Viewfinders Manifesto #7:
We believe that beautiful images lie at the intersection of passion and know-how,
and we aim to support, promote and build both within this community.
This time of year we hear a lot about community, support and giving. We try to put the past year in perspective, see the big picture and count our blessings. We try to give back in ways that are meaningful and helpful to those in need. And we try to be grateful for what we, ourselves, have received from others.
Sometimes it’s easier to be a giver than it is a receiver. Receiving well is a learned skill. Not all things we receive are immediately tangible. At this time, just weeks before the new year, let’s take time to think about what we may have received — from a person, from a place, from the universe — that has moved or changed us.
On my trip to England this year I received a greater understanding of the history, art and culture of the country many of my ancestors came from, and of life beyond the shores of the United States. Traveling gave me a better perspective on myself and a deeper appreciation of my small part of the world. — lucy
My word for 2015 was perseverance. I thought it was something I would painfully learn throughout the year. Instead, I discovered it was there the whole time, a little like Dorothy’s slippers. As I end the year, I am thankful for all things I have stuck out and fought for- the exciting and mundane. This year, that is exceptionally true for photography. ~Staci Lee
This year has been one marked by darkness and light, personally. In this transformative process of loss, I’ve received tremendous love. I have felt and witnessed friends, far and wide, pour out their love, support, and care for me. An incredible gift that I vow to give back to all I encounter. –Meghan
Every year, like clockwork, the cold, shorter days and the darkness of this season bring me down a bit. So it comes as a fresh surprise, almost a gift, each time I realize that this time around I find myself invigorated by the crisp in the air and charmed by the elegance of the bare trees. Most of all, though, I have a new apprecation for the fact that darkness outside is a necessary counterpoint to the pockets of coziness I enjoy inside. – Debbie
This time of year I tend to get melancholy and for various reasons I turn inward. My family are far away during this celebratory season and the darker days coming up to the Solstice contribute to my tendency to be self-critical – of my work and how I do it. Along with my 12 year old daughter, I’m working daily at acknowledging the positive in my life, trying to lighten up, and to receive the amazing goodness that surrounds me. – Kim
Dropping in on our local farmers market on Saturday mornings is two-fold for me. I get to do a bit of food shopping and be a part of the community. People smile as they shop, visit in a way they wouldn’t while in the grocery store isles. I also like to think that part of the reason the food tastes so good from the market is in part of smiles that are exchanged, not just money. – Vanessa
It often takes me a while to get into the holiday spirit. Christmas time can be overwhelming with its long list of gifts to buy, food to prepare, errands to run. Yet getting out on this warm December night to enjoy the lights with family was just what I needed to get me into the swing of the season…and to remind me what’s most important in my life. ~Leslie
A few months ago, I taught a photography workshop to graphic design students at the University of Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico (UDEM). Watching their excitement while exploring their cameras and the sense of camaraderie they held for one another through learning was beautiful. I felt so grateful to be a part of their photographic journey and welcomed into their community for my short stay there. — Holly
This year, I have learnt to laugh. With my patients, my friends and my family. It’s been a good lesson to stop taking myself so seriously and just have fun. ~kirstin
Sometimes, I have a hard time receiving compliments. I get bashful, I look down, I immediately feel the need to give a compliment back or downplay my role in the moment. But I’m working on that. Maybe the idea of receiving well means that we should own those compliments, hold our heads high and bask in the words and the love that others are giving us. Maybe being a gracious receiver is just as important as being a whole-hearted giver. –Angie
The seasons change. Another year comes to an end. Things just feel better lately.
Me: Thank you for giving me the permission to slow down. Acknowledging my limits and setting (and respecting!) boundaries for myself has helped me to lead a happier, less stressful existence.
Universe: You’re welcome.
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During the month of December we are celebrating YOU, our wonderful community, by giving away a copy of Bella Grace Magazine each week! Share your images celebrating community on Instagram and hashtag them with #bellagraceview #viewfindersio and #bellagracemagazine. Then, follow us both at @viewfinders_io and @bellagracemagazine. We’ll be featuring our favorites and announcing our winners on the Viewfinders Instagram account each Friday for the next 5 weeks. We can’t wait to see your view!