Friday, December 30, 2011

Daily Doses of Joy

Only one more day left 'til this year reaches an end and I, like many, find myself contemplating the coming year.  I vacillate between feelings of utter excitement and sheer panic:  There’s so much to do, where do I start?  There are so many possibilities, isn’t life AMAZING!  How might I better myself, and the lives of those around me?  Will I be able to effectively manage being a wife, mother, and businesswoman?  Although the myriad of thoughts causes me simultaneous joy and fear, I do believe that the process of deciding on long-term goals a necessary and fulfilling one.  I also believe that it presents us ideas about smaller changes that might act as the stepping-stones to the bigger stuff.

One of my goals for this coming year is to spend a little more time each day ‘living in joy’.  I think I already sincerely enjoy moments in my day, but I think I could spend more time ‘there’.  Between one child in kindergarten, one in Grade 1, their extra-curricular activities, playdates, groceries, housecleaning, friends, family, marriage, working out, Bella Faccia, and my own yearning to learn more about my art and myself…geesh, the days fill up and, it seemed, there wasn’t much time to quietly be present in the moment...or maybe there was and is (this is a revelation I seem to have often but haven’t been able to fully integrate into my everyday!)

Over this past year I’ve been aware of (and inspired by) a number of people doing 365 projects…the projects I know about involve photography, whereby the person commits to taking and posting an image everyday.  Ian McKenzie, whom I met on a photography workshop, was the first person that I actively followed (he’s one helluva photog who posted pics from urban and rural settings, landscapes, architectural shots and portraits on his quest for a daily shot).  I follow another photographer’s blog, Richard Radstone (an instructor over at PPSOP), who took the idea up a notch (or three!) and has set out to photograph AND interview one STRANGER everyday – WOW!  Darwin Wiggett and Samantha Chrysanthou embarked on a year long project entitled “Fabulous Film Fridays” that I’ve really enjoyed (if you don’t already own a Holga you’ll want to after viewing their work!)  Another photographer, acclaimed artist Dewitt Jones, posts an image everyday with his tag line “Celebrate what’s right with the world!”  I don’t believe Dewitt has any set resolution; rather he simply enjoys sharing beauty, and a majority of the images he posts on Facebook were captured with his iPhone 4S. 

I was recently gifted an iPhone 4S and I have been LOVING having a camera along all the time (I don’t typically walk around with my full frame 5D Mark II but I almost always have my phone with me!)  In addition, there are a bunch of fun apps made specifically for taking, editing, and sharing the imagery captured with the phone’s camera.  I found myself playing around and posting photos as I went (mostly in an effort to understand how this new technology works!).  A friend sent me a note a week or two back saying that she wouldn’t object to me posting an image everyday and it occurred to me that a 365 project might be kind of fun!  But then I started to worry, “what if I can’t fit in a picture everyday?”  And then I thought, “who cares!”   


Over these past few weeks I’ve used my iPhone to create portraits of my kids and dogs, I’ve captured spectacular Alberta skies, I’ve snapped a few while making dinner (thank goodness for a patient husband and good-natured friends!), and even took one while at a red light one day!  Each time I created an image I felt inspired, renewed, and even, yes, joyful…joyful because I love making pictures!  When I’m working I feel a lot of joy; however it is, necessarily, tinged with the pressure of producing a portrait that, hopefully, captures my client’s true self – and, during my work, there is often an expensive full frame camera, studio lights, modifiers, wireless triggers, and people waiting for spectacular results.  When I’m taking pictures on my own time, and with any ol’ camera I choose, with no rules about what, who, or where, it is a totally freeing experience – I would say that, for me, it’s quasi meditative.

So here I go…I am officially beginning my 365’ish project (the ‘ish = me releasing myself of unnecessary pressure!)!  The images will be posted to my personal Facebook page, although I will likely share some on Bella Faccia’s page from time to time. 

I am excited about this small step I am taking toward a larger vision of increasing the joy in my life.  I hope that you too might find a little project that brings you daily joy – a new recipe a day if you love to cook, perhaps a ‘12 project’ where you read the top 12 books you’ve always wanted to read but never got around to, or anything that will have you joyfully looking forward to your daily ‘meditative moment’ in this chaotic lifestyle we lead.

I wish you a new year filled with JOY and the awareness that we sometimes (perhaps often) need to schedule it in!

Happy New Year!

Life is great!


* All photos included in this post were taken by me with the iPhone 4S using Instagram, Camera+, Snapseed, and sometimes both Camera+ and Snapseed!

~You may view Ian McKenzie’s work at
~Richard Radtsone’s blog is over at
~Darwin Wiggett and Samantha Chrysanthou just wrapped up their Fabulous Film Fridays and are now embarking on their new project…you can see their work, purchase their e-books, find out about their photography workshops, AND be inspired to live a life that’s a little lighter on our planet, over at
~Dewitt Jones website is

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