Darrah Parker » Slice of Life Photography

slice of life :: warmth

my warm winter uniform, photographed with iphone

Thanks to everyone who participated in the first week’s Slice of Life challenge, “New Beginnings”! It was so great to see a slice of your worlds and all of the new beginnings in your lives. If you’d like to check out what people contributed, visit the Slice of Life Flickr pool. Every Tuesday, I will post a new challenge to inspire you to photograph the world around you. It’s never too late to join the fun! If you’d like to participate in this group, you can join the group any time and learn more about the group here.

This Week’s Challenge: WARMTH

When I was trying to think of this week’s challenge, I was hearing news of frigid temperatures around the United States. I thought, what better way to stay warm this week than to photograph things that are warm? Not to mention, I happen to know that some of you live in warm climates – on the other side of the hemisphere, so warmth has an entirely different meaning to you right now! (Btw, how cool is it that we can connect with someone on the other side of the world??? This internet thing is pretty nifty!)

These days in Seattle, I’m reminded why some people might suffer from seasonal affective disorder. The days are short and gray and are often accompanied by cold, light rain. People live in their fleeces and keep themselves warm and caffeinated with a constant flow of coffee.

dear latte: will you marry me?

I happen to be one of those crazy people who loves this weather. I’m not originally from Seattle, but I’ve always been a homebody. I love nothing more than hanging out in my pajamas with my cat or sitting in a coffee shop for hours on end. Not to mention, I have skillfully used the Seattle weather as an excuse to collect scarves.

snuggle-fest 2000

Now it’s your turn! Spend this week photographing the warm things in your world and posting them in the Slice of Life Flickr group. If you respond to the challenge on your blog, please leave a direct link in the comments below. If you’re not sure where to begin or are looking for some ideas for staying inspired and photographing on a regular basis, check out yesterday’s post.

Sending you warm wishes as you venture into this week of WARMTH!

365 days of photos

Have I mentioned that I’m participating in Shutter Sisters 365 Project? Well, I am. The concept is that you take at least one photo every day and you post that photo in the Shutters Sisters 365 Flickr Pool. When I first heard about the idea of taking a photo every day, I thought, “There’s no way I could do that.” I have a hard enough time remembering to brush my teeth every day. This seemed like too much of a commitment.

But then I realized that a commitment is exactly what I need. I am a photographer and I need to learn and grow. It’s time to commit myself to this. December Views was a great test to see if I could take a photo every day for a month and I had an amazing experience. I learned a lot in that month and I want to continuing learning. The 365 Project is a way of keeping me accountable. And already, in just a few short days, I feel so supported and inspired by my fellow 365-ers!

You can check out my 365 photos here. And I’ll update you from time to time on the blog, as well.

Now, I am realistic. I know that I’m in the honeymoon phase of the project. Right now, I’m excited and feeling the creative juices flowing. So I made up a few guidelines for myself to make sure that I stay committed. I thought I’d share them with you just in case you are participating in the 365 Project or Slice of Life Tuesday.

  1. Take a photo early in the day. That way, you’ll know that no matter what happens that day, you’ve already taken a photo.
  2. Photograph anything and everything. Don’t wait for the “perfect” shot.
  3. Notice the world around you. Now, I know that sounds simple. Duh, Darrah, of course I’m going to notice the world around me! But think about it this way: right now, what do you hear? Really stop and listen. Maybe you noticed the sound of water running or a car honking its horn. Or maybe you realized your favorite song came on the radio, but you wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t stopped and really listened. It’s the same with seeing. Next time you are feeling uninspired, really look around. You’ll be surprised what you see.
  4. Forget everything you learned and just play! Break the rules! Try interesting angles and depths of field. Take a photo through your legs. Photograph the ceiling. Photograph your toes. Photograph your nose. Just photograph!
  5. The point is to shoot every day. That doesn’t mean you have to post them every day or even share them at all. Everyone has a different reason for doing a long-term project. Maybe you do it as a personal challenge or maybe you want join a community of people who are on a similar journey. Either way, decide why you are doing it. That way, you’ll know why you should take a photo even on those days when you “just don’t feel like it.”
  6. Ditch the camera and take photos with your phone. Both of the photos in this post were taken with my iPhone and Toy Camera app. (My other favorite is the ShakeIt app which simulates the look of a Polaroid.) I left the house on Saturday with only my phone because the hubs and I were going for a run. But first, we stopped at a bagel shop to fortify ourselves with bagels and cream cheese. (We have our priorities straight!) Both of the shots you see were taken at the bagel shop. Yup, even the one of the paper bag! The point is that you never know when inspiration is going to strike, so don’t wait until you have your “fancy” camera. I’m a firm believer that a good photo can be taken with any kind of camera.
  7. And that brings me to my final tip: Don’t worry about taking a good photo. The good photos will come when you least expect it. And the more you practice, the more often those good photos will come.

Are you participating in a 365 photo project? If so, post your links in the comments below and share any thoughts you have on how to stay inspired over the long haul.

If you’re thinking about joining this journey, you can join the Shutter Sisters 365 group here and the Slice of Life group here. Remember, today is the last day of the “New Beginnings” prompt. Check back tomorrow for a new theme!

slice of inspiration :: for the love of oprah

For the very first installment of the soon-to-be regular “Slice of Inspiration” Friday, I wanted to bring you something light and fun, cuz mannnn, sometimes it gets too darn serious around here! This aired a while back, but I saw it for the first time this week and it just made made giddy. I’m wondering why there aren’t more dancing flash mobs around? The world would be an entirely happier place!

 

P.S. Only Oprah could have a microphone that matched her outfit. She’s my idol.

P.P.S. For those of you who are curious, I did clean my office yesterday and will be working on making it more fun and inviting in the next week. More updates coming soon.

P.P.P.S. Unfortunately, I did not find any chocolate.

P.P.P.P.S. (Are that many P’s allowed?) Please share any music or dance videos that have inspired you to get up and dance!