A Photographer’s Point of View: Same Tree, Different DayDecember 1, 2018
With the holiday season in full swing, it’s no surprise that it has me thinking about things I’m thankful for and reflecting on the past year’s photography adventures and assignments. I am grateful to help people learn and create amazing experiences through my classes and workshops, and I am grateful to be able to capture people at their best, whether having fun at events like the Bear Run at Bear Creek Park or volunteering to feed the less fortunate on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
One of the things I’m most thankful for is the continued opportunity to inspire others by sharing what I learned while photographing a tree behind my home every day for a year. I call this project “Same Tree, Different Day.” On a January day in 2015, the idea for this project came to me out of the blue, and I’m glad I was open to receiving and acting upon it. What started out as an exercise in creativity turned into an experience that taught me valuable lessons in mindfulness, achieving goals and managing mental health.
I am posting the photos daily on my Instagram account, and the photo I am sharing with this article was taken on November 24, 2015. I regularly lecture about this project, and I use this image to make a point about mindfulness. The space that I captured in every picture measures approximately 50 feet wide and 33 feet high. If you consider how small of an area that is on our planet, it is amazing to look at all of the photographs in the collection and realize that many of us miss the wonderful things that are happening around us because we’re not paying attention. I wonder how many people who went shopping on Black Friday for the best bargains were living mindfully.
When I give my lectures, one of the questions I get asked is if I am working on another project. I can now say that the answer is yes, but I am saving that announcement for another time. My most common response is that this project is not finished. Although I’m finished taking pictures of the tree, I’m far from done when it comes to sharing what I learned. My current goals are to complete a DVD that will contain a slideshow and a documentary, and become a speaker at the 2019 National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) convention.
So the next time someone steals your parking spot at the mall or grabs the last of what you were looking for off the shelf, take a look at this photo and remind yourself that there are beautiful things happening around you every day. Pay attention to those things, and you will be rewarded.
If you’d like to learn more about Same Tree, Different Day, please visit https://sametreedifferentday.wordpress.com