June is Photography Month

The advice to busy people these days is to make time to unplug and to remove yourself from the constant tug of email and social media.  Mindfulness and technology, so the conventional wisdom goes, are incompatible.  Our phones have become extensions of ourselves in so many ways, but mostly they are our conduits to all the benefits and drawbacks of a technological life.  The flexibility and mobility that the smartphone allows us can quickly turn into a tether that will not release us from work or social obligations or from the twitchy need to check, check, check our social media feeds.

I heartily endorse time spent unplugged, but, ironically, not while I am exercising (one of the times in our day when we are bidden to be mindfully unplugged).  One of the ironies of my time spent on my brisk long walks is that, far from being unplugged, I am plugged in in multiple ways, and being plugged in is nothing but enriching.  I listen to my favourite podcasts, and often they will keep me walking for longer (and reaping the benefits of more exercise) because I don’t want to stop listening.  I am also constantly on the lookout for interesting things to photograph while I walk, and taking my #photofrommydailywalk for our Instagram feed has become a precious creative outlet.  I am amazed at what I can do with a phone camera.

intro photo week

 

A dear friend recently suggested that I keep a gratitude journal as a way to counteract stress, and I have begun one, but I will often forget to write in it for a few days and have to backdate it.  I recently realized, though, that the exercise of taking, editing and selecting (just one of?!) my daily photos is a form of a gratitude journal.  I am capturing images of things that give me joy or strike me as worthy of recording, and I am editing those images in the same way I would craft a narrative of gratitude in a journal.   My #photosfrommydailywalk are also a way to be more mindful of my surroundings.  It is true that I am not hearing all the sounds of nature as I walk Toronto’s streets, parks and ravines, but I am all the more visually attentive.  I am also much more likely to stop and smell the roses–well the peonies and the lilacs lately–because I am so captivated by the challenge of how to photograph them in interesting ways.

lilacpeony

And that’s what this month is all about.  June is photography month here at 4Mothers, and we are really excited about the posts we have coming up.  This week, we will have a round-up of gift ideas for teachers and our reviews of kids’ books we’ve loved lately.  Later in the month, we will have a week of How-To posts on all things photographic: photo crafts with kids, how to take great portraits of kids with your phone camera, how to take and edit still life photos, and more.  We will have a week of photos that illustrate words unique to our families, and to round out the month, we will be discussing The Self and The Selfie for At Issue.

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