Monday, July 18, 2011

When Contentment Is Enough

"Out On A Limb"
(1/40 sec.@ F/8, ISO 125, 18mm fl, late evening sun, ancient Oak @ Princess Point)

I'm a mom, wife, AND and fine art photographer. It's an interesting mix.  As of right now, my photo explorations with regards to nature and landscape extend merely to the reaches of Ontario, with the odd ramble through another province once in a while, and out of country even less. In the future I'm anticipating that to change, but for now it has to do. Suffice it to say that I have learned in the last few years that it's possible to be content pursuing photography right here at home. "Elated" to always being at the mercy of limited travel while I still have other responsibilities? Not exactly... My ability to photograph certain subjects or scenes is incumbent on whether this is the week we get groceries, whether the kids need to have friends over, whether the dog needs her nails clipped today, and whether seeding the lawn takes precedent. All things I'm not bitter about taking care of because I am a wife and mom, and that job really is priority one.

And sure, it'd be lovely to photograph France, Turkey (didn't know I have this intense desire to visit Turkey did ya?) Scotland... heck, some days I'd be happy just driving into New York... but right now I can love and care for my family and STILL head out for two hours with a pal and our cameras, and return happy with getting images that still stimulated me creatively, artistically, and spiritually. It's called being content. Do I still wish to visit all those places (trust me, the list is loooooong) sooner than later? Yes. Do I want to put a plan together that'll help me get there sooner than later. Of course. But I think there's a trap for us artistic types that our pursuit of expressing ourselves must consume us every waking minute. And we confuse contentment with complacency.

This is a simple oak tree in the post today. I loved it's textures, I dropped to the ground to get the wide view of the canopy in direct late day light, and I knew I would convert it to B&W. I find trees on their own magical. And shooting it made me feel great. I guess I'm posting today because I hear a lot of discussions on pursuit, and pushing yourself, and eyes on the prize type of pep talks out in the photography world and beyond, even in the business world in general. But how will we ever enjoy what's possible, what's achievable in the distance, if we can't enjoy the now? If being content here isn't enough? Just something I've been mulling over, so you get to hear about it, lucky you... and in the meantime am very content to get shots of oak canopies if it means I get to enjoy the whole process of growing a photography business AND being there for my family and my community. Desires, dreams, goals, and visions are wonderful to be sure.

But sometimes contentment is enough.

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