I’ve spent the majority of my life trying to please people. It’s in my dna or something. I’m like my dad who’s always trying to carry your groceries up the stairs or fix that leaky faucet. Do you need a foot rub? Let me get some lotion… It’s not that I’m entirely selfless but that I truly get more happiness from making someone else happy than I do from making myself happy. And sometimes when I’m really happy, I catch myself looking around to make sure everyone else is really happy too. One sad person can ruin it for me.
You know that feeling when you throw a party and you’re so worried about your friends getting along that you can’t sit down and enjoy their company yourself because you’re too afraid that shy-wallflower-friend-number-three will never feel at ease with crazy-loud-outspoken-friend-number-four? It’s a kind of sickness. Codependency or something. I’m not really sure.
This is not really related to anything but I bring it up because I worried a lot about the pictures of my niece above. Were they too suggestive? Is it bad that I let my fifteen-year-old niece wear a leather corset for a photo shoot? I still don’t know the answers to that. I’m not really open to discussion on it either. My point is it’s a huge bummer because that photo shoot was so so so much fun. I mean, look at her. Is she having fun? Doesn’t she make you smile? Isn’t she beautiful?
And because of my worry and my people-pleasing tendencies, these photos were going to die in the archives of my hard drive, never to see the light of day.
So I said screw it.
I’ve been thinking about the importance of fun. My life could be half over right now. What do I want to do with the rest of it? Just stop and think about that.
I have a job that is really really fun. We get to make things and play all day. And then I photograph the things I make and try to portray how fun these products really are so that other people will want to buy them and have fun too. And I’ll get to pay my bills somewhere along the way or something like that. Everybody’s got to make a living, so why can’t we have a little fun along the way, right? I don’t want to sell life insurance. I want to sell life enjoyment.
When I was shooting our latest mettaprints Valentines line, it really sunk in that my favorite thing to do is photograph people laughing. It’s like trying to catch fire. It’s fleeting but when you see it captured on film you can almost feel it as if you were there. You can bottle it up and spread it around like contagious happiness.
I always tell my models to laugh. Those pictures always turn out the best. Everyone is nervous in photo shoots. Being in front of the camera is stressful but the best way to get over that is to shoot a bazillion photos. Yes, you will look like an idiot in fifty percent of them. That’s just life. But those other photos that you don’t look like an idiot in? Those are gold. So I make fart jokes or act like an idiot and it just brings the whole shoot to life. Sometimes we really really get to laughing too. Like side-bursting laughing. It’s a high. I just want to recreate it over and over.
So I guess I’m just saying it’s good to be forty and doing something that is kind of fun. I can’t believe people actually take me seriously. Fun is good business. Not because I’m making lots of money (I’m not.) but because it’s worth doing.