Mar 3, 2007

What Zone Do You Live In?

Capturing a true moment on camera isn't easy - unless you are a child. Children don't "pose" like adults. They don't worry if their double chin is showing - they show it off. Children don't worry if their clothes make them look fat - they just take the clothes off. Children don't try to hide their big thighs or belly's - they pat them with pride.

Children don't see my camera as a camera - it is something to grab at and play with. They don't see my studio as a studio. It is a fun room in which to run around, explore, and ultimately drive their mothers crazy. They don't understand the words "hold still" or "sit down" or even "leave your shirt on." Nope, they are in the moment - well rather, they are in their moment.

Children are on their own time. They decide if or when they look at the camera. And usually, they only look if they are interested enough, and usually they aren't. They have better things to do than to please this stranger in a strange, but interesting, room. How freeing is that?

You know the saying; Youth is wasted on the young. As we age, we are suppose to get wiser. But, do really get wiser? Or just old? How wonderful to be so secure, so pleased within our own skin. Maybe that is why we adults marvel young children so. We envy them. We envy their confidence, their freedom to simply be in their moment.

While adult responsibilities dictates our time and how we spend it, we do have the freedom to create our moments. We have the freedom to not worry if our outfit makes us "look fat" or if our double chin is showing. Really - think about it. Five years from now, will you, or anyone else for that matter, even remember or care, if your outfit made you look fat or if your double chin showed? In the great scheme of things, is it really that important? Because while we all worry over such things, our moments are passing us by. Our moments soon become "coulda, woulda, shoulda" moments. And instead of those moments being memorable, they become regrets.

I personally try to live a life without regrets. A huge goal, maybe impossible, but a life filled with regrets is usually a life filled with a lot of "coulda, woulda, shoulda" moments that escaped us or we let slipped through our fingers, usually out of fear. Fear of what others will think of us. Fear of looking foolish. Fear of looking incompetent. Fear of being vulnerable. Fear of failure. It is just plain easier to remain within our comfort zone and not venture into the unknown.

Comfort zone is overrated, I think. What good or achievement has ever resulted from remaining in a comfort zone? Do you think it was a moment of comfort for the first person who took this object that was left behind in a nest by a hen, and cracked this object open and then ate it? But that person's moment of discomfort, ultimately gave us quiches, omelets, and eggs Benedict. When I recall my most exciting and memorable moments in life, every single one of them were out of my comfort zone. Big moments such as moving to Europe, opening my business, going through Air Force officer training, playing a role on stage before a live audience. And living outside of my comfort zone are also countless small moments such as riding a camel in Turkey, submitting my first article for publication (it was rejected), going through elective eye laser surgery, agreeing to speak in public, cutting my hair super short, or donning a pair of ice-skate for the very first time only weeks ago - in a very public rink. Comfortable? No, I don't find sweaty palms and quickened heart beat comfortable, but just about every time I step out of my comfort zone, my palms are very aware of it.

But, I will take sweaty palms and an elevated heart rate over a perfect blood pressure reading any day. And when I take photos of these very curious, independent, and sure-footed children, it is a very real reminder that I have so much more living to do. And this budding human, not even two years old, experiences more life, more joy, in those few moments in my studio than most adults experience on a daily basis. And we adults are the "wiser" of the two? Really?

I enjoy capturing these wise budding humans with my camera and I just wanted to share some with you. My photo page on my website is now updated with new photos in all categories. Please stop by and visit my photography on my website. Here is a direct link:

Children touch our hearts because our hearts long to be touched - and children aren't afraid to reach out and do so.

"We do not stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing."

Take some time to play today - it is a wise thing to do.

From my house to your house,



Anonymous said...

Very Inspirational!!! I love this post Elizabeth. And your photography of these beautiful babes is just spectacular. Just out of curiosity, what type of camera do you use? It captures natural light beautifully. Thank you for sharing!


Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Teresa! Thank you for the nice comments. I use a Cannon Rebel XT. I use only natural light and nothing more. I adjust my white balance as the sun changes. I use a tripod and a remote "switch" (I don't even know the proper term) to shoot the photos - this is so I am not even slightly moving the camera as I push down on the button. I love the challenge of photography and hope to continue to develop and get more work from this passion of mine.

Thank you for asking,

Gypsy Purple said...

What great pics!!!!
Oh how true...I`m also a firm believer to challenge myself and step out of my comfort are so right...that was the times ,my greatest achievements took place...and still do....never stop....this is a very inspirational post!!!

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth, I just caught up with your last several postings. You are sooo insightful! I think I remember telling you that once... I am very happy to see all the people from around the world who are becoming avid readers :) Gary

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Thank you Gary for writing! Yes, it is very exciting to have people around the world read and write to me - what a wonderful thing this internet is. It makes our world so much more intimate. Miss you!

maggiegracecreates said...

Elizabeth = thanks for allowing me to use your book page ideas. I posted my photos this morning from my booth. You are an inspiration to many.

Terri said...

Wow! What lovely photos. And an interesting essay too. I will have to think about moving out of my comfort zone more often...hmmm
God bless.

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Just found your blog again - the photos are beautiful.
Your blog on "imitating" was very encouraging for those of us who get so inspired by other people and their work/art. Thanks for that!

Got a Digital Rebel for Christmas - been experimenting myself.

savvycityfarmer said...

You touched the very soul of me...thought I had stayed up on your posts and all of a sudden..bloop..there were new thoughts and windows into YOUR the your philosophies and just plain love you!

Merisi said...

Such beautiful portraits, and I like what you are writing.
Thank you and thanks to gipsy purple, on whose blog I discovered the link, I shall be back.

Anonymous said...

This entry is so beautiful and inspiring. I read it twice and love it and those pics are just adorable, beautiful, and breathtaking.

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