Hearts Unleashed 2014: Week 1 {Catch The Moment 365}

Typical.  My intentions and reality are always so far away from each other.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing.  It’s just the reason I focus on being adaptable rather than punctual or scheduled.  Or if I do make a plan, I have about a thousand backup plans in the back of my mind.  I’ve had an idea for a photography project for the past month, but in one week, it’s already turned into something much different than I originally thought or intended.

I started brainstorming a possible 2014 photography project idea to better integrate my passion for writing and photographing back in November.  We had just moved and I knew it would be a while before I felt settled enough to start something.  I love this blog for so many reasons, but mostly because it’s an outlet and representation of me.  It’s become a piece of me, because I’ve allowed it.  It forces me out of my comfort zone a little and allows me to be a more open person.

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you already know I take a lot of pictures.  I didn’t always showcase my pictures here, but I’ve always taken more pictures than I knew what to do with.  As I’ve learned to actually use my DSLR to it’s full potential, my blog has featured more and more of those images.  This space has morphed from a fitness and holistic parenting blog into more of a safe haven for all parents to find an encouraging word and a showcase for my photography.  At least, that’s my goal.

I am in love with so many aspects of photography.  It’s no longer just about snapping photos for me, because I pretty much always have my camera (or camera phone) handy.  Last year, I tackled that hurdle.  You know, the step where you stop just lugging the camera everywhere and actually remember to take it out of the bag every once in a while, regardless of who might see you.  I don’t know about you, but I always had this phobia that someone might think I actually knew what I was doing if I pulled out my camera too often.

Of course, if you never take out your camera, you never will know what you’re doing!

Getting past that hurdle was great, but I took so many photos last year that I never edited many of them and they’re taking up a lot of space on my backup drive.  I’ll also probably never look at any of them. Ever.  What good is that?  I know, I need to go through them, select the ones I can’t live without, and dump the rest.  That, of course, would require time.  Plus, even some of those dreaded blurry ones have sentimental value!  I can’t tell you how many of the worst pictures I’ve taken still capture a moment or expression made by one of my kids that I was never able to otherwise capture.

My initial plan for a project was to get out and capture love in unusual places.  I pictured myself getting out everyday and exploring new towns and neighborhoods.  I thought I’d capture tender moments between people I didn’t know.  Then, a few of my online photog friends started talking about doing 365 day projects and I thought, “Perfect!  I’ll take fewer, more focused pictures and I’ll edit them everyday.”  And I have.  I joined an awesome Project 365 online support group to keep me accountable (#catchthemoment365), I’ve taken at least one photo a day (probably more like 30), I’ve dumped all the less than perfect ones, and I’ve picked one to represent each day.

The thing is, my kids are still front and center.  I knew I wouldn’t quietly capture moments with my boys screaming and running in opposite directions, but turns out it’s harder to escape the house without them, camera in hand, than I anticipated.  Well really, I figured that one out on day one, when I started actually thinking about the logistics of that.  Yeah, no.

So, here we are with the theme I decided on: Hearts Unleashed 2014 (#heartsunleashed2014), with the goal of seeking the beauty, love, and emotion in every situation.  I chose this title because I think it will help me bond with my kids more and it still leaves room for occasional exploration beyond my own family.  Parenting is hard, and I want to remember moments from my kids’ childhood with fondness.  Even the ones where, in the moment, I want to pull my hair out.  So far, the unexpected benefit of this theme has been, when I take a minute to find beauty in the middle of a tantrum, I’m better equipped to respond.  It gives me the time to take that deep breath I so desperately need before reacting to my child(ren).

So, without further delay, here’s the first week of #heartsunleashed2014:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

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