“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are” –e.e. Cummings
Each week we share a piece of us on our photographic journey. We have titled this series, “Courage to Grow”. We hope that our own soul searching will inspire similar introspection in our readers and that together we can make our best art and live our best lives.
It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
Henry David Thoreau
At the end of last year, I took this image.
It was a simple image of my red shoes as we went for a bush walk. I titled the image ‘ red and green…tis the season”. I had a light bulb moment and thought, ” What if I captured only red and green images for all of December”. I was craving creativity as we packed up our home and moved house. I needed a visual escape from the brown packing boxes. I embarked on this challenge, and really enjoyed it. I received loads of love and comments. At the end of the month, I created this pretty collage.
As I faced a new year, I had another light bulb moment. What if I captured a combination of colours each month? I could pick a theme colour for the month, and share it as my Project 365. I started 2015 with excitement, and something new to embrace. January is summer here in Australia, and so blue, yellow, and orange were the colours for the month. February arrived, and I picked red, white and pink. And my enthusiasm started to fade. It was hard. I had thought with Valentine’s day being in the middle of month, I would see these colours. I didn’t.
I started looking. The kind of looking you experience when you have lost your keys. You turn over all of the cushions on the lounge. You empty your handbag five times. It is frantic looking. I am a visual person, and when we go on adventures with my family, I am always pointing out the beauty that I see. A tree filled with yellow flowers against the blue sky. A field of green grass with an old red barn. This frantic looking for red, white, and pink felt old. Why wasn’t I seeing these colours. I felt uninspired. I felt trapped in a project that I had created, and I hit pause. I quietly stopped posting the theme, and returned to capturing the beauty in my everyday.
Had I failed? What went wrong? I didn’t know. I started this project to embrace colour, and create new images. I paused the project, and felt flat that I couldn’t maintain my goals. A few months past by, and then I stumbled on the book “Light, Gesture, Color (Voices that Matter) by Jay Maisel.
When I read this quote, I felt goosebumps
You must learn to leave yourself open to accept things rather than anxiously searching for them. You cannot say, “Today, light; tomorrow, gesture; the next day, color! And I’ll do all three by Sunday!” It just doesn’t work that way.
This is exactly what had happened with my colour project. I had wrapped up my creativity in a box with a pretty bow. I had labelled it the “colour of life” project. I had thought I was stretching myself but instead I was limiting my creativity by “anxiously searching” for colour. My inspiration comes from what I see, and being “open to accept things”.
Today, I am unwrapping the pretty box. I am pressing play on the “colour of life” project. I am letting colour inspire me to create. Today, I may see the tree filled with red autumn leaves. Tomorrow, the blue hues of the sky or the green of the grass on a walk in a National Park. Today, I will capture the colour that I see rather than looking for the colour….and EEK! I am rejoicing!
Cindy is a Sydney photographer who loves to capture the ordinary moments in our family life. This is family photography that is unposed, relaxed, and in the moment. She is a Mum to five gorgeous children, who have taught her all she knows about documenting our story with images. She loves colour, light, and details. She enjoys baking and coloring-in with her daughters.
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