The Smile Being You photo collection
Taking and looking at photographs is something that makes me smile. You’ll see throughout the site I use images to bring the stories and messages I share to life. It therefore seemed fitting to include a photo gallery on Smile Being You.
I started taking photos as a young child, inspired by my father who is a keen photographer. My love of photography has continued ever since and I’ve enjoyed learning and improving my techniques along the way. I love the creative process and becoming fully absorbed in really noticing what I can see. I enjoy the task of finding interesting shots and the challenge of capturing the beauty, wonder, shapes, colours, detail or atmosphere in a scene. I also enjoy adding my own artistic slant to some of my photos, in the way I take or edit them, as this is another creative expression and fun too!
Photography can be a lovely mindful activity when you focus on giving your attention to what you can see. I find that when I focus on taking photographs for the joy of photography, my senses become heightened. I start looking at things in more detail, noticing the light levels, shadows, reflections, perspective and composition of the scene in addition to just the colours and shapes. If I’m trying to photograph animals, I also become much more alert to sounds around me as I listen as well as watch for movement. Tuning in visually and aurally in this way provides a great way to practice mindfulness because no matter than thoughts arise you can keep returning to the photography. I also find when I give myself plenty of time to relax into my photography it’s more rewarding.
Yes, there’s also a time for not getting out your camera and just enjoying being present in the moment, experiencing the here and now without seeing it through a lens. Furthermore, if you’re out with other people who are not keen photographers they probably won’t appreciate you stopping each time you see something of interest to photograph. Just choose a suitable time and place to indulge in your mindful photography. I prefer to take photos on my own, particularly nature photography. If you are not so keen on going out with your camera on your own though, perhaps join a photography group. I did a few years ago and I enjoyed spending several afternoons somewhere new, taking photos in a group setting and learning from the other members at the same time.
Photographs can of course also be a great way to capture special moments in life. Given advances in digital technology and the increased amount of photos I take, like many people I rarely now actually print my photos. Over many years though I did make a whole collection of printed photo albums and I still enjoy flicking back through them from time to time. The images bring back memories and can be great, and sometimes amusing, talking points when family or friends are visiting. Like most people, I now more commonly share my photos online. These online collections we create are again a way to capture moments. I also very much like being able to look at amazing photos taken by other people, which online sharing makes much easier to do.
Maybe this page will inspire you to discover the joy of photography, if you haven’t already. My real hope though is that you will simply just enjoy looking at the images I have shared – take a moment to sit, breath and enjoy seeing, that is all.
Bee in the moment!
I decided to go to a local park on a summers day and try some mindful photography. The park I visited at a quick glance doesn’t actually have that many flowerbeds. However, I found when I looked at the plants and flowers around me mindfully, I noticed there were actually lots of beautiful flowers to photograph. There were also plenty of bees of varying varieties and I found a particularly joy in photographing the bees, enjoying the slight challenge of capturing them close up, in focus whilst they were constantly moving.
Look Up… At the colourful autumn leaves!
I took these photos on a bright, autumn day when I took myself for a gentle, mindful walk with my camera. Standing underneath the trees, looking upwards I observed how beautiful the leaves looked in the sunlight, against the blue sky. I hope these photos inspire you to stop for a moment and just look up… you might see something wonderful!
Bring life into your home with houseplants
I really enjoy having plants and flowers around my home. I think they bring life and colour to the place, and I enjoy seeing them grow. They also can be good subjects for photos and so I thought I’d share a gallery of some of my favourites.