Images Of Gratitude (p.14)
"Gratitude Makes Sense Of Our Past, Brings Peace For Today, And Creates A Vision For Tomorrow." - Melody Beattie
By Christina Bowman
Life happens ... and it happens fast. We tend to go through our lives as if we are on a treadmill that repeats the same program almost every day. It is easy to get caught up in the monotony of work, keeping up a household, and taking care of those you love.
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE
Imagine, for a moment, that you allow yourself the luxury of a journey of gratitude. For the next 30 days, take just a few minutes out of your day to focus on the positive. Step off the treadmill of life and pick up a camera. You can use your cell phone, iPad, point-and-shoot, or digital camera with exchangeable lenses. It is irrelevant if you rarely pick up a camera or take hundreds of photographs a day, as the technicality of your pictures is not as important as the meaning behind them. Tell your story in your own unique way and it will be beautiful!
CREATE YOUR IMAGE
You may wake up each morning with excitement knowing exactly what you will photograph, or take the more organic approach as you go about your day until you find what inspires you. Either way, once you have chosen the subject for your image of gratitude, consider taking a few different pictures. Start by photographing the subject from your daily perspective. Next, get low to the ground and see how your view changes. You might find a ladder or another safe place to take a picture from above. Instead of focusing on the entire subject, fill the frame with part of the subject for an interesting close up. You can also try the opposite and have your subject as a small portion of your composition. If the object is moveable, take it to a new location to see how the background or lighting changes the object’s appearance. Challenge yourself to see the extraordinary in the ordinary.
SHARE AND INSPIRE
Your family and friends may be inspired to create their own gratitude project after learning of yours, especially if you share through social media. For example, by posting to Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest you are communicating your desire to focus on the positive in your life. Each picture will remind others of the little things that make every day special.
Does your young child love to grab your cell phone and take pictures? Imagine seeing life through his eyes by starting him on his own rewarding journey of gratitude. After he finishes his month-long quest, consider printing his pictures to create a keepsake book. It can be as quick as attaching the images to half sheets of cardstock paper. Then bind them together with staples or use a clasp ring to create a flip book. Think of your child’s delight when you present him with a visual representation of what he loves. An additional way to share the experience is by working together to journal why each image is meaningful. This can also become a great independent project for older children.
FURTHER YOUR JOURNEY
You might find that you become captivated by seeing the small wonders in your life, and want to extend your project for a longer period of time. Either way, you will have a meaningful and lasting memory for yourself and those you love! It will speak volumes as to who you are and what your life was like during this time period.
Don’t wait! Grab your camera and get started on your journey of gratitude today. You might be surprised by how your perspective of the world around you changes.
Christina Bowman is the owner of Christina Bowman Photography, LLC, www.cbowmanphotography.com.