Near the point of burn out and exhaustion earlier this summer I boarded a plane from JFK to meet two of my sisters in Paris for our second annual Sister's Trip. Because so many hours of my days are filled with emails, social media, editing, and endless to-do lists I chose to leave my camera at home, turn my phone off, and be present. Instead I borrowed an old Nikon 35mm film camera from a friend (which I had no idea how to use until about 1 day before the trip), and decided just to take pictures as I was inspired as opposed to the feeling of "I have to" or "getting the shot".
The trip began, and almost instantaneously when I shut the phone off, my soul took a huge sigh of relief. What transpired was a space of presence. I wasn't worried about "catching that shot" for social media, or obsessing with my camera settings to "nail' the shot. I was present, and the craziest thing happened. I became at such peace. I didn't realize how much my life was wrapped around getting the shot until I gave myself permission to 'not get the shot', but to just be.
Instead of doing, I was being.
Instead of looking to create a manufactured moment, I was living real life in the moment. My senses were alive to the smell of street crepes, the taste of salted carmel ice cream, the touch of the slightly itchy grass beneath us as we picnicked at sunset at the Eiffel Tower, the sight of rows and rows of Gardens at Versailles, my heart enraptured in beautiful conversations with my sisters, and with it all life unfolded all around me. The tightness in my chest and the stress from my day to day life disappeared the moment my phone was shut off.
My soul was actually relieved to be. And from this space I took pictures. For weeks now I've had my film back, and yet I haven't shared anything until today. There's something so personal to me about these images. They're not perfect, in fact technically there's a lot of imperfections, but to me the reflect a soul at peace and at ease. A soul connected to God, self, loved ones, and the world around her.
Here are some of my favorite moments.