I have contemplated over and over, what to do with this light thing I’ve had going for a few years now. I most certainly don’t want to let the group dissolve into the facebook abyss, but trying to find a sustainable way to keep it going hasn’t been easy. I didn’t do all I wanted to last year. The idea was a good one, but the year took its toll on me and my family. In the interest of finding a way to make this really work this year, I’m going to try a different approach. The monthly themes of light were wonderful. Having an entire month to find a certain type of light is completely doable for most. But what if we just embraced the light around us all year long? What if we just noticed the light in all its forms as it comes to us and smiled at it. Instead of pushing to find any given type of light, often frustrating us because we’re probably searching TOO hard, what if we just looked around and appreciated the light we’re given each day?
I want to push the idea of embracing your light all year this year. If there is one thing that I would want people to learn from me, it is that. I don’t wish the light to be different, I just accept it as it is and I work with it. I don’t see any reason to do any different. I don’t wish I lived in a different home with better light because I honestly love the light in each of the homes I’ve lived in, which has been a lot. I realized recently, I’ve lived in a different house every year since I began taking photographs of my children seriously in 2011. I have not had much say, if any, in where we’ve lived, but I continue to find the light no matter what kind of space I live in. The year I spent in a dark apartment was the year I grew the most. It was the year I truly became content with whatever space I was given. It was the year that pushed me to truly find the light when the light wasn’t so obvious. When you really have to look for it, you’re going to find it anywhere you go.
This is about more than just finding the light and embracing the light we have, though, friends. It really comes down to embracing what life has given us and being truly content with it. Some of us are and some of us aren’t. Some of us have had significant life events that have changed us, some of us change little by little through the years. Either way, I do think that contentment in life and light is key to being happy with our work. (Side note: being content does not mean we have to become stale in our work, there’s still plenty of room to grow, always, no matter how content we are.)
As I talk about being content with your work, I want to talk a bit about envy, too. There is so much of it when it comes to photography. I see so many wishing they lived in a better home, or in a place with better views. “Well, if I lived in a cool location like that, I could take amazing photographs like that, too!” I mean, sure, some places are more incredible than others, but it’s all a matter of perspective. I think too, that as humans, we are in this constant state of wanting something bigger and better. Always lusting after new gear and such. We see others’ photos of their everyday and it’s so new and fresh to us. To us. But have you stopped to think that to them, that is their normal, boring, everyday life? Have you considered that others probably think the same about the photos you share? We see something different than our own normal and we equate it to better, when that’s simply not true. Yes, it is different, but that doesn’t mean what you’ve got isn’t beautiful. If you’re tired of the same scenery in your photographs, that’s a sign that you need to get out and explore more. You don’t have to go far and you don’t have to spend a ton of money. There is always somewhere you can go for a change in scenery.
Change your perspective, get out with your camera more. Be content with where you live, be content with your light, and make everyone looking at your photographs wish they lived where you do and had light like yours!
No photography blog post is complete without some photos, so I’m going to share some from the last few years in the various places/homes we’ve lived in. They’ve all been quite different in terms of light, but I honestly have loved the light in each and every one. As we move forward in the group, I want to encourage you to continue to share your photos and your thoughts on the light. I may just start featuring monthly again because I know everyone loves that. An album and open theme all year of “embrace your light”, what do you say?
I’m sharing this image first because, as you can see, the house itself was… not ideal. Those swamp coolers you see on either side of the window, literally spit dirt/mud into my house daily. Just a small example of the crap we put up with while living here, but I found some of the most amazing light in this house. It’s all give and take… and perspective. The next three photos were taken in this house at various times of the year.
The rest of these photos are just a mix of at home (wherever it was at the time) and out and about.