Why I Savor Life Through the Lens

Have you seen this iPhone commercial called Photos Every Day?

Every time I see it, I cry.

I cry because every single person taking a picture IS me.

  (And when I say cry...I mean happy tears, of course!! Happy...passionate tears!!) If you were to follow me around for one day, you'd see me doing pretty much the same thing, all day, with my camera. :)

But, most importantly, I cry, because it's a visual of WHY I savor life through the lens.

Life moves FAST.  And I've been a part of that FAST for years!!

I've been trying to SLOW DOWN for years, too.  But it was always a struggle...that is, until I reconnected to photography while first pregnant with my daughter and connected more to WHY it's SO important for me to continue to take pictures everyday.

As and adult-mother, it's SO easy for me to stay focused on past and future thoughts.  It's SO easy for me to stay focused on all the negative gunk that fills my head.  And, it's SO easy for me to stay focused on the negative that is happening in the world because of what I see on the news.

Because of this easy-to-stay-focused-on-the-negativity-in-life, I realized that photography helps me to truly focus on what matters most. It helps me to slow down, become more present and truly SEE and focus on all the good that fills my life.

It helps me to NOT miss the littlest moments that I don't wanna miss in my life and especially my children's lives.  When I pull out my camera, my life is filled with SO much positivity because I'm focused on (and FEELING!) all the JOY that fills up my life right now!!

If don't pull my camera out, I won't stop and savor everything that makes life GOOD and I'd be living my life stuck in my head, focused on everything that fills my to-do list and all the negativity in the world that makes me fearful, angry and sad, which then has my daughter yelling at me, "MOM! You're NOT listening!!" or "MOM! You're NOT looking at me?" or "MOM! Put your phone down!!"

This IS why I photograph.  And this IS why I ALWAYS have photographed.  

In the video, you see the guy who is standing in the middle of what looks like Grand Central Station in New York City?  The guy who is the only one standing still, with his camera held high, taking a pic, while every single person is moving in a certain direction around him?

Or, what about the guy who stopped to take a picture of the  red building architecture and then had to run to catch up with his friends under the umberella?

Those two scenes speak out to me SO much (well, every scene speaks to me) because that's what I'm SO SO passionate about.

I've lived my life go-go-GOing.  I've always said it's like my mind is always 5 miles ahead of my body, even though it feels like my body is running right alongside my mind.

When I'm like this, I'm focused on what's wrong or trying to control what my future is or how I can fix myself or make something better that I think isn't enough, which, in the end, has me missing out on EVERYTHING that's right, beautiful and perfectly as is in my current, present life.

And those two guys, the ones stopping while the rest of the world and their friends kept going...they're the ones who slowed down, STOPPED, saw, captured and savored something beautiful that caught their eye, even though they were probably on their way to having to be somewhere at a certain time.   And, that to me, IS exactly why I LOVE photography and WHY I'm SO passionate about it.

It's the littlest things, like that, we tend to miss because there's more important things to do and get to, because taking two minutes to stop to view something that isn't considered important right then, in that moment, isn't worth stopping for, right?  Because, if we do, we'll be late, miss a deadline and not get everything that needs to be done before we start something else, right?

Well...to me, it's VERY important to stop and see and BE in life, no matter how fast life comes at us. And, for me, my passion for photography lets me do just that!

Here's an example of how I'm every single person in that video.

When D and I were in Boulder, Colorado, (a few years before I became a mom in 2009) I was constantly taking pictures from inside the car.  D would be SO mad because he thought the dirty windshield was going to mess it up.  I could care less about the windshield.  All I cared about was snapping the amazingness that I was seeing all around me, because I never know when I'll see the abundant beauty that Colorado is filled with ever again. And, for the most part, I ALWAYS wanna visually remember the FEELING I felt while watching it surround me on our drive in the mountains.

Can you see the dirty windshield?  ;)

You see, it's SO easy for me to stay focused on how to keep getting ahead in life and make sure I'm living my life as society says it's supposed to be lived.

It's easy for me to focus more on eating ONLY foods because they're HEALTHY, exercise so I don't stay fat, don't go out on the town because I am too fat, don't take pictures because I'm too fat - OK - you get the point, right?

It's easy to stay focused on making sure I'm parenting the correct way, keeping my house clean, putting the dishes away, driving all over town to get every errand done, how I don't have enough money to buy the brand new gadget that just came out, how it's been forever since I've been on a date night with my husband and really connected with him, how military life can be hard because it's not easy meeting new people and living far from friends and family and how all I do every single day is take care of others and NOT myself.

But, in reality, there's a whole world, right in front of me, every single day, that's a beautiful reminder that there's SO much good in my life, right now, in this present moment.  

A world that is SO easy forgotten because my inner and outer chatter takes over. My camera allows me to STOP and SEE that beauty that's right in front of me. It allows me to focus on the beauty, the joy, the fun, the pleasure, in that moment, right now!! And, it allows me to have way  more feel good thoughts than negative ones.

So yeah, that iPhone video...

A rainbow reflecting on rocks in a stream to the beautiful way coffee is presented, that's beauty that deserves to be captured and savored. A scenic route on a run to a beautiful item showcased in a window, that's beauty that deserves be to be captured and savored.

Feet buried deep in the sand on the shoreline to colorful umbrella's that fill a rainy town, that's beauty that deserves to be captured and savored.

The crisp blue sky, snow falling, a bug on a leaf, a music concert, a favorite meal at a restaurant and an awesome skateboard trick in action, that's beauty that deserves to be captured and savored.

And, most importantly, a child's gymnastics competition to just having fun taking selfies, that's beauty and deserves to be captured and savored.

Every single one of these photos comes with the most amazing FEELING behind them when taken.

It's not just taking the picture to capture a memory...it's taking a picture to capture the FEELING you never, ever wanna forget or have to let go of.

I mean, really, isn't it better to focus on (and capture!!) everything you LOVE, everything you think is BEAUTIFUL and everything that fills your heart up with JOY and HAPPY smiles than focusing on the fears, worries and the negative that can fill your life.  (I feared food  more than I loved it for many, many years...future blog post coming on this...stay tuned!). Because, when you focus on what you love,  you're ALWAYS left feeling good, right?  Right! :)

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Gosh, I think so!  Well, now...I know so!! :)

It's those FEEL GOOD feelings that I wanna SAVOR for many, many years to come, because when I'm 90 years old and looking back on my life, I wanna be able to say that "YES! I savored all the beauty that filled up my life," rather than thinking "Dang! I spent too much of my life in my thoughts, worried, stressed and focused on all the negativity and fear that comes with life,"  because, honestly, that's NOT how life is meant to be lived.

We're not here to live our lives focused on the gunk.  Just look at nature...it's here to remind us that everyday!! Sure we have gunk in our lives (and nature does too with all the crazy weather patterns we've been having lately), but it's not meant to be dwelled on...it's meant to help us learn more about our lives and then become stronger because of it and then move on to focusing on on what we LOVE again (and that gunk can help us to learn more and connect more to all the things we do love, too) because there's ALWAYS more love than gunk...ALWAYS! :)

LOVE is a higher feeling...the feeling that has us feeling high on life...and when it's captured and savored (focused on more!!), we're filled with the most amazing feelings which motivates a life more focused on what's right, what feels good and what truly IS beautiful....way better than the wrong, the gunk and the negative, right?

Some say you miss out on life from behind the lens.   Well...as you can, see...I'm not a big fan of those words.  I believe that the more I'm behind the lens, the more present I am and the more focused I am on what truly matters most in life.

It's SO hard to focus on 50 other things when I'm focusing my lens to capture a moment that's happening right in front of me that makes me think.... "WOW! That's beautiful...I gotta snap it!" or "OMGosh...I'm LOVING this moment of my daughter laying on the floor next to her baby bro...must capture this FEELING now!!"

So...here's to snapping more pictures and savoring everything that fills you up with JOY and puts a smile on your face, so you can look back on your life, saying, "Yes!! my life was filled with so much beauty and love!!"  Cheers!!!

Oh...and one more thing...thank you Steve Jobs and Apple...I'm SO grateful for my iphone!!  I can't always have my BIG camera in hand...so words really can't describe how thankful I am that I'm able to have this awesome phone to capture what I love everyday!! :)

So tell me...

Have you already seen that iphone commercial?  Do you LOVE it as much as I do?? OMGosh!! I can watch it all day, everyday!! Eeeee!! :)

Until next time...

Life IS  SO SO good...SAVOR it up!