Creating Art Heals Me

I can’t remember the last time I sat down and created art for the hell of it. I forgot how healing it is to just zone out from the world and everything going on.

I made this today using a photo of mine.

I got into photography because years ago I began taking photos to incorporate into designs. I eventually ditched design due to the amount of time involved.

I can get caught up in life and work so much that I forget (or am unable) to take time for myself. But today it felt great to revisit that feeling.

I Photographed My Own Wedding

Okay, let me come clean. I lied. Lol. This was click bait.

I didn’t photograph my own wedding, but I did have a camera on me during my ceremony and throughout my wedding day.

When I announced that I was getting married, people asked me if I was going to photograph my own wedding. I thought that was stupid. That would mean I would not be able to live in the moment at my own wedding. Or that other photographers aren’t great. We had an incredible photographer. By the way, check out our wedding photographer, Christian David Photo!

Photography is a huge part of my life. It’s what allowed me to meet Amanda in the first place 6 years ago. And where we got married was literally the place where I learned how to use a camera when I first started. Cameras are a big part of my life. Preserving moments that mean something is what I care about.

It was important that I take at least one photo during our ceremony and that I at least have my camera on me the whole day. However, I did not want be in charge of documenting the entire day.

Here’s a few personal photos that I took that day. None of these are from our photographer. And if I’m in a photo, it’s cause I sat my camera down somewhere and someone picked it up. Luckily, I always had my camera’s settings ready to go in every lighting situation. Lol.

It made me happy having these personal photos. And they take me back to feeling how I felt in that exact spot in that exact moment. However, if I was the only photographer… this is all I would’ve managed to have from my wedding day. And if I had focused more on the photos, I wouldn’t have been able to mingle with all my family and friends.

If you’re a photographer, find a photographer that you trust and appreciate their work. Don’t photograph your wedding day. If anything, do what I did and just snap a moment here and there. I was so pleased with our photographer. He did an incredible job and I’m glad we hired him.

If you’re engaged and have a friend or family member you’re inviting that’s a photographer, you should still find another photographer. Let them be a guest and enjoy their company. Don’t make them work.

Photos Of Us By Our 7 Year Old

I post a lot about my personal life on social media, but never so much on my blog. I think I’m going to start posting more personal stuff on here. We got into San Antonio yesterday and went out for a walk with our 7-year son, Ethan. While we were walking around, Ethan asked if he could use my camera.

Excitedly I said yes.

I always get excited when he takes pictures on an actual camera. I see his curiosity come out and he actually has pretty good framing and composition. When he takes pictures on a cell phone, he clicks away and doesn’t have that curiosity or framing like he does with an actual camera. He also never takes the time to appreciate what he’s taking pictures of when he uses a cell phone.

Maybe I’m biased, but I think these came out great. I just thought I’d share these because this is my life – My family, Cameras, Photos, Memories. These are moments of my life I’ll look back and appreciate.

Once again, none of these were taken by me. They were taken by our 7-year-old son. What do you think?

Lolita’s Last Days Alive

A few days ago, I got back my roll of Kodak 160 VC from Indie Film Lab.

Once I knew that Lolita had cancer, I decided to shoot a roll of film of the last few days she was alive. I shot a few frames each day. I wanted my last memories of her on film. I won’t say much else cause I’ll get too emotional. I just wanted to share these few frames.

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Deer Vibes Show Photographed With X100

About a month ago, I was debating on selling my Fuji X100. I hadn’t really used it much. There were/are so many quirks about it that I didn’t/don’t like. A lot of these feelings too were coming from the fact that I know my Nikon like the back of my hand. Out of nowhere, I had this urge to want to challenge myself. So, I deleted my Craigslist ad and put my Nikon away. I’ve been shooting with nothing but the X100 since then. At least for personal work.

Needless to say, I’m loving it. I want to slowly start using it at weddings. So, I went out last night to go see my friends, Deer Vibes, perform. I figured I’d get some great practice using it in a low light situation with lots of movement. It was just what I needed to get some practice. I love the raw grittiness. I shot everything at 5000 ISO and feel that the camera can’t really handle that ISO very much. But for me, I still enjoy the feel of a photo more than anything, so it doesn’t bother me personally.

I really did like how it felt to use that camera last night. I felt like I enjoyed the show much more. And people don’t pay attention to you too much with that camera. I’m enjoying this Fuji journey.

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My Last Photo With Lolita

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I had nothing but Radical Face playing on the stereo while I soaked everything in.

This is literally the last photo with Lolita and I.

Amanda snapped a few before we headed out. Aside from this being my favorite of the few she took, this was literally the last photo taken. I brought my camera with me as usual, but didn’t have it in me to take any at the vet’s office or even on the drive there. I wanted my last photographic memories with her at home. I have a few frames left on my various film cameras, so I’ll finish those up soon and ship them off to my lab to get processed.

I’m weird when it comes to death. I don’t like to see bodies. I find funerals to be strange. Maybe it’s because I grew up around all that and still am around all that since my dad works at a funeral home. I don’t know. Either way, it weirds me out. I remember when my grandpa died, some of my family were sad that I didn’t go and see his body. I guess I don’t need that sort of closure. Maybe it’s because photographs serve that purpose. I’m all about the memories.

So, today we dropped her off at the vet. We sat in the room a bit, but I didn’t want to stay very long. It would’ve only hurt me more. I spent all day at home by her side. I also didn’t want to be there when they put her to sleep. I trust them and the vet. They were incredibly nice and understanding. The vet described what they do, which at first I didn’t want to hear, but it actually made me feel much better knowing. He then asked me what my favorite memory was with her. I told him about when I first had her she would go to the kitchen and open a drawer with her paws, then go to the dinning area and get into a pounce position. Then after a few seconds would run and jump into the drawer so hard that it would shut. Then, she’d just lay in there for a few minutes until she was ready to come out. Lol. She that a lot for the first few years I had her. Ugh… the good ol’ days.

I told the vet that I wanted her cremated, but I didn’t care to get the ashes back. Once again, I’m fine with the memories and the photographs.

I don’t feel bad about anything. She was suffering, there isn’t a cure, and there was nothing more to do. She was practically bones, but she was still in good spirits. She was purring all day.

I feel I’m taking everything better than I had thought. Maybe it’s because I had plenty of time to spend with her. Being home is a little tough for me right now. After we dropped her off, we went for a drink and some food, but as soon as we got home, I saw the bedroom and the couch and lost it. I got both of those at the same time she came into my life. So, looking at them just instantly brings back memories. Especially since that’s where she had been laying for the past few weeks.

All and all though, I’m good.

I swear.

It’s tough, but I’ll be fine. I need some alone time for a little bit, but I’ll be back to my normal self soon. I’ll be back to pursuing projects and posting silly Facebook statuses and Snapchats. In the meantime, I’m healing.

I’ll end with this.

I feel incredibly grateful and loved. I’ve been sharing all this because Lolita was a huge part of my life. Sharing photos and writing about it all is therapeutic for me. I was never looking for sympathy or trying to bring anyone down by sharing it all. I just needed to get my emotions out there. I want to show that it’s okay to have feelings and share your emotions via social media. I feel that social media has this way of making all our lives seem like a party 24/7. Hell… sometimes it seems as though it’s even filled with a shit ton of stupid, meaningless drama. And I’m not saying I’m depressed or sad all the time, but we are all human. And we all struggle from time to time. And that’s okay. And sometimes… yes… we party. Lol. You get some good tunes on the stereo and few beers in my hand and I’m a happy man. Nonetheless, what I’m getting at, is that I want to thank everyone for their condolences. My Facebook messenger is filled with read and unread messages, as well as comments on all the photos I’ve been posting. I wasn’t on the search for any of that sort of attention, but fuck… thank you so much. I’m so grateful for it and feel loved. I appreciate it more than you know.

Cheers Lolita. This beer is for you.

Last Night With Lolita

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Tonight is my last night with Lolita.

It feels weird saying that. It feels weird thinking that. Tonight is our last night together. Our last night of cuddles. My last night of going to bed to the sound of her purrs.

I’ve been struggling deep inside. Every day I’ve been trying to at least tackle the various small things I need to get done so that my business can stay afloat or keep me in good hands with those who count on me. It feels weird staying at home and trying to work on things while Lolita lays on the bed all day. Today, I got the things done that I needed to, but didn’t have it in me to do anything else. I just wanted to sit and veg out in front of the TV watching God knows what. Just something to keep my mind off life. And since we got rid of the TV a few weeks ago, I couldn’t do that.

Part of me felt bad deep inside feeling that since today is Lolita’s last night with me. I felt like such a bad person thinking those things.

Right now, I’m sitting here on the bed next to Lolita.

It’s a weird feeling.

I’m sad and happy all at the same time.

It’s strange cause the room is a bit different right now. Lolita, for all the years I’ve had her, has obsessively bathed herself. And she hasn’t bathed herself in almost 3 weeks. She definitely smells. And not like the normal good smelling Lolita. But it’s still a smell that I don’t mind. That makes me happy. Almost like a wet dog smell. And I don’t like wet dog smell. There’s litter everywhere and various droppings that she can’t quite clean up. It all feels like a mess, but I don’t mind. I don’t care. I’ve filled up the water bowl multiple times today. I’ve cleaned up her various spots of throw up. I don’t care about the mess. It’s all worth it.

I don’t know how to feel. Happy? Sad? I don’t know.

This is a weird night. The last night. Last night of cuddles. Last night of purrs.

Tomorrow is “I don’t give a fuck” day. That’s what I’m calling it. I didn’t think of that until now. “Don’t give a fuck” day. I don’t have a plan for tomorrow. There’s isn’t any work that will get done. I don’t give a fuck. It’s just a morning and afternoon with this god damn cat. I’ll be sitting in our room, on our bed, with this cat. I’m thankful I’m my own boss and have the ability to do what I want.

This is all I want to say. I think. At least for now.

I’m finishing up my roll of film tomorrow. And lots of other pictures will be taken. Thank god for cameras. I’d be a mess without them.

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