Friday, January 21, 2011

Best. Gift. Ever.



My family really hit one out of the park this Christmas. They gave me a book - a real, bound book - of my own photographs.

They raided my hard drive and my Flickr account and spent hours together sifting through thousands of photos and choosing their favorites. Then they worked together on the layout of each page and paired many shots with poetry from everyone from Shel Silverstein and Ogden Nash to Cookie Monster.

And as if that weren't enough, this is what they wrote in the front fold of the dust jacket:



The irony of the thing is that at that time I had pretty much put aside my cameras and given up on photography. It was a combination of frustration with the complex new camera and discouragement with never getting exactly the shot I intended. They could always be sharper, better framed, taken from a better angle ... just better. And I couldn't seem to do better.

I lost my mojo. Where once I had found inspiration in everything from a dead leaf to the water heater timer, nothing moved me anymore. I was so done with it that I was on the verge of deleting every photo I had ever taken.








And then, this. This wonderful gift. Not just the book itself, but of the care and time and effort and love they put into it. I was humbled and flattered that they thought my photos worthy of such a project - and a little embarrassed that they kept carrying it off to show around to coworkers and family. They were all so proud of it, and justifiably so.

I had never seen any of my work printed. I was shocked to see that most of the shots were really not so bad. And some were pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.

So I'm back. Still cussing and fussing from time to time, but back out there with a camera in my hand.

Along with that book, and all that love, they rescued a part of myself that was about to curl up and die. Now that's a gift.

12 comments:

myletterstoemily said...

oh, how they love you!

Snappy Di said...

Totally awesome and thoughtful gift.

Di

Kiki aka Victoria said...

Yay Fabulous...shine on..here's to you and your super lovely family!! Cheers!!

Daryl said...

This is not just a super gift, its a wonderful post .. and another thing to be envious of ... all that love .. you are a very lucky talented woman .. and dont you ever give up again!

Kala said...

What a FANTASTIC gift. I can see a lot of thought and effort went into it.

Rebecca said...

Wow! That is terrific. What a great idea. I was losing my momentum to and I started going to local MeetUps for photography. Now I can't wait to get out and get more photos.

MeetUp.com - check it out.

Rambling Woods said...

This brought tears to my eyes. I know how special that would be..I do hope this will bring back the mojo as I love your photos....

Deb said...

Love is mighty powerful ! Amazing gift, amazing photographer, amazing family.Please tell your family that I, and many of your followers, are thankful that they gave you a gift which allowed you to see the talent that you have.

jo said...

It certainly is!
Actually, reading this made me shiver with emotion. It moved me on so many levels. I'm sure this will be your most precious possession from here on in.

I so know what you mean about the complexities of the new camera. I feel very much the same and mourn the old one, which is now defunct. And with me it is also touch and go, trying to claw out of a hole. One good picture out of a hundred, I can cope with. None out of three hundred is hard to take.

I want the comfy old pair of shoes back ....

katharine lion said...

What an amazing gift! So much Love!
I have to say, I really like your photos. I'm a photographer myself and photography teacher, so I know!
Just to let you know, we artists all feel like that from time to time, frustrated with attaining perfection. That search for perfection in our work is what makes us successful artists. That being said, did you know that Native American bead weavers would always weave one wrong colored bead in to their pattern in homage to the imperfection that is implicit in nature?
Happy Shooting!

MyMaracas said...

Thanks, everyone, for your kind comments and for all of your support. Your notes here touched me as much as the gift itself. I am indeed lucky, to have family and friends that lift me up when I need it most.

I will check out the MeetUp link, Rebecca ... Jo, I've gone back to my own "comfy shoes" camera for the most part. Katharine, I love the idea of the deliberate imperfection. I'll keep that in mind.

Again, to all of you, THANKS!

sue said...

I too was very touched by this gift. The layers of creativity: yours, family, poets. How wonderful that this is possible. Beautiful.
Thankyou for dropping by and saying 'Hi' on Barriers to Change.