I Asked Him What He Wanted Me To Photograph

        My get-up-and-go-drive to photograph our life has been waning.  Decreasing.  Struggling.  Maybe it is just a season, as I know I’ve talked of this fluctuation before.  It could be because it is winter {almost}.  Or because I’ve not been feeling well.  Or because its been 6 1/2 years and things change.

        I think it is that.  Things change.  They ebb and flow, but they also just change.  I know that I used to rely on photography to help me see the beauty around me and to freeze it forever so that I could someday show my boys this beauty I’ve seen.  In their childhood, their growth, in our family .

        But now, I just see it.  My eyes have been opened through photography and now I see it without my viewfinder.  And, now, the boys seem to see it on their own, too.

        And I suppose gradually I’ve felt like photography has become too much about the past and not enough about the present.  I capture images to preserve the past and in doing so, I keep myself from really being in the present.  Editing keeps me weeks behind life as my queqe is full, while the days are constantly moving forward.  I don’t want to forget the past, of course, but I’m needing to see the present as it is; as the beauty that it is on its own, not just as the potential for a photograph.  I want to capture images that show them their past, BUT my active presence in their day-to-day will shape their future far more than them being able to see photographs of what led them there to that future.

        I’m not quitting.  That would be crazy-talk.  But, I am being okay with not being as deeply devoted to being a photographer.  I’m more than okay with my identity in that dwindling a bit.  I’m okay with not posting on Facebook regularly, if ever again.  I’m not going to freak out about climbing my way out of this ‘rut’ and I’m okay with not calling it a ‘rut’ at all.  I think it is settling into life with photography in its proper place.

        But, in this new found place, I’m doing 2 things to simplify and maybe make the few photos I do take a bit more meaningful:

        1. Trying to edit just in Lightroom … I’m a creature of habit so this has not been an easy transition for me!
        2. Asking my boys, “What do you want me to photograph?”  … it feels pretty cool to be at the point that I can ask them that and know that I’ll get sincere answers.

        I asked Gage and he gave me a few ideas; climbing trees, building forts, throwing the football and hitting the ball with the bat.  And, him with the cats.  We all have a deep affection for them and loosing our little girl kitty late this summer was a good reminder to savor this time with them.

        While he savors his kitties, I’ll savor the times that I do feel the pull toward taking a photograph.  Savor, but not stress over those I’m capturing and those I’m not.

        Now… you know what always happens to me when I make statements like this?  The opposite happens.  I’ve been feeling this post building for a while now, so I’m sharing … but I will not be one bit surprised if just around the corner inspiration strikes and my camera stops collecting dust.  😉  If not though, I’m good with where I’m at.  And I’ll feel okay if the ebb is more than the flow.

        Thank you for reading … I appreciate the minutes you spend with me here more than you know.  Like I said, I’m not quitting … I’ll still be here.  Who knows what’s in store? 🙂

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        • Carol - Oh I hope you take breaks now and then but Please, Please don’t ever stop!!!!ReplyCancel

        • Megan - I absolutely understand this! I’ve felt like this before too!ReplyCancel

        • DJ - I just found your web site today while searching the internet, so haven’t yet seen enough to know you well. Take this for what it’s worth – photographING is only about the present, I think, not the past. It’s just in chronological order. For most of us, taking pictures is what we call photography. Obviously, you demonstrate a much more vast definition of the word, a true art.

          I spend much more time on the internet than I really want to, or should do, in order to find photographs usable for medical articles; and most of it, well let’s be honest, is pretty base and low-quality. Once in awhile, even if by accident, you see something uplifting and worthwhile. You don’t need to take my word for it, “Google” topics for yourself and compare honestly.

          I’m glad you put in the effort to do what you have done; and, I’ll repeat to you what was once said to me when I let someone know I wouldn’t be able to help with a diabetic camp for kids one year. “I just want you to know that I, for one, will miss you sorely. It will be as if there are no frogs in the swamp, no thimbleberries ripening on the mountainside or no stars laughing overhead at midnight.”

          With all its faults, the internet surely makes the world a smaller place.ReplyCancel

        • Alicia - Thank you for sharing this. I have been having a hard time editing and printing my photos because of the amount of time it takes me. So I decided to take the photo and hopefully in the new year I will be better at getting them into print, but if not I am okay with that….I am okay with photography looking different during different seasons for me. Right now it is my journal b/c I don’t get to do that much right now with two littles…I like that it can change and be flexible and not have to look the same in every season. I like that it opens us up to noticing things and fully engaging in life. 🙂ReplyCancel

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