Circling Back

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Autumn in Pennsylvania might just be my favorite thing to photograph. Autumn, also happens to be the most busy time of year for my photography business. This sounds like the best thing right? I’m doing a job that I love, in the season that I love most? In so many ways it’s absolutely glorious. However, with busyness, comes tiredness, and feelings of fizzling out a bit. My mother calls it burning the candle at both ends. It’s a normal feeling I think, and for me, it’s a moment that I learn the most from. As a mother, a photographer, and 5 year old yoga student, I am always on the search for my lesson. What can  I learn from each moment? OH SO MUCH. It’s a constant circle.

I got the idea for this post today from an article in this month’s Lion’s Roar magazine ( the only magazine I subscribe to these days).  Page 29 has an article called Contemplative Photography by Andy Karr. I was drawn to words about mindfulness and photography. It’s a wonderful article about being present while composing our pictures. Karr says ” Contemplative photography trains you to see the world in fresh ways by distinguishing the sensory from the conceptual. It is a practice that brings your natural ability to see clearly.” That sentence made so much sense to me. I’ve often felt like photography to me, was like a meditation practice. Prior to doing photography for work, when I only took pictures for myself, photography was my Zen. Karr says” The practice of contemplative photography makes use of the camera’s sensory-like abilities to help you tune in to and communicate the beauty of the sensory world.”  Again, this language rings true like crystal for me. Time after time I pick up my camera because I am inspired by the world around me.

My yoga practice yokes mind and body. My camera yokes my heart and brain to tell a story of the beauty in front of me. My lesson? Don’t lose sight, Don’t lose focus. See the simple beauty.

I chose to take my girls to the pumpkin patch today near my home. I purposefully brought my camera to help me tune in to the beauty.

Karr again says  “A photograph and a perception are obviously different things, but your aim is to produce an image that is just the equivalent of what you see. You are not trying to make the photograph more interesting, more dramatic, or more anything. You’ve experienced a rich flash of perception of light and color, and you’ve discerned what is included in the perception and what is not. Now you make an image that replicates what you have seen. You don’t need to add anything to the perception to make the photograph good, because the perception already embodies the richness and beauty of your experience. When you faithfully form the equivalent of your perception, the image will be able to convey this richness and beauty.

The images below are just simple reminders of my perception, conveyed. They are beautiful proof of a glorious day. There is nothing complicated in this lesson for me, but like the seasons come, go, and come back again, this lesson is a circling reminder. How about you? When it comes to photography, what do you have to remind yourself of sometimes?

Wishing you a happy Autumn Season!




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  1. perfect. it’s just perfect. I felt like I could have been the one at the pumpkin patch, listening to the sounds, feeling the light and air and seeing such thoughtful beautiful things like, found feathers, a single bird flying high (such freedom) the web, the animals and your girl…doing what she loves…being a kid. So GOOD. I have never heard of that publication. I’m curious now.

    Love your friend

  2. mmmm… such a great read. i love your thoughts here. i love thinking of photography as meditation. i know for sure that picking up the camera is what helped me notice more… the way the light looks on someone’s hair, the way the fog extends partway up the mountains… whatever it is. i’m more mindful with or without camera in hand because of the practice.

  3. beautiful …. I love these ideas and I also adore how photography and yoga/mindfulness web together here. It’s something I am finding as well…

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