At the start of this year, I decided to participate in The 52 Project as a way of documenting my daughter's first year. Ruby was only four weeks old when I started taking photos for the project, and I remember writing that I was sure I would have no trouble with taking lots of photos of my beautiful baby. However, I have found more and more that I have to make the deliberate choice to pick up my DSLR, rather than just snapping away on my iPhone. I absolutely love that I can take decent pictures with my phone, and I am sure I have captured many more memories of this year than if I had not owned a smartphone. It has required more discipline than I thought it would to take photos of Ruby with my decent camera, and I have been quite grateful for the challenge.
Last weekend, my Mum came to visit, and we took Ruby to the zoo for the first time. I took along my DSLR, conscious that I still needed to take a photo for her weekly portrait, and I relished the opportunity to just snap away. I was thankful for having my Mum and John there so that I had my hands free to do this. I think this must be a challenge for every parent who enjoys photography that requires more than just clicking a button on a phone - everything about taking photos with a DSLR is more time consuming.
As I took photos of feathers falling through water and the way the light shone through the leaves, I realised that it has been a really long time since I took this kind of photo. It made me nostalgic for the days when I went on photo walks around our neighbourhood, just to savour the beauty in the small details that I would have otherwise missed.
Our trip to the zoo was wonderful for so many reasons - seeing Ruby's delight at the flamingoes and consternation at the armadillo, enjoying the warm sun on my face as we had a coffee break while Ruby slept, and admiring the array of flowers in the gardens. All of these things, I could have anticipated. But what I did not expect was to come away with a fresh reminder to go slow and savour the beauty in the details.