Ahh, the beauty of a getaway, a short vacay. It almost always feels like more work to leave town for a few days than it does for an extended vacation for some reason. But, my boys and I headed to Seaside, Florida for President’s Day weekend (a holiday I’ve never paid the slightest bit of attention to until 2012!). And only because some dear friends across the street asked us to come along and stay in their rental for a few days. Great invitation….why not? Well, only because it’s a 6-hour drive (ugh) for 3 nights in predicted thunderstorms consuming the paradise island most of the short trip. Hmmm, is it worth the effort for such a short turnaround, I asked myself and my boys at least 84 times. After waffling for 12 hours, at the last minute we decided it was worth it, even if it did rain on our entire vacation. We finally made a firm decision six hours after our neighbors had headed south, threw some vitals together and hit the road.
When all was said and done, it was one of the most relaxing, fun, short vacations we’d had together and we created some great memories.
As a professional photographer madly in love with my job, I don’t particularly need a vacation from work. So, without thinking it through, I naturally took on a “Day in the Life” of a two-family vacation, out to catch those moments generally considered inconsequential. I fully understand that most people would rather ‘live out’ the present moments on their vacation than have to “interrupt” them by taking it all in through the camera lens. But for me, photographically documenting the present moment is living out the present moment in one of my favorite ways, and the enjoyment of having time away and soaking in the experience are not lost on me.
I’m incredibly thankful for what I see as a gift I’ve been given, and an incredibly applicable one considering my chosen profession! It’s the ability to enjoy work and play at the same time. And, with a serious case of ADD, I’ve come to see that I actually stay more focused with the camera along for the ride than not. Weird but often true. I also benefit from discovering new methods of being an unobtrusive snapper while still joining in the conversation. This always seems to surprise those who see a camera in front of my face and naturally think: “Oh no, here we go. Why can’t she just relax and live in the present moment with the rest of us!?!”
I challenge myself to keep that fine-tuned awareness fine-tuned(!), so that I don’t irritate the living hell out of my companions, knowing all the while I’ll have an intriguing, treasured end-product that each person involved will be able to revel in with awe and gratitude when all is said and done. This personal and professional challenge is becoming less and less challenging with each new “Day in the Life” as a documentary photographer.
Although I’m the one behind the lens, I can vouch for my personal vacation experience being just as enjoyable as everyone else’s…..heck, maybe more. And I’m in possession of the documentation to prove it! And fully remember it.