Sunday, April 26, 2015

How Photography Creates Gratitude

How do you notice joy?

I got up early-- too early, 3am. But for some reason it was a happy hour this time. I sat down and wrote for a few hours and thought. I took a shower. Cheyenne woke up a little early, and I asked her if she wanted to go on a little walk.

Morning hours are incredibly beautiful. I love the soft light, the quietness of the world. You're alone with the birds and the beat of your heart. I love taking morning walks. Unfortunately I'm not a morning person-- and except by some stroke of magic I'm not out in it as often as I would like.

Cheyenne excitedly puts on her shoes and we walk around the block. My hair is still wet from the shower. We say a quick goodbye to Ben working in the backyard, who's already so focused he hardly notices. I bring my camera which hangs awkwardly at my side.

Textures and small details start to stick out to me. Click goes the shutter. I feel a little pretentious. What am I, a nature photographer? Can't I walk around the block without having to document everything? But my heart starts to change and beat a little faster. Through the lens I see something I didn't before--- joy.

It's been a long, dark winter for me. Many of the patterns and habits that keep me centered were slowed to a trickle. I didn't realize this was one of them. Through the lens of my camera I can see, again, things that I love. It's details. It's beauty. It's gratitude.

Taking pictures doesn't need to be about showing a sliver of your life to others or your technical skills. It can be about noticing. Getting up close and personal and saying I am grateful for this. I notice this, and I am glad it is here.

I am going to give joy and gratitude my attention and hang up embarrassment. I know where true happiness lies. And it's here to stay.

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