Monday, May 18, 2015

this is a sweet deal for my locals

Hey Friends! 
Just a post to say that I shoot people. 
And animals. 
And landscapes.
Your favorite spot in the yard. 

Here's the deal. 

Some of the sweetest moments happen when they aren't planned, when everyone is relaxed and doing what they love to do. Whether you're gardening, having a family cookout, playing in the water, blowing bubbles, dancing, making art, or just sitting, reading a book with your favorite fur baby curled by your side... 
these are the sweet spot moments. 

If you're interested, contact me. I'm flexible with time and payment. 
I'll come to where you are (within some limits) and shadow you and your family for an hour, give or take, and capture some moments in your life. 
The sweet times. 
Stop an hour on the clock for a minute. 

Here's the other deal. Money. 

(I speak with perfected experience when I say not everyone can afford whatever. 
Because I've been there. I'm there now.)

You gift me the payment you can.
And I'll gift you a cd of photos.

Scroll down to see some of my work.

atjsmith71 at


Sunday, May 17, 2015

happy haters? later, cuz.

A photo of dishes. Because I didn't have a pic to go with this post. Sometimes dishes are clean and sometimes they are not. Like me. 

So here's the problem, and it ain't me. Unless the problem is humor and happy shit. Then yes, I'm the problem. 

As far as Facebook and the followers I have there goes: Facebook sends me a notification sometimes saying something like, Your So-and-So post is outperforming your other posts by 90%. Usually I'm like, That's cool. But this time I was all, What the fuck? Because a lot of times I say fuck. And also because at the same time I got that notification, I noticed that I had lost two followers. 

I wrote a thing about being pissed off at Facebook. It had the word genitalia in the title. It was the 90% post notification deal. It got multiple views and I lost two followers. Like, what did those two people think they were fixing to read about that they even clicked on it? And seriously... it was nothing. There was a photo that had the word fuck in it a few times. Maybe that was it. 

I wrote a deal about having the most beautiful day with my son, and I titled it something along those lines. It was full to the freaking rim of lovely photos. It got maybe a few views. Like, nobody wants to hear about a good day? No! They want GENITALIA. 

I'm figuring two things - People love trash and they love to be haters. And to those people I say, Adios, Primos. Which loosely translates to "Later, Cuz." I'm going to always keep it real. Except for in my land of imagination. I'm wide open. After all this time of writing, if someone can't see what my writing is about, what I'm about, then hit it, Jack. 

Maybe it wasn't the word fuck at all. Maybe people hate wonky, happy vibes? Happy Haters? Can it be?? I don't know. I'm perplexed. I'm also care free. 


Saturday, May 16, 2015

east or west - a hike with my boy

When I was 16 I took off on my horse out behind this house through the woods and came up on the lake that I didn't even know was there. I only did it that one time, and I had no idea how to get back to the house. I gave my horse the reigns and he led us home. Now I'm 43, and I gave my son the reigns. 

Hey Bub, when you wake up in a little bit let's go find that lake. 
A little later he got up and was groggy.
Did you say you wanna go find the lake? Behind the house?

I threw some water and jerky in a backpack, some tick spray on our jeans, and off we went. 
We walked through tall weeds and open skies in the back yard to the woods out back and we were swallowed up by the trees, vines, and briers. The tops of the trees sang as the wind in the air was high. 

These trees gathered in for a family portrait. 

The air down low was still, warm, and muggy. Mosquitoes swarmed if we were still. We kept moving. You don't feel the heat as much either if you keep moving. We kept the pace of one foot in front of the other, swaying in and out of the spaces between the trees like ballroom dancers. Other times there were thickets, and we parted the branches and stepped in head first with our steps to follow. 

We jumped in and out of gullies. We bent low through branches and vines, and we finessed our way through briers. We stepped over alligator roots and fallen trees. We wiped some sweat and some spiderwebs from our faces. We can both navigate the steps with ease, he can navigate direction with more ease. He broke through the webs more than I did. 

Other than a deer trail we stayed on for a little bit until the deer went East and we needed to go West, there were no trails except for the fresh turnover of leaves we left under our steps. The woods are deep and quiet except for a bird's song and the occasional wind through the tops. There were lots of tracks and probably lots of eyes on us. We minded our business, and they theirs. We went up and down hills for about a mile when we came upon a clearing. 

Tyler - You see that far line of trees way over there? 
Me - Yes. (With some dread. It looked to be 15 miles away)
Tyler - That's the other side of the lake.
Me - Right on. We are so close. 

We knew we were close because we could feel wind. Like, real wind. The clearing was only a few steps and we dipped back into the woods. It was so thick it was hard to decide where to take a first step. And so you just say, Right here. Let's go. And you go. Then it got really fun. 

We knew it was going to drop off into the lake. I mean, you can just tell. The wind is different. The air. The smell. You just know. But this hill, man. It was large and in charge. It was steep. We planted our feet sideways and dug in steady to stay at least at a slant with the ground. 

The ground was exactly as what we had already hiked, except for now brick sized lake rocks lay beneath the leaves, grass and moss. There was some sliding going on down that hill. 

Then through the trees we started to see water. It was like being 16 again. Passing by a mile's worth of trees spun my equilibrium. I nearly fell over three times while standing in one spot. We sat on roots at the water's edge, looked back at that hill and talked about climbing back up. We sat some more. 

The climb back up had us digging in with our toes straight ahead. Muscles aching. Hands on the ground in front of us for a boost. A standing crawl. That hill nearly killed me with its awesomeness. 

An eagle soared over the canopy of leaves. The pines stretched. The smell of dry pine needles choked us and the smell of a skunk made us take another, more serious, look around. 

I stopped a few times to say - Look at this. Look at that. Did you see this? And he the same. 
Yeah - He'd say. 
From a fox den, to deer tracks, to a perfectly designed silvery, glistening web, to tiny holes dug in the dirt, to fungus growing on trees... 
His words echoed my own words that I've many times said to him. 
Yeah. Always be aware of your surroundings, mom. Always know what's going on around you. 

The pavement of the patio back at the house felt strange. Sea legs and all that. The woods felt like home away from home, but better. No worries in there. Getting lost and finding our way again. Connecting with ourselves and each other and every thing. 

So... we don't know if a beaver sneezed, or if it's beaver sperm. We just don't know. Remains a mystery to us. A gross one. 

Tyler totally found a peace bottle. 

Me and my boy.

Tyler and I talk about the deep stuff all the time. The real stuff can be a real downer. This hike was the break. The woods are our break. We talked about what was right in front of us, above us, below us. And really, much of the time, we didn't talk. We just were. Only a couple miles or so long, but long enough to last years.


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