Blog about living in Mexico by Photographer Erin Parker

Ever dream of selling everything & moving to Mexico? I did it and these are the stories.

The Good Part

We live by the ocean. Our daughter is healthy, vibrant and bilingual. I surf regularly. The beer is cheap and the tacos are delicious. 

The summer is hotter and more humid than you can wrap your head around. The mosquitos carry horrible sickness and we've experienced it. The house doesn't have AC and the screens are efficient, penetrable and necessary. 

Like anywhere, this Mexican Life has it's ups and downs, but right now, we're in an up. 

friends2018_7.jpg

Our friends were just here. The people we long for when it feels like we're the only people crazy enough to live here year round. The ones that make us laugh the hardest, keep us humble and lift us up. Our kids get along great. This is the time of year when life feels like a vacation. 

When I was a little kid, we used to go on vacation with my parent's best friends. We had a picture from one of those trips hanging prominently in our house for years. It was like the one above and when I look at myself and my little family with this awesome group of people, I can't believe that I'm one of the grownups now. My little family is part of this really fun and dynamic group of people. 

Don't be mad, I'm gonna write about it getting better. 

Work is great right now too. The timing between weddings is well spaced. I'm not overextending myself or underwhelmed. The rhythm of the work is good. The personalities are varied and enertaining. My technique is clicking.

Sure, it sucks down here sometimes too. The transmission in our car is shot and can't get fixed for two weeks because everything shuts down to celebrate Semana Santa.  Dogs shit right in front of the house daily. I still speak terrible Spanish and do next to nothing about it. Am I embarrassed about my Spanish? Yes. Am I ashamed? Yes. Will I stop writing and improve it? Probably not. I'm gonna go outside and enjoy one of those cold cheap beers in our beer garden while kids zoom by on bikes. We might go watch sunset at the beach. Chances are good we'll have tacos for dinner.

We've got to have lows to enjoy the highs. And right now, holy moly, this is a high. 

friends2018_37.jpg

Biographical Bullshit

I've been trying to write a little bio blurb for This Is Reportage, a new (and wonderful) wedding photographer collective I joined, and it's not going well. 

I don't know what to say and I say too much. It's endearing, isn't it? 

So I put off writing it and look at my work. Then I look at Instagram and spiral down into photographers' feeds and lose my breath. There is such incredible work out there. And so much of it. Self doubt creeps in. Of course it does, isn't that the problem with social media? 

I see these pictures of mountaintops and castles and think I'll never shoot in a place like them but I'd love to. There are moments and faces and light that make me think I could never shoot it better but I'll try to. There are scowls and moodiness and trends that make me wince and wonder what the hell happened to romance but I know tastes vary and I will not appeal to everyone and that's okay. I reach a point where I'll drift back into my own work and I like what I see. 

I see happiness. 

Maybe that's all my biography needs to be. 

Lauren + Luke

Lauren + Luke

Clare + Chris

Clare + Chris

Jamie + Danny

Jamie + Danny

 

 

Brief and Wonderful Advice from Oscar Wilde

I'm doing this Instagram challenge to get more followers. I'm growing my own business. I'm exploring different marketing techniques. I like Instagram. 

Assignment number two was post a photo of my workspace. The example was a stylized desktop with an inspirationally ironic coffee mug, computer, camera and cutesy notebook and pen set (presumably used when overcome by an idea for a blog post). I glanced at my present workspace and rolled my eyes. I fucking hate this table. My coffee mug was long ago emptied and washed - it's an ant magnet. I like our couch, it could pass as a stylized workspace but I don't work there. I lounge there. Posting it would be a lie. 

I felt like my post was good enough. My enthusiasm for the challenge is waning. 

Later, I met with a couple who's wedding I'll photograph in May. It was a lot of fun. We drank craft beer (rare here). Getting to know a bride and groom before their wedding is like a gift. It makes photographing them on their big day so much better. They're comfortable with me, with being photographed. And this couple was funny! Their family was a pleasure! These exclamation points are authentic!!

As we talked about the game plan for their wedding day, I made an aside about photographing their invitations and I felt the bride prickle. The groom mentioned sending e-vites. I realized immediately they thought I was serious. I don't do that. I take pictures of people. I'm there for the moments, not the paper products.

I told this bride I was joking. She laughed and seemed relieved. 

I was looking through Instagram later that night, scrolling through the feed of other challenge participants. I came across a photo with this scrolled across it,

"Be yourself, everyone else is already taken" ~ Oscar Wilde

I was a refreshing reminder. I'm constantly looking at the work of other photographers. Seeking inspiration and guidance. I see so much great work. I also see such stylized work that I feel like I'm in a totally different world from so many other photographers. I don't have a team. I don't have the latest and greatest equipment. Wedding days go by as fast for me as they do for the couple. I don't have time to waste a second trying to recreate a photo that looks staged or lacks intimacy. 

Yes, I will continue the challenge and I will continue to pour through Instagram, gawking. Yes, I want more followers because I think it will translate into more business. More business becomes more financial security. Security ensures the continuation of this Mexican life. This life, as a result, remains happy and content. 

That's the RSVP for our wedding. We keep it on our fridge. 

That's the RSVP for our wedding. We keep it on our fridge.