Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Recapturing the wonder

In the course of trying to sort of rejuvenate my own photographic impulses and get back to that stage where taking pictures was exciting and every new shot was a magical surprise, one thing I've been doing lately is seeking out new contacts on Flickr, new blogs to read, new sources of inspiration. Not because I want to do exactly what anyone else is doing, of course, but because that sort of excitement can be catching!

And across the board, with all of the new Flickr contacts I've found whose work is exuberant and eye-catching, one element seems to hold true: Photography is just another part of their lives, not a project, not a task. They pick up their cameras whenever they see something lovely, not just when a brilliant idea strikes, and not because they have to. When I first started toting around my little point-n-shoot, a gift from the man who's since become my husband, that's how I was, too. I'd whip the camera out at the drop of a hat.

But somewhere along the way, photography, while still a passion, has also become a task. Somewhere between my first 365 Days project and the 365 Coupled project my husband and I are currently embarked upon, photography boiled down to a photo-a-day...to homework, basically. And while I've learned and improved in huge leaps and bounds over the last few years of photo projects and of forcing myself to pick up the camera at least once every day, I also miss those little moments of wonder when I spot something interesting in the course of my life and take a photo of it so everyone can share. They come few and far between these days.

I doubt I'll ever fully recapture the early days of wonder, just as one can never really recapture the innocent joys of childhood, ha. But it bears remembering, doesn't it, that something which is a passion in your life should be a fully integrated part of your life, not homework, not something you have to force yourself to do.

And so, I am going to try to emulate those photographers and bloggers who take out their camera whenever they feel the urge, who document even the smallest lovely details of their lives. In other words...Before I enjoy my cupcakes, I will stop to shoot the sprinkles!

1 comment:

  1. Photographing your food before you eat it is a great way to start seeing the beauty in the little things again!

    I know exactly what you mean about losing the joy that you felt in photography in the early days. I did for years.

    Now it's coming back but it's been sloooooow.

    Oh, and I tried taking a photo a day for a while but it felt too much like homework too.