As my post count has been ticking closer and closer to 100, I've been mulling for weeks over what I wanted to feature. Did I want to highlight something aesthetically beautiful like my recent brunch at Laduree? Or perhaps showcase a men's fashion shoot in Chelsea and talk about my developments as a photographer? Nothing felt quite right until last week, though, when I experienced the most hilarious Pinterest fail of my life trying to make cute mason jar cupcakes. After seeing pictures like the below from Cookies and Cups, I thought it would be the perfect thing to send across the country to my "little sister" Kiersten for her birthday and my dear friend Maddie who is an MD Martha Stewart of sorts.
So how did they start out? Not so hot. Fortunately, my friends Janet and Kevin were over to "help out" (ie eat the ugly ones) and let's just say they were eating a LOT. We were laughing so hard at how hideous the jars looked (chocolate frosting smudged on glass isn't that appetizing...) and also how difficult it was. We tried so many different methods - putting the cake in first then adding frosting (resulted in smudging), frosting the cake first then plopping it in (half of them flipped over), tearing up the cupcake to fill out more of the bottom (it looked stupid). All the while I'm simultaneously crying and laughing at just how epic of a fail it all was. Finally, finally I thought I had mastered the process! In my pride and glory, I even whipped out my DSLR to get a good shot, dreaming of how this would be blown up on Pinterest boards. I would write my blog post full of tips (dollop of frosting and sprinkles at the bottom, frost only the middle of the cupcake avoiding the edges, lower it in with chopsticks, repeat, and then add a solid layer of frosting at the top), and it would be a fantastic addition to my food section!
But then...I decided to test how they would fare in travel and on my way to work this happened..
The frosting was far too slippery, the jar far too big, and the cupcakes far too skinny. I could only imagine the girls opening up their boxes and just seeing a jar full of a frosting mess and being so confused as to what I sent them. I couldn't help but laugh at my #nailedit moment and forced my coworkers to eat my ugly cupcakes just to make myself feel better (for the record, they were delicious).
So what does this all have to do with my hundredth post? Trying. And failing. You see, as far as this little blog has come in the past four years, I've hoped that amandaliew.com at its very core is still about the journey, not the end game. From the start, I've wanted it to be about life, experiences, challenges, and above all trying new things. What started out as a travel blog, morphed into a passion for digital photography - and where that passion is focused changes each day! Sometimes those new things turn out wildly successful, and sometimes they turn out disastrously bad. But in the end, the effort was made and the idea was explored. As more people have seen my work, I've gotten more project proposals, fee inquiries, and even questions of if I would ever pursue this as a career. But I've come to realize that there's a huge amount of freedom in clinging to the "amateur photographer" title. It gives me the chance to pursue what intrigues me, try new styles without worrying about a portfolio, share my stories of what I've learned, and ultimately laugh at my own failure. I love that this website is not just a portfolio of my best work, but instead an insight into how I'm growing and challenging myself as a photographer. And so, I'll keep trying and I'll keep (Pinterest) failing. I've done so for the past 100 posts, and I'll keep doing it for 100 more!