I can remember, perhaps a little too vividly, a time when I was asked to put my camera down for a photo with another person. I had been hiding behind my camera all weekend. It’s a fantastic excuse to get out of talking to people. As soon as my camera left my hands I felt as though I was standing in the middle of a room naked and all eyes were on me.

here but not there, hiding.

I literally had to choke back tears. The people around me had no idea what was going on and I wasn’t about to bombard them with my little episode. As soon as the picture was taken, my camera was back in my hands and I ran off to hide until the panic wore off.

It sound so stupid to write that now. But knowing how I felt at that moment, it wasn’t stupid, it was real.

Cody said in his post about managing my depression that one of the biggest things he attempts to do for me when I’m sinking is to distract me, and the very best way to do that is with my camera and Photoshop (and my new crush, Lightroom.)

On my flight back from LA last year I was a sobbing, shaking mess, that is, unless I was able to have my laptop open and work through the photos Heather and Mike allowed me to capture at Maddie’s service. It was on that flight that I realized that photography is my safe place.

support

At the Blissdom conference in February I was in a much better place emotionally, and rather than hiding behind my camera, I used it as a way to get to know people. On the night Harry Connick Jr. performed I walked around taking pictures of everyone at the party.

Blissdom 2010 Day 2

I didn’t delete a single photo.

Blissdom 2010 Day 2

Every click of my shutter revealed the most lovely women, radiating with happiness.

Hallmark Beauties.

It was intoxicating.

Blissdom 2010 Day 2

I would imagine that the way people look at me when I’m taking pictures is the way I look at runners. With a giant question mark above their head. Sure I’d like to like to run, and I’m sure it’s enjoyable to those who do it…but…I don’t get it. It looks so, boring.

Love this.

And then there’s the people who hold their cameras up, demand that their children sit up straight and smile. *sigh* I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that, yay for capturing an occasion! It’s just not very, natural.

little laughing dutch girls.

Rarely, if ever, do I point my camera at something just to take a picture of it. I see things differently. When I look through my viewfinder I see angles, shapes, colors, reflections, movement and emotions. I see stuff other people don’t.

McCarren Airport Seats

My mom left me a comment years ago that said “It’s becoming extremely clear to me why, even though you lived with Emilie and me, you grew up in a different place. Your brain is amazingly awesome.”

Tulip Time Parade

Now I wouldn’t go so far as to say that my brain is amazingly awesome, because sometimes it plays horrible tricks on me, however I do know for a fact that it works differently.

Amish at the Tulip Time Parade.

And I’m actually, finally, kind of grateful for that.

Comments

  1. It’s a good thing that scientists have not determined a fundamental principle of the conservation of awesome, because, you would pretty much have it all.

  2. I know this post isn’t really about Addie, but I have to say, in the photo above, she is the perfect 50/50 image of you and Cody :)

    I’m glad you have a safe place. Everyone needs one.

  3. I’ve used my camera to hide before. In fact, I think the big reason I took so many photos a few years ago was so I wouldn’t have to engage with the world — even with my husband.

  4. your brain? I might get it, kinda. justalittle.

    xoxoxo

  5. My camera is my security blanket. Without it I wouldn’t know what to do.
    I hide behind it lots, but I love the images that I capture with it.

    I love seeing the world through your lens, I love that you love photography so much and isn’t Lightroom the greatest. I want to have happy little lightroom babies with it, altho I think the hubs would be jealous!!

  6. I likey your brain.

  7. lovely.

    I’m glad your brain is different too.

  8. Thank goodness for that brain!! The world is much better for it, I think.

  9. I like how your brain works. You take wonderful photos.

  10. mommabird2345 says:

    Your pictures are beautiful, just like you.

  11. These are amazing! It’s good to have a happy place.

  12. The way you take photos is proof of your creative mind. It’s not even like it’s your security blanket, like you say it is..it’s like you are showing us your brain on this page. It’s an art form, what you can do Casey.

    It’s awesome actually. I love that you share it.

    It’s something I used to find so fun. I really need to get back to it. One day. I’m not good at people though…more just stuff. Trees, light, chairs. Ha. People I have trouble with.

  13. Beautiful photos as always! Glad you’re liking Lightroom…takes some getting used to but now I can’t live without it.

    “Rarely, if ever, do I point my camera at something just to take a picture of it. I see things differently. When I look through my viewfinder I see angles, shapes, colors, reflections, movement and emotions. I see stuff other people don’t.”

    I feel the same way.

  14. heather... says:

    our brains are likethis, Hot Pocket. I wanna take photos like you.

  15. Michelle says:

    I love seeing things through your eyes.

  16. I <3 this post! I wish there was some way you could show me the way you see things… I love it. I see things in my camera, but they never turn out the way I hope they will. Also, I should probably actually read the book on exposure that my FIL got me for Christmas… doh!

  17. This is a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing your heart (and your brain.) :-)

  18. I LOVE this Casey. You do have such amazing talent, I love the way you can see things. I hate that sometimes it means things are darker or sad, but those times cast more attention to the vivid and life in your art. You are real life, Casey. I love real life.

    Steph

  19. Beautifully written. I love your photography. I’m so glad it’s a haven for you… I think if everyone could find their haven the world would be a more peaceful place.

  20. PLEASE promise me that you will take pictures of the two of us together at blogher. Pretty please.

  21. If you teach me how to take pictures, I’ll teach you how to be a runner.
    (I’ll definitely be getting the better deal).

  22. Your pictures and obviously your brain are amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Hey Casey,
    It was wonderful meeting you this last week, and being able to witness for a short time the way you capture the world around you. I’ve often admired your photographs, and envied the way you are able to see your surroundings. This art form is completely foreign to me, and you allow me to appreciate God’s creation in a way I am unable to do when left to my own devices. God has given you an incredible gift, and you make Him proud with every click of your camera. Take care, new friend. Hope to hang with you again sometime.

  24. I love Steph’s comment and I love your honesty and how people can come here and feel safe. You make people feel safe.

    You truly do have a gift, and I, along with so many others, am so thankful that you share it with us.

  25. I think you need to read this book:

    http://www.amazon.com/Touched-Fire-Manic-Depressive-Artistic-Temperament/dp/068483183X

    I think you’ll find yourself in it. I know I do.

  26. i truly enjoy seeing the world through your eyes. what a beautiful safe place you have to reside.

  27. I love looking at life through a lens, too. I’m just sorry that it took me so long to see life this way. The world is much more vivid when I have my camera in hand, and I’ve learned about so many little details (about things, other people and myself) that I would otherwise have missed.

  28. Embrace it! You camera is your extra appendage. Musicians have their instruments, athletes have their balls (heh, heh) and bats and such, you have your camera. And the things you capture with your gift(case in point, Emily’s first cuddle with Gage) ARE amazing. I for one am thankful for your brain. :)

  29. Love your brain. Love your pictures. Love your honesty. Love it all! You’re amazing!

  30. Such beautiful pictures!

  31. Casey,
    You should really hold a photography class for people around Indy. I would be the first one to sign up!!

  32. Love your photos. Brilliant

  33. I notice that lately, I hide behind my camera – but I also notice that my eyes are open wider. I’m soaking life in. I think I walked past a lot of things, never truly absorbing my surroundings before. Now I am constantly seeing the way shadows and light play, the beautiful simplicity of a tire swing hanging from a huge leaveless tree. The contrast between my daughter’s piercing blue eyes and the soft pale expanse of her face. In one way I am more closed off, but in others, so open.

    Your photography is beautiful.

  34. I’d love to capture just one tenth the creativity of your brain. It’s amazing to me that the most spectacularly amazing people all have spoken about or been known to battle depression in some sense. Within all beauty there is darkness and vice versa. Your mom was right…

  35. i completely relate to you on this. when i’m behind my camera and seeing life through the viewfinder i’m in a much happier, steady place. it’s my safe place too.

  36. There’s a saying that people with depression are some of the most creative people. Looking at myself, and friends and family who have depression, too, I’ve realized it is so true. Our brains really are different. We have a very big chunk of brain matter dedicated to creativity and seeing things a certain way. The price to pay is the depression, but most of the time, I think it’s worth it.

    Your photos are fantastic.

  37. Your photos are beautiful. I love photography.

  38. Photography is my safe place too. I could have written this, just swapped out the details and names.

    I’m so grateful that I found it – and the people I’m the closest to who see how happy it makes me are too.

  39. i hope you know that you are extremely talented. i just got my first SLR in hopes that i too will be able to capture real moments, similar to those you do. i use your photos as inspiration.

  40. i hope you know that you are extremely talented. i just got my first SLR in hopes that i too will be able to capture real moments, similar to those you do. i use your photos as inspiration.

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