My creative process goes something like this:
I fall in LOVE with every photo as I take it. I'm like a lovesick puppy while I shoot. I can't wait to plug in and look through the images, and when I do, I remember those moments fondly. You know, those 'not so distant' memories of beautiful moments I so recently experienced. Then, I quickly begin to tear the photos apart. I make note of all of the things I would change and all of the things I did wrong. I think this is the way of most artists. Anyway, these photos were different. I knew they were beautiful as I took them and I've yet to find anything wrong with them. This isn't because I've entered some photography utopia where every photo I take is perfect and significant. As I looked through them I found a deeper beauty in them and a certain significance.
These photos were taken on a lazy Saturday while my oldest daughter was on an Auntie date and my husband was working (the husband arrived home just before I'd put down my camera). Some of the photos are out of focus because I was often rejoicing with my little Evelyn as she played and discovered the wonder of the Matryoshka doll, paying little attention to where I was pointing and what I was focusing on.
Evelyn rarely gets to play with these because her big sister covets them, and let's be honest.. toddlers break things and we didn't want these broken. But it was just us home and she was SO interested in them, I couldn't help but give in.
She had seen them opened before and she was determined to figure out just how this was done. All of her hard work paid off and she was tickled when she finally succeeded at getting the largest doll open.
In the next several minutes there was a lot of opening, closing, opening, and closing. Each time being just as surprising and exciting as the last.
WARNING: Here comes the deeper significance. (touchy feely stuff)
We're coming up on the year mark since losing my dad. If you're reading this, you may know that my dad was also a photographer and a huge part of my own journey as a photographer. This year has been tough and to be completely honest, sometimes it feels like it's getting harder which I personally think is stupid and unfair. But the smarty pants, logical part of me says that it's all part of the process. Being someone who doesn't do well with sad things, it's sort of rocked my world in the worst of ways having to deal with "losing" my daddy at the age of 27. I put the word 'losing' in quotations because my personal beliefs ensure me that my dad is not lost and is still very much with me and forever connected to me. But that's of little comfort sometimes.
There are a couple things that have brought me great comfort and immense joy over this rocky road that is
year #1 of my new normal.
These things are:
-the little blue eyed blondie in these photos
-my incredibly witty and smart Elsie Mae
-my wonderful husband who when I wished to wipe the month of March from the calendar, suggested that we fill March with fun experiences that would make my dad smile. He even had a name for it "Phil-Up March" (My dad's name is Philip)
In some way I still feel like that's something my dad and I share on a daily basis even if he's not here physically.
I've thought a lot about how Evelyn won't remember my dad. Which makes me very sad but it'll only challenge me to keep him alive in my children's lives as well as my own. We are because he was. Just as he was, because of his parents.. and their parents and so on. Just like the Matryoshka dolls, we are all essentially carved from the same piece of wood.
So, when I look through these photos I see the beauty of love, family, wonder and all things great. I see my dad. I see his dad. Those are things I can't find anything wrong with. These photos that I've taken will forever be perfect in my eyes.
As I mentioned, the hubby came home at the tale end of our play time with the nesting dolls. Just in time for some sweet photos that I'm sure Evelyn will one day cherish. The daddy of a little girl holds a special place in her heart.
Just as she does in his.
Thanks for reading.
"The world needs dreamers, and the world needs doers.