Personal Photography

Winter Photo Challenge Reflections

When I created the #5weekshutterbugchallenge, I did it to motivate myself to do something different and to see what photos I’d capture. Here’s my thoughts about each photo I took for each theme.

Festive – I wasn’t super happy with my photo despite the fact that I love penguins. But it was what I was able to capture that week. I wasn’t able to find another photo that was “cooler” looking that I felt was “festive”.

Lights – I went out of my way to go out to capture this photo. Filoli in Woodside, CA has lights during the holidays so I was happy head somewhere knew in hopes to get a few good holiday lights photos. I was glad I was able to capture it even with my point and shoot camera. Point and shoot cameras are not known for being able to take great photos in low light, fyi.

Family/Friends –  I had originally planned to post some photos of my family/friends in a traditional sense; group shots and so on. But I was sitting in a hospital pre-op room that week, waiting with my husband before he went into surgery and wanted to take a few photos. The photo of his feet while he was in bed made me think about the things you do for those close to you. That your time together with loved ones isn’t always happy and fun but can be stressful and nerve-racking. Nothing like waiting in a hospital to make you worry and feel stressed. Anyway, this photo is probably my favorite from the challenge because of how it makes me feel.


Tradition – This was really funny. While my family and I were opening gifts, we had a gift exchange mix up that resulted in my brother-in-law having multiple shoes of the same kind. Christmas gift exchanges are tradition in my family and this was by far the year where we really messed up because several folks didn’t read their piece of paper correctly, including yours truly. Anyway, this is a fun memory and I’m glad I took a photo of it.

Joy – I wasn’t sure what I was going to capture for joy, but I ended up at Ocean Beach here in San Francisco which I used to go to a lot more in previous years. It’s been my place to reconnect with myself, to reflect, to de-stress, to think, to exercise, to meditate and so on. It’s a special place for me. There’s something comforting about being at the beach and it was really nice being there again on New Year’s Day and feeling the sunshine on my face. It felt like a joyful moment for me.

Overall, I enjoyed the mini challenge. I liked some photos more than others.  Some were more “artsy” but I know there will always be photos that are less impressive. I really debated on whether I should post the more “snapshot” photos. But I realized I wanted to remind myself (and my followers) that photography isn’t always about having nicely polished, edited photos. For me it’s about the story of the photo. What was going on? Who was there? What made me take the photo? And that was my big takeaway from this challenge that I didn’t expect at all to realize. That sometimes knowing the story behind a photo makes a photo more interesting and special than at first glance.