I was once told the key to blogging about or captioning photos is to never comment on what the viewer can already see. So I won't make mention of this family's happiness that seemed to bounce off the walls, or their joy in just being together. I also won't make mention of how much I love photographing this family again and again. Nope, won't say any of that.
Instead, I'm going to talk about a book I came across while padding around LAX airport, actually a quote from this book. I had a few hours to kill before my flight back to Australia, and I picked up a copy of Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur on a whim, at a ridiculously overpriced airport bookshop. Something was sparked when I flicked through it, read this particular quote, and suddenly I didn't care about the silly price tag anymore. I was almost weeping. Truly.
I had just spent 10 days away from my family after heading to the USA on a solo trip for a creative festival called Yeah Field Trip. It was so much more than I could have ever imagined, so I felt completely overwhelmed by the end of it. Happy, whole, yet so drained. I had also spent a few days either side of Field Trip exploring what LA had to offer which was a pretty empowering (yet also draining) exercise for this anxiety ridden person. I will do a separate blog post soon with all of the photos from my adventure (including a celebrity sighting!). But, back to Rupi.
During my time away I realised a lot of things, the main one being that I spend way too much time on my phone lost in the lands of Facebook and Instagram, and not nearly enough time being present with my family. By the end of 10 days I missed them so much it physically hurt. I missed the way it felt to smooch my baby's cheeks. I missed the way it felt to be curled up in bed with my bearded love softly snoring in my ear. I missed the craziness of our three screaming with delight at their games. I missed my life and I realised how much I was already missing thanks to that stupid screen that's forever in my hand. As I sat on my plane and read the words of Rupi Kaur, I sobbed. My passion was getting sucked away by apps and comments and likes. I was wasting precious time worrying about how well a particular photo was received on Instagram. I read the book from front to back, then I read it again. I made the decision to go home and love hard. To glow. Then, when I was done reading, I popped a sleeping tablet and slept my way through the 14 hour flight home to my family.
“i don’t know what living a balanced life feels like
when i am sad
i don’t cry i pour
when i am happy
i don’t smile i glow
when i am angry
i don’t yell i burn
the good thing about
feeling in extremes
is when i love
i give them wings."
That is the quote I was still reflecting on a week after I got home when I photographed Lucy, Chris, Arthur, Mae and their puppy dog Zeus. ALLLL of those feels.