My earliest memory of loving time in nature stems back to when I was about 10 years old. My mom had a small kitchen garden in our backyard where she planted long flowing rows of tomatoes, green beans, and peppers. I remember the sheer joy of going out daily in summer to pick beautifully ripened veggies. Working in the garden never felt like a chore to me. My mom’s garden made me feel calm when the atmosphere inside the house felt tense. I didn’t realize it then, but my mom’s garden was my sanctuary. The warm sun, the rich black soil and the active wildlife welcomed my presence and made me feel at home. I come from a long legacy of sharecroppers, farmers, and gardeners who have lived with their hands in the dirt for decades. Even at this very young age, I was simply embracing deep roots that grew naturally in me.
I have tended a garden of my own for many years. It wasn’t until much later, when I started using my camera to capture the beauty and wonder of life in my garden and backyard, that I discovered my passion for zen photography. I realized my garden design and the plants I choose to grow are driven my desire to photograph them. As an adult, my garden had again become my sanctuary.
I take photos almost daily and it is this ritual that teaches me to see things in nature that I would normally ignore. The light on leaves, the texture of spent flower petals, and softness of morning dew all fascinate me because I have learned to slow down and notice them when they call out to me.
Photography has become a meditation tool. I savor the peace and zen I experience in the quiet, intentional moments when I am behind the lens.
It is my mission to help others use their camera, in harmony with nature, as a tool to be present and well. I believe every time you pick up a camera (smartphone or DSLR) is an opportunity to be mindful and invite peace into your presence. I created The Zen Camera Club (TZCC) in March 2020 at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic when most of us were sheltering at home. The most we could do to escape the walls of our homes was to go outside in nature. I started offering photography meditations to help women cultivate intentional, calming experiences in nature using their cameras.
My guided meditations are simple and sustainable – a beautiful way to start a practice or supplement a practice you already have. I invite you to join me and The Zen Camera Club community on Insight Timer (here are two of my most loved meditations – Holding Space for Yourself and A Picture of Peace), on the TZCC Patreon page or at one of my local Zen Behind The Lens workshops.
~ peace & zen,