To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.
I remember getting off the school bus as a young child at the beginning of Christmas break and having the bus driver say to me, " See you next year!" I turned to her and must have looked so confused for I had always associated the new year with the beginning of school and here we were just days away from Christmas. I got off the bus wondering if I was indeed done with school for that year. Someone set me straight however, and I found myself back on that bus a couple of weeks later in the same grade. It is funny how I remember this so clearly and I wonder if it was the beginning of the joy I now find in a New Year.
Some folks get up January 1st and treat it like any other day, but for me it signals so much more. It is permission to start over, to start fresh, try new things, and set some goals all with a clean slate. So of course some time is devoted in the last few weeks of December to set all of these great intentions into motion. There are lists being made, ideas explored and things set up so all will be ready come January 1st. Seems silly I know to some people and maybe it is the teacher inside of me, but I like a plan and I like a fresh start.
The older I get the shorter my list is and if the last few years are an indication, my goals are maybe not met, but they are at least worked on. This didn't always happen when I was younger. Part of this is due to the fact that I have more time and mindfulness now and the fact that I have come to understand that all in all, what makes a life grand, in my eyes anyway, has very little to do with things or success, but rather more to do with simplicity, awareness, gratitude and kindness.
Over the course of my life I have immersed myself in many different passions; singing, pottery, gardening, beading, cooking, writing, and now photography. Gardening almost does not count any longer because I don't think much about it any more. I don't make plans, I don't read garden magazines or pour over books ... I just do it. The same goes for cooking. Both are such an integral part of who I am that they are now second nature.
So will this will be the year of photography? I hope so. To be truthful it scares me a bit because up to this point 75% of what comes out of my camera is luck. And I am pretty happy with the results. I feel that I have a style and a pretty good eye for that little niche which I think of as mine. And I know to get better I will have to move out of that comfort zone and things will get worse and that delete button will get a workout. I know I will get frustrated and have to get rid of entire batches of photos, just like I use to do with batches of bread or roses, that just did not work where I planted them.
So much of what drives me currently is the process, The observing and the noticing of the right now and I do so much of it haphazardly, but with a full heart; a bit like throwing wildflower seeds on a patch of ground which has not been prepared and crossing my fingers. Sure some of them will bloom, but I know from experience what can happen to a garden with a bit of preparation, how it will flourish and bloom and produce. So this is the year of uncrossing my fingers and moving beyond luck.
what have you got planned?