My initial attempt was to write a blog post once a week! I kind of suck at the blogging thing. Even though today is Monday, a day late, these thoughts have been following me around all day. Not that I missed the blog post, or that I could wait another week because I am not really sure who is reading these. I will not even press too hard on the grammar (I have more than 2000 edits waiting to be sifted through). I lived and laughed and worked all weekend getting some really awesome shots. I froze and I got to see some really awesome kids and adults show their horsemanship skills and I met some really great people.
Going about my day, hauling hay, editing pics, chasing children and hauling horses, I kept coming back to these thoughts:
We are born and we die, but the important stuff is in between. The kisses, laughs and hugs. The way we make dinner and eat together. The smell of the horses as they nicker to me in the morning patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) waiting for their feed. The way the sun rises over the mountain to the East. The sounds of the metal roof thawing out from the cool overnight temps as the sun hits it full force. A hug and a kiss at random from someone I love. The way the air feels as the sun warms it and it hits my face.
We all know the date we were born, but the day we depart this earth, is unknown. To live every single day, to relish each and every breath, a sunrise, the smell of a horses neck.... these things are living.
Tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Take more photos,
Stare relentlessly at photos.
They are what we leave behind. Weather we are behind the lens, or in front, they are PROOF that we lived, loved, laughed and above all smiled!
EVERY SINGLE DAY!
You may have seen this tag in some of my photos, and even my dear sister commented on the strangeness of it. I grew up in the Midwest, and while I started photographing while in Ohio, I did not really understand what I was doing until I got to Arizona. I spent long hours figuring out exposure and how on earth to keep that brilliant blue sky, blue, without blowing it out of exposure! I photographed horses and families and kids! It was an awesome place to gain so much experience!
As life happens, things change and challenges arise! I moved with my family and business to the Pacific Northwest! As drastic as that may seem to some, it has been a challenge to say the least to shift my photography!
It really isn’t just taking pictures! It is richness and tones and texture! The desert is beautiful, but then again, so are the mountains and the green green trees! It is almost as if I have exchanged that deep blue expanse of a sky for gray tones, clouds with contrast and so much green!
I grow with each new adventure I take! I have photographed now in less than ideal arenas, struggling to capture motion that once stopped a bullet the moment it popped a balloon! Saturday I can mark off photographing in the rain! Yes, there was an umbrella involved, I got some shots from my truck and the whole while thinking “wow, I wonder what the rain is going to do to these photos”
The rain and moisture in the air brings out a richness to photos that I have only captured here in the PNW! The cold and rain also creates a steam off of the horses, that messes with the deepness of black in the riders jackets.
Most of all, it creates noise! Look at the black in this photo of the rider and the horse! Now look closer at the white specks from the rain and the wet on both the rider and the horse!
Gone are the days of full on sun, but I welcome this challenge, and the ones to come! Through challenges we grow and change! While I left pieces of my heart and soul in the SW, I am thrilled with the challenges and textures the PNW has brought to my world!
Southwest Girl in a Northwest World!
I read a memoir recently, by a well known photographer. She said that she believes that photos steal memories. That by looking at them, we re-create that time and place, until the memory becomes something different than it was originally. I have been thinking about this passage since reading it a few months ago. I thought about her words as I went through the thousands of photos left behind after my grandparents passed. My grandfather you see, fashioned himself as a photographer of sorts. Did he announce his gift, no. Did he lack education and for sure composition, absolutely. Most of the photos were of drab landscapes with no particular focal point. What others miss when they look at these stacks and stacks of photos is that they are what remain of him. They are pieces of how he saw the world. Some over exposed and some under, but a glimpse into his mind nonetheless. He captured the smiles around him, the landscape and his pets and family. He loved and he lived and in the collection of photos, what remains is an overwhelming sense of happiness and joy.
I will cherish these photographs, even if they alter my memory of the events as they took place. I will look upon the old chair sitting in the woods and remember that he saw that every single day he sat in his hunting shack. I will hear his voice chuckle as he watched his dog running around. More over, I will remember to take more photos, so that I can leave pieces of myself for my children, and my children's children.