Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Angel Daughter Number Four with a smile almost as large as her own.

When I was in High School, my father set up a darkroom for me in the recesses of our haunted basement, handed me a Nikon camera(always our family camera of choice), and told me "Go to it, Kid."  Equipped with my telephoto lens, I set out to photograph one of my favorite species at the time.  High School football players.  Having dated several of them, they didn't think anything of having me hang around the perimeter of the field while shooting random photos.  When I realized that there was a premium amongst players and their families for action photos of football players doing what they do, I began charging sixty cents a print and developing the photos in our basement.  I was always torn between doing what I loved and spending time in that dark, dank basement that I swear was built upon some ancient burial plot, but that is a different story for a different day.  I would run down the stairs and straight into my darkroom where I would promptly slam the door behind me.(as if doors keep creepy things from going through walls)  I can still smell the pungent odor of developer that permeated the air in my little, dimly-lit space.  I used to get lost in the creative work of darkness and negatives and paper dipped in liquids.  It was almost other-worldly for me as I waited for seemingly nothing to appear into something.

I suppose that my father instilled the love of photography in me and then, into Angel Daughter Number Two.  When I was a child, he was always chasing me around to pose for one picture or another.  It seemed kind of annoying at the time.  Not too many children like to stand still for as long as it takes to snap a few photos(especially my own, STILL!), but it did not take long for me to realize the benefit of having many childhood/family photos and I quickly learned to appreciate the keepsaking of a memory.
Digital cameras did not come along until my Angel Daughters were a bit older and so, most of their childhood photos are on paper which definitely has its benefits.  I have boxes upon boxes upon boxes of their childhood photos and sometimes we go through them, giggling, oohing and ahhhing, or just passing them back and forth quietly misty-eyed from the moments that went by way too fast.  I am glad for those printed photos.  I cherish each and every single one of them.  They are the first things that I would grab if God forbid, there was an emergency.  But I am also glad now for the capability to shoot seemingly frivolous digital photos of colorful, homegrown tomatoes because I might not have if I was shooting with film and there is something to be said for snapping a picture just because the beauty of the moment moves you.  Lately, I have been playing around with Instagram and I love it.  It allows me to take a picture on a moments whim and then tweak it or not which I am doing less and less of, the tweaking I mean.  I always have my phone with me which almost allows me to feel secure enough not to always lug my heavier Nikon along.  I did say almost, family.

Here are some photos that I took with my camera which also happens to also be a communication device. Small details...
Angel Daughter Number Three getting ready to leave for work in the wonderful shirt that she made with her own little hands in Sewing class.  I love that she is learning to create clothing with her hands.(One of Angella's recent posts reminded me of how precious this will someday be.)  Yesterday AD3 made an adorable pair of shorts that I will take a picture of her wearing the next time she puts them on.  She is such a fashion maven!
An instashot of Angel Daughter Number Two and me.  Since her arms are longer than mine, she got to hold the camera, I mean phone, I mean...Oh, whatever.
Louis, the adorable marmalade kitty and my nighttime cuddle buddy.  I am going to be sad if Angel Daughter Number Two really decides to take him back.  Just saying...After all, I am almost an empty-nester these days.
This is the main drag through our little town and I never really looked at it until the day that I took this picture.  This sort of epitomizes the feel of what it is like to live in San Clemente.  Palm trees, sunshine and ocean on the horizon no matter where you look.  Heaven.
Our front yard.  That is the city of Dana Point is in the distance, another wonderful costal town down here in Southern California.

Baby roses in a Jadite pitcher on our kitchen table.  Another one of the simple things that can elevate  life to the extraordinary.  It's all in the details, my friends.
Sunsplash on our faces.  Angel Daughter Number Four, my sunshine, and her momma.

Recently, I fell in love with succulents and when I found some that blossom in colors, I was hooked for good.  This one kind of reminds me of the man-eating plant from Little Shop of Horrors.  Good thing it is actually really small.
Angel Daughter Number One and her momma.  I love her smile.  Once again, she is the one holding the camera because, well you know.
Callie is our only female feline which is why the three males fight.(and yes, they are all spayed and neutered.  I guess they still somehow know what they should be doing if they could.)  She causes so much trouble and doesn't even realize it.  I suppose it does not matter the species.  Women have been causing men to battle since the beginning of time.
Happy, happy, or as my husband says, happy wife, happy life!

And finally, Micah, our handsome boy.  Those eyes allow him to get away with quite a bit sometimes.

Interestingly enough, I have been thinking about purchasing a film camera to play around with aside from my digital cameras and my iPhone.  AD2 has been encouraging me to do this.  There is something about the process of shooting with film.  Although we do not have the room for a darkroom right now, there might be room for one in the future.(Hopefully, the next one won't come with any uninvited guests.)  Something about feeling like my girls are now grown-ups is also causing me to feel more generous with not only my words, but also my photo-taking moments.  It is like I am looking for something to nurture that begins within and then metamorphoses its way out into the world for others to share.  A standalone body of work that is not breathing, per say.  I am starting to believe, really believe, that indulging ourselves with the things which make us feel good and useful and like we are utilizing the gifts that we were given is not only important, but necessary.  Very, very necessary.  And maybe not so indulgent after all.


Miss A said...

Oh I'd love to hear about uninvited guests if you're in the mood to write about it someday. My grandmother and mother had quite a gift with them.
Anyway. Loving all the pictures. All this amazing family, cats, dog, sun, water... it's hope. Love it!

Mark said...

Fun post! And you know I love photography. And just like you, my favorite photos are of my children. It's funny that I have tons of printed photos of John but mostly after that 2003 and on, it's all digital. I really should start printing some of these to make into photo albums. I am the keeper of photo albums in my Family and I guard them!
I've not yet gotten into Instagram. I think that I would become so addicted that I would spend the day just taking photos and doing nothing else. So, I stay away.
Once again, Love those photos!

Renee said...

I love photography myself....and always enjoy seeing the photos you share here of your family and the area where you live. Both are heavenly as you say! Hugs to you today.

Angella said...

We share so much! I had a darkroom in the washroom under the house when I was growing up, and my dad used to stay up till really late on the back porch so that I wouldn't be down there alone with no one watching over me. And my beloved camera was a Nikkormat FTN which I still have, and which i used faithfully until digital cameras came along. my daughter is very into photography too, but it remains to be seen whether it will remain a non money making proposition for her. She is very dedicated for someone not intending to pursue it as a career. And this summer, when my mom asked us to take things from her home where she would no longer live, it was the family photo albums i packed up, as many as the suitcase would hold, and still more to get someday soon. No wonder we have these blogs. Finally we have a place to put our photographs of our beloveds. No wonder i love coming here. Hugs.

Ginny said...

What a happy, pleasant post. Love the pictures. Matthew took a film photography class in college last semester and I so enjoyed seeing his works of art. He loved it too. It's nice to have the digital world but there IS something about developing your own pictures that's exciting.

Kathleen Botsford said...

So good to catch up with you! Every one looks absolutely wonderful! Specially YOU!
Yes we do need to nurture and create and after the bulk of the family has been nurtured and created, we need to find other outlets for our creative expressions. You are a fabulous photographer and writer. I can't wait to see what you do next!
Miss you!

Cheryl Finley said...

What precious, precious pictures of you and angel daughters and best-friend husband! I love, love, love it! You and your husband have birthed four beautiful angels...sharing their gifts with the world. Your love has increased 4-fold x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4.....and we all benefit!

And I totally resonate with your words: " It is like I am looking for something to nurture that begins within and then metamorphoses its way out into the world for others to share..." ...as I am an empty-nester for more years than I care to count. Seems like time flies in heartbeats.

A big hug to you, beautiful Debra...
love, Cheryl

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