Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snapshots and Reality

I've been looking through some of my old photos lately. This time of year, with it's bad light and day after day after day spent inside leaves me a little uninspired on the photography front, if you can call what I do photography (I have no idea what I'm doing). It's fun to look back at images that just worked for one reason or another. I've been thinking back on some comments I've had regarding truth in photographs, particularly on Mama-blogs. A photo not featuring a "real" mess, for example, can be considered fake and misleading. This has always rubbed me the wrong way, and not just because I've received this feedback.

My intent in the pictures I post has never been to portray my life as perfect, unmessy, put together. My motivations have been to share something that touched me on some level. And no, that's not usually the box of crayons dumped onto the carpet or the crumbs on the countertop. Finding these little bright spots and photographing them has always helped me frame the rest of my life with perspective: despite the mess, despite the noise, despite the chaos - I can find beauty and peace.

I've wondered why we have this need to demand constant reality from writing or photography. I understand that blogs about parenting and such can be discouraging if it appears that the author has never had a bad moment, and relatability is important...but where else do we require this? If I go to a concert and the musicians do not make a mistake, do I fault them for portraying a near unattainable work? A painter usually places her finished piece in a gallery - we don't require that she shows us how messy her apartment became while she was working, or own up to not getting a shower in a week while she worked on it. We each have our strengths and weaknesses. I have a friend who's home is so clean, my goodness. I love going there. She loves cleaning it. I'm inspired and a bit in awe, but I don't fault her for it or think she should toss a few cheerios on the floor to make me feel better.

I've posted pictures of messes here. Laundry and toys and chaos. I've pushed aside schoolbooks and lunch dishes just out of frame. I've neglected to show you my near-overflowing trash can and my basement (and no, I'll never show you either!). Those aren't my favorite pictures. My favorites are the ones who give me a little breath of fresh air despite the rest. Photos that help find a little place of peace in the midst of the crazy.

My friends can attest to the chaos of my house, the imperfections not only of my life but my parenting, my heart, my attitude. This space has always been a bit of a processing space for me. I hope that it blesses you as it does me to write and share snapshots of my life here. Maybe not the whole story down to each nitty gritty detail, but truth nonetheless.

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  1. I'm new to your blog and like it so well that I receive it as email so I don't forget it. I agree with you about the pictures. I don't have a blog (though I play around with the idea) but once in a while I post a pic of a knitted thing. When I do, I want to share that item, not the clutter that may be in the room. Cuddly critter pictures are nice too, but we don't have to see their nests, cages, feeding stations or litter boxes to know that those things must be around somewhere. Continue to enjoy your blog and thank you for sharing and encouraging!
    Blessings, Rhonda

  2. I find your photography refreshing because it's not perfect. You show such sweet simple shots of life. And who doesn't push that dirty dish out of the frame!? It's called art! Thank you for the post. I found it very encouraging today!

  3. Great post - as Kim said 'as always you hit the nail on the head'.


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