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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Are you slowing down long enough to see the loveliness?

So I added another class to the online photography courses that I teach.  It's a composition class for any skill level that shows what makes one photo more interesting than another, and then helps photographers take their own photographs from blah to wow.   I'm always a bit nervous when I offer a new class, not knowing how it's going to go over and knowing that there will be kinks to work out the first time through.  But I can honestly say that this class has been so so rewarding for me!  I am just luvin' it so much!  Luving seeing the images that my students produce and being a part of their photography journey!

So here's where I'm going with this...

This is a photo that Jodi took recently took for an assignment in the class.  She's one of my students and has a pretty good eye to begin with if I don't say so myself!
The colors against that clean white snow and the contrasting fence behind her!  I really was draw to and loved Jodi's image as soon as she posted it!
But what I love loved loved even more was what she said about her photo...
I have passed this fence a million times, but never noticed its loveliness until this assignment.
And those words DID ME IN!  
In a nut shell, that's what photography is about to me!  She got it!  She saw a little bit of loveliness that she wouldn't have noticed otherwise.  That's why I love teaching photography... and I mean LOVE passing on everything I can about cameras and shutters and depth of field, and focus and composition and let's get real here folks... talking about LIFE!  Photography is about seeing life through a lens.  And reluctantly speaking as a mama who now has a grown daughter,  I'll tell you first hand that life moves by at the speed of a tornado, and it's way too easy to miss things.  I don't want to miss all loveliness as life spins by.  I want to see the little things.
my daughter's itty bitty hand in mine
the way my 6'1" tall son takes pride in my job 
the way the wild flowers bloom in November in the desert
how the sky is so blue
the smell of spaghetti sauce simmering on a cold fall afternoon. 

Unless I'm very intentional about seeing the little ordinary miracles and savoring their sweetness, then I'm just a gal spinning in a hurricane as life passes me by.  I have to be intentional about it cause everything seems to try to sweep me away from seeing the Lord's blessing and keeping me from slowing down for a moment to appreciate them.  Phone calls, doctor appointments, traffic, demands, stress, money... they're a necessary part of my reality, yet they try to rob me of the joy of my ordinary miracles!  For me, my camera helps alleviate that.  Photography condenses all the world down to a single frame and a single moment to be captured and savored forever. Jodi saw that in this scene.  This lovely little fence line contrasting against the snow, and how together they make a wonderful backdrop for her gorgeous daughter.  This moment will never come back, but the beauty of it is captured in a photo. 

So here's my question to you... are you slowing down long enough to see the loveliness around you?  Or are you spinning in the tornado?  Maybe you have something else that helps you see your ordinary miracles all around you.  Mine is photography, but maybe you paint. Or take long drives or Saturday afternoons.  Maybe it's gardening.  Or playing the piano.  Maybe writing showing you how precious life is.  Or knitting.  Or yoga. Or who knows!  But I hope everyone out there not only has a vice (or two or three) that slows the world and us busy mamas down and shows us how glorious the ordinary can be but also regularly practices it.  If you don't have one, find one.  Scratch out some time and invest in yourself.  Your world will be sweeter because of it.

If you didn't hear anything about my new Composition 101 class, (click HERE for more info) you didn't miss anything.  Before I even had a chance to advertise, I offered the class to my past students, and they filled it up quite quickly. But I'm excited to and definitely going to offer it again... probably in the spring of 2015.

And ps-thank you Jodi for not only taking my class and sharing your picture, but getting it.


  1. I love this!! And not because of the pic of my daughter. Well, not just that. :-) But I need to remember to slow down more often or at least remind myself to be IN the moment instead of stressing about what is next. A couple days ago, I took a picture of my kids when they were having an impromptu dance party. I would have never thought to do that before I took up photography. And I am so glad I did. Everyone was laughing, everyone was getting along, and it was a perfect moment. It was so fleeting. A couple minutes later, someone was upset about something, but thanks to my camera, the moment is eternal. And really, I have you to thank for it! So, thank you so much!!!

    1. Jodi, I know that YOU know that often mama's days are crazy. And in the middle of it all, sometimes those moments can be fleeting. That's a great word for it. I can feel your dance party pic all the way over here. And it feels AWESOME!

  2. Love this post!! I SO GET THIS!!!! Great pic Jodi!!! Thanks for sharing your wisdom and thoughts Nancy!


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