I Just Need to Say — Personal Post

Maupin Eastern Oregon // Emily Wenzel Photography

I spent most of last week off the internet. Some of you are shaking your heads right now – you saw I was posting photos – but it’s true. On Saturday, I assisted all day at a wedding, then Sunday left for a few short days of vacation time. I didn’t have cell service and so I used the phone occasionally snap some photos, and when I’d go to the main lodge buildings, to check my emails and post on Instagram.Wednesday brought me back to society for a short while as I flew down to Eugene, but it wasn’t long before I was out in the middle of nowhere again with limited service. Texts could sometimes get through, but not much else. Friday I flew back to Spokane, but I was so busy trying to get home after a cancelled flight, that checking the news was the last thing on my mind.

ONA Bags Chelsea PDX Airport // Emily Wenzel Photography

[Side Note: while it sucks that my flight was cancelled - on my birthday, no less! - Alaska Airlines was amazing about getting us all taken care of. And frankly, when the reason your flight is cancelled is because they decide the plane isn't safe to fly, I'd rather be delayed. You know?]

The beauty of going more or less off internet is living in the moment.

The danger of going more or less off internet is the onslaught of information you’re handed upon your return.

White River Falls State Park // Emily Wenzel Photography

Like death. And pain. And whole bunch of racism that makes your heart hurt. The purpose of this blog is to show off my photography, to promote my business. But when I could barely focus on work, because I couldn’t stop reading all these heartbreaking reports of racism and hate in Missouri? That needs to be said. It needs to be said here and elsewhere that these things are not okay.

Beecher

But the longer I stare at this page, the more I realize, I don’t know if I have the words. Because I am one of the privileged, and because words are not my strong suit.

All I can think about is that someone has failed. Many someones have failed. Failed to teach hundreds of thousands of people that all of this is wrong. And that hurts. And I don’t know what to do, except say that it’s not okay. It’s never okay to treat someone like crap – regardless of what they look like or where they’re from – and it’s never okay to use your position of power to further your personal hatred.

 

Big K Guest Ranch Elkton Oregon // Emily Wenzel Photography

But other than that, I have no other words. I only have some photos from the last week, something that maybe can bring you peace and a smile.

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1. Amber Waves of Grain. Somewhere between The Dalles & Maupin, in Oregon.

2. My ONA Bags Chelsea was amazing for travel, and once I reached the wedding, I pulled my books and such out, and put my camera gear in. Boom. (For photographers out there, I use the Think Tank Airport 4-Sight and it even fits easily in the Q-400 planes that Horizon Airlines uses around the PNW, but it looks like it’s no longer available? Sad. Looks like they’ve replaced it with the Airport Roller Derby.)

3. White River Falls State Park. It’s amazing and this is only the upper half of the falls. You can see another image in my Instagram feed.

4. Flying from small town to small town in the PNW means that you usually have a layover in Seattle, so I grabbed some Beecher’s mac’n’cheese (concourse C, near gate C2) for a snack. So good.

5. A small slice of the ranch where I shot Ann & Michael’s wedding last week. Oregon is so pretty.

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All images shot with my HTC One and edited with VSCOcam for Android. No affiliate links, I just like this stuff :)

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Ann & Michael — Oregon Destination Wedding — Elkton, OR [Sneak Peek!]

I’m back! Whew. The last week was crazy and fun, but I’m happy to be home! I spent the first part of my week on vacation with my family, and besides a few Instagram snaps (there are more to come!), I shot the whole week on film and our little waterproof camera (while rafting). I’ve got a stack of film from the last few trips that I need to (finally) send off.

Midway through the week, I hopped a couple tiny flights and ended up south of Eugene, Oregon in a tiny town called Elkton, where I shot Ann & Michael’s beautiful destination wedding. Ann is a dear, dear friend of mine, and I’m so glad I was able to photograph their wedding. I mean, I don’t fly in little planes for just anyone!! :) Also, can I just mention how absolutely gorgeous Ann is? And that dress. Oh boy. I have a bit of dress envy over that beauty, which is why I’m only showing you a bit of it. You have to wait for the rest.

I’m so excited to share more of this wedding with you soon!!

Oregon Destination Wedding // Emily Wenzel PhotographyOregon Destination Wedding // Emily Wenzel PhotographyOregon Destination Wedding // Emily Wenzel Photography

PS – If you’ve emailed me in the past week, I’m working through my inbox today. Thanks for your patience while I was out of town!!

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[…] A small slice of the ranch where I shot Ann & Michael’s wedding last week. Oregon is so […]

Finding Peace & Strength — Personal Post

Yoga Photography // Emily Wenzel Photography
Monday at noon, this is my view. At least twice a week, I walk away from my computer, grab my mat and go to yoga. I fold myself into poses and marvel at the progress I’ve made. Sometimes it’s a noon power class, where I swear I’m going to collapse if I have to do one more vinyasa. Sometimes it’s an evening flow class where I leave feeling both relaxed and energized. Either way, this is my view. This is my time. When I can’t make it to the gym, I roll my mat out in my living room. It’s like a drug in my system. I crave the zen.

How did this start? In April, I had a moment of clarity. Sitting on a park bench in the rain, I realized that I was stressed, I was tired, and I was empty. I had nothing left in me to give – even to myself – because I hadn’t taken anything in. I was sore, I was stiff, and I was in pain. I was on the road to burn out because I wasn’t taking care of myself.

Thinking it over, I figured, the least I could do was go to yoga and get some stretching in. So I did. Once, then twice that week. I was sore, but it felt good. And while I’ve been an on-and-off yogi for the better part of 10 years, it has been years since I’ve regularly practiced. And at the end of practice, just a few days after that rainy moment of clarity, I sat down to meditate. I knew I needed to do this more often. So I did. Since that week in April, I have practiced yoga at least twice a week at a studio, and often at home in between, on those days when I can’t make classes.

At first, I bribed myself. Doing yoga twice a week became a reason for me to get a new yoga mat. And after four weeks, I did that. It’s the most amazing yoga mat ever, and I love it. H finds it hilarious that, without meaning to, I picked a mat made in Germany.

But it’s been almost four months, and I haven’t really bribed myself since. I’ve gone to slow yoga, power yoga, restoration yoga, vinyasa flow, and more. I’ve done most every kind of yoga offered at my gym. Have a lost weight? No. But I’ve got some killer muscles and much better posture. I can touch my toes, and I am more toned. I’ve got muscles in my arms, and nailed crow pose for the first time recently.
Yoga Photography // Emily Wenzel Photography
I’ve gone to yoga because I can’t go without it. In fact, as I write this, it’s been a couple days since I’ve done yoga and I’m missing the clarity a good practice brings me. I’ve gone to yoga because I find peace, and to recognize my own strength. And more than that, I’ve found a community, friends in my teachers and classmates, and myself. I’ve got muscles, thanks to power yoga. I’ve got peace, thanks to meditation. And rarely have I felt like I was adrift in the past few months. I’ve felt strong and centered.

Oh, I’ve been stressed, and worried, and even angry. But going to yoga has taught me to let go. It has taught me that there is strength in letting go, just like there is strength in hanging on. And that letting go is not failing, not when letting go keeps you centered. There is a moment in almost every practice when I’ve pushed myself to the limit and all of a sudden, it’s just clarity. There is just me and the mat and the pose. Nothing else matters.

In the past few months, I’ve let go of a lot of things — the stress, the worry, the friends who don’t call back — and in return, I’ve gained immeasurable peace. I’ve gained strength. I’ve gained focus. Something I wish I’d had during wedding planning. [Hey brides, try yoga!]

Next week, I’ll be out of the office all week. I’ll be on vacation with my family, and then shooting a wedding out of state. I’m really looking forward to the time away, but I’m also sad. It’ll be the first week in almost 4 months that I won’t have my yoga studio. So I’ll take my mat on the road and do yoga on the deck, by the river. And surrounded by the natural beauty, I don’t think I’ll miss my studio too much.

I hope.

 

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Photos taken with my HTC ONE and edited with VSCOcam for Android, using the new HypeBeast presets.

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