Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. ~Sam Keen
I have come to really cherish this time together after dinner. Resting on a mat or in a seat, I look forward to sharing the stories of our days as we float in the water. It’s so soothing and relaxing…the light is soft and the water is warm…it’s such a peaceful way to the end the day.
I have to laugh though…only in the paradox of this technological age does it make any kind of sense that in order to recharge our spirits we have to unplug ourselves from our electronics.
The really crazy part is that I often find that I have to give myself permission to step away from whatever chore/project/mess I have going on to unplug like this. But I love how when I disconnect from the outside world, then I can really reconnect to myself and others. And for me…
Connection = Magic.
Now before you say it, I know…not everyone has access to a pool in their backyard. I get it. But the pool really isn’t the point here – my guess is that there is something you enjoy doing that helps you to unwind and recharge. So, in case you’re like me and need permission, I’m giving it to you! Go on a drive. Take a walk. Sit inside where it’s cool and read. Let your mind wander. Even if it’s just for five minutes! Unplug yourself and feel your soul recharge!
So real quick, before I wrap up this post, I want to share a thought about photography as it relates to the photos I have included in this post.
Whenever I am asked what kind of photography I do, my usual response is that I am a ‘lifestyle’ photographer. And I say that because lifestyle photography is a fairly broad category that encompasses many different styles (or disciplines) of photography – for me that looks like a cross between documentary, nature, and still life.
Anyway, when it comes to documentary photography (in its purest sense), the underlying philosophy is that it is considered bad form for the photographer to interfere in any way with the subjects or actions in the scene he or she is trying to capture, and that any sort of coaching or manipulation by the photographer would then render the resulting photograph void of all authenticity. And I suppose that for professional photographers, tasked with the job of reporting the news or documenting historical events, photographic accuracy would be of utmost importance. For me though, while I do wish to capture the details of my very real, very ordinary life, I don’t hold myself to that kind of contextual fidelity.
Case in point…in the first photo, Tripp and I were heading outside to sit in the pool one evening. We both had our insulated drink containers with us and it just so happened that we set them down right next to each other. The ‘his & hers’ element of this made me smile and made me want to capture the moment. So I arranged the containers a little closer together, then I set up the composition in my camera and used the self-timer to take the shot.
Similarly, in the second photo, Tripp was floating so peacefully in the pool one evening and the light was landing on the water so beautifully. But at the time, Tripp was actually floating in the shade on the other side of the pool. So when I grabbed my camera, I asked him to push himself over towards the pocket of pretty light for my shot.
The point I am trying to make here is that, in both of these cases, neither of these scenes were contrived in any way that would be disingenuous of the story that I shared today. Rather, I would argue that the minor coaching and manipulation on my part allowed me to artistically capture the heart and the story of these authentic moments. Which of course, the heart and the story is where the magic is at and that is what matters most to me.
When it comes to finding magic and capturing these moments in your photos, my advice would be to consult your heart before you pick up your camera. Let your heart guide you and show you what matters most. Then, don’t be afraid to arrange yourself or others so that the magic finds its way into your frame. And finally, I just wholeheartedly encourage you take time to unplug and immerse yourself in your own magic moments.