Inspire 2016 Speaker Laura DeCarlo - The Middle East and editing

In this series of blog posts, we are introducing the faculty at Inspire 2016. Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura DeCarlo who will be teaching: Use Your Words: Improve Your Writing to Better Market Yourself

The Middle East and editing.....

I looked at number one forty-two of a loooong list of family poses from a recent wedding I photographed.  At that very moment, this wedding wasn't really 'doing it' for me in any way, shape or form. The wedding itself had been a perfectly pleasant day, with a perfectly pleasant couple, and yet, as I sat in front of my computer, staring hard at awkward faux-smiles and silently cursing the old folks who never looked directly at my camera, I had zero interest in looking at these people's faces any longer. Call it the grumps, or what have you, I could not muster up the will to crop and color correct any of it anymore.

But, deadlines loomed and emails asking for sneak peeks and images occupied space in my inbox, so I trudged on, culling and sighing. Playing on my Youtube list was Sorry by Justin Bieber. Probably for the eleventy billionth time that that afternoon. So, with a theatrical moan, I hit some upper right corner bullshit until all, but a screen of dancing ladies in 90's garb, was minimized into temporary oblivion. 

Then I pushed my chair back and danced.

I went from Bieber to Missy to Janet, clicked on a few tutorials and choreography videos, made my way to Bieber one more time for good measure, and once my abs hurt from twerking and locking, ended up on my favorite private channel, aptly called Scream Alongs. It is basically an ever-growing collection of the(sometimes instrumental) versions of my most cherished ballads and power anthems, to which I unabashedly sing-scream the lyrics to. I do this for a good dozen or so songs, until my throat is raw. This particular afternoon, up on deck were Adele (hello!), Sia and Maná, and I belted along as if I was about to get four judges to turn their chairs for me. 

I freaking love how I feel after a good song and dance break.

As I sat back down, sweaty and hoarse, and I clicked myself back into real life, the same faces as before popped back up. Only this time, I was mentally prepared. 

I navigated to another channel of mine, which I call 'melancholy edit shit'. Guitars filled up my speakers as one of the most emotion-evoking songs I know started playing. 

Blood, by The Middle East. 

This song makes me tear up a good seven out of ten times. It's happy and sad and melancholy as fuck. And today, it was going to be the start to helping me edit these damn family photos. 

The music coming through my speakers, it made me see laugh lines and crooked smiles, little nudges from grandma and palpable love between family. It made me forget about the potential email asking to make everyone three sizes smaller and ten years younger. It made me see how these photos of grandparents, aunts, uncles, moms and dads were mad important. How it's not always about looking your best, but sometimes, all that truly matters is that you have those few seconds of your life seized for you to look back upon whenever you want to or need to.

I edited through those family photos in record time, and delivered more of them than I normally would have. Crooked smiles and all.

Music makes me feel...well, alive. I use it to determine the mood I'm going to be in.
Or rather, music determines that for me. I can always sing my frustration away, I can always dance until I'm too tired to care about anything but a glass of water to quench my thirst. 

And it always helps me edit from the heart instead of my iron fist of doom and monotony. 


Laura Dee