I’m reflecting on the last dregs of Summer as I sit here with a blanket on my lap and the heater at my feet. I’ve finally finished editing my images from the Summer and it’s nearly Winter. This day at the beach was amazing. It began with a less than amazing (yet creepily spectacular) walk through the coastal bush where literally hundreds of golden orb weaving spiders had made thick webs above the track. It was a tunnel of spiders – no real photos of that though due to the screaming and panic – mostly from me. We found this amazing beach which with enormous rocky outcrops and towering gums was uniquely Australian and spent an hour playing in the sand and on the rocks and collecting treasures.
Summer has just ended but is full of warm memories. I took way too many photos when we went on a family holiday in January and I’m still slowly making my way through them all. On this grey and rainy day I needed to remind myself of the fun we had on the last afternoon of our holiday so I thought I’d post some. Seeing O jumping around in the waves with so much joy – a child who previously wouldn’t set foot in it – and L with her usual exuberance for life running, fully clothed, through the waves before we could even change her really brightened my day.
From my house I have a nice clear view of the mountain. I love foggy days but we really don’t get too many of them around here, but every now and then I can see the fog settles beautifully on the top of the mountain. I wasn’t doing anything in particular on this day but when I looked out my window and saw the foggy mountain top I hopped in the car. I imagined how amazing the walking trail would look with a thick fog cover and got excited as we approached and drove up the long winding road through thick clouds of fog. Twenty minutes later and we reached the top of the mountain to discover not even the smallest sense of fogginess. Not a skerick. Not a trace. Not even the slightest hint of fog.
Regardless we enjoyed our stroll (sometimes jog) along the track with every stick transforming into sword and the added bonus of a few puddles to stomp on the way back.
We always have fun at the local school fair. But when you’re 2, it can evoke a rollercoaster of emotions. From the exhilarating highs of going on your first ride, to the crushing lows of being too small to ride (especially when your big bro is old enough) followed by the renewed contentment at your consolation prize – getting a giant ice cream all to yourself!
A couple of weeks ago I was able to meet some amazing friends who travelled all the way from Melbourne to visit and see my exhibition. It was a brief stay but one that I won’t forget. I took them to one of my favourite beaches in the afternoon and we each brought our cameras. You’ll notice that this post looks like two completely different sets of images – one batch taken in the harsh daylight, the rest taken in a short five minute period as the sun was going down. It’s amazing what a difference that light makes to the look and feel of the images. In the time between my friends were busy capturing me with my youngest splashing in the water and I am so grateful to them for capturing some gorgeous moments with me in the frame.
Some of my friend Marlene’s photos from her stay can be seen here
In the course of creating this workshop I have had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people. A local photographer, Jade, from Jade Flores Photography, offered up her beautiful family to be videoed, while I photographed them. Despite being Winter it was a beautiful and warm afternoon and I had such a wonderful time with this family of four, even though we all got a bit wetter than planned.
To see all the behind the scenes footage and editing videos that accompany this shoot, they come as part of my workshop which is available for purchase here: http://beyondthewanderlust.com/art-and-soul-adding-depth-and-emotion-to-storytelling-images-with-shelley-reis/
“Walking in the bush, walking in the bush.
There is nothing quite like it, walking in the bush…”
Last weekend we went a local National Park for a picnic with family. It was a beautifully warm Winter’s Day and while it wasn’t quite beach weather it was perfect for a bush stroll. The kids had a blast splashing in puddles, drawing in the sand, and generally running amok with their cousins. We added about another 25 sticks to our ever growing stick collection (don’t ask).
“We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean”
~ Ralph Hattersley
I often wonder why I have this all consuming drive to photograph and document life. I know I am not alone in this, I see countless others around me striving to hold on to these moments and create something tangible from a fleeting event. To hang on to it in some form. The theory: If I photograph it, it is not lost.
I read the words the other day ‘How did it get so late so soon?’ on one of my favourite photography blogs. I’ve had these words spinning round my head over and over for the last week or so trying to understand why they resonate with me and why I couldn’t shake them from my mind. The words are originally Dr Seuss’:
“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon.
December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?”
Now I’m one of those people who does far too much thinking for my own good but no matter how much I think, I can’t put my finger on the ‘why?’. It was only when I was looking around my back catalog for a particular photo that I stumbled upon some images that made me realise why I do this. When Lola was 8 days old I took some photos of her – I posed her, put little props on her head and smoothed out her imperfect baby skin. She looked thoroughly adorable of course. But in this back catalog I had kept my ‘outtakes’ in a separate folder – the inbetween moments, the unposed, the spontaneous, and sometimes the out of focus or technically amiss – yet these were the real treasures. This was the real Lola – the way I had remembered her in all her beautiful, imperfect squishy glory. Like little keys they unlocked all of these beautiful memories of our first days together. To find these photos I felt both happy and sad. She’s so big now, a proper little girl. How did it get so late so soon?
I find the passing of time so bittersweet. It happens so fast that some days I feel as though life just snuck up on me and kind of snowballed out of my control. So, how do we reconcile the relentless march of time? Do we reflect and mourn the loss? Or ignore it and forge on revelling in the present moment and what’s to come? I know I need to do the latter more but I’ve realised now that capturing and collecting these memories is an important step that helps to keep me looking forward. Photography to me is an act of love and the photographs I take are the precious souvenirs from a time I once visited.
It doesn’t matter that we have a lot of the same equipment at their disposal in our backyard they both love a good park outing. They can *mostly* play cooperatively now with Oscar happy to push Lola on the swings and Lola happy to accept. Unfortunately when it comes to the scooter there is almost never any cooperation.