All posts tagged: photo essay

Today was a good day

“I sustain myself with the love of my family.” – Maya Angelou I recently spent an afternoon with this sweet family for an brief documentary session. Even a quick glimpse allowed me to capture some of the sweetest family moments.  Between preparing homemade pizza and backyard fun, I was how just being together and surrounded by love is one of life’s greatest gifts.            .     This post was inspired by this week’s WordPress photo challenge. Advertisements

Photographing a story

A conversation with my husband on the way home yesterday: Me: Do you ever feel like Meg Ryan in that movie where she falls in love with Nick Cage (who’s an angel) and she’s riding along on her bike with the wind in her hair, the sun on her smiling face, and (inexplicably) headphones blasting in her ears and then…BAM! Out of nowhere she gets run over by a semi? Husband: Uh, doesn’t that mean she gets to be with Nick Cage forever now? Me: [Sigh.] You’ve clearly never seen the movie.  And that’s not the point. [Trying again.] Have you ever felt like Brad Pitt in that movie where he meets a woman (who’s clearly his soulmate) and has the best conversation of his life and then God decides he needs a human body and promptly runs Brad over with a city bus? Husband: God did what?? Me: Nevermind. Kidding (or not kidding) aside, I’ve had a fabulous week.  I’m beginning work on a personal project that I’m really excited about and hope to …

Telling stories

“The more you leave out, the more you highlight what you leave in.” ― Henry Green When my family looks back on my photos years from now, I want them to have a sense of what our lives looked and felt like at a moment in time.  What was important to us.  What made us happy.  In addition to the snapshots, I want my pictures to tell our family’s story. It’s not as easy as I imagined when I first set out with this goal.  Different pictures tell different stories.  Sometimes a great picture doesn’t tell the true story.  And sometimes I just miss the shot that tells the story. This photo curation of our family life is fulfilling and challenging and also a bit weighty in its responsibility for telling the story in an accurate way that ideally needs little to no explanation. I’m continually inspired by documentary-style family photographers who share personal stories from their families’ lives.  So I was happy to recently find the wonderful photographers over at The Sham of the Perfect, a blog …

Keep hoping machine running

“Work more and better.  Keep hoping machine running.  Dream good.” – from Woody Guthrie’s 1942 New Year’s Resolution List  I’m not much on New Year’s resolutions, but I do appreciate the symbolic beginning that the new year brings.  It’s a refreshing time to remember goals and make plans.  A few weeks ago, I wrote about boycotting my to-do list.  Now that the harried pace of the holidays are past, I’m much more energized to work on the personal projects on my to-do list.  I also learned something really helpful in a recent article on the psychology of the to-do list and what that nagging of our subconscious really means.  Apparently, the nagging has a name–the Zeigarnik effect–and new research is showing that instead of trying to get us to finish incomplete tasks, the nagging may be the brain’s way of telling us to just make a plan to finish those tasks. Maria Popova quotes the researcher’s nicely, “The persistence of distracting thoughts is not an indication that the unconscious is working to finish the task. Nor is it the unconscious nagging …

Boycotting my to-do list

“Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” — Sylvia Plath This time of year always sneaks up on me.  Although my family celebrates Christmas with gifts, I like to pretend that I maintain a bit of separation from some of the crazed consumerism that takes over around the holidays.  (I may also pretend it’s because I have lofty ideals about the real spirit of the holidays, but mostly I’d just rather be doing other things [like catching up on editing these photos from November] and I really don’t like to shop. 🙂 ) However, about three weeks before Christmas, something happens.  Whether it’s the holiday music playing when I write out our cards (I do send cards, at least), the festive commercials between segments of Love Actually (my favorite!), or even the glittering displays at Target (which I finally start to acknowledge after Thanksgiving), a mild panic starts creeping in. I realize that I can’t check out of Christmas altogether after all and that I do actually …

Celebrating imperfection

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” – Salvador Dali I sometimes live in two worlds.  The real one and the one in which I’m Martha Stewart.  When living in the real world I do things like go to my in-laws for Thanksgiving (like this year, woo-hoo!).  When living in I-am-Martha-Stewart world, I do things like invite people over for a holiday dinner, spend weeks obsessing about how to pull off a perfect meal complete with themed cocktails (the pomegranate mimosas were delicious, actually) and turn into a not-so-nice crazed woman (my poor husband) the day of. I love to cook.  And I love sharing that love and good food with my family and friends.  It’s taken me a few years, but I’ve come to realize that I’m not Martha Stewart.  (Wait, what?)  In dream world, I could pull off a magazine-worthy spread.  But in real life, I’m actually not so great under pressure (even if it is self-induced). Thankfully, it didn’t take me too long to realize it’s much more enjoyable for me …

driftwood sculpture art

Life is too short not to stop the car

Dinosaur? Bird? Dinosaur bird?  My husband and I couldn’t decide.  I’ve been driving past this driftwood sculpture along the river for weeks, thinking what a nice photo op it would make.  Last week, we finally decided to stop the car and check it out. Earlier this week, I posted some thoughts about minimalism, busyness, and aligning priorities with values in my life.  It’s a continuing effort (and will remain one), but I had a nice chance to put my thoughts into action by deciding to stop the car for the dinosaur bird.  Even though on this particular day I would have rather continued on my way home, my husband and I took advantage of a little free time to go check it out. And I was glad we did.  It was a great photo op and the impromptu adventure brightened my mood and my day. This post was inspired by the “No Time to Waste” prompt this week.  I especially enjoyed these other takes on this prompt: a reminder that it’s okay to waste time too from LifeInFrame and a reminder to make time for …