Darrah Parker » Slice of Life Photography

slice of life :: new beginnings

With the new year off to a great start, I’m overflowing with new ideas. As I mentioned in my December Views Recap, sharing my slice of life photos only on Slice of Life Tuesdays was not enough for this slice-of-life-photo-obsessed gal! Ever since I started taking pictures, I’ve seen the world from a different perspective. Photographing slices of my life has made me more aware. More appreciative. Even in my most stressful weeks, documenting the world around me has shown me the beauty and complexity in the seemingly mundane.

I am so excited about taking photos of the world around me that I want you (yes, YOU) to experience the joy, as well! So I cooked up a little plan – a way for us to share glimpses of our lives with each other.

Every Tuesday, I will post a Slice of Life photo and a prompt here – a word or phrase that will inspire you throughout the week. I will also post the prompt on my brand-spanking-new Flickr group. Then, as the week progresses, you can either respond to the prompt by posting the photo in the Slice of Life Flickr group or posting a link to your blog in the comments below. Perhaps you are participating in the Shutter Sisters 365 group or another daily photo group. If so, the Slice of Life group will be a great compliment to your daily photos and the weekly prompts will provide inspiration as you photograph your way through the year!

How to Get Started

  1. If you don’t already have a Flickr account, pop on over to Flickr and join. It’s really simple to join and upload photos.
  2. Join the Slice of Life Flickr group.
  3. Check here every Tuesday, subscribe to my blog, or follow me on Twitter to get your weekly Slice of Life prompt.
  4. Carry your camera with you. If you don’t have a camera, feel free to use the camera on your phone. Some of my favorite photos were taken on my iPhone!
  5. Keeping the weekly prompt in mind, photograph the small details that are often overlooked and under-appreciated.
  6. Don’t wait for the “right” conditions! Photographs should be taken during your daily routines. Don’t worry about photographing only “pretty” things. Take photos of YOUR life as it is RIGHT NOW. Photograph your laundry, your dinner, your dog. Just photograph!
  7. Post those photos! There’s no limit on how many you can post. Please include the weekly prompt word or phrase in the title or description of the photo and if you’re using Flickr, tag each photo you submit to the group with “slice of life”. Feel free to describe the scene or how it relates to the weekly prompt – or just let the photo speak for itself.

Your First Prompt: NEW BEGINNINGS

The above photo was taken in my dining room. Yesterday, I bundled up several photos that some friends of mine on Twitter won a few weeks ago. These are the very first photos that are going out into the world that will be seen by people other than my family. They represent a new start. A new year. New beginnings.

It’s Your Turn!

What does “new beginnings” mean to you? What are you starting this week? Post your photos in the Slice of Life Flickr group or in the comments below. I can’t wait to see your slices of life! And I thank you in advance for allowing us a peek into your life.

**Stay tuned for other Slice of Life related posts, including a “Slice of Inspiration” post every Friday which will include juicy goodness that inspired me that week!

what’s in a word?

On January 1 of 2009, I declared it the “year of me.” I didn’t really know exactly what that meant, but I said it out loud to my husband (boyfriend at the time.) I didn’t have a blog yet, where I could declare my word of the year for all the world to see. So I kept it to myself and let it guide me through the year.

I suppose how the “year of me” unfolded was into a year of “experiment” or maybe a year of “play” and it most definitely resulted in a year of “change.” I didn’t share anything about the “year of me” on my blog until the very end of the year. I was kind of protective of it and maybe a little nervous about what people would think. I thought it sounded kind of selfish to say that the year was all about me. But that wasn’t the point. The point was to finally start listening to my instincts and to try things that sounded like fun. And that’s just what I did! Yay!

As 2010 approached and doubts started to creep in, I knew I had to pick a new word. It was time to be bold and to choose something that would be my life vest as I dive into uncharted territory in the new year. I will be trying many new things (including building and launching a new website and photography business…no small feat) and there is no way I can do everything I want to do if I don’t believe in myself. So that is my word for 2010. BELIEVE.

Byron Katie created a process called “The Work” in which you answer four questions in order to get to the heart of a problem and release suffering, pain, or frustration. The question I keep coming back to is the fourth question: Who would you be without the thought?

As I move forward into the year and into areas I don’t feel prepared for, I will start asking myself that question more and more – to keep myself honest. Here are a few that I’m working on now:

  1. Who would I be if I thought I knew what I was doing?
  2. Who would I be if I wasn’t worried about what people think?
  3. Who would I be if I went with my instincts?
  4. Who would I be if I just DID it instead of researching it for days?
  5. Who would I be if I BELIEVED in myself?

The answer to all of those questions: happy, confident, and free. So why the heck wouldn’t I want to be happy, confident, and free? The only thing standing in my way is me.

So here we go! A new year. A new word. I will check in from time to time to let you know how the year of “BELIEVE” is going. I have a feeling this one is going to take a lot of practice.

december views recap

At the end of November, my friend Connie from Dirty Footprints Studio sent me a little note with a link to December Views. She said that this sounded like something I’d be interested in. Boy, was she right! I immediately went to Darlene’s website and signed myself up.

During the month of December, I limited my words (except for a few long and rambling posts) and focused my energy on photographing the world around me. The result was that I took a LOT more photos than I had in a long time and I started relying on the photos to express my mood instead of words. I posted more often and more enthusiastically. Looking back at these photos, I think I developed more of a point of view than I had before. I realized what I enjoyed photographing most: subtle details and finding the beauty in every-day things.

If this sounds familiar, this was the original premise of Slice of Life Tuesdays. Here’s an excerpt of the intro to each Tuesday post:

Every Tuesday, I post photos that I took the previous week and ask you to do the same. These photos are taken at ordinary moments. No fancy photo shoots. No fancy editing.

After this transformative month, there is no WAY I could limit myself to only posting Slice of Life photos on Tuesdays. NO WAY! So as I move forward, I will post Slice of Life photos regularly. This will be an exercise for me to continue to cultivate my point of view, and also to express my life visually. I will continue to include quotes that inspire me and music that moves me. And don’t you worry, I will also contine to share long and rambling posts. Because that’s just the way I roll.

And with that, I offer you a look back at December.