Best of 2016 ~ Portraits

In California we don't get much rain, or, at least, up until now. This January has been the wettest January in a long time. I think that's a good omen for 2017. Rainy days give me an excuse to sit at my computer and reflect on what I created last year. When it's sunny out, I think I better get out and do something. I've realized that reflecting IS doing something. It's rewarding my creative soul with a pat on the back. It's an opportunity to process and assess all I created for myself and my clients. In my reflection, I found three areas of interest my photography took in 2016: portraits, personal lifestyle and a sprinkling of landscapes and still life photos. 

Below are my favorite portraits of 2016.

83 Palm Sunday

The church we attend does something a little different for Palm Sunday. The adults get a service filled with the music and message from Jesus Christ Superstar and a New Thought narration. The kids who choose to not watch the show, join us in youth church for their own special celebration. Our youth minister talks to each child individually affirming how absolutely amazing they are and then the children walk down a path lined with cheering friends, flowers and palms.

I helped set up the walkway with photos in mind. And then, just before the first child walked down (my child) I said to myself "emotion." I knew in that moment that I really wanted to capture the emotion of the event. Yes, I set up for good light, got my settings down and knew where to stand for leading lines, but, once all that was figured out, all I wanted to capture was the emotion of the moment. The true heart-felt faces of kids while an adult, who loves them, tells them how wonderful they are followed by cheers by their peers. On the Friday before Palm Sunday, Little D and I went with friends and their daughters to view the documentary for the Kind Project. It illustrated how truly mean children can be to one another. Today, on Palm Sunday, we did a little bit to counter that social challenge and it was beautiful.

When was the last time you looked in someone's eyes and affirmed their value and worth? Just saying, "I see YOU and know that you are beautiful, strong, wise, powerful, creative, joyful, peaceful, and absolutely perfect just the way you are." I think we could do it more often. When those kids walked down that path after hearing those words they walked a little taller. And I think that's what will solve much of what ails this world.

49 Strangers

During this week of beach walks, I've noticed the beauty of strangers and I just couldn't help but include them in my photo journal. It reminds me of Vivian Meier. How many photos she must have taken that descendants of her subjects would treasure today. She was so good at her art. To be the lucky one chosen as one of her subjects would be like winning the lottery. Unfortunately, she never took names of her subjects so it would probably be impossible to trace. It made me think of printing some business cards to hand to people in this instance that said something like, "I may have gotten a nice portrait of you or a member of your group. If you are curious, email me and I'll share what I got." Could that land me in jail? Ummm...I wonder. I don't think I will be printing those cards anytime soon, but if Vivian Meier was living today and came up to me with one of those cards, I would contact her in a heartbeat.

48 Beach Walk

Our beach walks continue, despite a mysterious foot injury I seem to have. It's painful to walk. Strange, since I only started walking consistently last week. Anyway, I stayed calm and carried on, leading us to today's walk. We didn't get far before the beauty of the light was too much for me. I had to take some photos. It's cooler today, but we stayed out for nearly an hour. Really, these beach walks are good for the soul.

44 Breathing Space

It's been a rough 10 days. Hubby's been away. Things tend to be a little different when he's gone because Little Miss has to go with me every where, even when she doesn't want to. A few days ago I started taking a walk with her in the late afternoon. It gives us both breathing space. I'm a much better mommy after our walk. Today, I took my camera and couldn't resist capturing some portraits of my 4-year-old girl.