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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Photographing What I Know

I can't remember who told me, or if anyone actually ever told me and I just heard it somewhere, but lately I've been thinking a lot about the idea of photographing what I know.  I've been in a camera slump for awhile, and every time I've picked up my creative tool to try to get inspired, I always gravitate towards the four-legged-and-two-wheeled love of my life, Boomer.  This has made me feel kind of guilty, because a part of me will always want to take pictures that Everyone finds Important and Inspiring, and I don't know how a thousand pictures of my dog could ever do that.  But at the same time, I understand the importance of photographing what I know.  Really, what more can one be expected to do?  

I know Boomer is an incredibly important part of my life right now.  I know he's teaching me what it looks like to be the butt of everybody else's pity, even though I don't want anyone to see him like that.  I know every single self-doubting or angry or negative thought I have throughout the day just melts away when I first lay my eyes on his squishy face and shaky dancer's legs after a long day, even if he did pee all over the rug.  And I know, because of him, I am working harder to push myself out of my own comfort zone and learn to grow in ways I don't want to, because I know I am able to, and I know it is good for me.  

These pictures might not mean much to anyone else, but they mean the world to me.  Every day I get to spend with Boomer makes me a better person, and every picture I take of him makes me a better photographer.  I can't help it if this is the phase I'm going through with my art, and even if I could I wouldn't change it for the world.  

Thursday, January 29, 2015

To the Most Beautiful Place in the World

It's Kansas Day!  The state turns 154 years old today, and I am happy to have been a part of it for 27 of those years.  Even though I have recently spent most of my time outside of Kansas, I am always happy to get home for a visit and my heart aches every time I leave.  Growing up in the vast prairies under a teacup sky and through an amazing variety of weather patterns, I can say that I've been one of the lucky ones to have experienced true beauty.  There are many people who have told me beauty is the last word they would use to describe the Sunflower State, but to them I've always posed a question:  have you ever spent a few days alone in the prairie, hearing the wind blow through the grasses like water in the ocean and sleeping under the Milky Way between breathtaking sunsets and sunrises?  Have you ever experienced the spine-chilling event of a cold front suddenly sweeping through and bringing with it tumultuous clouds and spectacular lightning shows?  If you have, and you still don't believe Kansas to be one of the most beautiful places in the world, then I guess we have different views of beauty.

Kansas will always be one of the most spectacular places I've ever been able to see.  I'm lucky to be able to go back every now and again, and even luckier I got to spend my past summer at home.  I took advantage of being there for a few months, and I'd like to share some of my favorite shots during that time.  Happy Birthday, Kansas.  I'm sad I can't be there today, but I'll be sure to keep you in my mind.

Monday, January 12, 2015

To Wash Away

Water catches me.  It holds me down and hypnotizes me.  I could watch a stream, or a river, or an ocean for hours.  It's cleansing, and freeing, and reminds me to stay present.  Forget the past, no need to worry about the future, just let the water wash over my thoughts and pull them back away from my head.  If it weren't for my husband sleeping upstairs and my dog snoring by my side, I would drive to the ocean right now, just to watch those waves in the moonlight.  But I know this is irrational, and instead I will look through my old photos of water, and try to remember how it feels to be around it.