Mackenzie Rollins | Weblog

Day 1: A photo a day

with 13 comments

Starting today, that’s what I’m vowing before you to do.

I have, for the most part, put down my camera for the last year and a half. Besides shooting a few weddings and such, I haven’t done much personal work at all. Do I regret the time away? No. I think I needed a sabbatical/breakup from it. I think it officially started when I poured coffee on camera # 1 the day before I started my internship with Mary Ellen. I’m not sure I’ve yet bonded with #2 as I did the firstborn. It still feels like somewhat of a bastard child.

But in ruining that camera and having none for about two months, I learned to live again without it. It had become such a constant companion and shield. Being without it pushed me to connect with people by offering me as Mackenzie instead of me as interesting photographer. I hadn’t realized what a huge part of my identity was wrapped up in my art. At first, I felt pretty naked and uninteresting without it. But then just as quickly, I realized how awesome I am I learned to channel creativity into my job as a personal assistant – floral arrangements, cooking, surprise notes, playlists & dinner parties.

The thing I’ve learned is that nothing takes the place of my love of capturing the world in photographs. Nothing is as satisfying as my creative outlet. Nothing comes more naturally. And I’m not sure I saw until now (well, I’ve not yet realized this fully but friends/cohorts are bashing me over the head with this truth at the moment) that me as Mackenzie and me as photographer don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Or that I have to be shooting orphans on the other side of the world and living out of a backpack instead of shooting in the states while holding another job. Yes, only rational thoughts here.

New York is unlike any other city I’ve called home. I honestly didn’t expect to stay, at which you’re all rolling your eyes and smiling as you’ve been witness to the past several years of my life. I didn’t expect to stay because I didn’t expect to like it. I feared the restlessness that I assumed forced itself on you in a city which boasts food, drink and entertainment 24/7. And for awhile, I was restless. And exhausted. And working too much. And staying up too late, often dancing until I looked like I’d been at a cheesy Texas water park instead of a LES club. And while some gals might sweat glitter when they dance, not this girl. Think baby out of womb + 27 years. Mmm.

I’m still working full time as a personal assistant but am making a commitment with myself to start shooting at least one photo a day to get back into the practice of it. If I vow to do it here, I must do it. And maybe by writing about it, I’ll start to believe the things mentioned above. I’m not sure what I want to start shooting. There are so many options for stories or themes in this city. About as many options as there are varieties of organic peanut butter at my local grocer. Both put me into a similar paralysis because BOTH ARE LIFE AND DEATH DECISIONS, PEOPLE. I don’t know how you can just pick up that unsalted crunchy without looking back, lady! Or you sir with the swift grab of two raw almond butters!


So I’ll start bird by bird. Day by day. One peanut butter choice after the other. Or photo, whatever. I’d love to have you along for the ride as I rediscover this passion which once felt like a lover and now feels like an estranged awkward uncle who smells funny.

No offense Tony.

The kid above is skim boarding. Like an idiot, I jumped on one because there’s no way it can be that hard. Goodness gracious I’ve not fallen that hard since I whiffed the kickball Avery Allen pitched to me in sixth grade p.e. class. Sore memory, apparently.

These pictures are from a trip last weekend to Orange Beach, AL.

Goodbye for now. It’s good to see you again.


Written by Mackenzie Rollins

March 20, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Posted in A photo a day, New York

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13 Responses

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  1. 🙂


    March 20, 2011 at 4:50 pm

  2. It’s good to see YOU again! What joy struck my heart when you popped up on my RSS feed. I love you, Mackenzie. And I’m looking forward to seeing your pics. This is going to be the most awesome thing that’s happened to my internet in ten million years.

    Leslie Linebarger

    March 20, 2011 at 6:43 pm

  3. i’ve missed you! glad to hear you are back on the blog-train. 🙂


    March 20, 2011 at 7:13 pm

  4. Glad your back.

    Joshua Smith

    March 20, 2011 at 7:48 pm

  5. yay!!


    March 20, 2011 at 8:57 pm

  6. i was thinking of you the other week and then voila… here you are. welcome back 🙂


    March 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm

  7. I love you


    March 21, 2011 at 6:01 pm

  8. YES!!!!


    March 21, 2011 at 7:43 pm

  9. Great to see you writing again! Was just thinking abt you few days ago…(believe it or not) greetings from Singapore!:)


    March 21, 2011 at 8:15 pm

  10. McKenzie, you are such a talented photographer with such a creative and beautiful description of the world around you. I hope that you find as much love and connection with #2 as you did with #1.

    P.S. I completely agree with you on the skim boarding… The last time I did it, I swore I broke my arm. Very painful, but glad to hear your curiosity does not scare you off. 🙂


    March 21, 2011 at 8:26 pm

  11. i have writing to say ‘hi’ on my list of things to do. glad to be doing it on a blog post saying you will be doing photography again.


    March 21, 2011 at 10:29 pm

  12. Thanks guys. I appreciate your encouragement more than you know. So good to “see” each of you again too! I look forward to reconnecting.


    March 22, 2011 at 8:03 am

  13. so glad you are back! i hope you can keep up with your commitment 🙂


    March 22, 2011 at 9:57 am

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