So…if you read my blog at all you must know that I love being happy. I’m perpetually optimistic (to a fault) and I LOVE the people in my life. No matter what. I like talking about my clients and sharing details from the things that we do here at the studio…but rarely do I share all the boring stuff or the hard stuff.
Today it’s the hard stuff. I debated whether or not to even write this entry — I mean…how can I even come CLOSE to sharing something so personal and so hard with all of you…but I came to the conclusion that if your even here reading this — then you either…like me…know me…or want to know more about me. And Lulu is a very very big part of my life. For eleven years.
I lost my best friend yesterday. It was quick and unexpected — even though I could see age taking it’s toll — I still clung to the belief that she would be part of my life forever. Those of you who have pets or anyone or anything super important in your world know exactly what I am saying. You know it’s coming — but you’ll willingly cling to the last scrap of time together no matter how hard or how much effort it takes.
I used to be (haha. that’s a joke. I still am.) afraid of relationships. Of commitment. Of making a CHOICE and having to stick to it forever. I didn’t want to be tied down with a pet…I felt like it was not the greatest decision I made…
But then I met Lulu.
Those of you who met her will know that Lulu has (forgive. I still cannot speak in past tense. not yet) the most amazing personality. She was happy to see me no matter how long I was gone…5 minutes or 5 days. She missed me. And I missed her.
Losing her is so terribly painful.
But I also want to tell you that the pain I am feeling is small compared to the amount of joy that dog has given me over the years. She’s listened to me. She’s snuggled me when I was upset and growled at me when I wanted to play. She made me laugh every.single.damn.day. And I am going to miss her so much.
So…here are just a few of the amazing things that I love about my dog.
1. Her aversion to peanut butter. She never could understand: was it a liquid? was it a solid? She made the funniest “peanut butter face”. OMG.
2. Floppy Tongue. Floppy tongue came out when she was happiest. When the people who loved her were around her and paying attention to how fabulous she was and rubbed her belly. This is a RARE photograph my son snapped of my puppy and me and floppy tongue.
3. Swimming Dog. She’s a lab right? She loves loves water. And swimming. And shaking it all off on whomever is closest.
4. Her smile. Lulu always smiled. Unless I was going somewhere and not taking her. Her smile sometimes got me through the day.
5. She loved me no matter what. If I was grumpy, unshowered, weird, tired, sad, happy. Her devotion never waivered. Nor did mine.
I know she’s not in pain anymore. I know she loves me. And I know that in knowing her — I am a completely better, calmer and happier person than I would have been. And…it really really hit home to me how incredibly important photographs are today. These photographs…some of them are OLD. All of them are PRECIOUS. Because I can’t get her back again. But I can carry her in my heart and remember.
So … I don’t want you to be sad for me. I’m soooo lucky to have had such an amazing dog in my life. I just wanted you to know I’m sad. And I miss my puppy.
Love you Luleelu. You’re SUCH a good girl.
My team has learned, much like Pavlov’s dogs, to cringe when they see me come in like a whirlwind, all wound up, and say: “Okay. So I had this idea in the middle of the night…” Typically that means: A. A lot of work. B. Switching directions from what they are doing to focus on something new C. Tammy is obsessed with thinking about this idea. D. Taking a lot of time E. A lot of work. ::laughing::
A lot of times those ideas kind of fade away because they are impractical for whatever reason, or I notice that someone else has done something kind of along the same lines, or…I get bored with it…or it’s too hard to REALLY do. Since I generate a LOT of ideas all the time (who knew this was unusual?) this happens quite often.
Once in a while though, I have a “BIG” one. And this time, not only was it big — but it turned out to exceed my wildest imagination and expectations — and I could NOT have achieved it without the diligent work and dedication of my team, my friends, my clients and my colleagues.
It started with Vanity Fair.
You know how they have that issue with the actors on it? I remember thinking…I’d love to do something like that. How can I do something like that?
And then…in the middle of the night…I woke up with this idea perfectly formed in my head: my clients.
I wonder if my clients would do something like that? And so…an idea was born. The most humbling thing for me, by FAR, is that every single one of my clients we talked to said yes. No hesitation…no maybe’s — just…yep. Tam. That sounds sooo fun! Let’s do it! Tell me when and we’ll be there!
I think I might have cried I was so overwhelmed by that.
As an afterthought i said — hey. let’s videotape it and see if we can’t put a little behind the scenes thingy (yes, I said thingy, it’s the technical term! ::grin::) together. Which turned into: let’s interview each person and ASK (innovative concept, right? ASK our clients to tell us about their experience) — and we maybe might have forgot to mention this to our clients — so when they came in to be photographed, they were surprised and a little nervous to sit in front of a camera. I’m telling you this so you can see what follows was completely unscripted — even when I talk (and it’s SO HARD to hear yourself…ugh. do I REALLY sound like that? OMG) I had things I wanted to say, but I just talked unscripted. I sounded a little strange and disconnected and sometimes I’d have to say it a couple of times — but I wanted it to be more gritty and real — then a perfect beautiful video. Because we want to have fun and play and take photographs — we don’t want to be perfect. It’s too much pressure, right?
Here’s the Vanity Fair cover that inspired me:
Cool ,right? So…what I love about what our final image is that it’s a TOTAL Swales interpretation. I wanted several things — I wanted to show how DIVERSE my clientele is…I wanted to show how COOL they are…and I wanted to be PLAYFUL.
Here’s mine (and clicking it will take you to an online version — that if you click it will make it REALLY BIG. Try it — it’s totally cool!)
Can you BELIEVE this?! I LOVE it sooo much!!!
Finally — we worked on the COOL VIDEO.
I don’t know what to say about it other than it’s the coolest thing I think we’ve done up until this point. I love everything and everyone in it. Thank you Thank you Thank you to everyone involved — my amazing clients, Rock Paper Scissors Salon who styled, Bruce Hahn for advising me on lighting, My amazing team, and my family for supporting me through all the madness. I love you all.
So…watch it will ya? And tell me if you like it. really. Cuz it was a LOT of work. And I really wanted you to know how important it is to me that my clients take center stage…because, ultimately, that’s WHY I do what I do. For you. xoxo