Unplugged in Jamaica, Discovering my View

Technology is an undeniable luxury and necessity in the world today, but sometimes, it is really nice to unplug from it. Recently, I went to Jamaica to photograph a friend’s wedding. While there, I removed myself from the demands of the world. No emails. No schedules. No tasks (outside of photographer duties that is). No phone calls.

Essentially, I put away my phone and my computer (other than to take or edit a few pictures here or there). It was refreshing to unwind, sleep in, and laugh with friends. We drank fruity drinks on the beach. We chilled out in the water. We enjoyed some local music and food. Overall, we all just got to relax and enjoy each other and the world around us.

For me, making and keeping those connections with friends is critical. The bride and the two bridesmaids were deployed to Iraq with me back in 2005-2006. We have stayed in contact over the years. Some years more. Some years less. Regardless, there is a bond and history between us.

As an added bonus, I brought my best friend from high school along as my plus one. Her and I have stayed close over the years as well. Again, some years we talk more. Some years, a bit less. Either way though, our chats start off like no time has passed at all.

Having these friends from different times in my life meet was such a blessing. It was like watching a sunset or sunrise. Two different times blending together, creating a powerful beauty. It was poetic too. For the one group of friends knew me as their fellow Soldier friend and the other knew me as the young woman full of dreams. Now, they were both seeing me, the combination of all those things now. Just like the pictures below, we are all made up of several elements (experiences), and it is those elements (experiences) that make the picture (who we are) – thus, creating the view we give others.

All of us have different facets to our personalities, but overall, those facets are just pieces of the total us. Without one element, the total picture would be different. Maybe it could be better. Or maybe it could be worse. That’s the thing. We can only guess how things would be if our lives were different. We could guess and guess, but meanwhile, nothing would change except for the fact that we wasted all that time wondering about the unchangeable past.

So as I reflect on my time in Jamaica, I see that my view is as it should be. My life has not been perfect and certainly not always pleasant. But, it is my life, no one elses. I can’t change my past. I can only change how I deal with my present. My experiences and how I have dealt with them make me who I am. My past does not define me, but adds elements to my life. It is up to me to make my life into the beautiful sunset I want.


For Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Travel.

iphone challenge

If you are not familiar with the challenge, make sure you check it out. Sally always has some great writing to go along with her stunning photos.

Columbus, Georgia ~ Sunset on the River

One of my favorite places is downtown Columbus, Ga. The Chattahoochee River can be quite spectacular on some nights, especially when paired with the boardwalk.  These shots were on the 4th of July this year and just quick snaps with my iPhone. It would really do more justice to the city if I had my Canon camera, but this was a life-on-the-go moment. I hope you enjoy it.

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A Navy Pier Sunset ~ A Must See

In 2013, I had to travel to Chicago for the military. Fortunately, I had a few hours off and was able to check out the Navy Pier. If you ever get the chance to go there, I highly recommend it. There was a variety of shops and tourist attractions. The thing I enjoyed the most though was the ferry ride to see the city from the water. When I went, it was sunset, and the view was spectacular. Below are a couple of pictures I snapped. They were also perfect for this week’s iPhone Challenge of travel.

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These pictures were taken with my iPhone5 and edited with Photoshop.

If you would like to participate in the iPhone Challenge, break out your phones! Click on the graphic below for more information. The more in the challenge, the merrier.

iphone challenge