i am perfect




after my solo at church

after my solo at church


let me rephrase that.   i used to WANT to be perfect. 

at least i thought i did.  

i grew up in a family that basically adored me.  

the first child, the first grandchild.   

i was proper, well behaved, cute as a button. 

i started singing on stage at the age of two  (how could i do that if i was NOT perfect?)

i sang on tv at the age of 6.  it was perfect.  


at 17, i was set up to go to school, almost completely on scholarship...i wanted to sing on broadway!  it was going to be so very very perfect.


thank you Chuck Lines for this senior picture, thank you aqua net for the hair

thank you Chuck Lines for this senior picture, thank you aqua net for the hair

and then, perfect ended.

all of a sudden, life changed for me drastically.  

i desperately wanted perfect back.

i wanted it's security.  it notoriety.   

so i did everything in my power to get it back, and i couldn't. 

some day, i will share with you those stories!  there are many to tell!  but today, i must get back to perfect. 

after years of searching for the perfection that had slipped through my fingers, i began to realize that being perfect had been a big load to carry around for so long.  and i began to realize that even though i had let alot of things LOOK perfect, they actually weren't.

SECRET 1 REVEALED:  the gucci purse i carried around high school was from a thrift store my grandma worked at in pittsburgh. I PROMISE!  the jordache jeans, the keds sneakers, the multiple leather jackets that i owned in all the different colors....THRIFT STORE. the truth was, we had 5 kids! things weren't easy OR perfect, so i just made it look they were. 

SECRET 2 REVEALED:   i didn't sing perfect.  mr. swope used to get so mad at me when i would try to sing like amy grant.  my notes were never SPOT ON.  i varied my voice, i slid my notes, because my idol, amy grant, she didn't sing perfect, and that's what i loved!  (i totally did not know this yet).  but none the less, i had everyone convinced that my singing talent sure was perfect.

SECRET 3 REVEALED: i starved myself.  i wanted skinny.  i did not want curvy.  the smaller i was, the faster i could be, the prettier i would be, the more popular i would be...so i refused to eat.  i fooled even my family.  i starved my way to perfection.  

SECRET 4 REVELAED:  i was NOT that happy all the time.  if you knew me in school, you knew my smile.  you knew i was involved in every activity i could be in, and that i was blissfully happy just to be me:))))))...except i wasn't.  if you could see my family photos from high shcool...vacations...holidays...i was a crab!  i didn't realize it until recent years, while rewatching videos and skimming through old photos.  OBVIOUSLY things were NOT perfect.


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my wedding to my PERFECT husband , was in my house (if i wasn't going to be perfect anymore, someone had to be...he he he).  we were married in front of my fireplace.  on a WEDNESDAY evening with NO PHOTOGRAPHER, just a friend.  it was sincerely perfect.

the house we bought was over 100 years old.  it has been lived in, loved in and celebrated in. after 13 years, some of our first renovations are still not completed.  i love it's flaws.  i love it's imperfections.     

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and my photography..... 

i learned the uncoventional way...trial and error...the new york institute of photography (that i did not complete), books, one on one instruction, online courses, and workshops.   i do not have a degree, but i have a doctorate in the school of hard knocks. 

my natural style is photojournalism.  moments.  emotion.  even blur.  this kind of photography EMBRACES imperfection.  it EMBRACES life as it is lived.  this style flows from me freely.  shooting weddings and portraits with that natural journalistic feel, this is what people began to know me for.  

this is what grew my business.  for ten years. 


one of my first photo shoots ever.  these are my baby sisters

one of my first photo shoots ever.  these are my baby sisters

again my sisters

again my sisters

i grew...i learned...i studied...i evolved...we moved into our studio.   

technically, i've strived for perfection.   

i know my camera inside and out, i know photoshop...lightroom...i know histograms and grey cards.  i know ambient light and i know lens distortion.     

i could learn forever and ever and still want and need to learn more about my craft, but somewhere along the way, i started to strive to be (professionally) perfect again. 

i started to shoot what people wanted, and quit focusing on what i shot best.   

i was striving to be perfect.   


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i found that wanting to be perfect, alot of times is not something that one WANTS to be, but is PUSHED to be, and the more you try to be perfect, the more you aren't... the more you can't be.   

being perfect means trying to please others in order to feel better about myself. 

do you want to know something?  the biggest secret of all? 

i'm a being created from the PERFECT one.  He made me exactly as HE wanted me to be.  that includes my talent and my craft. and although it sounds cold, i don't want to please you (let me clarify, i want to SERVE you when you pay me to do a job!) but  i don't care to please anyone.  the greatest acceptance i could ever gain is only from giving of myself, from every imperfection that was ever handed to me.   

personally, i've continued to embrace my imperfection.  i still love to shop at thrift stores!  i love to make things come to life from nothing.  i love that my kids will go outside with messy hair, and feel free, and still beautiful and loved.  i go out into public far from looking my best, and my van...please do not look inside :).  i cannot claim to love my imperfect body, but i'm a work in progress. :)


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for joelle watt studios... 

i'm ready to spin it around again...to let loose of the bars that tried to twist me.  

things aren't changing...byob, seniors, weddings, engagements, families... 

they stay the same...but am changing ME in my business.   

it's time to begin once again. 

after all...nobody's perfect :). 


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