The play of two hearts

It was early that morning when she messaged me. I could hear the rain pouring down outside in typical West Coast fashion. I had been waiting anxiously for this shoot for weeks.  I was dreading reading her message, thinking it was going to say something like, "another day I guess". But I should have known better. She's an artist. She sees the beauty and the light in everything.

"Yes!! it's our day woman!", she started, following up instantly with a "How are you feeling today- up for a stormy photo session?". My entire body swelled with excitement. The energy was on point. This was our day, rain or shine.

By the afternoon, when our shoot was scheduled, the clouds had begun to lift. As we approached our spot, she shared with me that she had no idea where she was.

I like showing people places on this beautiful island that are new to their eyes and senses. And after a short walk down a trail blanketed with maple leaves, there it was, the lake I had been waiting to show her.

She takes everything in.

She turns back to me and smiles.

This is our spot. This is where I will attempt to capture the beauty that exudes from this woman as she creates life.

Few things make me feel more grounded than when I am creating art, and that is what photography is for me, art.

We begin to play off of ideas and I am immediately drawn to the stillness of the water. It's time to play with reflection.

She takes it to an entirely different level and I am so taken back.  As I watch her, I begin to reflect myself, on this experience, and everything it is doing for me.  For the first time in a long time, I feel an energy that is so full of life.

And then she sits and stops moving.

I take in the beauty of the stillness.

Nature is peaceful for me. I spend a lot of time alone in nature, just being still. Today, she is the epitome of peace and stillness.

It's the end of October and it's the hottest day I can remember feeling in a long time. We've had herons fly over us, dragonflies swarm around us, and the sun shine down on us since we arrived.

A man has shown up on the dock now and he begins to play music. It's almost time to go.

Can you stand at the end of the dock?, I ask her. I just want a couple more shots.

The light loves her. It parallels her curves where life is growing and I am reminded that the highest form of art is life.






Remember when?

Remember when you were young enough to not care what anyone else thought of you? Me either.

People ask me all the time what I like to photograph the most. My head always go to the same place; every time I think about kids. I think about how I can talk to them during the shoot as if they don't have a giant black lens pointing at them within a couple of feet. They are engaged in our conversation. They are answering my questions. They are laughing with me, mostly at me. They are enjoying their day, the same way they would if I wasn't there. And that, that void of what anyone else is thinking about them; that is why my answer will always be "kids".

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I am currently taking a mediation course. I enrolled to learn new skills. And although I am doing that, I am also learning that sometimes it is more vital to unlearn how we habitually attach to things and ideas that don't better our lives. We attach to what others think of us far too often.  I am guilty of this. It is something I am trying to work on; I think I do most of this work hiding behind a lens. I am grateful for that time.

Because sometimes, when I am laying there on my tummy in the grass, I get to watch, as my lens captures moments like this...

In those moments I am not thinking about anything else, but what an honour it is to have been asked to witness and capture such a heartfelt moment.

I have said it before, and I will say it again... photography is different for everyone. For me, it is about having an outlet where I can be invisible, yet at the same time, be more present than I will ever know how to be without my camera.  It is about freezing those moments that never last long enough. Those moments when we haven't yet learned to care about what others think. 

This post is inspired and dedicated to the kids that I have photographed and continue to photograph. I want to thank them all for always reminding me, without trying, to be both present and real.