I’m Over the Moon

Last week's just past full moon

Last week’s just past full moon – I’m over the moon about the response to the eff stop.

I don’t typically write posts about my blog, I kinda prefer to write about photography or to at least put images into some type of context. I hope you’ll forgive me this one time, and I’ll do my best to make this post at least partly about images and context.

Christmas Rose

A rose by any other name…It’s been sweet getting to know so many of you through the blogosphere.

I wrote my first post on this blog on May 20th of last year. I had just come home from an epic vacation and had tons of photos. I thought it was the perfect time to start a blog, I only opened a WordPress account to follow my brother’s blog and he kept leaving me spam-like comments on my empty blog, so I thought if I wrote something I would at least have one reader. I thought it would be fun to share photos and a bit of humor with him in the format he was communicating in. The next day I wrote my second post with an eye towards complete silliness. I had read no tutorials and had not even read any blogs except for my brother’s – heck, I didn’t even know what the Reader was. I did everything wrong. I used too many tags, I didn’t check my spelling, I used over 50 photos – in retrospect that post was a mess. About an hour later I got a nice email from WordPress about my post being “pressed” or something, how nice of them to let me know my post was live. I had no idea what that email was, I tossed it. I went to work the next day and casually commented to a coworker at lunch that I was getting a lot of email from my blog – how cool, I had heard from my brother that the WordPress platform was easier to connect on – it must be working. I noticed a lot of the comments offered congrats, how friendly – something about Freshly Pressed or FP’d, so I sent my brother a text:

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I clearly was clueless.

After texting Max, I googled Freshly Pressed and found this – there’s my photograph of a yonng elk in the top right corner:

Ahhhh - so that's what all the fuss was about.

Ahhhh – so that’s what all the fuss was about.

That day I had over 2000 hits – on a blog that was 2 days old. Of course I did nothing right at this point either. I was a bit shy about replying to comments. I accidentally replied to spam and not to real people – I was moderating a dozen comments at a time without even knowing what “moderating” was. I should have had the courtesy to reply to every comment, I was a bit reserved about entering into conversations – I didn’t really know what to say. I was afraid to empty my email in-box for fear of losing something I was supposed to keep up with. My post stayed on that front page for over a week. It was a wild ride.

I've been overwhelmed by my instant audience for my work - I appreciate you all.

I’ve been overwhelmed by my instant audience for my work – I appreciate you all.

Over the next few weeks I read a lot about how to manage a blog and have always wished I had done a better job of it from the start, by now I was embarrassed to reply (silly, I know) If I failed to respond to you, and you stuck around, I really appreciate it. I was a complete novice. I would be another month and another text conversation with my brother before I was keyed in to what the Reader was – it was only then that I really began to interact with other blogs. Another month passed before I wrote an “About” page.

This is my shy pup, Kirby.  He's timid about new things, al lot like me at the start of this process.

This is my shy pup, Kirby. He’s timid about new things, a lot like me at the start of this process.

A little over 140 posts later and I am really enjoying the interaction. I studied photography in college and have gotten more serious in the last few years. I have been diligently shooting almost every day for about the last 5 years so I have lots of images to work with and it’s been great talking about my work with you.

It's been a treat to introduce you to people like Mary Jane - a 99-year-old hiker through this blog.

It’s been a treat to introduce you to people like Mary Jane – a 99-year-old hiker through this blog.

This blog has helped me to organize my work, it’s given me focus. It’s allowed me to introduce you to my amazing 99-year-old neighbor, a herd of deer, a tougher-than-nails goldfinch, and a hummingbird who enjoys the rain.

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Bee-lieve me, I have enjoyed sharing my work and getting to know you.

The interaction is something I never anticipated and it has been really rewarding – it has pushed me to try new things. Last fall I read a post about NaNoWriMo, it got me thinking and it challenged me. Back in May when I pushed “publish” the first time, who would have believed that I would take on a writing challenge and that I would have 50,000 words in me? I started a second blog, The King of Isabelle Avenue, to post excerpts from my memoir on. It’s been a rich experience with just a few followers, but it has been more rewarding than I could ever have imagined.

The King of Isabelle Avenue has let me introduce you to my family and their history -   this picture of a hat with a wedding in the background is a more recent part of that history.

The King of Isabelle Avenue has let me introduce you to my family and their history – this picture of a hat with a wedding in the background is a more recent part of that history.

I have gotten into a rhythm – a couple of photo posts a week and a King of Isabelle post every 10 days or so. Initially I would look at my more recent photos and see if I could find a common themeΒ and sometimes that worked out pretty well, gradually I moved more towards shooting something with a post in mind, occasionally I did a little of both.

Photography is about more than mechanics - it's about a point of view - I'm grateful to share my point of view with you.

Photography is about more than mechanics – it’s about a point of view. I hope to find unique points of view to share with you.

More recently I have worried about keeping things fresh. I challenged myself to shoot birds last year and I have posted dozens of times on the topic. I wondered if you would tire of my obsession with cardinals. Still, my favorite posts are those that feel like serendipity – when something just comes together.

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Trying new things and sharing them with you has made me a better photographer.

That happened again a couple of weeks ago. I was supposed to have a working lunch but the other party cancelled. I grabbed my keys and headed to my car to run grab some fast food. I stood in the parking lot and it hit me, I didn’t want junk food – I turned around and decided to see if I could kick out a post in the 20 minutes I had left of my lunch hour. I started to write a post I was going to call “Deer on Pine Mountain”. As I started to tell my story the title sounded stupid and boring. I took the post in a different direction and wrote thisΒ story about my encounter with an old friend on the mountain. When I hit publish I knew I had shared an experience that was special to me, if no one else. Less than an hour later I got that email – this time I did have a clue about what it meant to be Freshly Pressed.

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No need to text Max this time…

The last couple of weeks have been wonderful – I have enjoyed meeting new people and have done my best to interact with everyone who took the time to comment – even if it was in another language. I saw my friend on the mountain again last night – I hope to share more stories of my white nosed friend with you as the weather warms up.

To those of you who started the conversation with me –Β Honie, Paula, Michelle, Elyse, Jackie, and Diana – you got me going, you found me before I figured out how to find you, you showed me the ropes. Thanks so much! (Seriously – check out their blogs!)

The bottom line is this – I was incredibly lucky right out of the shoot. I am grateful to those who followed from that early post, and to those who have joined the party in the last few weeks – now that I have written that obligatory Freshly Pressed post, I will get back to taking photos and telling stories. I am checking out the blogs of everyone who commented or followed – it’s taking some time, but I am finding some amazing new blogs to follow.

I’ll sign off for now – there are photos out there to be taken – this shutterbug is ready for another adventure!

53 thoughts on “I’m Over the Moon

  1. What an inspiring post! Thanks for sharing, we recently started our blog, and it’s neat to read other people’s stories “from the beginning”. P.S. Your images are beautiful.

  2. Don’t I just feel like an idiot. I’m glad I’ve finally made my way over here to check out your blog. Thanks for clicking the post right below yours and having a look πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to see all your other work.

  3. OMG, I’ve been so lost in my own stuff (and touchy internet connection) I didn’t even know you’d been recently FP’ed. Congratulations! I love your blog, and feel you are one of the amazing connections I’ve made through blogging ❀

  4. This was a very interesting post for me to read, as I am just getting started with this blogging thing and it’s good to read about other peoples experiences with starting up. I can identify with a lot of the things you’ve said here. Useful stuff πŸ™‚

    • Thanks – having the simpler memoir blog has given me an appreciation for the process of building an audience. I love the title of your blog and it looks like you are putting something interesting together! Are you writing while you are traveling? I have never tried that but hope to give it a shot next month.

      • Thanks πŸ™‚ Well I actually live in the Netherlands and I really want to travel and write about it. And then the idea came to me that although I’ve lived here since I was 11, there’s a lot of the country I haven’t actually seen properly yet. And the Netherlands is tiny. So I decided to start here. And when the time and money comes I will travel the world and do the same. So I bought myself the Lonely Planet of the Netherlands and I guess it’s a travel blog but also a bit of a review of the Lonely Planet at the same time. I’m really enjoying it. I would like to write about other things too though, but I need to get into a proper rhythm of writing things down when they come to me.

        • That is such a great idea – people everywhere miss out on the amazing places right in their own backyard. I lived in a city for several years and was a block away from a river – I never even walked down there, I have taken up kayaking since moving to the Ozarks and I wish I had known how beautiful a river can be.

  5. Congratulations, Lorri! ^^ And I really love your today’s post!
    I remember that I started reading and following you after having found you on the FP-page last year. It must have been in spring/early summer.You were one of the first people I followed although I started blogging in 2010 and although I’m writing in German myself and perhaps should have started with German blogging people …
    At the beginning I hesitated to communicate, to discuss and to follow, but it needed you to come in order to change my mind. I definitely had to summon up the courage to follow when your posts appeared. I couldn’ t risk to miss them! πŸ˜‰
    So it’s a pleasure to come back every time and an honour too. I also read the post of the King of Isabelle Avenue. Sorry, but obviously I became hooked on your writing. ^^

    Warm regards
    Michèle

    • Thanks MichΓ¨le
      You were one of the very first people to follow me and you have been there for nearly every post, I really appreciate it. I wish I understood German πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you found my little blog – I always love seeing your photo in the like box. I click over to your blog from time to time, I wish I spoke German πŸ™‚ – I love the photos, I saw some wonderful Icicles over there recently. Thanks so much for following and being there!

      Lorri

    • Thanks – I have been working on getting the right settings for a moon shot for a while now – I’m getting pretty close. Thanks for being a part of my circus πŸ™‚

  6. That’s a great story – thanks for taking us on the ride both on this post and on your blogging over the last while. It’s been fun to read and interact. Some blogs are just way more fun and interesting than others and this is one of them.

  7. I, for one, am glad that you are doing two blogs. I love your photos and the stories of your family.

    As far as bird photos go: I will take the Cardinals over the Single Extended Digit anyday!

    • Thanks Allan, I always appreciate your comments and I love seeing where your creativity takes you on your blog. I’ll try not to post any single extended digits πŸ™‚

  8. Congratulations! Lorri, your work deserves nothing less – and I am so happy that we ran across each other – now I can bask in your glow as you show everyone our beloved part of the country. I look forward to each and every post! K

    • Kathleen, I enjoy your poems and photography, your love of the Ozarks shows through every line. I’m glad we ran into each other too. Thanks for coming along with me on this adventure. I love the tales of that shack, I can just picture it.

      Lorri

  9. Thanks, Lorri, for the kind mention and congrats again on all the lovely Freshly Pressed attention! I never imagined when I started blogging that I would be joining a community of such talented, fantastic people. I’ve enjoyed our “conversation” over the past year and you know how much I love your pictures and stories. I wish you continued success in blogging, photography and writing! You rock!

    • Thanks Michelle, I love reading things that make me think and challenge me, your blog does both. I have enjoyed the conversation and I’m also pleasantly surprised by the community aspect of blogging. I’m so glad we started this conversation, I appreciate you!

      Lorri

  10. Dear Lorri,
    I stumbled upon your blog through the Freshly Pressed page, which I rarely look at. So it was serendipity that brought us together and I am so glad. I love your pictures, your humor, your perspective in film and in life.
    It’s so much fun to know you.
    Elyse
    PS. Thanks for the shoutout!

    • Elyse – I think I clicked on an email notification to see what you were about, you were one of those people who started talking and responding very early on. I have always appreciated that you speak your mind and you humor is refreshing – it makes it easier to talk about the hard and crazy stuff. It’s a blast to know you too – I appreciate you!

      Lorri

  11. Yay!! congratulations, that’s just awesome! I remember not having a clue what wordpress really was when I first started, I can’t imagine how overwhelming it was to have 300 emails in an hour hahaha. Thanks for the mention too, means a lot to me.
    xo
    Diana

  12. I don’t remember how I found your blog Lorri, but it is one I look forward to every time you post. I also love reading the stories on your other blog about your family. You are an outstanding photographer, but you also have a knack for storytelling also. I am forever grateful that I found you and look forward to a long and amazing ‘friendship’.

    • Thanks Jackie – I think I found your food blog first, it was pretty early on. That first FP’s post was reblogged about a jillion times so who knows where it showed up. I didn’t know what a reblog was πŸ™‚ It’s been great getting to know you and reading your work as well. Here’s to blogging friends!

    • I enjoys yours too – been following along on FB as well. I liked that piece about shooting at night in New Orleans – great idea and the light made it all look almost magical.

  13. Hey Artsifrtsy – You know my opinion of your blog and your talent. Your friendship is a gift. Thanks for sharing your awesomeness. The world is a better place because you do! πŸ˜€

  14. I have been enjoying your photos for a while now, discovered through our mutual friend, Judy Montgomery. A lot of your favorite subjects are also my favorite things..birds, deer, and of course dogs. Keep on keeping on!

  15. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed…again! Like you, I have met some great people (interested in nature, of course!) and greatly enjoy sharing my posts and reading the thoughts and seeing the photos taken by others. It all just makes our world a little smaller…:)

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