Browsing Tag

Gulf Shores

Connecting | by +Krista

A few years ago, I came across this really awesome (and very poignant) quote- I found it (or it found me) at a time when my life was essentially flipped upside down. I was questioning things a lot: where I was, where I was going, and who Iíd chosen to surround myself with. And then, I found it. Iíd like to say it was scrawled someplace significant but it was probably doodled on the inside of a college textbook or somethingÖ but it basically slapped me in the face: ďPeople come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.Ē And wow. It was exactly the lightbulb moment I needed. And while Iíve stumbled and backslid a few times since, that saying is now always in the back of my mind, like the good advice I donít always follow but do always remember- eventually. Because life is about connections. Like photography.

Itís easy to snap a picture of something pretty. Thereís pretty stuff all around us- a sunset, a bunch of flowers, whatever. But the challenge of creating lies in making something a little bit (okay, a LOT) better than something thatíd hang on the wall in a hotel room- and the best challenge of all is connecting. With a face: eyes locked, betraying the mind. With a moment: head thrown back in mid-laugh, shoes kicking up in the air. Or with a place: connecting so well that youíd swear you could pull a Mary Poppins and be inside that place in an instant. The connection is what I love most about photography- connecting with the camera, with another person, anything.

I find myself, especially at weddings, dropping my camera down from my face for just a moment during the first dance- because I love watching that connection between people in love. I sometimes hide around the corner of my living room hallway, watching my daughters and their own little connection: sisterly, fiery, loyal and loving- I stifle my laughter when my Little One fights back against her big sisterís bossiness with a bite. The connections in life- no matter how meaningful or superficial- are what make us.

And Iíve had lots of connections. I still wonder about some- as in, what the HELL was I thinking?- and I miss some. Regret some. Hold onto some. Let go of others. (Sometimes multiple times.) Every single connection really can be divided neatly into a category: season, reason, lifetime. I literally have a photographic memory- a blessing and a curse- and forever have those connections, no matter who they were or why they were, ingrained into my mind. And into my photography too. And that. is. awesome.

Summertime | by +Krista

There is probably no more obnoxious class of citizen, taken end for end, than the returning vacationist. You know the type- struggling to readjust to reality, where no one brings you frosty pink drinks, your shoes are no longer filled with sand, and the fabulous beachy hair is a thing of the past. This week, that type is me. Donít judge. Youíve been there too: bitten by the vacation bug and on a quest to dig your toes in the sand, curl up with a good book, and just be away.†

So last week, in our efforts to pass our own vacation bugs onto our children (and because itís just really hot here lately), we packed our car to the brim- overflowing with floaties and swimmies and the fixings for piŮa coladas- and drove to the beach. The Gulf Coast, to be specific. The very same beach I grew up going to every summer: sugar white sand and the best seafood (period), standing on your toes and straining to see Mexico across the water. I could write love stories about the Gulf. Poetry. Novels. Instead, I blast Sublime with my windows rolled down and revel in the clichť. Because Iím at the beach. On vacation. Bring it on.

Since having kids, our trip down the beach is completely different every summer. Itís the evolution of my childrenís personalities, their ages, the letís-eat-sand quotient that tapers off around two. Last summer, our Little One was eight weeks old. (Thatís how serious we take vacations around here. Eight weeks old, no sleep in sight? To the beach!) This summer was the best yet: my older daughter is at last old enough to want to concentrate on the intricate seashell details of her sand castle for hours on end and my youngest is content to literally just sit in the sand and hold a shovel. It was awesome. Here. Hold this shovel for five hours.

And so for our week at the beach, a week that passed much too quickly, we just relaxed. (Well. As much as you can with two kids, which surprisingly, was a lot more than weíd anticipated.) I kept a constant supply of Sangria at our fingertips. We played miniature golf. We ate like kings. We had dinner rolls, literally as big as my kidís head, thrown at us from across a restaurant. We drank more Sangria. We slept in. We collected seashells and flew kites and indulged in world-class people watching from behind our shades. (Itís no Venice Beach, but itís certainly interesting.) We took our four-year-old on her very first rollercoaster (and didnít scar her for life too much).

Oh, and hey. We even spent a day in Pensacola at the Naval Aviation museum- and saw a Blue Angels “practice” show. (But really, it sort of blows “practice” out of the water. They break the sound barrier. Sonic booms. Crazy maneuvers and flying in formation. Amazing.)

Just like with our mountain trip last month, I didnít worry too much about my camera. I used my DSLR. I fought with my point-and-shoot. I snapped pictures with my camera phone. Whatever. It wasnít a wedding- it was vacationÖ and it was lovely. Sure, I still intuitively frame things in my mind every single moment of the day. And yes, I bribe my children into cooperating for just one more pictureÖ Aaaaand sometimes bribery works out better than other times.

But the beach. It was a perfect week. No sharks. Lots of oysters. (On my dinner plate. Not in the ocean.) Endless “Summer Rental” movie quote wars between the Husband and me. (Click it. You know you want to.) My parents came down for the last part of the week, and it was the best dťjŗ vu to watch my dad with my daughter, running straight into the ocean like two peas in a pod- just like he did with my brother and me when we were kids. Awesome, perfect week. Also. The French are onto something, guys. Thirty days of guaranteed vacation time every year? Sign me up. Iíd totally wear a beret for that.

There is probably no more obnoxious class of citizen, taken end for end, than the returning vacationist. ~Robert Benchley