It did not even cross my mind the first time I picked up my new Nikon D3000 what gifts it might bring to me, and not to just me, but to others as well.
At first the gift of sharing seemed good enough. Share the digital image, record the moment, and bundle those up in albums to display across Google and Facebook.
And that has been fantastic! Maybe they weren’t always the best images or the most technical, but I was learning and sharing and photographing (I still am!).
So I gifted what I could, as much as I could. Gifts I love to give.
But as the years have gone by and my camera has upgraded to the next model and my lenses have upgraded to sharper glass. Well, it got to be something more…
More from the heart. More concrete. More right now.
I made a terrible error while wrapping, but I saved it by re-ordering the way the picture shows. It is only noticeable on the side. I gave the canvas to my mother to put on her wall at the apartment in her Assisted Living Community.
She LOVES it.
This is the only photo I have of it from my iPhone.
See, my mom really enjoys gardening more than anyone. She had a tremendous garden filled with a variety of flowers when she lived in her house. Her thumb is fantastically green. She has a small patio container garden where she is now. I think the image helped bring a little more of her gardening love indoors. Plus, she gets to brag to all her friends that the canvas was done by her daughter.
I was disappointed I had messed it up. She beamed with pride.
And so, I stopped being so critical and I accepted the gift for what it is. It’s a choice. A choice to give and a choice to receive. My photography is not a gift of talent, but a gift to gift others with.
And when the critic in my head cringes over a hand cut-off, or a color not quite right. When it shakes its ugly mug at the print that didn’t come out exactly as it had envisioned. Or when a big frown emerges over a portion of the photo being slightly blown out.
I tell that critic to get out of here. I don’t need their comments.
The only validation I need is right here in these faces. No matter what I think about these photographs, they think something totally different.
…makes my heart soar.
I think I will continue to gift my photography.
In every way that I can. As much as I can.
What can you gift of yourself? I promise it will be received and it will be amazing.