Monday, July 17, 2017

A Day in the Life

"To be present might be exactly what we've needed all along. To feel a place while we're in it. To be fully with people while sharing time. To know this moment and this moment only may actually be the closest thing to ecstatic living we'll experience.

So wherever you are, be there. In your body. One foot in front of the next."
-Victoria Erickson

I take a lot of pictures. It's no secret. Everybody knows that. People comment about it often. Whether it's to compliment me or to say I should start a photography business or to tell me to put the camera down, my photography obsession is a popular topic. I enjoy photography. It sings to the creative part of my being. I have this need to exercise the artsy side of me. I have a tendency to look at the world as if through a viewfinder of a camera. I mentally compose photographs constantly, subconsciously even, and when my camera is out of reach or I'm in a situation where I am unable to click the shutter to see that photograph come to life, then I file it away for another day or feel the inspiration for what it was and let it go.

Up to this point, I've been completely self-taught. Anything I've needed to learn, I've consulted YouTube or Google, my trusty teachers. But, mostly, it's been a lot of trial and error and try, try, try again. Well, a few weeks ago I won a seat in an online photography workshop and got my first taste of learning from the experts. It was definitely an insightful experience that has provided me with valuable information about myself as a photographer. Most importantly, it has affirmed the passion within me. Because photography is a passion of mine, and I want to keep learning and improving and evolving. And maybe one day I will consider myself more than just a hobbyist and pursue it further. Or maybe I'll be forever satisfied with using this particular art form as a way to document those oh-so-fleeting moments in my children's lives. I mean, that's the real reason I ever picked up a camera in the first place anyway.

One of the assignments in the photography workshop was to complete your dream shoot. My particular love is documentary style photography. Those real life moments captured for always. So I decided to do a Day in the Life shoot. I've done a series of these before in the past, where I documented every moment of a single day in our lives, but never with the intention of the photographs being anything other than a visual storyteller for my blog. Suddenly, the thought of acting like a real photographer approaching this assignment brought on some anxiety and a whole lot of self doubt. In fact, I nearly scrapped the idea because of it. But, in the end, I knew it was because of these fears that I had found my "dream shoot" and I owed it to myself to follow through. I just wasn't prepared for how hard it would be to be both the photographer and the mom all day long. It probably would have been easier to use a different family to document so I could have been solely the photographer. I set up the trusty tripod a few times to get myself in the frame to more authentically capture our day.

Submitting the photos for the assignment was nerve-wracking, to say the least, but it was also empowering. I did it! And the critiques were good, even the constructive criticism--especially the constructive criticism. I loved the constructive criticism the most. We can only grow if we accept help, right?

So here is my most recent A Day in the Life--a momtog (mom photographer) following around her children with a camera as they go about their day. This is us. No glam. No direction. No prompts. Just us living our lives. And a camera to record it. (July 5, 2017)

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