May is national photography month. Photography is dynamic; a blend of daily life, nostalgia, and art. Looking at pictures is like going back in time, or looking through a window and seeing a different version of the world as you know it. It is also the ability to get creative and artistic while taking pictures and capturing those candid and raw moments. Dayna Wood, our leadership coach, loves photography and two of her images have been chosen to appear in the Files & Film art show. She shares some of the reasons she celebrates her craft:
My aim in photography and art is not to create a pretty picture. Though, I admire technicality. I seek to bring what at first appearance seems split down the middle closer together; the sacred in the profane, and the temporality of the pure. Saudade, a Portuguese word that doesn’t translate into English, elicits happy and sad feelings simultaneously. It is the recollection of feelings and experiences that once brought pleasure, well-being, and love, but which are now gone. The missing triggers the senses and makes one feel alive again. My hope is these images will necessitate altering assumptions.
Likewise, photography allows me to see anew. It is like an applied meditation practice: not only the taking of the pictures but the choosing which ones to bring into the darkroom, and then in the darkroom, I can’t help but be in a constant state of “awe”. The slowing down. You have to take it step-by-step or there will be no image. And, the images that arise are never quite what you expect. It is manifestation at its finest (even if the image “isn’t good”). You have to do your part and then let go.
When celebrating photography this month, think about how often you look at pictures, or take pictures. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t take a picture of something that I share with someone else later, or that I don’t look at pictures other people have taken. Even if you are an amateur photographer, or don’t consider yourself much of a photographer at all, there are still ways to celebrate this month. Creating a photo album, making a family tree with pictures, taking selfies, and taking pictures on your nature walk are great ways to start.
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Alli is our office manager and writer who is passionate about connecting people through words. Alli studied English at Arizona State University, just recently moved to St. Pete and is enjoying paradise. Her interests include painting, history, and learning about other people.