SPRING PORTRAITS IN THE GARDEN | Damascus, Oregon

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A friend of mine said an interesting thing describing someone close to her, "By the time most of us are adults, we have learned to be guarded and protect ourselves. But he is just totally open and full of wonder - and to have retained that is amazing in this world." Do you ever think about what the world looks like through a child's eyes? It's full of hope, magic and mystery. Children haven't learned to keep their joy to themselves or to be embarrassed about what excites them. They have a zest to absorb all the beauty around them and feel no shame in being vulnerable in front of others.

Mamiya 645AF | 80mm F/2.8 Lens | Kodak Portra 400 Film | Scans by PhotoVision

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Our world has a way of snuffing out the light that we all start with. I often scold myself as an adult for being naive or gullible when I attempt to assume the best about people - only to wind up hurt. In reaction I build my boundaries higher and higher until they practically reach the sky (allowing nobody in). We so quickly learn what masks to put on in order to survive this thing called life that it's easy to forget we all started out fresh faced running in the sun (even if it was taken from us too early).

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I don't know about you, but I am tired of building my fortress. It may keep the occasional un-safe person away, but all too often it steals my joy and isolates me from connecting with creative, wonderful people. I took the photos at my mom's house, while my niece made bouquets out of "weeds". She ran each and every dandelion over to her mommy, so proud and excited to share it. It didn't matter that it was a weed, to her it was lovely...and that's all that mattered!

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I want to be brave enough to declare that I'm excited and joyful about a dandelion or something I created - freely and happily. All too often I find myself weighing the odds and wondering if the people around me will crumple up my art and say , "no, that's not actually beautiful, you just thought it was."

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"This world is but a canvas to our imagination." - Henry David Thoreau

I love the quote by Thoreau above; I don't think anyone paints their canvas better than a child. What if it is truly possible to reclaim our wonder and our bravery to be vulnerable and excited about our creations and dreams? Or at least just live our lives a little more open hearted rather than on high alert. We only get to be in this big world just a wee bit of time...it seems to me there is no reason to delay.

Scans by PhotoVision

Shot in Damascus, Oregon on a warm spring afternoon.