Who Needs Toys
Like I said on Tuesday, It's been quite awhile since I've broken out my big DSLR camera. I'm SO thankful for my iPhone. It's allowed me to continue to snap the moments that STOP me in my tracks and fill me with BIG, happy smiles. A few weeks back, while Luca was content, playing on his own, I snuck away to the computer to read up on a blogging course I'm currently taking, called Feel Good Blogging, by Alex Beadon. (I LOVE Alex Beadon!! If you're not following her, you really should!! She's SO, SO great!! Such an inspiration!!)
In the background, I could (see out of the corner of my eye) hear Luca talking his sweet talks. When I finally looked over, I STOPPED and just SMILED!! I couldn't take my eyes of off him and I began to feel all warm and tingly within.
He had lined up a few of my coconut waters (which have been sitting on the floor of the pantry for about 9 months now...Ha!) on the window sill. In an instant, I was motivated from within, grabbed my BIG camera, blew the dust off of it and went over to him and just watched him, while I snapped away.
He was LOVING these waters!! And I was LOVING watching him LOVE it!!
Who knew that trying to figure out how to open them would keep him occupied for longer than 10 minutes!! WHOA!! lol.
Once he moved to the table, he had to take a second to look out the window and check on the birds in the backyard. So cute!!
After saying hello to the birds, he was after me with the waters and was telling me over and over to look at them. "Look, Mommy! Look! Look, Mommy look!"
Then he dropped them and just looked down at them with his, sweet, teeny-tiny, two-year-old face. One that I ALWAYS love to savor!!
Not a minute later, he was off to the slide with his new toys.
And just like a boy, with a few throws, every single water made it up to the top with him. Ha!
And then, a new game started. He'd throw them all down to the floor.
And then he'd slide down (but first he had to figure out if he wanted to go down on his tummy or bottom...bottom won every time!)...
to greet them all. He did this for about 20 minutes. Up and down...up and down. It was the best!!
Until, finally, he had to get another glimpse of the birds outside.
The entire time I was just BEing with him and snapping away, my insides were fired up. I had to stop myself from running to the computer to start editing what I had already snapped.
It was nuts. I kept saying, "Renee...slow down. If you stop now, you'll miss even more special moments that'll light up your heart with love." I have a tendency to get really excited about things and BE so enthusiastic and excited that I completely forget about patience. Ha! But, photography, for me, is just sitting and BEing in the moment while snapping what I see. It's about waiting and just soaking in what I'm seeing. Because, when I wait, that's when moments happen that light me up even more than I could have ever imagined.
I realized that because it had been SO long, I was passionately energized and missed doing what my heart loves. Because this IS exactly what happens every time I take out my BIG camera. Once I snap, I can't wait to get on the computer and edit. But these days, I struggle, because my kids don't let me sit at the computer. And once I start, I can't stop. And I hate stopping! lol.
So after this moment (and more moments I snapped after this, which I'll post next week!), I realized that I was shown exactly what JOY means to me. For so long, I've been trying to connect with what lights me up and what brings me JOY.
Deep down, I've always known it's photography. But, my head likes to get in the way. I've struggled with pursuing photography because my heart doesn't like to take 'posed' shots. When I take shots that are thought about ahead of time or require props and perfectly matched clothes I get super frustrated, I sweat because I'm SO frazzled and my pictures snapping doesn't flow.
My head has continued to tell me that people don't want the photos I take...they want only the 'posed' shots, perfectly matched clothes and requires props. I'd listen and then forget about taking action on putting my photography out there more.
When I take pictures of life, where I STOP in the moment, because I'm moved from within...moved with a BIG smile...moved with happy tingles and saying, "OMG!! I LOVE THIS!! MUST CAPTURE IT ASAP!!" I've come to learn that this is where I truly shine. It has to move me from within first!! And my thoughts have to be saying, "I LOVE THIS!!" and not, "let me figure out how to set up this moment and then let me look at where the light is, OK, now I'll snap"
And, yeah, after 5 years, I'm finally listening to my gut and putting this out there. This is WHO I am as a photographer and it's finally time for me to let it shine more and more here. I can NOT take pictures based on rules that are filled in my head. I can ONLY take pictures based on inner, happy love tingles and then all those "rules" may (or may not) come second. It's the moment that's lighting me up that matters most. It's those moments that I want to slow down and savor for as long as I can. Because it's those moments that don't last long because life moves way too fast!! And it's my camera that allows me to do just that!! And, honestly, it doesn't matter what kind of camera, but my heart just really LOVES to have control over the settings so I can capture (and edit) the moment EXACTLY how I saw it in person and so whoever is looking at my photos can feel like they are right there, live, in the moment, too!
So, I'm letting it all out there. I'm starting to pick up my BIG camera again (and iPhone cameras are still just as awesome! But, I will say, I can get more caught up in trying to edit the pictures and post them to social media while the moment is still happening...which is another great reason why my BIG camera is really great at having me 100% focused on the moment...I can't edit right away and I can't post to social media right away) so I can stay connected to WHO I am and what I LOVE!!
And that's using my camera to slow down and SAVOR what lights up my busy mama heart with love. Be it, my mama moments, who my kids are, my doodles, my kids doodles, nature and yummy food...anything that warms my heart with joyous, happy love (and even the moments that aren't happy...because it's those moments that make me SEE the happy more!!! )
If it wasn't for my camera, I wouldn't be easily pulled into the present moment to truly SAVOR a moment like this one above. I could have just watched my little guy from my computer chair from the other room, all while continuing to try to pay attention to him while trying to continue to read the blog course material.
And we all know multi-tasking does NOT work and does not have you living in the PRESENT moment!
I would have missed SO much. But, having my camera in hand, allowed me to forget everything in my head and had me focused on my heart and the present moment that was filling it with JOY.
The blogging course material will always be there, but my little guy, like this...won't. He'll be outta the house before I know it and playing with coconut water in this way will be the thing of the past.
When he looks back at this moment of himself, I'm sure he's gonna be like, "I DID THAT???" And, I'm gonna tell YES and I LOVED every second of it!!
So, I hope, that I, too, can inspire you to use your camera in this same way.
Because life IS about savoring what matters most in life...because as we all know, each stage of life moves fast...so, why not use your camera to shoot beyond the traditional birthday, the family portrait and the first and last day of school moments (which, these are very important, too!!), because it's those every day moments that fill your heart up with love that are the ones we truly wish could slow down so we can savor them more, right?
Until next time...
Live life slow...it's the only way to truly savor what you love (and capture it, too!)
Oh, and be sure to come back next week because I have lots more to share from this day of just BEing and snapping WHO Luca is right now, in his stage of life.