A Day At The Park

One of my favorite local bands during high school, The Youth Ahead, named their sophomore release A Day At The Park. The album featured photos of a local park where my friends and I used to hang out from time to time, but I never really found any appreciation for or meaning behind the title. For the first time since listening to this album, I found the power and beauty of a day spent at the park this past Sunday at Laurel Acres Park with some great people.

First, after an impromptu breakfast date at Perkins, party of five, we found that none of us actually had plans for the rest of the day. We mentioned that it will be about 75 and sunny, and we should do something to take advantage of the day. Catelin mentioned Laurel Acres Park, and the plan was set in motion.

Bob brought the corn hole set he made for our Memorial Day party last year, and the Sunday Sunday had begun.
Hole In One - Cornhole

Taking The Shot

A Day At The Park

Catelin thought it would be fantastic if she brought along some bubbles we bought (a 6-pack of bubbles for a dollar or two? Why not?!). There’s something very refreshing about blowing bubbles at a park on a warm Spring day.

Out of Order

Windy Day

Blown Away

Don't Mess With My Bubbles 1

My adventure in learning and practicing photography has made me begin to look at things in a different way. Rather than seeing just what’s going on on the surface, how can I begin to tell stories through images? Sure, if someone is just cheesing at the camera, it can be a nice picture, but can an image be more? It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. How can that really be?

While at the park on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, I looked around me and I saw stories happening all around! I’ve noticed that, rather than assuming a story itself, I begin to ask questions and try to inspire similar questions to the viewer through the image itself. Take a look at some of these stories and questions as I see them.

To The Dog Park!
Where are we going? Is this the dogs’ first time going out to the park this season? Are these two married? Dating? Brother and sister? Just friends? What role do these dogs play in these people’s lives?
Downhill From Here
Does youth encapsulate the top of our game in terms of innocence and purity? If so, why are we in such a rush to descend and lose that purity as we grow up and grow older? Can we ever get back to the top of this hill? How?
Isolated
Are we insignificant and tiny in this world? Or, are we the masters of our own universe? How many friends or connections do we really need in this world? Are we alone in this life? What kind of impact can one person have on another?
Chasing Life
Where is Bob going? What is he trying to catch? Does he catch it?
A Tender Moment
Is she old enough to make memories and appreciate a warm, sunny Spring day after the winter we’ve had? Where is Mom? He’s not wearing a ring: does he just choose not to wear it, or is he a single father raising his daughter on his own? Why is my eye drawn to the left-hand ring finger in the first place? What does this tell me about my own ideals, expectations, and possible bias about fatherhood and family?
Back On The Horse
Isn’t it easier to ride a bike on pavement? Is this the moment he will succeed and ride a bike for the first time? More importantly, what does this tell me about fatherhood and my role in my future child’s life?
King of the Hill (is lonely)
Is this a positive or a negative photo? Why is he alone? Is it worth it to be on top, but alone at the same time? Is he lonely or is this revitalizing?

I see stories forming through each of these images based on some of these questions which pop into my mind. While some of these stories may be longer than others (or even as short as my favorite 6-word short story: “For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.”), I am still excited to begin sharpening my eye to find the story within my approach to photography.

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