A Chance Encounter

I just had the loveliest thing happen!  

I was outside working in my garden, and saw an older man, probably in his 70’s, walk slowly down the sidewalk in font of my house.  He had an old Nikon 35mm camera and as he walked, he would stop and just look through the lens every couple of steps.  I watched him do this for about five minutes before deciding to go talk to him.

I introduced myself, saying that I’d notice he shooting film, and that I shoot film as well. We talked about film stocks and old cameras, and then I asked him what he was photographing.  His response was great.   He said “nothing yet”!   

He went on tell me about why he still shoots film.  “When I shoot film, I think about each frame I’m making.  I look through the camera and analyze what I’m seeing.  The colors.  The textures. The light. I then ask myself if what I’m seeing is really what I want a photo of.  Most of the time it’s not.  But the slowness of the process lets me be in the moment, fully.  It’s my meditation.”

I thought it was beautiful and summed up why I shoot film too.  I love the slowness.  I love to think about my film stock and how it will effect the colors and the light. It’s fun.  And relaxing.

My new friend has inspired me.  I’m going to turn off my computer.  Load my camera.  And just go for a walk to see what I can find.  Maybe I won’t find anything.  Maybe I won’t shoot a single frame.  But maybe I will.  

Today this will be my meditation.  To just be in the world, be slow, and really see it.

Sandra Coan, film photography Little Bellows

Does Your Work Bring You Joy?

Okay... true confessions time.  For the past several weeks I've been feeling a tremendous amount of stress.  

The kind of stress that keeps a person from sleeping.  

The kind of stress that makes it hard to breathe.  

It's not fun.

But here is the crazy thing, I would do it again, put myself in the same situation, feeling this same way, in a heartbeat.

I'm feeling the stress of all of the good things that are happening in my life.  From all the opportunities that are coming my way.  From everything I've gladly and excitedly said yes to! I've leaned in.  And It's freaking me out a little.

Then this happened...

I came into work today with a very long list of to-dos. As I started plowing through them all I could feel the stress in me growing.  

Got up form the desk to stretch.  

It was still there.  

Had a quick lunch with my friend.  

It was still there.  

Sat down and started going through photos from a recent shoot... and all of the sudden, almost with me even noticing, the stress was gone!

I found myself smiling as I looked through my images.  They made me feel happy and relaxed.   And it was so shocking to me that I immediately started writing this post.  Ha!

The moral of this story?  Remember why you do what you do.

It's so easy to get caught up in the craziness of running a business.  The marketing and album making and selling and emailing and the long list of to-dos that we all have each and every day.  

Take a moment to just stop and look at your work.  Does it bring you joy?  I bet it does. Allow yourself to be proud of it and sit with that for a moment.  The joy that you feel and that you give your clients, thats what it's all about.  And thats pretty amazing.


Sandra Coan Photography, Little Bellows