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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What I believe about love, time and presence

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I want to share with you what is it that drives me to do what I do, what I believe my purpose to be, what I have learned and wish to teach others, what I need to learn and wish to absorb from others and from my own deeper, quieter corners of the heart.

I believe love is what moves everything. Love, its absence, its universal appeal, its quest, its presence, the fear of losing it, the fear of finding it, are all powerful motors for all we do, we don’t do, we wish we did.

I’ve always been in love. There’s always been a quest for deeper love, wider love, more love, love in various forms, to guide me and take me from one state to another.

What I delight in offering others is an excuse to love freely. To love who they are, who they want to be. To love those they are with, their past and present together. To marvel at what they have, the often overlooked beauty of what is already in front of them.

Photography allows me to do much of this. The time we take to create our images is a time that asks of people to be present, fully. There is no driving this through, phoning it in, delegating it, multitasking it. You have to show up and be you. Be looked at, be listened to, be remembered here and now. With a family, there is a heightened awareness of who your children are, who they are to you, how they are when seen by others, how they like to be seen.

Much can be understood from a lifestyle photoshoot, especially when children are free to be themselves. My clients often marvel at the facets of their child’s personality revealed through such a session. The labels become transparent, and the child’s signature expressions are revealed side by side with glimpses of deeper, harder to notice moods and looks. It’s the space between the highly self-aware moments that moves and inspires me. The space where the child becomes so engaged in what she sees, or what she expresses, that all the “shoulds” melt away and her face is not merely smilingly beautiful, but animated with that which is hers alone, her inner joy and wonder and love.

If I am able to hold the space for even a few minutes of true connection, of focused interaction among those who love each other, of undistracted self expression, I can hear my heart sing, and the images always show it.

People come to me for what they see in my images. I come to them for what I see in their hearts. The pace of modern life is often harried and as such can seem less profound. Short moments of heightened awareness of ourselves and the ones we love are essential, I feel, in helping us stay grounded, and move through the days with heart-centered purpose.

Long after the session is over, the images we create serve as focus points, as beautiful reminders of who we truly are, who our children are at heart, what our relationship means to us. It’s my dearest hope that these one-of-a-kind pieces of life-art are being looked at often and help take families back from a day’s race to a haven of essential, basic, strong and ever-present love.

In a nutshell, what sets me afire and makes me feel aligned with my life force is to enable in people lasting feelings of acceptance, tenderness, appreciation and love for themselves and for others.
More specifically, I am deeply moved by children and feel a constant loving commitment to allowing their self-worth to blossom unhindered, so they can grow into their destiny and allow this growth of their own children, one day.

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Theresa said...

Those are beautiful words Oana! Can't wait to see you! I'll be in Atlanta so soon!

Anonymous said...

I can definitely see this in your work. Such a beautiful post!