Today I Am Asking Why???

I just was reading a new book on my Kindle called "The Creative Life in Photography" by Brooks Jensen. This book has got me thinking about why I am doing the type of photography I am doing. I mean really digging deep into why I am photographing horses, dogs, nature etc.. Sure I am always in the pursuit of learning more and perfecting my craft, but why? What is it I am trying to accomplish by photographing my subjects? I sat in silence to really dig deep. Here is what came to me. Since I was small I have been attracted to the animal kingdom. I had an imaginary farm in my head at age three, I still can recall every detail of this farm. As I grew up I was continuously bringing home lost dogs, kittens, rabbits, baby birds, turtles and mice  I drove my parents crazy with these creatures I wanted to have live with us. So there started the root of my interest.

But today after many years of living (59 to be exact) I am asking the question why? What is it about animals and nature that has dominated the decisions I make not only to photograph but how I live my life.

I am now starting to ask why do I want to photograph animals and nature?  Why must I live near them.  Why horses and particularly draft horses, why dogs, why regular dogs and not the beautiful show dogs, why nature, not the landscapes you travel to but the ones I stumble upon.  Not just flowers but weather.

All In A Days Work

Book Store Dog

Frost Bite

 

This is the question I am asking myself today, why?

It never hurts to stop in your life and ask why you are doing what you are doing. It will bring you to a spot to examine your life before you make choices that may lead you away from yourself rather than toward who you really are.

So here are some answers to my why. Because animals let us into their world if we just ask  rather than insist.  Because the draft horse can overpower us but chooses not to.  Because nature can inspire and destroy us all in the same day. Because the relationship is more important than the activity. Because the eyes speak and beauty inspires.

I have a feeling I still need to dig a bit deeper, but a least I know why I photograph what I do. Now I need to ask what I will create with my photography and why.

What is your why?

 

Where Do You Come From?

I have never had a conventional life. From a very early age my family seem to move quite often. I can remember as a young child my mother saying that when she was first married they moved 9 times and never got off the block. My dad's family had two rentals on their property. As we grew older we still moved often. Mostly within the same town but from one house to another. When I  got married at a very young age this moving situation continued. We had a small apartment, then a small starter house, then a suburban home for our family of 4 kids under 5. Then I got the country bug and we moved to a mini-farm in the country and lived in a very old farm-house.The kids loved the country life where we raised every farm animal under the sun. We heated with wood in the winters and I had a huge garden and canned all our food. I loved this life until my husband got transferred so we had to  move back to where we came from and rented a small 2 bedroom house in town. We were cramped with four kids and two dogs and two horses boarded out but we managed. Finally we bought 5 acres and built a nice two-story home where things seem to settle down and we lived there for 15 years.

After the kids were raised as happens I got a divorce and moved to an apartment of my own. All of these moves were in the same state of Illinois. But when I took a job as a ranch cook in Montana life got really interesting. I met a cowboy from Belgium (yes they have them there, not many but I found one) After the season ended he flew back to Belgium and I moved to Wyoming where I was cooking at a lodge and about starved to death until a good friend offered me  a great job  in Florida to manage a horse farm. My Belgian cowboy came across the pond and we got married, shortly after that we moved to Montana where we so wanted to live and build our life. This was the state where we met the mountains were calling us home.

We worked on several ranches there and part of your pay is a home to live in. But guess what, when the job doesn't work out you lose your home also.  Needles to say finding the right job for both of us was difficult and we ended up moving 9 times in the 10 years we lived in Montana. So not to sound to crazy we did build our dream home, a nice cabin on a mountain side where we lived for 5 years. So the first 5 years were the crazy ones.

When the economy started to fall and things got tight, we knew we could not eat the mountains nor would they supply us with any security for the future as we were approaching the fall of our life. My husband thought it was best to go back to Belgium and secure his government pension along with cheap health care. All this seem to make sense since we were not getting any younger. So we sold our dream home and moved across the ocean and built a nice cottage home in the country.

Every time I moved to a different area the local people, you know the ones that have lived in the same house in the same town all their lives would always ask "So where are you from? How on earth do I answer that? I have tried to say I was born and raised in Illinois, but that is only part of my story of where I come from. I have tried to explain to them all the places I have lived but then they get a strange glossed over look in their eyes that says I think this girl is crazy. So usually I just say "Oh lot's of places" and leave it go at that.

Now that I have been living in Belgium for the last 5 years, I have been struggling with the language, culture, and making friends but mostly missing my 4 grown children and my 7 beautiful grandchildren. My husband knows all to well what it is like not to live where you feel you do not belong. He had the same feeling when he lived in the USA for 10 years.

We both agreed that it would be best if I split my time between Belgium and Colorado. So come Oct 13th I head to the beautiful state of Colorado to spend the winter months and then back to Belgium for the summers. I told you I do not have a conventional life.

So now I will be once more  be faced with the question "Where do you come from?" I have given this some thought and I think I will answer  "it is not so important where I come from as long as I know where I am going."

What do you think? Good answer?