Where there is light, you can find shadow.
My work, as you know, is generally very bright, airy, and ethereal. I love my highlights being blown out. I love losing digital information. I love over-shooting a stop or two. It feels like you are reaching in to the sunlight. You can almost feel the warmth on your skin. Piercing you. Illuminating you. It's an aliveness. It's light and all of a sudden you feel like you ARE the light that which lights you.
Maybe I gravitated towards light and bright imagery because growing up wasn't easy for me. It was dark. It was difficult. It was painful. It was lonely.
Maybe that's why I love capturing people who are just full of so much joy, full of happiness, deeply in love... and when they stand in the light I feel as though their beautiful spirit is home. Union. Yolked. In yoga. In the purest form of love.
I turned a page on darkness a long time ago and embraced the light.
I remember going to coffee with a friend and she was the first one who pointed that out to me... She said, (para-phrasing) "I think it's beautiful that although you had a tough beginning to your life you now live your life capturing people when they are their happiest."
I never even thought about it. But its true... we all have traumas and histories. Often we like to remember the bad more than the good because we are so afraid. We want to remember the bad so that we don't forget to protect ourselves and see it coming the second time around. It's biological. But photography, capturing moments, those happy moments, it can be a beautiful reminder that you are alive, that you are beautiful, and that you have so much love in you to share with the world.
So... when given the task to photograph shadows I knew I could approach it either two ways. I could approach it the bright way, which I love, which is part of me, which is also my brand...but... I've been craving darkness, depth. mood. Maybe it's because it reflects how this winter has been so far. Cocooned. Still. Searching. Dark. A little painful but in the most beautiful way.
The trees remind me of bronchioles of the lungs. Every time I see their shape reflected on the side of a building or the ground I think of my father. He has two lung diseases in the early stages but it still grips me with fear. Everytime I see those bare, spindely trees, I think how grateful I am to take a full breath. And then I do.
I think about how so many of us breathe so shallow, hardly making any sound. I then think that we are given a finite amount of breath in this lifetime. I think about the times when I get terrible anxiety and feel like I can't breathe at all. Feeling like I am under water. Then my mind comes back to my dad again. The tress. The breath. The sun. The shadows... Then I fill up every part of me with the biggest breath imaginable and say a prayer of gratitude.
Don't take your breath for granted, soak in the richness of life that you are given with every one you take.
follow the loop
There are a handful of photographers participating - if you loved my blog post and wanted to see another #15on15 / #ADayInTheLife... follow over to Miranda Hoffman's blog and follow the loop. Miranda is from Saskatoon, a passionate mother to her boys and rescue pup she photographs family and wedding lifestyle.
We will be doing this every month on the 15th so stay tuned for the next one! If you are a Canadian photographer and would love to participate, let us know! :)
Community is a beautiful thing, we want to shine a light on all of the incredible photographers here in Canada. We are all unique, we have different stories, practices, visual eyes, post processing techniques and that is a beautiful thing. We are better together. We can love each others work, style, and business succeses, we can be supportive, loving, and confident as a community, as artists. #CommunityOverCompetition