Tuesday Viewsday VIII
People who know me personally can tell you that I’m a very passionate and driven person especially when it comes to taking on something new. I love exploring the unexplored and pushing the boundaries of what my mind and body can do. I thrive on action and productivity and ever since I can remember, I have always been the type of person to get anxious when I just sit still; I have to constantly be doing something. Even the time I spend relaxing is usually planned out in my schedule.
You would think that with this type of lifestyle, I would be used to juggling everything, and for the most part, I am, but I’ll be honest and tell you that there are times when I get overwhelmed. I rarely have time to do everything I have on my mind to do and even when I’m being productive on one project, I feel guilty for not being able to work on a couple of other projects as well.
That’s why I feel guilty when I find myself saying “no” to a project or photo shoot. It’s like ripping off a band-aid; it kills me to do it, but I feel great afterward. For someone like me, as I’m assuming most photographers and creative professionals are, the power of the word “no” is often underestimated, but totally freeing. We don’t have to say it all the time, but saying it to those things in our lives that aren’t on top of the priority list is a great tactic to take. It frees up time for the things we do love to do and are passionate about doing.
Anyway, that’s my little rant/reflection for today. On with the image…
Back in 2009, I had some training to do at a facility in Escanaba, Michigan, a beautiful, little town in the Upper Peninsula on the banks of Lake Michigan. The drive there, while long, was beautiful and gave me a lot of time to just be with my thoughts. For anyone who has driven through the Wisconsin/Minnesota/Upper Michigan area, you know what I’m talking about; there’s a sort of serenity that seems to come with only those places in the world that still feel untouched by human hands.
I was lucky to have my camera with me and, even luckier to have a few hours at sunset and a few more hours the following morning at sunrise, to shoot. After the training, I headed down to the waterfront to explore the history of the area (Escanaba was, and still is, one of the most important harbor stops on Lake Michigan) as well as catch the sun fading over the peaceful town.
As I was exploring the exterior of a small lighthouse there on the peninsula, I heard some splashing followed by giggling. I followed the sounds behind the lighthouse to a small secluded area of the coastal beach where a mother was sitting watching her two daughters, one a toddler and the other elementary-school age, splashing each other at the edge of the lake. Mom was sitting on a blanket with the remains of a picnic dinner and they were all enjoying the moment.
I was captivated and had to snap off an image or two. I pretended to be taking photos of the lakeshore and horizon, then I would swing my camera down and snap a couple of the family. As any street photographer can tell you, candid portraits are inspiring, but difficult to capture and it takes some trickery and finesse; I used both. I took a couple of images and continued on my way. This image is still my favorite. From the blue color of the lake to the out-of-focus high grass in the foreground to the way the little girl is standing, just waiting for something to happen… it’s a great shot with a great story.