Recently, I took pictures of where my grandparents and aunt live and in the area surrounding it. I grew up in this area and it was fun to see this area in a different way. I am so used to seeing it, I forget how beautiful it is. They live in Lancaster County, PA.
This is the home that my aunt owns and my grandparents live there with her. The last two photos are looking out their back yard.
The animals got in this photoshoot also. They have a beautiful blue parakeet who was not sure of hearing the shutter of my camera go off when I took his picture. The chickens’ names are Henny, Penny, Kacka and Becca. The sheltie, Dusty, was not too impressed that I wanted to take his picture.
These flowers are from their yard. My grandmother owned a greenhouse for years. Her flower beds are beautiful every year. The pink cherry blossoms are the trees pictured in the first set of photos.
This is the one-room school that my mom and all her siblings went to school. My sisters and I almost went to school there. The last photo is of the outhouses at for the school. There is no bathroom inside this one-room school. I joked with my aunt that these look luxurious compared to the ones that were there when I grew up.
This is a view of the backside of the home farm where my mom grew up. My grandfather farmed this land for many years.
This is the house where my grandparents moved to after they moved off the farm. This place is only a mile or two from the home farm and about a half a mile from where they currently live.
Of course, I had to add a horse and buggy picture to the collection. The people that own this horse and buggy are Mennonite not Amish.
I added some landscapes just to show the terrain. It was fascinating to really look at the landscape and see all the hills that we live in.
These random farm animals were striking a pose at the right time for me to capture the beauty of them.
I look forward to doing more of these types of shoots. Just to really look at the beauty that I live around. It is so easy to think that other places are more beautiful than the place we live in but I think each place has its own beauty we just have to look for it.
Recently, I wanted to try more of a fashion shoot rather than a lifestyle photoshoot. My friend agreed when I asked if she would model for me. We actually switched services. Miranda, my friend, became my editor for my Rocking Chair Stories Session and I would do the photoshoot for her. Miranda has this big and unique personality. She tells stories with lots of inflection, accents, and gestures. Honestly, the first time I met her, I was not sure I would be friends with her because I thought she was way over the top. It is a good thing that we don’t go by the first impression. Because I learned that at times she may be over the top by my standards but that is what makes her unique. There are so many other things that make her an amazing person and friend.
Miranda loves the people in her life deeply. She is on the quest for truth and authenticity especially in her relationship with God. As big as her personality is, she has this ability to be still and present where she is at. Miranda has a maturity that most 19 years do not have. Her style reminds me of the 1980’s and 1990’s with a modern twist to it. Miranda fit right into the vision that I had the photoshoot. The clothes she wore were all clothing she had in her closet.
We met in Lancaster City, PA on top of the Duke Street parking garage to begin our shoot. The parking garage had some great options for the photo shoot. After we were done at the parking garage, we got in my car and drove to the Lancaster County Court House. (Which when we go there we realized that we could have walked there from the parking garage.) At the end of the shoot, I found this alley beside the courthouse where we finished the shoot with a few alley shots. We visited La Dolce Vita Courthouse Bakery on the way out of town to take home some awesome baked goods for later on.
The Coronavirus has completely changed our lives in what it seemed like an instant. In these unprecedented times, take a few moments to document what you are seeing and experiencing in words and pictures. If you are home with your family, take a few photos each day of activities that you are engaging in. And you don’t have to be a professional photographer or own a “fancy” camera to do so. Just take photos with your cell phone to document what is happening in your life and in our world. You will be happy that you did. You will be able to look back at these photos and it will remind you of the memories that you made at this time. Heck, maybe make a photo album out of it. You could call it The Corona Chronicles.
Here are a few tips for you to be able to capture your photos.
I know this can be daunting to remember all this when you are taking a quick picture with your phone. Don’t get caught up trying to remember all this. Just take photos! Document what you are experiencing on your own or with others(family, friends/roommates). There is so much that we can take photos of during this time. Some suggestions are: what social distancing looks like for you in your home, your children helping you cook dinner, when you go for a walk look at the things around you, cute things your pets do, etc.
Give yourself grace as you are learning to take photos. You will not be at the level as a professional photographer and that is ok! You don’t need to be a professional photographer to be able to take good photos of your Corona Chronicles.
Lastly, I would love to see the photos that you take during this time. Tag me in your photo on social media or send me an email(email@example.com) with your photo.
A few years ago, I started a tradition for me on Christmas morning. My tradition is to go into nature on Christmas morning and take pictures. I love it because there is a stillness and peace. It’s like the world is still asleep. There are few cars on the road. And when you are out in nature you hear can hear the world around you. Sometimes it is the crunch of dried leaves as you step on them or the bird that is singing in the woods. Funny story – The first year I did this, I was at Chambers Lake at Hibernia Park where there was a beautiful fog that blanketed the lake. While I was standing there looking at the lake, I hear someone say “hello” a few times. I look around and did not see anyone. As I was about to answer this person, they continue on in their conversation. I then realized that they were on the phone.
The things you see are amazing. You see things that you normally are too busy to look for. The frost on the detail of leaves or the design of bark on a tree or fog nestled between the trees.
These are the photos from my 2019 Christmas morning photoshoot at Brubaker Park in East Earl, PA.
We have been fed this lie that being busy is a good thing. I think as a society we have become addicted to being busy. We think we have to be busy all the time. It is to the point when someone asks us “How are you doing?” A common response has been “busy.” When has this answer become ok. And in my opinion it is a masked answer for how we really are doing.
There are seasons where we will be busy and this is enviable. But when busy becomes part of our lifestyle is where we get it wrong. Because if we are always busy there is a time where you will burnout from always being so busy. You can only go so long before you will crash from being busy. You will not have time to do the things that fill you up. That help take care of you and your sanity. And we don’t have time for the relationships that are important for us.
Resting and not being caught in this hamster wheel of busyness is good for you as a whole especially emotionally. Being in the hamster wheel of busy there is an anxiety that comes with it because you have to always think about what is next. You miss the small blessings and miracles that are right in front of you in your day to day life. I can say this from personal experience. If I am not well emotionally, it throws the rest of my life off track and not seems to works well. If we are always busy, we are not taking the time to process what is going on with us and around us. I know when I do not take the time to process emotionally it is a recipe for disaster. Maybe not right away but eventually.
When we are always busy, things get missed because we can’t do everything well. When we try to so everything, we usually are operating outside of our gifts because we are trying to do everything.
The other thing about buying into the lie of having to always be busy, we rely on ourselves much more than we are suppose to. We don’t take the time to see if there is someone else in your life that would be better suited for the task than you. And we also tend not to take the time to seek and trust God. What if God doesn’t give you an answer before you need an answer? We tell ourselves it is easier to rely on ourselves and not on God or anyone else. We are created for community with God and others.
When God created the earth, He put a day of rest in for a reason. He knew that we need to rest so that we can be productive for the rest of the week. He even to took a day of rest when He created the earth.
“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” Genesis 2:2-3
So is your busyness for a season or is it a lifestyle? And is it a mask to cover up something else you don’t want to deal with?