Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My Month of Mornings.

by Kelly

It was my favorite things about being home that week between Christmas and New Years...leisurely mornings over coffee. Lingering over my new magazines.  Putzing around the house brainstorming new ways of arranging my knick-knacks.  You know, important stuff.

One morning I was thinking to myself how grateful I was to have that time off and how much I loved the feeling of peace that accompanied it.  Secretly wishing I could bottle some of that serenity for when I had to go back to work.  Because mornings can be so...I don't know...they've just never been my favorite.

Anyway, it was also during this time that I was pondering another 365 project. Debating the pros and cons of taking a photograph everyday for a year.

On the one hand, there is the indisputable improvement in my basic skill.  Feeling comfortable behind the lens in just about any lighting situation.  Plus there is the inspiration that comes from daily photography...learning to see things in a new way. But then again, there are the drawbacks.  The time commitment for one.  And especially this time of year, trying to squeeze it in after work and frantically chasing those last few decent minutes of light.

I didn't make up my mind for sure until the morning of January 1st.  I was at my kitchen table drinking coffee.  Looking forward to diving into one of the new notebooks my delightful daughter had given me for Christmas.  And without even thinking about it, I picked up my camera.

It seems that taking a picture everyday has become like second nature.

But the question I kept asking myself was...did I have anything new to say, photographically speaking? And how do I keep my photography fresh?  How do I continue to capture the simple joys of my ordinary life without taking the same photos that I had the two previous years.  I want to do something different.  I want to see something different.

So I went on with my day, pondering my 365.  And while vacuuming the carpet (naturally), it came to me.  It was so simple...what if I spend the month of January taking pictures of my mornings?

Back and forth over the rug in my living room, I sort of fleshed out the idea.  I decided that I would need to get up and get going just a little bit earlier on workdays.  Give myself 5-10 minutes before heading off to work in order to take a few shots.  Which also solves my light issue...or well, rather, my lack of light issue.  It's a win-win situation.

So for the past 27 days, this is pretty much what I have done every morning.

And it is quite possibly one of the very best things I could have done for my photography...and myself.  Because of this intention, I am consciously looking at my mornings a little differently. Looking for the light.  Looking for the gratitude.  Looking for the magic.

And it is because of that mindfulness...being fully present in those few minutes...not thinking about my inbox at work...my mind not racing ahead to what I'm going to make for dinner that night...well it has been the antidote to my pre-work frenzy.  I leave the house with heart full of gratitude and a sense of calm and peace.  Truly, it has grounded and centered my day in a way I have not experienced before.

So while it's true that I may never be a morning person...I have certainly come to see my mornings in a whole new light.  To which I would say - mission accomplished.

So tell me...are you a morning person?  When is your favorite time to shoot?  How do you stay inspired?

Until next time,


Dotti said...

These are beautiful morning light photos, Kelly! Do you dare think about doing it for a year? I can see why it sends you off to work in a better frame of mind. Taking photos always puts me in a better frame of mind. I am not a morning person. One of the things I love about retirement is the luxury of reading my morning paper {the real deal} over my breakfast and tea. My favorite time to shoot? Really, it depends on what the day gives me. If the sun is up early, my living room and dining room have magical light in the morning. Often, though, it's the late afternoon light in my kitchen and back porch that makes me swoon. Off to fetch the paper ...

Linda said...

I am a morning person, most of the time. I love the serenity of it. There's an anticipation to it, almost an energy waiting to be tapped to it. I love watching the light stream through the windows and of course, I love seeing the sun rise. Beautiful shots as always!

terriporter said...

Oh, these are all so lovely, Kelly! I am definitely NOT a morning person but I can really see how those few minutes with your camera help start your day off on the right foot. I do love this time of year when the sun isn't up before I am and I can enjoy and capture the sunrises. Being able to find great light is very inspiring and I'm lucky to live where light is plentiful. I may have to start getting up earlier so I can capture more of it. : )

terriporter said...

Well, my smiley face eyes got separated from it's smile! Sorry 'bout that!

kybarb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kybarb said...

Beautiful photos Kelly! I'm not a morning person either so I love your idea of making the early morning more enjoyable by taking photos and looking for the light. It's taken me many years to adjust to the fact that I have to get up for work early (5am) and I have learned to make it enjoyable by giving myself plenty of time to read and enjoy my breakfast. I love your idea to capture the morning light--so many different ways you have shown. I truly enjoy getting up early as the sun rises on my days off work (2 hours later than working days) and today I took some time to enjoy the morning light with a photo shoot. Enjoying the Studio with Kim Klassen:)

Linda R said...

I LOVED this post. And I love your photos. Im not a morning person. I may have to rethink that now.


Kim Stevens said...

Oh my, I love the morning...everything about it. Maybe it's that my mornings around here are quiet and I can think and start my day with a little stillness. I love sunrises, morning coffee, and being greeted with love from my dog. It's also when my creativity is at it's best. Don't get me wrong I could sleep all morning long...I have to set my alarm, I don't want to miss anything good.

Odd Moon Designs said...

Gorgeous images~the light is amazing (gosh, i love the door image with the glass handle, wow!).

diane said...

What a great thing to do!!! I am in no way, shape or form a morning person. I wish I was. I envy morning people.
Look at all the great shots I'm missing by sleeping in.....dang!
diane @ thoughts and shots

Michelle B said...

You have captured wonderful morning light. What a bonus that it has given you a little peace before the frenzy. I am not a morning person, but your images have me thinking maybe I should get up earlier...

Deanna said...

I tend to waste away my mornings with coffee, newspaper, and my iPhone. You are the inspiration I need to focus on capturing those special mornings. Thank you!!

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