Strawberry Fields

This weekend, my photo circle had a belated Galentine’s shoot scheduled at a local café and bakery. I did all the legwork to prepare for the shoot – going to the business to check out the different seating and light situations, talking to them about what we could/couldn’t do for a shoot, buying cute Galentine’s props, etc. There were originally four scheduled to come in addition to me, but as the day approached, all but one of those folks had to drop last minute for various life reasons. None of them were to blame, life happens, but the sudden collapse of everything I’d planned and done hit me harder than I like to admit. My emotions went into a tailspin, and my brain was scrambling to come up with alternatives. Can’t really do a Galentine’s shoot with one person, and even if I managed to find a second, the cozy café setting would make it look like a couple’s shoot.

I ended up chatting with the last person remaining, and another who really wanted to be there but was at the whims of the virus that had felled her family. We ended up re-planning for a different shoot at the end of the week, and I felt better. Then the next morning, another friend who didn’t originally think she could come to the Galentine’s shoot spoke up, and apparently was planning to be there after all. Furthermore, the friend whose family was sick discovered she was going to be free that day after all. If we hadn’t already rescheduled, the whole shoot would’ve worked out like we originally planned. Heh.

Conversation went into this tailspin of what-should-we-do-and-when, since now there were plans canceled and plans planned. Everything was in a bit of a chaotic flux, and I am absolutely terrible in the face of chaos and change!! Last second changes fluster me, and to top it all off, this started to happen while Jason and I were en route to check out the local bookstore where I’d planned the different shoot for later in the week. So as everyone chatted, Jason was typing out the stuff I dictated to him (I was driving). Long story short, after many sudden changes and new news, three of us decided to carpool northward to a strawberry farm for berry-picking and photos, while a different three of us would also plan for the new shoot later in the week.

It was not where I saw my weekend going, a sudden daycation up to a strawberry farm, but I was very happy to participate! Everything was so last minute that I even grabbed the wrong lens for my camera, ha! I’d been planning to use my Lensbaby Velvet because it’s a better portrait lens with a better handle on midday light (which can be very harsh), and it gives this very dreamy background bokeh that I thought would work well. Instead, I grabbed my 35mm wide angle lens that was certainly good for long background shots (like all the rows of strawberry plants, and the hills in the distance), but less good for any kind of close-up portraits. (Yes, I could have taken more than one, but I was also picking berries, and didn’t want to carry extra bags/cases along with everything else! Not to mention it was very last minute plan changes and you remember how I said those fluster me?) But it is what it is, so we worked with it.

For it being less than ideal conditions – wrong lens, harsh light, completely different setting – this ended up a very fun and cute gal-pal photoshoot. Beyond the shoot, it was just a total blast of a day. The farm (Sweet Berry Farm) was fabulous, the strawberries were perfect for picking, there were some really cute background settings, and the three of us got to spend the entire afternoon and evening together as we carpooled up and back, stopping for early dinner at Bluebonnet Cafe, too, mmmm. Jason and I have since frozen my picked strawberries in small batches and made some strawberry ice cream (mmmmm) with the first batch. Delicious!

I am not good at chaos or last minute changes in plans. My emotions kinda go haywire when things fall apart, especially things I’ve worked hard at and looked forward to. The things I’m getting better at are 1) acknowledging when my heart and headspace aren’t functioning properly, 2) communicating that information to my friends, and 3) embracing new plans rather than backing away from the discomfort of whimsy. I’m also very grateful for the folks I have around me, who help me to stabilize when my emotions are so out of proportion, who include me in fun outings, and who have helped me practice portrait photography and encouraged me so much over this new adventure. I wouldn’t trade these friendships for anything!


About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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