory, but incredible-to-me results.
However, I recently started playing with VSCO‘s Film, which has been a whole lot of fun. I’m trying to get the similar results with this plugin in Lightroom as I do with Exposure in Photoshop — and so far, I’m impressed! I haven’t spent that much time working on developing my look and tweaking the presets, but I’m happy with what I have so far. I hate to say it, but I’m one of those people who deliberately protests/boycotts things that are fads, popular, or mainstream (you should see my iTunes playlists) — But, I couldn’t help myself. I really like these so far. You can check out VSCO Film and Alien Skin Exposure 4 out for yourself and let me know how you like either of those. I’m curious.
All that being said, I’ve been tossing around the idea of becoming a portrait photographer who shoots film for a really long time — or at least a part time film / part-time dig. We’ll see.