Inevitable End-of-the-Year Reflections

With Christmas Day over and my house a disaster, I thought a lot today about what I want to/need to do in the next two weeks while I’m off of work and the girls are still out for break. I also read a great article on my photography friend Yvette’s blog here that made me think even harder about the new year and the resolutions we all inevitably make. The girls were playing in the backyard, and the cat and I were kind of watching them through the window for a while as I wandered around, deep in thought. Then they caught me watching, so they talked me into coming out too and I already had my camera in my hands :)

I usually use that coveted time (when they’re getting along AND their cute little voices aren’t quite so loud) to do things that require thinking — reading, balancing the checkbook, etc. But I try to remember when everyone tells me to play more with my kids and that I can read and balance the checkbook when they’re in bed at night. It reminded me of what my grandfather told me when he was near the end of his life — “I always wish I had’ve spent more time at home, with my kids, instead of working all my life.” And you hear women often say things like “stop cleaning and PLAY with your kids.” I could go on and on about how the concept of a father and a husband working too much has shaped me and changed my life, but I’m saving lots of thoughts that require too much writing on my end and reading on everyone else’s for my 365 for next year, which I think I might do on my other blog, since it’s more of a personal journey I want to document anyway. After taking a few snaps outside, I came in a put the camera down and then we spent an hour or so collecting lemons and building more fairy houses (my girls’ favorite thing to do in the backyard!)

Although I wish I could document EVERYTHING (and I’m assuming if you’re visiting my blog you have some sort of mild interest in what I post) I realize that sometimes only my kids like to look at pictures of everything we do in painstaking detail. But then, THAT is what I love about photography. Capturing a memory, not creating one. I love to capture the minutia of life because later, we all sit down and re-experience what we lived through the photograph(s) that helped capture it all. So, it might be minutia, but it’s MY minutia!

My point is, it’s difficult sometimes for me to put down the camera and live the experience rather than attempt to capture the experience for everyone else (and myself). My girls are used to my camera being a fixture, but too often I experience our lives through the viewfinder rather than by being a part of the action. I really do try to do both, but I hate missing a photograph of things sometimes more than I hate missing actually being a part of the experience. Am I twisted or what?

That is what my New Year’s Resolution is. To put the camera down more often, and try to have a better balance between what is happening and attempting to capture what is happening. Which then leads me to my next thought — perhaps I should pursue photography to supplement my income as a public school teacher. I share a contract, which means I basically make 50% of the salary of all of the other teachers, and while I CHOSE to work half time, I did so in 2004, which was a several years before my divorce. Hindsight is always 20/20, we all know. And though I’ve loved being able to spend so much time at home with my kids, I also would love to save more money and feel more financially sound. If I could make some sort of living capturing the minutia of other people’s lives, I’d perhaps satisfy that need for myself, and make a little supplemental income as well. Anyway, just thinking out loud, and also thinking a lot about the 365 I’d like to do next year. This will be my 5th year, 2 projects were failures, but I’m hooked :) Also, for any of my Flickr contacts that want to join, there is a 365+1 for 2012 group here.

If you’re a regular visitor to my blog, I’d love to hear from you — don’t be shy! I’m always interested in why people visit and what, if anything, makes them want to visit again. The comment box doesn’t require that anyone fill anything out but their first name :)







Oh, and perhaps one thing on my list of to-do’s should be to try to fix the arbor that is leaning at a ridiculous angle in that last picture? There’s a heavy bouganvilla growing on top, and that thing has seen better days ;)

13 Responses to Inevitable End-of-the-Year Reflections

  1. kim says:

    I have to say I love your blog! I live in Sydney Australia and I look forward to seeing what you and your kids are up to everyday! You seem to capture everyday moments in such a special way that makes everything seem magical. It’s really great what you do and I can only imagine how much your girls will appreciate it when they are older to look back on how great their childhoods were.

  2. Jen says:

    I love reading your blog. I’ve been following your flickr since your 365 in 2008. We started at the same time, but one of us didn’t finish ;) I live over 2000 miles from you but after following your flickr and now your blog I feel like I know you a little bit. I’ve seen your girls grow up through your pictures and I’ve enjoyed getting a little glimpse into your life.

  3. angela king says:

    i know EXACTLY how you feel. last year was rough picture wise for me. there was so much going on i just didn’t pick up the camera. and i hate that. i am getting back into the swing of things. i documented christmas even but held back on christmas and just tried to enjoy it.

    i totally think you should go into photography as a business. i guess i never realized you weren’t. your work is amazing. families would be very lucky to have you capture their minutias. :)

  4. Tim says:

    Hi Allison, I’ve been a follower for years, too. I always enjoy what you call the minutia. It’s nice to see your newfound happiness, and you seem much happier now than in the past. Keep documenting the mundane. It’s not really all that mundane!

  5. erin says:

    I found you through flickr :) I don’t post (many) public photos but I love looking at inspired and inspiring work. Your work is both to me: inspired and inspiring. As someone who has unfortunately experienced monumental loss, I think your photos represent what I wish I had documented of my past & the people I no longer see everyday (only sometimes in my dreams and in a fleeting photograph). I hope you keep photoing and sharing. Here’s to an amazing 2012!

    For what it is worth, I’d love to hire you to document my life. Feel like taking a trip to the Napa Valley? :)

    -erin

    • Allison says:

      Erin, I haven’t been to Napa since I was about 18, I’d love to go back! We often talk about making a trip, it’s just a matter of planning. I have friends that live up near there and they’ve been badgering me a lot lately to come for a visit in the spring. They were actually down for a visit today and we talked about a Napa trip in late March if I can swing it. So, maybe??? LOL :)

  6. Allison says:

    Wow, everyone :) Thank you so much for commenting! Sometimes I wonder who’s reading, and it’s nice to know you’re out there! Your words mean a lot, thank you :)

  7. Zuzana says:

    Hi, Alison I´m not shy :o) I like your blog, exactly your style…it is full of love, to your family and photography also. I like it very much :o) Regards from Slovakia

  8. mickisha says:

    Allison I find your pictures so inspiring because like you I am a “hobbyist” trying to capture my life’s moments in a beautiful way. Every image is so beautiful to look at and I admire your talent. I think you would be a wonderful photographer to hire. For me I have decided that it would take the enjoyment out of photography to do it “full-time”. I would love it if you would post some of your settings and or tips behind the shots you take. I love to learn what goes into the images people create! Thanks for all the eye candy:)

  9. Allison says:

    It’s really nice to hear from you all, thank you!!!

  10. Rachel says:

    Wow Allison – you are famous!!! Unlike some of the other comments…I actually do know you and think your work is amazing. I check out your blog b/c I think you have significant skill in capturing every day life. I like that about you. It cracks me up that you would even doubt doing this for a living…you are good. Let 2012 be the year you make that jump. RL

  11. Kaila says:

    Hi!

    I enjoy your posts and pictures immensely! I have followed your blog off an on for years ;).

  12. Tineka says:

    Hi I am a SAHM of two kids in New Zealand. I am trying to develop my photography further by completing a couple of photo projects this year. I am doing the MCP actions project 12 and am also looking for a project 52 (yeah I know I am late starting this but I can’t yet seem to find one I want to commit to. I also started a blog this year http://photosbytineka.blogspot.com/ although with the inlaws staying for the last fortnight in our computer room/office/second lounge/photography studio/spare room it has kinda fallen over a little. I love the colours in your photos and have really enjoyed the stories I have read so far. The feet photographs make me giggle. T

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