Thursday, September 8, 2011

Labor (Day) of Love

(All pics. snapped on 9/05/11)

Here in the U.S., we honor the "economic and social contributions of workers" on the first Monday of every September - by enjoying a day of rest, in order to celebrate a holiday (somewhat ironically) named "Labor Day". I personally, never think too much about the reasons behind this particular holiday - but more that it signifies the unofficial end of my most favorite season (Summer)...and the unfortunate ushering in of Autumn...*sigh*

Ideally on Labor Day, the weather is quintessential summer: all hot and sunny, with azure skies and cottony clouds - the perfect conditions for spending one last day at the pool, before the gates are closed and locked until Memorial Day rolls around at the end of May the following year. Folks convene on or near some body of water, or at backyard barbecues and cookouts - and everyone gets as much as they can out of those last few minutes before bathing suits and flip flops, hand the baton off - to blue jeans and sweatshirts and socks and shoes. 

This past Labor Day, was in no way conducive to being spent by the pool, or even outdoors for that matter. It was cool and drizzly and grey, and I'd bet that there were any number of fetes either cancelled altogether, or moved indoors - on account of the unseasonably cool, dreary weather. 

Luckily for me though, none of that mattered. I mean, let's face it - I'm not exactly the girl who makes it onto all (or any of) the guest lists for parties thrown around here...and so having made no plans to celebrate with others that day - that also meant that there were no plans for me to break because the weather happened to be shitty. 

I was home alone, since my kids always stay with their father on Mondays, and I also had the day off from my "real" job, so...I decided to spend Labor Day, well...laboring....i.e., doing the "work" that I truly love best. 

While my camera battery charged, I decided on the setting for the day's shoot, showered, and chose what to wear. Next I fussed with my hair and put on my make-up, and then when my battery was at a full charge, I drove to a neighborhood nearby. I parked and left my my car on a dead-end street, nimbly climbed over electrified fences, tromped across cow fields - and stopped when I finally reached this train bridge and creek. 

As I changed out of my t-shirt and shorts, and into the diaphanous, white nighty (while also ducking and dodging to keep out of view of the motorists driving past on the roadway in the distance) - I surveyed my surroundings, while trying to decide just how exactly - to go about staging my shoot. Finding sure footing for the little thrift store table (atop of which my camera and gorillapod stand) - was definitely no easy task...there was simply no solid ground on which to place it. But besides that, slogging through the gunky, gloppy muck that swallowed my feet with each deliberate step that I took - across the bank and through the dark, murky water - took more than a few minutes to get used to. For the sake of my pics. though, I put it out of my mind - despite being sucked down sometimes, practically up to my feet meeting sharp, hidden mystery objects that littered the mushy creek floor. 

After shooting diligently for a good, solid hour - I'd had my fill of the ick factor, and also began to worry that some horrific bacteria might infiltrate my body via the puncture wounds in my feet, and the lacerations on my legs...*shudder* 

I wasn't quite ready to call it a day though - and so I packed up my shiz, and retraced my steps - until I reached a much cleaner, clearer stretch of the stream.

By the time I left to finally go home, my body was essentially thrashed. My mind however, was reeling with excitement, and my heart was overflowing with pride and satisfaction. The way I look at it, physical exhaustion, especially when coupled with a few battle wounds sustained while snappin' my pics. - is the very definition of, "It's all in a day's work"...and I feel fortunate in that I can say without a doubt - that I honestly love what I do...


  1. I'm particularly loving the last two... soft and hard over green in the third one; inverted on the lower one. In both cases, I had to look for a moment to see whether you were airborne or not. That's in part because you very often are, but also in part because the poses are so fluid. Does that fluidity come through in everything you shoot, or are the ones you post unusually good in that regard?

  2. @Steve Mouzon - I definitely think that I most often pick photos to post - where I appear to be more "graceful"...and for the most part, I absoLUTEly err on the side of over-exaggerated, "dance-y" poses...that being said - once again you've left a comment that has me considering shaking things up a bit - by perhaps trying something a bit different than my norm. Thanks for the inspiration, Steve!

  3. It never ceases to amaze me how you find these places OR what you seem to go through for each shoot. Another great post Lauralyn.

  4. I love that last shot, it is beautiful and elegent whilst also feeling very raw and harsh at the same time. I wont to live where you do....I think I shall have to come and stay for a while ;)


  5. @A Redditor - Thank you, mister man! I definitely think that I have some sort of internal radar, or highly sensitive antennae (or something) that lead me to incredible venues, such as this one...

    And yes...I think it goes without saying, that there is a certain degree of masochism fueling my approach to self-portraiture. I get off on the thrill of the more covert shoots, and feel a great sense of reward when my body winds up ravaged by my antics. I'm weird...I know.

  6. @Molly - This place where I live, is undeniably amazing. I feel truly lucky to have ended up here. And just so you know, you are welcome ANYtime - to come visit, and stay for as long as you like! Would be so...much...FUN to venture out with a buddy, scouting locations and staging shoots!