I have learned about myself that I become weary of doing the same things over and over and over again. Some people don't mind this, but my personality loathes it. I can do it for a while and then I suddenly snap. It is the same in 'regular' life and in my creative life. The same yard with the same lighting and the same children doing the same things... it becomes boring. I've done that. I have that image. There's no need to continue photographing, because it's already there. It doesn't give me the artistic endorphin rush I crave.
I always read that the key to photography was light. I always felt a little 'well duh' inside at that. It took some years for me to really understand that. I didn't always see the light. I saw my subject. Now I see that I'm photographing what the light does to my subject. Light is everything. Absolutely everything.
And light opens up the creative doors. Every day there are a million different lighting scenarios everywhere I go. I cannot get bored with this - there are always new situations, new backgrounds, new plays with light. I think that is why I love photography so much. I see endless opportunity. I will never 'arrive'. There will always, always be something new to learn and new to try.
Several years ago I put my camera away, safely in its bag, once the sun went below the tree line. I thought my moments of opportunity for that day were done. A year and a half ago, I would have done the same, because my D90 just couldn't hack the ISO I'd need to shoot after sundown. Now, I savor this time! Now I look forward to this unique moment of light that is so unlike any other all day long when the sun remains overhead.
She is the perfect girl to me. She has never been interested in princesses or fairy tales. She likes to play in the dirt with her brother. She loves pink and dresses and hair adornments. It's simply the perfection combination for me. In the last few months she has embraced dresses. Every time we go out to eat, she simply MUST wear a dress. Sometimes, quite frankly, that is incredibly inconvenient. But I, myself, am embracing it, too. While she is young and carefree and her sweet self, let's let her don a dress and feel like a princess. Her kind of princess. Not a disney princess. Not one who needs a prince. Just a beautiful maiden in beautiful garments.
It was Daddy's birthday this night. I believe she felt that deserved a little more dressy a dress than usual, and she chose the fairy tale dress she wore in the wedding last October. She wore it for the wedding, and she wore it at the beach shortly thereafter. She's not worn it since. I had it cleaned and it's hung in the closet. I even took it to the beach two weeks ago, but I didn't put her back in it. I regret that now.
She came downstairs wearing it, needing help to zip up the back. I gasped inside. She is magnificent in this dress. Simply magnificent. It was made for her, and I hope we can eek out a little longer in it.
After our meal out, the sun had dipped below our little valley and treeline but wasn't quite near the real sunset in Tennessee. We had some time. The light felt magical to me. I had tried to photograph her earlier in the day for an assignment and she was significantly less than cooperative. I begged her to please let me do a few special images in her beautiful dress. I tried really hard to let her do her thing and capture it, not directing too terribly much.
I would never have attempted these with my D90, and that makes me so beyond thankful that I have the D800 to use these days. It is such a treasure to me. A tool that allows me to express my creativity while documenting this fleeting time I'll never have again. I am loving who they are right now. We are enjoying them so much. And yet, I see childhood slipping through my fingers as the sands of an hourglass and feel saddened that I'll never have their toddler and preschooler hood again.
I shot these with my Nikon D800
Nikon 85mm f1.8
Nikon 50mm 1.4D
Sigma 30mm f1.4