When I look over to the right of my desk … what do I see? Yes, a My Little Pony. My daughter London always decorates my desk with her toys. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure the desk is no longer just mine. It’s our desk. A new photography challenge I have given to myself is to photograph the small detail of life daily 🙂
I am so happy to announce, my photographs are featured the whole month of March at Calumet in San Diego! Happy 27th birthday to me! My birthday is on March 31st! What a perfect gift! The first time I walked into Calumet was two years ago. I remember viewing the gallery and wishing one day I would have art displayed on walls somewhere 🙂 At that point in time I didn’t even know how to manually set my camera. I guess all that hard work paid off! When I was younger, I thought I would be artistic through my music. I saw myself as a hippie free spirit rocking out on stage. It wasn’t until I became a wife and mother, that I developed the discipline to become a better artist. Even now, I am first a wife & mother. Mother & wife by day … photographer/artist by night. It can sometimes be so difficult. I sometimes wish I would of met photography at an earlier age in my life. That way I could focus 100% of my time to developing my skill. Then I’m humbled. Then I realize if It weren’t for my husband and my beautiful baby girl I wouldn’t be where I am today. London is the ONLY reason I ever picked up a camera, hence the name “London Light Photography.” I dedicate this viewing to my husband Dana, and my daughter London. Dana and London I love you dearly. You are halves to my heart.
Photographer: Sydney Takeshta
It’s about to get deep. I was asked 5 months ago if I would be interested in displaying my photographs at a local gallery. I was ecstatic, and accepted the offer. Immediately I began thinking about photographs I would like to feature. Personally Photography has always been more than a business. First and four-most It’s art. Through my art, I am able to bare my soul. The majority of my work focuses in on families, maternity and newly weds. Through my clients my goal has always been to capture the beauty of love. This is my most favorite piece of my heart to share. I am blessed to have been able to hold and photograph countless newborns. I am blessed to watch in love couples promise forever to one another. I am blessed to witness the chemistry within multiple families, and experience laughter with them. Those moments bring such joy to my heart. Of course I would share some of these moments at my gallery showing. However, there is so much more that my heart has been through in the past year. It would feel fake to not create photographs that are on my heart to create. So here we go ….
It’s difficult to accept the dreadful truth. Heroin, the most deadly drug in the world is on the rise, and it’s knocking on the doors of suburbia. It may sound a little bold of me to start out with such a negative in your face statement, but it’s the truth. It’s closer to home than what you think. From my own personal conversations with local law enforcement, Riverside County is no acceptation. According to Time Magazine, “Heroin use has been rising since 2007, growing from 373,000 yearly users to 669,000 in 2012, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Heroin overdose deaths have also spiked, increasing 45% from 2006 to 2010, according to the most recently available data from the Drug Enforcement Administration. And the geography of the drug’s users has also expanded. Once considered a largely urban problem, law enforcement and public health officials are seeing an uptick in suburban and rural users.” I was completely oblivious to this sneaking snake, until it slithered in my own backyard. Watching my young loved one deal with the claws of addiction was all to painful. In 2013 I dedicated my time to working in homeless shelters. There I witness many struggling with addiction. Addiction is something in my life I feel I’m being called to stand against. I decided to open up about this issue, because.. ..not many do. Addicts and their family members are ashamed. This is not a matter to sweep under the rug. I decided to create photographs that show my perspective of heroin addiction.
In my photographs a woman in black embodies the addition Heroin. The addiction never takes her eyes off of her prey. She rejoices in his failures. She changes his perspective. She covers his ears and eyes. His soul focus is his sweetheart, Heroin. She is the only thing that makes him feel normal. She is his warm hug and a place for him to rest. In her world, he doesn’t worry much about anything. She makes him happy. He will gladly sacrifice mind body and soul, to be with her. She will gladly take his mind body and soul. It was important that the addict was young and looked like someone who came from suburbia. I didn’t want the addict to look like the typical idea of what a Heroin addict looks like. The whole point of the shoot was to show the new face of Heroin users.
I am happy to share my loved one is clean and on the road to recovery. I had asked my loved one, how he ended up on a road so far from where his family taught him to walk. “Many kids are doing it. It’s like no big deal. It looks harmless because they are smoking it.” It was viewed like marijuana. I told my loved one I would walk every step with him in getting clean, if he was serious about living a life of sobriety. There is a Methadone clinic located in Murrieta, CA. There he would try to shake the drug with another. We rose early every morning at 5am for him to get his dose of Methadone. There I saw so many young faces. Faces you wouldn’t think in a million years had a heavy addiction. Methadone in my opinion seems like a dead end road. It’s trading in an illegal addiction for a legal one. From my own personal experience long term rehab out of the area seems to be the golden ticket. You have to get out of dodge. Also, seeking Christ has played a big part in my loved one finding clarity. He believes all things are possible through Christ. His views are hand and had with the University of Birmingham in England.
Factors Influencing Recovery From Heroin Addiction
Research has shown that multiple factors influence a person’s decision to stop using heroin. In a study of 107 heroin users done at the University of Birmingham in England, participants were asked to list reasons why they were able to break their heroin habit. One of the top reasons listed was becoming weary of the lifestyle associated with heroin use.
The study also outlined several crucial components that aided the participants in their journey out of heroin addiction:
Social factors: Refusing to continue associating with active drug users and seeking support from family and friends not involved in drug abuse
Practical components: Provision of a sober living arrangement and helping the individual to become gainfully employed
Religion and spirituality: Reliance on a higher power, a search for deeper meaning in life, and/or religious practices such as prayer and meditation
Support groups: Peer groups such as 12-step programs or similar forms of group support
I am writing this blog post to let others know they are not alone. To let addicts know, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. To let my community know about the rise of Heroin use in their backyards. To let curious people know, you don’t have to inject Heroin to become severely addicted. It will take over your life. You will enter the twilight zone. Parents, Heroin can be smoked through a pipe or vaporized on tin foil. I was oblivious to this. Do you suspect your loved one is under in the influence? Demand a drug test, and don’t feel guilty about it. If you are a Heroin addict, go to detox, and seek treatment out of the area. As a community we have to start paying attention to some important questions. Why is there a rise of Heroin use? Do we need BETTER prevention programs in schools? Do we need to write our local police stations with our concerns? I’m not sure what the answer is, but something needs to change.
Special thanks to my brother in law for playing the role of the addict.Thank you Sandy, for the amazing hair and make up artistry! Thank you Touched by Time Vintage Rentals and My Granny’s Attic for the awesome location. If your loved one is suffering from Heroin addiction, and you have any questions, Please email me. I can possibly provide you with helpful information.
Enjoyed my time today at Touched By Time Vintage Rentals prop pad. My eye always draws to the many chairs and couches they own. I love the appearance of all the color, patterns and different shapes paired together. It makes me feel at home…. my kinda place If I were to describe my personality/ style and how my brain functions … it would probably resemble this set! For most it may just look like clashing of style and disarray … but to me it makes perfect sense.
I am still learning to accept the fact that I am a creative person, who is color obsessed, emotional, musically inclined and intuitive. Everyone I love, my best friends, mother and husband are type A lefties. I sometimes want to trade in my perspective of the world for something my loved ones could understand. I guess the world doesn’t work that way. I guess thats a good thing:)