Tuesday, May 21, 2013

All the Difference

by Kelly



Friends I cannot even believe that I am sitting here writing this blog post for Focusing on Life…as part of the FOL family no less!  Honestly, it is such a thrill and an honor to be a part of this amazing group of women.  All such talented photographers whose work has inspired me so much on my own journey in photography.   

Today I thought I might share a bit about photography and community.  But first I guess I should tell you a little of my story.  Now I have to confess….I hate writing about myself.  So here is the abridged version:
  •          My daughter (my only child) went off to college
  •          I suffered an empty-nest induced, mid-life crisis
  •          I took a photography class
  •          Everything changed

I know…great stuff.  I mean, how could these gals not want me to be part of their family right??

Seriously though, there really was a time when I worried that the best days of my life were coming to a close.  And so began my journey to explore my life.  Look for all that was good.  Learn to find joy in other places besides just motherhood.  

And that’s where I found myself one late summer afternoon.  Sitting at my computer when I see an email from Big Picture Classes announcing the Picture Fall month-long class.  And although I was a little unsure at first, I figured ‘why not?’

Best. Decision.Ever.

So I get my first email prompt and I take my pictures and I upload them to the gallery.  And then whoa…I get an email that someone had commented on my photo.  And then another one.  And they are the nicest compliments.  I couldn't believe it.  And let me just tell you right now that I took some really bad photographs back then.  But yet this community of ladies (many of whom also happened to be in that class) seemed to get what I was trying to do.   I can honestly say that their encouragement and support made all the difference. 

Since then, photography has become not just a way to document my family's life (although I still love that aspect immensely), photography has become the lens through which I learned to see my life differently.  And perhaps even more importantly…see myself differently.

So here I am…a couple of years later, and I swear if you had told me that I would be a regular contributor for FOL I would have either a) started bawling, or b) asked you to make me one of whatever you were having.  And while it’s true that the actual taking and sharing of photographs brings me an immense amount of joy, this community….well I will tell you it has been one of the biggest (if unexpected) blessings of this whole journey.  And I thank you with all my heart.



Love, Kelly

P.S.  In the spirit of community, perhaps you would indulge me in saying an extra prayer for my fellow Okies who have suffered tremendous losses in the wake of the devastating tornadoes that ripped through our State.


    

18 comments:

Kim Stevens said...

Oh, I get to be the first one to comment and say welcome Kelly, you are such a great addition to the FOL sista group, and seriously, that second photo is just gorgeous!! Yes, I'm up really late, or maybe that's really early or both . . .

It never ceases to amaze me at what looking through my lens can do to my outlook on a bad day!

Carol said...

Right back at ya, Kelly! You are such a talented photographer and COMMUNICATOR, and such a great fit for our community. I am old enough to have watched " Cheers. " I know all the words to "The Kelly Song," and I have been singing it all morning . It's only 6 a.m. But I'm going to keep singing it all day in your honor!
Also , I love the images you chose today - just beautiful!
Welcome!

AFishGirl said...

Thrilled (!!!) to see you onboard here, Kelly! Whooo hooooo! It's great to hear your story and see these beautiful shots and know you'll be here, sharing the joy you find with all of us. Great to wake up and see this.
Big mwah!
Pam

Sarah Huizenga said...

Kindred Soul! I have an only child (a daughter) who went off to college and that is when I decided to take photography and writing more seriously. Congratulations on joining FOL!! Can't wait to hear more from you :)

heyjudephotography said...

Welcome Kelly! Welcome. We are so glad to have you here with us. The photos and words you chose for today are perfect! So glad you're with us! And yes, thoughts and prayers go out to all those people who were affected by the tornado.

Dotti said...

First, I'm so glad you and your family, as well as Leigh and hers, are well and safe but oh! my heart aches for others who have lost so much. I just read about those still looking for children, my heart hurts.

Now ... welcome indeed! So happy to have you here, and your peonies are beautiful. That color is my favorite peony.

Linda said...

Welcome Kelly! Such a sweet post to start off with! I love your comment about a new lens on life! So true! Things look a little different through that lens and that has helped me grow and can put a smile on my face on the worst days!
Your pictures are beautiful!
Thoughts and prayers to Okies affected by the tornado. So happy you and Leigh are safe.

CarolHart said...

Welcome Kelly! So glad you are here? Such a sweet, heart felt post and your images are lovely. Virtual hugs and real prayers to all those affected by the tragedy in Oklahoma. Thankful that you are safe and sound.

Katie said...

What a treat to see you front and center here today, Kelly! Just tickled to death to see you as a regular here now.

I can't get Oklahoma out of my mind today. So happy you and my college buddies are okay. Was thinking of you all all day yesterday, and will continue to do so for your state today. Stay safe!

Kim Klassen said...

love your story.....and love your photos.....

and i am so glad you are safe and sound....

so good to see you here.

xo

http://vivhalliwell.com said...

Congratulations on joining this wonderful group of ladies...photography has become a very important part of my life too and connecting on blogs and inFlickr is so rewarding...

Deb said...

wonderful story & such beautiful images!

terriporter said...

Sorry to be late to the welcome party, but being on west coast time puts me at a disadvantage. By the time I get here, so much of what I would have written has already been said! I'm sure you know by now how thrilled we are to have you here with us. We are pretty proud of our little community here and you will only make it better. Thanks for sharing your story here for all of us to read and I'm so glad you feel we played a part in your journey. Welcome to the family, Kelly!

Leigh said...

Welcome Kelly!! Beautiful photos and story! So happy to have my fellow Okie here :)

Deanna said...

Welcome to the bunch, Kelly. Your writing and your photography make a perfect match and joining us is icing on the cake. So glad to have you as a sista!!

Elke Sewoester said...

Hello Kelly, so good to see you here - and now as a regular! I`m looking forward to your posts.

Cathy H. said...

Kelly, what a wonderful first post at FOL!! I'm so excited to see you in this community and will be looking forward to your future post! I absolutely love the last image! Perfect! Love the beautiful flowers and vases and that chair, oh my, I want it!! I'll be adding my prayers for those in Oklahoma and for the safety of those who are still under tornado warnings this afternoon.

Carola Bartz said...

I loved your photo on your blog, I love it here as well. But even more, I love your story. I have been photographing for many many years now, but only in the last few years, when I found the photographing community that the internet world has to offer, did my photography take a new, different path. It is so fulfilling.

I also have a daughter who is my only child. She still has three more years of high school and then she will be off as well. I already feel bittersweet about it.

I have been thinking of the people in your state a lot. It breaks my heart to see the images of the children at the elementary schools. All the people who lost everything, have nowhere to go. It is heartbreaking.

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