Okay you guys, I know there is a lot of talk out there in self help world about using meditation and mindfulness to help us focus and feel inner peace and all that jazz. Truth be told, I have never been the kind of person that can just sit down and breathe or positive think myself to inner peace (not in a long shot). Nonetheless, I have found that I can use photography as a mindfulness tool in my daily practice.
Here are a few ways I have brought mindfulness into photography
1. Limit the Amount of Photos I take to 2-3 photos in a single hour or photo walk.
The trick here is to measure being present in the moment that is in front of you and also using the art of photography as a point of expression for what you see in a single moment. The art of this practice is to discern what action feels right to you knowing that you only have limited amount of photos you can take and a limited amount of time.
2. Photograph the Same Object Over and Over Again on Different Days Over the Course of A Week or Month
I find it fascinating that I can photograph the same object, in the same space, in the same lighting and somehow each photo and shot is uniquely different from the rest. It’s a reminder to me that each moment is literally different from the next with new insight to notice. The task is to slow down and at times observe life, moment by moment, whether it’s through breathing, walking or for me, mindful photography (and coffee).
By photographing our same cup of coffee, spring flower, house plant, a loved one, etc everyday overtime and allowing ourselves to notice how they are different and the same from one day, week or month at a time. As we do this we can reflect on the following:
1. How am I viewing these objects differently from day to day. Are they really changing or is it the way I am seeing them?
2. Using your 5 sense how do you experience these objects differently as you encounter them with and without a camera?
3. Taking Photos that Focus on Common Human Experiences
I love to take photos of everyday objects that focus on the deep experience of a single object. I find myself constantly photographing root vegetables, my feet in grass, my kids holding fruit, flowers from the farmer's market, etc. These simple but very universal human experiences can be photographed in such a way that reminds viewers (and ourselves) of the goodness of life. I do this by photographing objects in a way that enhances the following: