I remember the day very well. I had set out to capture some very specific moments with my kids but came away frustrated that I hadn’t. The kids weren’t cooperating, the sun was too harsh, it was hot outside and when it was all said and done I actually felt a bit like crap. Not only did I not get the images I had hoped to, but I probably got a bit more frustrated with the kids than I should have.
I was going through some 2011 images last week and came across these which were taken last Summer. They immediately spoke to me when I looked at them because they brought up my memory of that day. So I decided to go through them again, this time with totally fresh set of eyes…no expectations…and I saw something different. I saw my kids having fun. I saw the chalk dust on my kids hands and faces. I saw my son Isaiah’s newly grown tooth and boy-ish scrapes and scars. I saw my daughter Zia’s mischievous grin and stare of concentration. I saw the portraits of our two dogs lovingly drawn on the pavement. I saw the shadows dancing. I saw tiny hands. I saw the scruffy winter boots Zia insisted on wearing. I saw the way Isaiah wrapped his arm around Zia in the loving way he always does. I saw love and connection and emotion and fun.
What would have been a throw-away set of images ended up with a new life today.
They aren’t perfect. But neither are we.
I find that one of my biggest personal struggles in my art is being able to let go. To let go of the ‘rules’, let go of what I think an image should look like and just let the moment just be what it is. That doesn’t mean ignore what makes a good image. It just means really learning to see and and document the perfectly imperfect beauty in my every day life. One of my many goals for 2012 is to capture more of this exact thing. Because photography isn’t about silly props or backdrops, or even equipment for me. THIS is what its about, and I’m on a mission to find more of it.
Chalk drawings inspired by some similar ones I saw on Pinterest several months back!
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