Sunday, August 30, 2015

Ideas Into Pictures

I spent the morning walking downtown with my camera. I stopped to take pictures in the alley behind old homes – of morning glories, and watering cans, and fallen plums, and an old Chevrolet. And this was good, but the pictures felt predictable, like an exercise more than an experience.

On the way home, I stopped for a visit at my favorite thrift shop, where two little girls help their Mama. During these last days of summer, the store becomes their playground. They say, "Hi, Donna," as I walk through the door of the neatly appointed shop with its shelves lined with all manner of treasure – fabric and buttons, bowls and plates, brick-a-brack, household furniture, toys, books, appliances, clothes, and yard tools. Even the family dogs come to work, though their specialty seems to be lying flat on the cool concrete floor and occasionally wagging their tales.

The thrift shop girls, two sweet sisters only 10 months apart, follow me around the store. And when we reach the "seasonal" section, I ask, "Do you dress-up for Halloween?" They smile and nod in unison.

And they are off . . . pretending and playing dress-up, creating costumes. Trying on masks, and funny glasses, draping shawls, changing clothes, adding a purse – any prop to tell their story.

And then I realized what had been missing from my earlier pictures. They were headed in the wrong direction.

I had an idea, BRAVE. It had been swirling in my head all week, triggered by the music video by Sara Bareilles, shared by Vanessa Herald in one of her Tiny Letters, #365 Quote Project, Daily Words + Art.

And I've been thinking how I'd really love to be brave, like a child, and revel in my special self. Brave enough to dance with abandon or wear funky clothes or say what needs to be said.

My idea became these pictures, in a free-flowing, stream of consciousness kind of way.

And they make me wanna be brave.


  1. Donna, I wonder...what would our pictures look like if we let "the child inside us" look through the viewfinder and press the shutter?

  2. You are Brave, maybe not the way you want to me but to me you are braver than me. I think your images showcase the real world out there. I show things the way I see them and am trying not to be influenced by what others think it should be. That is my goal anyway.

    The little girls are so sweet you can tell they had fun with you and made their day.

  3. Good for you. Sounds like a great resurrection of yourself.

  4. Beverly has a great point. How to get the "child inside" to see the world? I have a Fuji Instax for that very thing. It has a "careless" viewfinder that doesn't give you a preview. What you shoot is what you get.

    And you are brave. You take photos of the real world because that's what's in front of you. Exotic locales and adventure vacations encourage those kinds of pictures. But you can't live exotic adventures forever. Sooner or later, you come back to real life.

  5. I love when I am in the middle of an experience and have a 'lightbulb' moment. It changes everything and the new insights make such a difference. I think you are very brave because you will ask the hard questions and you are always looking for the 'real' in all that's happening around you....I love this...Obviously the girls were very comfortable with you and what a compliment that is to you.....

  6. Oh Donna, these girls and dogs are precious, and you captured them in such sweet and genuine moments. I love these shots!
    Being brave... to me it's already brave to write down your thoughts for the world to read. Yes, I also would love to be braver - and say what I think is important (but is it important to others? do I hurt others? do I overstep? oh, those limiting thoughts!), behave how I think is important. At least important to me. Which means to be true to myself. I do think you are true to yourself - you appear like that to me. That is brave in my eyes.

  7. Oh Donna, you were playing with the girls much fun was that? It's what I experience each time the boys and I are together...they do bring out the child in us...we have to be in the moment with them. I'm guessing you also laughted a lot while at that lovely shop...Consignment and thrift stores, for some reason, bring out the best in people. I love going also and I don't always buy something but I always leave feeling better than when I went in...I am a person who loves hats...I wear than mostly when I'm away, where people don't know me because I'm not brave enough to wear them here at home...but today, after this post, I'm going to wear my hat this week...yup, your giving me courage...thank you sweet friend for giving me a moment of pure joy this morning...

  8. Your images of the girls are just priceless!! Here's to being brave!!

  9. I love these images, adore the last one, and to have two willing participants is awesome! I love that song, it had a big impact on me about a year and a half ago.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.