Sometimes these personal posts are more like a therapeutic process for me. I guess like a diary of some sort. I kept a diary for years when I was younger. I literately have 20 of them stashed away in some boxes somewhere in my attic. I should try to find them and maybe read a few entries. I wonder how the old me would inspire or affect the "new" me. Apparently every 10 years that pass by in your life comes with a brand new you. It takes about 7-10 years for your bodies old cells to be replaced with completely new ones. I am literately speaking not the same person I was when I was 16. Don't quote me directly I'm not a scientist but what I have been doing lately is thinking a lot about the meaning of life and death.
It seems like a really morbid thing to talk about but in the last few years I have been through some very difficult situations that have led me to want to learn and discover more. More about humans, the human mind, the earth and the universe. So I find myself watching documentaries, and reading a lot. My husband "A" and I have recently started watching astronomy lectures online from UCI. If you ask me what I believe in now I would say a lot of different things.
I have a fondness for nature especially flowers which is pretty obvious in my work. When I'm under a lot of stress I close my eyes and imagine myself in a beautiful garden surrounded by cherry blossom tree's, walking amongst hedge mazes and brushing against hanging wisteria. I guess for a person living in the city amongst concrete and busy streets my safe place is in nature. I think we are definitely one with nature. On top of that I believe in karma and positive vs negative energy, but then the paranormal comes into my mind which leads to magic, ghosts and witches.
How could I not believe in the unknown when my pre-teen years were spent with my sister playing with our Ouija board every night. Or reading witch stories from my grandmothers old book in the farm lands of Croatia. It was the farm my father grew up in and I would be lying if I didn't say that I have felt my grandfathers presence once or twice while sleeping there.
The last two years I have felt a shift in myself and I think that has changed the way I look at my photographs. We photograph the way we experience life. Maybe not even the realistic way that we experience life but the way we see it through our eyes, or even our own rose coloured shades.
Photography is a difficult journey I'm not even going to sugar coat it. Even your most successful moments only last for a fleeting second and your back to square one. Your back to sitting there with just you and your camera or you and you ideas. Starting all over again. Taking a risk or chance. Putting yourself out there even when you feel afraid.
Last winter I tried something different. I tried to photograph things that weren't people. I have never really been good at photographing anything but people and I thought it would be a good project for me to step outside of my comfort zone. This winter I have sort of fell back into that routine however I decided not to limit myself and rather to just shoot more in general.
I'm working on my series Secret Garden. Each month I get ready to shoot the next concept in the garden. So I am constantly spending hours in my attic inhaling fumes of spray paint and decorating the scene. Then I spend days creating outfits and putting mood boards together. Some times I finish much earlier then I thought I would and I find myself with that "down time".
Within that time I am usually doing a million and one things. I usually spend my time researching and working on the business aspect of photography. Sometimes I am just dreaming around the house. Every winter my emotions drop a bit and I find myself more reflective and not as filled with eagerness.
This year I picked up my camera and I just started shooting. It started when a friend asked me to photograph an old church in our city. I found myself in the court yard. The snow fell softly like little flakes of fairy dust. There was a small yellow rose that was hanging on for dear life. It was getting colder. It was already the end of November and winter was coming. Sometimes I feel like that yellow rose. Open and exposed to the natural elements. It was the most beautiful thing I had seen in a long while. It was just so perfect. A little piece of summer was holding on. It yearned for life and wasn't ready to let go. Kind of how I feel with photography some days. A yearning to hold on so tightly to it.
Then I did a few random self portraits. It seemed that every time I saw some beautiful light my camera wasn't with me or the battery wasn't charged so I decided to keep my battery charged and have my camera near by.
"A" and I went on a little road trip a few weeks back. I felt like I needed to just get out of my routine for a few days. I often feel like I'm sucked into this photographic world and it envelopes me like quick sand does. Sometimes even if just for a few days I need to climb out and jump into the waves of the ocean.
I shot a bunch of pictures during our small road trip. I shot things that I would never shoot. I never cared for the tip of a tree at sundown or a bathroom selfie but I was shooting those things anyways. I was shooting them because I just needed to photograph. I just needed to take more photos in my life.
I starred out the car window watching the light skies darken. I photographed as much as I could in that beautiful light that I call the "in between". I snapped a picture of an army of hydro towers. When I was a kid I always imagined that they were an army of robots that arrived from alien ships. The memory made me smile as I was reminded of my childhood and my wild imagination that has seemed to never leave my side.
After our mini road trip I spent the day at my sisters watching my niece. I love watching her grow. I love her curiosity and her stubbornness. Ever since the day she was born she has been a little rebel. Never wanting to do things the way they should be done it's always been her way or the highway. She challenges you yet she is shy and loving. My favorite thing that she does right now is when she grabs my face and fiercely kisses me. She is only two and yet she does everything with such passion.
I placed a reef of flowers on her head and called her my fairy queen. She's so used to being told to smile when someone picks up a camera and she hates and I mean hates being photographed but on this day I said to her "You don't have to smile, just let auntie Deet take some pictures of you". She said "okay" and then did her own thing. Sometimes she'd look at me and flash a smile and other times she would just ruffle her brows and shoot me a serious face.
So I think about life more and the simple satisfactions of life. I don't want to put so much of my life's happiness on my successes but rather on the people who make my life worth living, on the days where I can look out the window and remember my childhood, or even when I'm standing outside for a quiet moment breathing in the cold winter air. I'm looking up at the stars intrigued out how small I am.