Courage to Grow: Hiding behind our children

Many of us, myself included, list our children as our inspiration. They are our muse.  And what's not to love. We feel this overwhelming, overflowing, abundant love for these little humans. We feel the need to tell the world our love story and the camera becomes our tool. We use the camera because we can't write the words to express how we feel. There are no words that match this love.  And so we start by capturing the post cards moments and then we want more. We feel drawn to telling the moments that are our everyday. Our friends and family love on our images and we keep growing. We become a mom/mum with a camera, a momtog. Along the way, we see light, we see colour, we see movement. We learn about composition, perspective and other crazy rules. We start whispering the word "photographer" and hope that no-one laughs at us.

We play in this safe playground. We create a business. We create workshops. We create actions and templates. We join blog circles and photography forums. We grow. We flex our creative muscle and break all of the rules that we spent years learning. The world shifts. We see light that we never saw before. We see shadows dance. We see reflections in puddles and windows. We see beauty. EVERYWHERE!

This person that is reflected in that same puddle is not the same one who started with a point and shoot camera. Many parents use a camera to tell their family's story and stay capturing the postcard moments. Yet you, and I, have something more. We have wonder. We have talent and we have skill because we practised with our camera like a women possessed. But at the very heart of it, we have wonder. We see beauty where others see chaos. We see the magic of light where others see glare. We see colours where many see mess.

And so, are we hiding behind our children?. It is easy and safe to say that our children are our muse. They are the subjects and we place them in the crazy light we see. We ask them to stand in a field of flowers because it so beautiful. We walk next to yellow walls and know the pop of red will be a great contrast. Do we hide behind our muse because it is a safe haven? Are we selling our creative, wonder filled heart, short? Are we scared to take that next step or leap to "Artist", or "Fine Art Photographer" or "Creative Soul who sees Wonder in the World" ? What would happen if we stepped out from behind our children and embraced our talented, wonder-filled, creative heart?

I ask this question not because I have the answers. I have been reflecting on this after a week away without my children. No children, just me and my husband. I took my camera with me but I wasn't expecting to fill my SD card. But guess what? I did! I filled it with the wonder that I see in the world. I filled it with details, colour, and light. I know if I had been with my children, they would be the subject in each image. Without my so called muse, I still created. I created art that was a reflection of me.  My creative and wonder filled heart sighed, and said, "Finally!"

My name is Cindy Cavanagh, and I  live in Sydney, Australia. I am a Lifestyle photographer of home and heart.  I love to create and always have.  I'm Co-Editor of the Long Way Home Magazine, contributor to Journey to Artist and 30minutes in the life.  I am  a wife and Mum to 5 gorgeous and crazy children.  Ironically, I love the quiet. 

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