The Ebb and Flow of Photography {Embracing the ‘Ebb’}

        Many posts ago, I was mentioning how I was shooting a lot.  Like, too much.  And that I was hoping that the ebb was soon coming to the flow that I was currently riding.  It is so easy to let taking photos take over because the shooting and documenting process is so enjoyable … but then the ‘take over’ part comes with the abundance of images I have to cull, edit, blog, print and organize.

        It has been obvious to me for some time now that I need to get a handle on this process if photography is going to continue to be welcome in my family’s life.  I know I could cull with a heavier hand, but that hurts my heart to do.  So I knew that the best option as an ‘artist’ and a sane mama would be to simply shoot less.  I prayed for that and while it may seem silly to include that in my prayers, I know that this would improve my focus on the priorities I should have, while still practicing this passion that He gave me.  I believe that falls into ‘His will’ for my life, so you betcha I’m gonna pray about it.

        I can’t say I was exactly ready for Him to so fully answer this prayer and actually I sort of forgot that I’d prayed it.  When I stopped wanting to grab my camera or bring it with me on our adventures I though, “Oh no!  What’s going on? This is just wrong!” and I felt guilt and anxiety over it!  That is silly.   What ended up happening over the course of these past few months is, I think, is me getting a bit more of a realistic grasp on what it is to incorporate photography into my life.  Embracing that it is okay not to bring my camera, it is okay to take only 6 photos of an outing, it is okay to take 50 of another.  It is not okay (or necessary) for me to take it everywhere I go and take 50 photos each time.  🙂  Gosh, I feel like I’ve typed those exact words before.

        All that to say, I hope this continues.  I hope you don’t feel guilty or anxious like I did if you choose not to document every experience you and your family have.  Right now, shooting, for me, feels like a gentle, long exhale. Rather than a frantic, deep inhale, and I’m glad about that.  Be present, be involved, and take photos if you feel the desire.  That is what I did on this recent trip to the Oregon Gardens and while I felt a stab of sadness and confusion of how I came home with so few images, I eventually shook myself by the shoulders and said, “IT’S FINE!”

        My mom took these for me … Matt was out of town and wanted us to send him a photo of the 4 of us, so we plopped down to do just that.  First with sticky weeds covering Cooper and Kaden …

        Then, fortunately, without the sticky weeds …

        Then with a different pose so my feet didn’t look quite so goofy …

        And then one with Grammie …

        The next day, I gave Cooper and Kaden a generous trim-of-the-bangs.  🙂

        I’ve seen these gardens a hundred times but have never stopped to take in the peonies.  These are one flower I adore, but don’t have in my gardens so I took a second to soak them in.

        So that’s where I’m currently at with photography.  Here’s to photography naturally fitting into our lives rather than our lives being fitted around our photography.  <3

        Photography friends … I shot all of these with the 85 1.4D.  I hadn’t used it for awhile and decided it needed some love.  I was greatly reminded of why I love this lens!

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        • Stephanie George - I so completely understand the nagging unease of feeling like you didn’t come home with enough photos. But look what you DID get! Love the portrait with your mom. And the close-up flower shots are a dream. I typically shoot lifestyle type photos, but upon seeing those flower images I immediately thought, I hope she included which lens/settings she used for those (so thanks for that!). It doesn’t take many pictures to fill a spread in a photo book, so lately that is how I am limiting myself when it comes to photography. If I took enough shots to fill a spread (and lets be honest, it sometimes only takes one awesome photo to do that) then I have enough. If I want to take more, great, but if I don’t, it’s OKAY! 🙂ReplyCancel

        • Louisa - Aaah great photos!Just think of it as quality not quantity Lacey! Can I ask a photog question?? How do you those lovely skin tones-esp when in green/grassy areas like above? I am always amazed by how natural you get your boys skin to look!ReplyCancel

          • Lacey - Hi Louisa! Thank you so much! I hear you for sure on those green skin tones! Those are created by the harshness of the light you’re working with. So, here, we had very soft, overcast light so not much color was bouncing around as a result. When you are shooting out in the open when the sun is shining brightly, you are much more likely to pick up those crazy greens on your subjects’ skin. And it’s a pain! 🙂 I actually just uploaded some photos of Kaden for a future post and there are major color casts on him … so, you’ll see that lighting makes all the difference. 🙂ReplyCancel

        • Shannon - Oh gosh! Thank you for sharing this! You always seem to post things that are EXACTLY on par with what I’m also going through. I just took over 2000 photos on a five day family vacation (Geez, right… but it was Hawaii) and I’m now culling through them…and its painful. And as a result of overshooting and being overwhelmed in the culling, editing, etc. process, I have NO desire whatsoever to pick up my camera. My family is confused about my lack of enthusiasm for the camera and the well intentioned comments about the lack of camera are making me feel super guilty about not documenting the moments. Let’s just say I’m going to be adding a very similar prayer…and one for for peace of mind with the gifts he’s given!ReplyCancel

        • Mom - It was so nice visiting the Oregon Gardens again. I think you were much more relaxed and and we all enjoyed our time….with the exception of “rock climbing”!! 🙂 I love, love, love the photos with you & GCK and with me and GCK.
          XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

        • Carol - I agree with Louisa. How do you get some perfect skin tones? When I shoot my grandkids in my backyard their faces take on the green tones of the grass. Your mom takes great photos too! 🙂ReplyCancel

        • Erin B - Lacey, wow! These images are beautiful! I often feel anxious when I”m on a vacation and don’t pull out my camera that often. But if I do I feel so overwhelmed afterwards with culling…. I have so much to cull/edit right now… I also want to say how much I love your writing.. Do you by chance have any tips on writing/blog posts/books, etc..?? I feel i’m not much of a writer and sometimes why I hate blogging. I’ve tried doing a journal, and should try again, but I always forget about it till a year later 🙂ReplyCancel

          • Lacey - Hi Erin! Thank you so much! I definitely understand the anxiety that comes from both sides, of over shooting and of not shooting enough. Occasionally I find that happy place. 😉 I love using Lightroom to organize, cull and edit and am so thankful how much that can cut down on the time the process takes. And thank you for your sweet words about my writing! Sometimes I wonder if it makes sense because I write so much like I talk. 🙂 So that means a lot to me! I hear you on the journalling … I find that challenging too, but I actually just treat my blog as my journal so perhaps that’s why it works? I’ve not read anything specifically on the topic of blogging and writing, but wonder if you just approached it like you’re writing to someone specific as you blog. I just write like I’m talking to either myself or my friend and that helps the words flow a lot better than if I’m just writing out words. <3ReplyCancel

        • Veronika - Hi Lacey

          I can hear you! I had to make a conscious (heartbreaking) decision NOT to take my camera to our 2 family outings last weekend and although I was dissapointed because there were loads of kangaroos very close to us and although living in Australia we don’t have a descent photo with kids and roos in it, I got over it! So thank yo for sharing. You are not alone. I guess we need to do it for the sake of being present in the moment…

          Take care.

          Love you storytelling through photos so keep photographing please.


          • Lacey - Hi Veronika! Thank you for your comment and your encouragement. <3 That is so hard when you see an image in your head that you'd love to capture, like your children with the kangaroos (how COOL!) but don't have your camera with you. I admit, I didn't take mine on an evening walk the other night, but then the light and the activity we started doing was so beautiful that I literally ran back to the house for my camera! Hah! But still I tried to limit the number I took and from that set I'm going to try to limit the number I edit. 😉ReplyCancel

        • Sarah - Beautiful shots, especially the ones with you and your boys and the peonies. I greatly appreciate your advice too. I struggle with the ‘need’ to document everything but honestly it stresses me out and it stresses my family out too. It’s awesome that you prayed about it. I will do that. God did give us our passions and He wants us to use them for His glory and our joy!ReplyCancel

        • Jolene - So, so pretty! And you and your boys, Lovely!ReplyCancel

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