All posts tagged: storytelling

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 …

Indoor winter fun

“To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.” – Emily Dickinson I recently had an opportunity to photograph friends and learned how much faster kids get as they get older. I thought my toddler was quick, but now I know they get even faster and harder to capture as they grow. And they don’t sit still for long. Or ever.  🙂

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 …

childhood christmas tree

Happy holiday tips

“It’s rather difficult, when one has MANY friends, to show loyalty to them all at the same time…” – Tove Jannson Holiday planning and a busy schedule have put a bit of a damper on my time for photo editing (as well as my ability to articulate coherent thoughts), so instead of trying to force something meaningful to sprout from my own mind, I offer some meaningful sprouts from others’ minds. The Hands Free Way to Photograph your Christmas – With Christmas just around the corner, I confess to having stressed just a little about the best way to photograph Christmas morning.  My son may actually be interested in opening gifts this year and I want to capture that, but I also want to be present and just enjoy the moment with my family.  So I was excited to come across Melissa Stottman’s tutorial on using an interval timer as a hands free way to photograph Christmas.  Hands free and I get to be in my Christmas morning photographs!  And the bow on top (if you’re so inclined)? A time lapse video with the shots that also makes a …

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 …