Josh Groban and Christian Hebel.  In the Round Tour. Houston Toyota Center. Taken by Wylde Soul Photography
Josh Groban and Christian Hebel.
In the Round Tour.
Houston Toyota Center.
November 12, 2013
Taken by Wylde Soul Photography

Don’t try to be like me. Try to be like yourself. Try to be very good at being yourself.

101 Days
Dear Josh-
I discovered Photography when I was in the throes of trying to find my creative voice in my 20’s. I had really just left home, a very turbulent, disturbed, dysfunctional home. I had jumped into marriage at age 21 and had no idea who the hell I even was. But here I was living on The Presidio, a place that in my opinion is still one of the loveliest areas of San Francisco. As a military wife, at that time, think mid 80’s, we had so many more benefits.There was a community center and one of the classes I signed up for was Beginning Photography and Darkroom Development. It was instant LOVE. I felt safe, secure and worthy. It also gave me another voice. Combined with my writing it gave me the duality I needed for balance.
I admired Ansel Adams and really the idea of taking my camera and a backpack and hiking the wilderness….think WILD, Cheryl Strayed with a Ansel Adams feel to B&W images LONG before Cheryl and Wild even came along and you would have had me. I self-taught after that class and literally wandered the coast taking pictures and reveling in the discovery of the images in the darkroom.
San Francisco 1980’s
In the course of life, well the growth I needed to take personally had not yet kicked in. I felt unlovable, unworthy and allowed “others” to tell me what I should be doing. I took up a job, full time, with a high class hotel in San Francisco…that you got it. Celebrities, Dignitaries and High Ranking Government Officials. As you can imagine we had many that came through and I very quickly lost my Star Dusting Admiration. BUT it did give me the opportunity to shoot the film The Presidio when it was made. I still have the original prints and negatives…they were not half bad.
Fast forward to 2009 and I am just starting the journey to self and I began by walking through the door of photography again. This time I bought a digital (btw I still have my Canon AE-1 and she still works great) and took to photography again with fierce passion. I owned a dog boarding and horse boarding facility in the country and all of my images were about the things I love and had in my life at that time. Two horses I adored and a pack of dogs. Images of the Western Lifestyle dominated my portfolio.
Then in 2010 the market crashed and enormous homes with land and personal services that were in a niche market, well they fell and fell hard. I lost everything except my horses (now dead), my dogs ( time has thinned the herd to one- and her time is coming) and my camera. The further I moved forward in finding my authentic self…. the more EVERYTHING changed for me and past love of things came rushing to the front. Music, Writing and Photography and this time I vowed to not let any of them go.
I loved my photography but it was not really fulfilling and I was at a loss as to the what in my life. In 2013, then President of my local Art League encouraged me to enter the Members Art Show. I was hesitant to share my inner personal life. The images I had taken until that point were about my loves and I had not shared them with many. Many who had seen them told me the same things that my instructor in San Francisco had…I should take it up professionally. I overcame the FEAR factor and placed three images in the show in Early 2013 and….two of them won. First and Second. I donated the first prize to a local Domestic Violence Charity auction and a bidding was ensued and so my “first” sale was over $600.00. The second image was of my heart and soul dog Ridge and I just could not bear to sell it. In a way whatever instinct made me keep it, I was grateful for a year later when  I had to make the decision to hold onto Ridge for selfish reason or to let him go; I chose to let him go-a decision that hurts me as much today as it did almost a year ago…
It is here that I am going to stop for today.
*PS-Dear Reader- The only favor I ask is that you follow the story, Share if you are so inclined. Know that I am following dreams as you do.

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