Certain people and certain locations just bring me back to center.
Man, life is hectic. Work is crazy busy and drains me so much that, once I get home, I’ve got nothing left in the tank. There’s little time (and money) to relax and pursue other interests. Even editing suffers as I edit as part of my regular job so the last thing that I want to do when I’m home is…more editing. Add to that bills, bills, and more bills, and, well, it’s amazing to me how I still function sometimes.
But then there are sessions like this with amazing people like Amira.
Amira and I work on another level. She’s like a nova that blows away all my other concerns and helps me focus on capturing outstanding images. When we team up, I’m fully in the here and now and not divided into a hundred smaller pieces being pulled apart in a hundred different directions.
And then there’s the beach. I’ve written several times in the past how much I hate the beach in terms of going there, laying in the sand for hours, et cetera. All I do is think of all the other things I could be doing instead of slow roasting on hot sand.
But, in terms of a photo location, I can’t think of anywhere else I want to be. In fact, when I moved to Clearwater at the end of 2017, a huge part of my selection there was (and still is) the fact that you can hold photoshoots on the beach all year long. The only real cold days were a few weeks at the end of January and early February when early morning temps dropped into the upper 40’s. Even then it typically heated back up to 60’s and 70’s during the daytime.
Man, I better stop before I talk myself into moving back.
There’s a strong connection to these places. I can take my sneakers and socks off and move around barefoot which has a huge effect on my being. It connects me back to the earth. It lowers my blood pressure and reduces my stress levels. I feel more at peace and “here”.
And, if you’ve ever worked with me at a beach session, or seen me in action during one, you know it doesn’t end with the feet. I’m laying flat or on my side in the sand to make the subjects look taller and to incorporate more sky as a background. I literally end a beach session looking like a crueller coated in cinnamon and sugar but, in this case, it’s sand.
My most favorite thing to do, however, is to go in the water. That doesn’t happen a lot with the open ocean, sadly. Usually we’d need some protection to break up the waves or use a local river where the water is much more calm. Even two foot waves are enough to knock us all to hell, risk the gear, and so on.
The morning of my latest session with Amira, though, proved to be a rare exception. It wasn’t calm but it was as close as you could get for the ocean. As soon as we saw those conditions, we knew we were going in.
I always wait until the end of the session to go into the water as, once the client get’s wet, the clock starts ticking. In the best conditions, even with warm water, people start to get cold quickly. At best, I figure we have 20 minutes before we have to get out. Plus hair and make-up gets messy, more people start to show up, et cetera.
The water, for me, is my home. There is literally no where else I’d rather be than neck deep in warm water, being gently rocked by the waves. Waves, to me, are the pulse of the ocean. You can feel the energy of the sea. The only way I can describe the feeling is that I’m absolutely at peace and at home.
Now add a photoshoot to the mix and now I’m living. You have to almost drag me out of the water but eventually I will come out. I’ll stand there, feeling the cool ocean breeze cause the water on my skin to evaporate and feel so alive. I’m reborn and rejuvenated by the experience.
The combination of all this is what keeps me grounded and I can’t get enough of it.