Being Alternative in a Bible Belt World -Charlotte NC

As I write this, my intention is of course, not to offend anyone. This is strictly my opinion piece, and I will write based on my own perspective of things.

If you are reading this, chances are you know us pretty well. If you don’t, then after reading this, if you still would like to know us, please do send us a message and introduce yourself!

LunahZon started out with two little people who had big dreams. Big. Ass. Dreams. If you asked us January 1st 2007 if we thought we would be where we are now, you might get two answers. Yes and No. The dreamer side would’ve probably said, “YES OF COURSE! We have to. We would just HAVE to.” Then again, the other side of us probably would’ve said, “No. I have no idea where we are going or what we are even doing.” We didn’t have a plan, or a road map. I (Debby) graduated in May of 2007 with a degree in Film making. Screen Writing in particular. I was excellent at writing cheesy fantasy fiction. So really, in 2015, I should be well into my writing career. Or at least clawing my way through a writing career. Instead, we magically landed into photography.

First came concerts. We started shooting shows. It was an awesome passion project because we were both music lovers, and immersed ourselves in music.





That was fun. But before we knew it, somehow people were booking us. We told everyone we knew, but this was before the days of facebook and social media. We had a myspace for LunahZon, but at best, it was just existing. We managed to get catapulted into a photography business. We knew, first thing first, was to get legit. We got a tax ID, a business bank account, and boom. We were an official partnership and were LunahZon mother-effing Photography. We can look back and cringe at our early work, but even now, who are we to judge? Back in the day, people still loved (at least liked) what we did. Enough to tell their friends. Enough to book us again and again. Enough that by 2009/2010, we made the decision to ease into part-time day jobs, and eventually quit that too. By 2011, we were FULLY self employed. Every dollar that went into our bank account came straight from LunahZon Photography.

Imma get a lil’ personal here. We both came from humble backgrounds. Working class families who didn’t have nests, or trust funds, or lots of money to throw at us if we even got into trouble. We were 100% on our own, without a lifeboat. SOMEHOW… we have stayed 100% self employed, and have managed to live without a dime from any other source than LunahZon. We don’t have the best car, we don’t have the best house, we don’t have the best this or that… But I don’t care. Because I DO HAVE THE BEST LIFE. We are HAPPY. We do what we want, we do what we love, we live, we eat, we travel, we help the world be a better place to live in by just showing people that you can follow your dreams and be happy.

WOW.

So, what is the point of the title Debby? Great story, but what’s your point? We are freshly into the year of 2015, and things have changed. If you don’t know, the photography market is SATURATED. Saturated. Everyone has a camera, and everyone is a photographer. Awesome. This isn’t a grumpy post about that though. As if the photography market isn’t already saturated enough, which makes getting business tough for all involved, WE. DON’T. FIT. We have always prided ourselves in not fitting, because duh, we’re LunahZon and that equals all the synonyms that go with “different”. But, we don’t go to church. We’re religious mutts, to put it easily. I have a step daughter, but have never bared any children of my own. When it comes to photographers playing together, those are the two biggest things. I’m not a mommy photographer, and I’m not a church going photographer.

That means, I don’t have play-dates where I get to meet new mommies and get their business. I don’t have a congregation where people can come to us when they finally get a ring on that finger. We are, alternative.

We don’t shoot the same as anyone else in our area, we don’t edit the same, we don’t use actions that someone else created, we take LONGER editing photos because we STILL. BELIEVE. IN. CREATING. ART. And we know now… Business and art can mix, but more often than not, don’t. Us being creatives, we do things different than most other photographers would like us to do. And once again, another area where we don’t play well.

Funny that I say all these things, because we actually are very nice. We will help anyone who walks through our door. So why the fuck can’t we fit in with anyone? Why, despite having a very funny Jeremy who is outgoing and cheerful, can’t we fit in?

Of course, because we don’t want to. We could go to church, but that would feel wrong. We are believers and lovers of freedom. You believe this? You believe that? AWESOME!!! As long as it makes you happy and makes you a better person every time you look in the mirror, then we’re all for it. We could start having children… but I’m not ready for it. Will I resent bringing in children earlier than I meant to? On purpose? Obviously that is a conversation for another day, but the answer is still this: If I can help it, I will wait until I’m ready. And if the time never comes, then so be it. But I trust, that one day I will know. So Mommy groups are out for me.

Now here we are, alternative LunahZon. We drink. We curse. We have questionable humor. All in the bible belt. We will always respect people of course (and keep ourselves pretty presentable around your grandmothers & mothers, unless they green light us by dropping f-bombs first of course), but does it go both ways? Do people respect us?

Ahhh fuck it. Does it really matter? At the end of the day, the only people we have to answer to are ourselves and our belief systems. Have we been our best selves, lived up to our own hopes, expectations, and dreams? Can we say we’re doing our best for those we love? If we can say yes to all that, then it doesn’t matter what molds we do or don’t fit into – the rest will take care of itself as it always has and we can look back on our path with pride, owning every step of the way (or how we handled the missteps that everyone has mixed in there).

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