Your Lips Move But I Can’t Hear What You’re Saying.

The original title for this post was “I Just Can’t.” Except, it’s about photography instead. Sort of.

Then I drove from home to the mall for a Hallmark post, to the camera store to rent a lens for today’s music studio shoot, then to daycare to get Des, and then tried to figure out what to do with him until our friend was coming over for dinner, and Cassidy and Scarlet were to come home from the dentist. I drove on mountain roads, the radio coming in and out, and “Comfortably Numb” came on. I guess it’s obvious I like using song lyrics or songs as blog post titles as often as I can.

And it wasn’t even the song most on my mind. That was this. Just listen.

Maybe by now you’ve seen that meme of the four-year-old Syrian girl facing the photojournalist with her arms in surrender, because she thought the camera was a gun. I didn’t share the photo and I didn’t fact-check it, but I knew it was too real.

I see Scarlet faced with a camera almost daily. I see Scarlet facing the world with a camera too.

photography(She took this)

My older sister and I always say we have the same heart. We are over feelings and squishy feelings and sensitive feelings. We are love feelings and overwhelming feelings and feelings so big, you just know you can either change the trajectory of the world, or be crushed by it all. We’re different too. Through years of learning, she has unblocked herself. She can channel her feelings into pretty serious physical awesomeness. And other things. I can unblock myself, sometimes by choice, and many times by force. It just happens. It’s the force of the world and the bravery it takes to walk in it. Sometimes I’m still so blocked, because I just can’t. Sometimes I’m so unblocked, because I just can’t not. And I wouldn’t want to, anyway.

photography

There is nothing glamorous, sexy or super-heroic about withholding your feelings. There’s nothing sexy, glamorous, or super-heroic about blocking love. It’s not that I don’t or I won’t, but sometimes I can’t. It’s too much. I’m afraid if I start, I won’t be able to stop. Falling. Crying. Loving. Breathing. I don’t even know. I’m so moved, though, by nearly everything. And I sometimes have to sit in paralyzed silence. And when the world feels like it’s falling apart, I have to remind myself that it’s not. And when I feel like I’m falling apart, I have to remind myself that I’m not. This could be about the Syrian girl. Or Paris. Or Russian jets and school shootings. And love and messy stuff. Parenting and photography and dreams and sadness and laughter. It’s about everything, but mostly about squishy hearts and squishy feelings and squishy love. The squishiest.

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Anytime I’m silent, it’s only because I have too much to say. Anytime I’m afraid to love you, I’m more afraid not to.

Then I think of little Scarlet, who is far braver than I am, and so much more whole. And the way she learns one of the few things I can do freely – photography. She doesn’t block or withhold. She can do things, and she can’t not do them. It’s so fascinating to see what comes out of her camera, and to imagine what will be there for years to come. She told me I could share these with you – all taken by her. She also wants me to print out all 504 photos she took and she wants to bring them to first grade for “Sharing Day.” I told her that might take two full days of school. She said, “That’s cool.” And it is.

All photos are her vision. I set her on “P” mode. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves with “M” mode quite yet. In due time.

Scarlet Photography

Scarlet Photography

Scarlet Photography

Scarlet Photography

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Scarlet photography

Scarlet photography

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Scarlet photography

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Scarlet photography

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Scarlet Photography

Scarlet Photography

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57 Comments

  1. I love that she is telling her stories through pictures!! A picture is worth a 1000 words. And nothing wrong with P mode…I shoot with that most of the time. But guess what, Tamara?! I just started using Manual too. About time, right?!

    1. Woohoo! Bake yourself some cookies to celebrate!
      I used “P” mode right up until I went professional so.. there’s no right or wrong, I suppose! You gotta learn!

  2. Omg, Scarlett is totally coming into her own with her photography and can so see her taking after your footsteps here. Absolutely gorgeous and this whole post just made me feel all sorts of emotions, but just can’t help smiling from the knowledge of what a special bond you two have with photography.

  3. Wow amazing photos Miss Scarlett! I can see why she would want to take all 500 of them to school! My son is our budding photographer. Lately he wants to start making stop motion shorts. Gotta love that the world is their oyster!

    1. Thanks! Nordstrom! I hemmed and hawed about it for weeks, then my three close friends gave me a Nordstrom gift card there for my birthday. It doesn’t fit the way it used to, even though I don’t feel like I’ve gained weight after having kids. I guess I did!

  4. Tamara these are excellent photos! Scarlet has it all working for her. The genuine interest in photography, the desire to take the camera in her hands and shoot, and wanting to show everyone her photos. She’s already amazing and she will get better and better very quickly. Way To Go Scarlet! We Are All Proud Of You!!

    1. Aw, I will tell her! She sort of knows what my blog is. She thinks it’s this cool thing that gives her free food and toys, but I have to remind her that it started as just. THIS. Me spouting my mouth off about her.

  5. I remember many of these shots taken from your POV – I love that these are from hers. As a shortie, I can appreciate that! Well done, Scarlet. And thanks for taking some shots of your mom – we don’t get to see her enough!

    1. Scarlet’s eye view! Cool for you to see her side of the story – I’m so glad you noticed! And me and my bright pink jacket definitely made quite a few appearances.

  6. The song, the words, the message, yes. Wow. I too feel like the world is falling apart. I can’t even. And I love that Scarlett is flowing in her Mommy’s footsteps.

  7. It’s pretty incredible that you can learn things from your young daughter! They see the world in a completely different way than we do and they do in fact remind us to sometimes not take life so seriously and take risks without thinking what the repercussions could be! Just do it! 😉 The NIKE slogan was created by a 6 year old? lol

  8. Oh Tamara, this post. First, I get it. The too much, the shutting out or down as self-protection. My daughter suffers from anxiety. I never write about it because I don’t know how, because it hurts too much to watch her struggle.

    And I shared that heartbreaking photo of the child surrendering. I didn’t fact check it, I’m not even sure how, but a friend asked me if I thought it was propaganda or something, and I was like, no, and regardless it is real, that child’s face, I just don’t think that kind of fear and surrender could be faked.

    And now, finally, Scarlett. Your courageous beautiful girl who clearly has your gift, your eye, for nature and color (that cost of yours! Gorgeous!). I can’t wait to see what she captures next.

    1. There’s actually a Ben Folds song I always loved. It’s called “Protection.” I always thought it was about me, but luckily, not as much lately.
      My kids don’t have anxiety and it’s weird for me because I did so I always sort of expect them to react in ways they never do. It’s really all about me!
      I’m glad you shared the photo! Maybe I saw it from you. I agree it needed no fact-checking, though. It was just.. real.

  9. I love Scarlet’s photos. I love being able to see the world through the eyes of our kids and what they capture and notice. And I love the bond that you two are sharing.

  10. So amazing to see things from her perspective! I particularly like the one with your hands in your coat pocket.
    I recently looked through some photos I took in my high school photography class…some were meh, but some were pretty astounding. Like rereading my words in high school…I had the writing in me, but I didn’t realize it then. It’s wonderful to see Scarlet start to realize her talent at such a young age!

    1. I like that one too! It’s so clear! I was probably trying to keep my hands warm!
      I love that you were looking at the photos you took! Maybe you can share some?

  11. My favorite is the sleeve and buttons. I just came up with an idea – I want to give my girls cameras this Christmas. I want them to send me some pictures they take.

    1. I love that one too! It’s so clear. I’m always thrusting my hands in my pocket to keep warm, and she must have snapped a photo without me seeing.
      And that’s a great Christmas idea.

  12. I love these! She is really talented and I love some of the perspectives she chose. We let Roman use an old iPhone to take photos and the library is just packed with blurry photos of his brother, close ups of cars and lots of photos of socks.

    1. That’s pretty awesome, though! Because those are things he cares about!
      The blurriness thing takes time. I know 30-year-olds who can’t figure it out, so Roman is golden.

  13. She is sooooo good! She has got a great eye!! I’m so proud of her but look at her momma! No surprised at all! I’m happy you shared these with us!!

    1. She would have taken even more, but the memory card isn’t as big on my backup camera.
      And the coat was from Nordstrom in SF! I loved it so much. It used to fit better but then I had two kids. I still wear it!

  14. I love your squishy, emotional, and loving heart! I love you WOMAN!! There I said it, it’s not weird at all 🙂 I love Scarlet’s work, she is going to be such a sweet caring adult soul in this world, we need her. Her photography is fantastic, can she teach me? 🙂
    P.S. The video of your babes discussing Christmas was TOO CUTE! Their little voices 🙂
    XOXO

    1. I love you and your family and your hair and your heart! Not weird at all, I say.
      Scarlet would be happy to give private lessons! I’ll just stand by and nod my head at everything she says, ha. I’m sure she’ll have a lot to teach me over the years.
      I’m glad you liked my video! Their little voices slay me. I didn’t set anything up! They were just doing that!

  15. So, Scarlet is a far better photographer than any other child I know. Wow. Love the experimentation with movement and all the way she captured so much texture in nature. Gorgeous shots. Well taught, mom and great job Scarlet! (I need her to get with T…my oldest refuses to take pictures without a flash. I feel like Smeagol saying “It ruins it”!)

    1. haha, Smeagol!
      I try to tell that to adults all the time so if you’re telling your kid that.. it’s ok! She’s probably still way ahead of the game.

  16. I love that you let Scarlet shoot on a fancy camera! Kind of gives you a sense of her perspective and that is so special! I haven’t stopped by in awhile, but boy this sure does feel like home. I’ve missed you! and cant wait to see if you’ll have a gigantic tree with meth lights. LOL i’ll never forget that!

    1. I would never have done it if I hadn’t bought a new camera too! But she was very careful. I like her to see what’s really out there.
      You just reminded me of the blue meth lights and then I looked at my Facebook memories thing and saw that three years ago today was when we discovered doing them!
      Happy Blue Light Meth Anniversary to me!

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