Week 2: Happiness is…

I tend to be very critical of my photography. In my head I have this image that I want to create. This scene I want to set. This mood I want to capture. And it never seems to materialize. I know that some of it is that I don’t have the skill to create what I want. That’s not knocking myself, that’s being honest. And the other part is that I don’t give myself enough time to really set the scene. I’m basically working two jobs right now {librarian and teaching American History}, so there are days when I simply can’t get the picture until late in the evening. I need to learn to use crappy light to my advantage.

Anyway, for this week’s theme, I wanted to capture something magical. Something intimate. After all, this project is also about documenting our days, our lives, even the mundane. But that didn’t happen. I had a few minutes before I had to run off to work for the evening shift, so I grabbed my camera and headed to the backyard. I figured I’d take a picture of a wilting/dying/browning camellia and write a corny caption.

Happiness is a Camellia {living outside the stacks} #eyecandyproject52

Nikon D7100 | Nikkor 35mm f/1:1.8G lens | ISO 100 | f/1.8 | 1/1000 ss

Image SOOC {except to add watermark}

On my way out the door, something scampered past my foot and I jumped. It was our {outside} housemate, the gecko. I quickly closed the door {don’t want him moving inside}, quietly moved the lawn furniture, and started snapping away. He sat calmly on the porch and, I think, even posed a bit, while I {re}adjusted my settings, moved in closer, snapped, backed up, looked away, flinched at a spider, and nearly lost it when a leaf landed on the back of my neck.

This little lesson taught me that happiness isn’t the things we plan. It’s the every day. It’s knowing that every day I’m surrounded by God’s love, grace, and mercy. It’s the text from The Hubs that simply reads: “Hi.” It’s my girls popping into my office just because they can. It’s my son poking me on Facebook. It’s my other daughters sending random pictures of the grandkids {the human ones and the fur one}. It’s the surprises.

Happiness is a gecko {living outside the stacks} #eyecandyproject52

Image SOOC {except to add watermark}

Like nearly stepping on a gecko…

I’m participating in a 52 Week Project with Lashawn from Everyday Eyecandy. If you’d like to join or follow along on Instagram, use the hashtag #eyecandyproject52.
Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}





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  • LOL I know i’m not supposed to laugh but…. ANYHOO! LOL I love the Camellia!!! The color is so beautiful.

  • I don’t think that I’m supposed to laugh, but this post is funny as all get out. I can imagine you jumping when the leaf hit you. It would be a better world if more people could find happiness in the small things rather than always looking for or chasing something else in the hopes of that “making” them happy. Happiness IS in the everyday. Speak the truth and shame the devil.

  • Kelly

    I enjoy seeing your new friend. But I’m with you-I wouldn’t want him moving in. I didn’t realize you’re also teaching-I’m sure you love what you do but it’s hard to scrape time together for photography. I’m sure as it gets lighter and summer approaches, you’ll be able to get out more.

    • Yeah, he was very close to running inside. I’m not sure how Squeekerz would’ve reacted to that. LOL The new schedule is exhausting. I feel like I don’t have time to breathe. And squeezing in pictures is, well, it’s hard. But I’m determined to finish at least one challenge this year.

  • Your photography is great! I especially love your coffee and selfie photos. I laughed at you almost losing it because a leaf landed on you. That’s me when I’m out because I’m terrified of bugs!

    • Thank you, Darcel. That leaf!! I jumped so high and screamed so loud that the dog started barking. It was too funny. I’m surprised Mr. Gecko didn’t start running.

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