There’s this place filled with creative thoughtful people who share many of the same philosophies and respect each other when their opinions differ. The thing that bonds these folks together is a common love for the art of photography. Strange thing, though, this neighborhood? It’s virtual. It’s Flickr and blogging and Facebook (and others I’m sure). It’s women who check in on each other when one hasn’t been around for a while. It’s a mutual admiration society in the best way, and it’s a visual feast. It’s friendships 2.0 – weird, maybe, to your grandmother. People who’ve never met – sharing intimate details of their lives with each other and trusting one another with secrets. It’s following your gut instinct and it’s impossible to explain to our kids (whom we would never ever allow to do the same). It’s meeting a bunch of strangers for lunch and conversation and it’s some of the most intimate friendships I have ever had. I can’t fully explain it except to say that we don’t get to choose our actual neighbors. And while I’m beyond lucky in that department, there’s something to be said for creating boundary-less networks and filling them with souls who we just plain connect with.
Last month hundreds of these women (I don’t mean to be sexist, but I can’t actually think of any men in my network) took part in an annual ritual of thanksgiving. We counted our blessings in images every day for thirty days. We went about our days considering what we had to be thankful for (and photographing some of them). And while I’d like to tell you that I spend my entire life like this, it wouldn’t be true. But for one month all the nit-picky crap was overshadowed by the small blessings of every day. And of those, there are many.
At the onset, I thought of it as a useful exercise in creative photography. Before long, though, my thinking had begun to change. New habits perhaps? A movement toward a glass-half-full mentality? I’m hoping.
Insert reality check: the things which annoy me daily did not go away. Scrubbing toilets did not become a joy and long dark cold afternoons did not suddenly become light and warm. But truth be told, things I may have previously ignored became drops filling my glass beyond that halfway line. So today, though I might not write about it, or even photograph it, I will walk through my day looking for the things I’m grateful for.
And I’ll start here. With you, my friends.
Just popping in to share a link with y’all. I recently completed a blog redesign for a photographer whose photos I’ve admired on Flickr for some time now. I was thrilled when Maegan hired me and I loved working with her. I’m excited to continue working together on a portfolio site for her business.
Maegan often writes about her creative process and inspiration and she hosts a series on the subject titled: ‘Dozen Details’ where she interviews artists about theirs. Today I’m honored to be featured on this series and I hope you’ll take a few minutes to stop over and take a look. While you’re there, be sure to say hi to Maegan—tell her Amy sent you!
I wanted to include Stephanie in this project for two main reasons. First, she’s awesome. Second, she represents the relationships in my life which have been formed through blogging. You see, I’ve never actually met Stephanie. Yesterday when we video chatted for our ‘portrait session’ was the first time we’d ever spoken face to face (as it were).
There is a moment when a reader/commenter relationship on a blog turns into a friendship. I can’t put my finger on exactly where that moment is, but with Stephanie it was soon after discovering each other that we became friends. Much of what I know about her, you could know too if you read her delightful blog. But I’m learning more through our email and phone conversations and we have plans to meet in the flesh this summer.
It’s an oddly intimate relationship where you start from a place of knowing someone before you’ve even met.
I know that Stephanie is trained as a social worker and worked as such until recently. And that she recently made a leap of faith to follow her dream and become a professional photographer. I know that the choice to become a stay at home mother and freelance photographer was driven by passion but that the transition to it’s reality has been somewhat bumpy. I know that Stephanie has deep and private feelings about spirituality and that they aren’t exactly the ones she was raised with. I know that Stephanie takes great pride in being a woman and a mother and that both of these things are paramount in her life choices.
She writes with a strong and irreverent voice but her actual voice is soft and sweet. To me, her photography illustrates her straightforward and insightful view of the world as her images are revealing without being contrived.
And in addition to all these things, I also know that when we finally meet, it will be wonderful.