colorado - don't give up // part one

i drafted this post a day after i got home. i dumped my photos onto my computer and poured through them. and then i had to walk away. and then i had some really serious and amazing and emotional conversations with my husband and family.i have attended workshops in the past, and been let down to be honest. it's been about two years since i've found something that really speaks to who i am, the kind of photographer i am and life liver i want to be. i found out about the don't give up project about a year or so ago. it remained a pipe dream. when would i ever have the money to invest in myself like this?! or who would i ever be able to convince to sponsor my broke ass. so i kinda worked a lot in the last year, not really in the ways i wish i was, but i socked away some money and got a big gig and suddenly i thought, what the hell, i'll submit my application and my little essay and probably will never hear a word. when you apply for the workshop there are the typical questions. where do you live? website? but the parsons...they're good...and they can mask a question like the best of them. "why now" why now. why now. what first came to mind was "well, i'm not pregnant, trying to get pregnant, breastfeeding or dealing with a baby" but the next thing i knew my fingers had spilled too much. i'm pretty sure i included some traumatic experience from my childhood in there. my palms sweaty. but knew all the more that i needed this experience. badly.

i hadn't realized how burnt out i was. as a wife and a mother and an artist. the whole business person piece of my identity. which i hate. which i really suck very hard at. i didn't realize i hadn't been shooting nearly enough of the sort of people and stories i wanted to be involved with and i was shooting anything that would add to the heap of $ to push the furie-bowman's through another month. i have been told all my life to fight traditional roles of mother and wife and stay at home maker. i've been told all my life that that kind of isn't enough and it's not all that matters. and i never had it myself. i've spent a majority of my life apologizing for who i am in one way or another. trying to be a chameleon to fit all my roles, and even within those roles i can't behave the same with my mother as i can my father as i can my in laws as i can my...and so on. i turned 28 three days after returning from Colorado and that trip was the best gift. and i gave it to myself. i paid for every cent of it, i shed every single one of my own tears. i fought through wanting to vomit while experiencing something so intensely raw and vulnerable with people who i had put up on a pedestal.

the parsons. the wonderful, amazing, kind, talented, parsons. no two people more meant for each other than they. drag this mass of people up into the mountains, their children in tow. their sweet, sweet children who are witness to all this. to what their parents have the power to do. to free people, to show them their own strengths and beauties and oddities. who tell us that imperfect is better. who listen to the stories of strangers. who held each one of us while tears streamed from our faces. freedom is so powerful. freedom of the heart and mind...more hard work that is so worth it.

i can not believe, truly i can't, that this fine ass group of people are my friends. totally worth all the blood, sweat and bottles of water. this is part one. because i really wanted to show you 100 pictures. but that's just straight up ridiculous.















because besides all the amazing food we ate and the crying we did (did i mention the crying?) we made images at sunrise and so many other little moments were packed into those 36 hours up in that thin mountain space. and i just want to share them all.