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  • Kate Crabtree is an award winning Maine wedding photographer who creates evocative and timeless wedding photography for couples who would like their love story to be told authentically. Although she is located in Bangor, Maine (central Maine), she happily travels to coastal and southern Maine, and throughout New England to capture unique wedding photos and engagement portraits. She has been featured on Style Me Pretty, recently named as one of the top 50 wedding photographers in the United States by Weddzilla, and published in Maine Magazine and Real Maine Weddings.

(Day 4/30 of the 30 day blog challenge. Read more about it here!)

The Waves by Virginia Woolf

It is hard for me to write about The Waves because it is such a near and dear book to me. I discovered it during my first year of grad school, a period of time that was both incredibly stressful and academically gratifying at the same time.  I expected to hate the novel– I had read Between the Acts by Woolf in undergrad and thought its plot was boring and pointless.  But The Waves was such a magical read because the way in which Woolf fleshes out her six narrators in such an innovative manner.

But before I go any further, let me back up and attempt to explain the premise.  The Waves consists of six narrators: Susan, Rhoda, Jinny, Bernard, Neville, and Louis, and a seventh prominent friend, Percival.  The novel explores their lives and their relationships to one another by focusing on their inner thoughts and perceptions, which are narrated as soliloquies (in other words, the other characters do not hear these soliloquies– only the reader has access to them).  By listening to their abstract thoughts, we intimately get to know each character and their perspective on each of their friends and the world they live in

This is easiest shown through a few passages:

Jinny – “Now, too, the time is coming when we shall leave school and wear long skirts. I shall wear necklaces and a white dress without sleeves at night. There will be parties in brilliant rooms; and one man will single me out and will tell me what he has told no other person. He will like me better than Susan or Rhoda. He will find in me some quality, some peculiar thing. But I shall not let myself be attached to one person only. I do not want to be fixed, to be pinioned… This is the beginning.” (55-6)

Susan – “I do not want, as Jinny wants, to be admired. I do not want people, when I come in, to look up with admiration. I want to give, to be given, and solitude in which to unfold my possessions.” (54)

Neville – “‘Bernard’s stories amuse me,’ said Neville, ‘at the start. But when they tail off absurdly and he gapes, twiddling a bit of string, I feel my own solitude. He sees every one with blurred edges. Hence I cannot talk to him of Percival. I cannot expose my absurd and violent passion to his sympathetic understanding. It, too, would make a ‘story.’ I need some one whose mind falls like a chopper on a block… Louis is too cold, too universal.’” (51)

There is no real plot (although there are events that bring our narrators together), but the novel is really driven by the narrator’s perceptions of themselves and of each other.  And the beauty is that these perceptions change as they age and as they become more familiar with one another.  The payoff of reading The Waves is that you become so intimate with all six narrators that the signal to each of their sections (ex. “said Jinny/Susan etc.) is unnecessary at the end– you know exactly who is narrating at any given time.

The Waves isn’t for everyone, but it’s a gorgeously-written novel that I can’t get enough of.  Has anyone else read it, or anything by Virginia Woolf?


(Day 3/30 of the 30 day blog challenge. Read more about it here!)

The story of how I became a professional photographer begins with the Pentax K1000.

In my junior and senior year of high school I took photography classes.  At the time, digital photography was only just starting to become more prominent, so we used film and played around in a darkroom, putting our prints in various liquids and watching the image rise from the white paper.  We had aprons that we wore to protect our clothes from the chemicals, but no matter how careful I was I always managed to fleck my shirts with developer or fixer.  I learned how to use my camera manually (as there were no auto functions!) and discovered how to compose photos creatively.

Not only did we develop our own film and prints, but we learned how to mat our work.  Photography gave me a chance to feel artistic for the first time in my life, and I loved coming up with creative ideas and seeing them through, even if they were dismal failures.

The story continues with the girl in the photo above, all the way to the right– Sammy.  She was one of my best friends in high school and we were both taking photography together.  We’d spend our afternoons driving to random places and taking photos of what we loved.  I always looked for anything rusty, like tractors, and Sammy always wanted to shoot cows.  We spent most of the time acting like total dorks and giggling madly, like most 16-18 year olds do.

Several years later, Sammy contacted me and asked if I would do a bridal session with her.  She had recently started her own photography business, I had just gotten married and had an awesome wedding dress.  I was seriously excited and happily donned my dress again for her.

She took the following photos of me:

Photo by Samantha Hartery Photography

Photo by Samantha Hartery Photography

The experience and the resulting photos were unreal.  I couldn’t believe how I looked, and felt that she had somehow dug into the depths of my soul with her camera and shown me as I really am– unguarded and whole.  I felt beautiful, and I knew that I wanted–or rather, had–to give the same experience to others.

Even though I had never really done much portrait work before, I decided to leave the tractors behind and try photographing people.  It was nervewracking at first, but I was amazed how incredible it was to show others as they really are.  I was as in love with portraiture as I was when I first met my husband, and I knew that I had found my true calling in life.  The rest, as they say, is history.

How did you find your true calling in life?  Leave me a comment and tell me your story!