I have always known that balance was of utmost importance in life.

I have sadly never had it.

I crave it, yet make decisions and have passions that make it hard to not live in extremes.

A true tradegy is when a passion looses its savor from overindulgence.  I still regret that my 8 years in college/grad school as a musician compelled me to love the sound of silence.  After spending 8-10 hours a day at the piano in rehearsal, teaching, composing, improvising, and accompanying, I would long for some quiet stillness.  I was likely the only musician with an ipod that was never ever used.  A totally useless purchase for me.

Graduation brought some timely relief and now 2.5 years of what I consider a “restoration”.  Music needed to become special to me again.  It needed to be something that I could truly appreciate and be grateful for in acknowledging its presence.

Its value had never changed, but my ability to see and moreso “feel” its value needed to be restored.

I wonder how many other special things I do this with in my life?

Photography hasn’t escaped the danger.  There have been times that I am sick of the camera and happily opt to record my life in my memory.  There are moments that I want to shut down shop so that I can take a sabbatical of rediscovery.

I suppose any passion that we allow to consume our lives or become a dependent occupation, runs the risk of becoming commonplace or even burdensome.  The true challenge for me has been to constantly maintain a sense of gratitude, honor and respect, for those things that I allow to imbalance my life.  Perhaps therein lies the answer.  Finding a way to balance our thoughts and activities in such a way that will maintain the special nature of things.  Small doses of delightful consumption over drunken indulgence with unsavory side-effects.

I’ve rediscovered music this year.  In small doses.  Its currently not out of balance, and to participate in making music is a quiet priviledge.  What a relief to restore a personal relationship and to be so enriched through the experience.

I’m secretly looking forward to winter.  I’m looking forward to a slower photography season to regain my perspective and restore my relationship with the camera.  Am I the only one that ever feels this way?  How do YOU keep from losing sight of the true nature of an art?

Brooke Snow is a Lifestyle photographer in Cache Valley, Utah. Her favorite musical key is Db and she loves chord clusters and subtle dissonance.  Brooke spent six years as a cocktail pianist in Grand Teton National Park, where she gained a great appreciation for “Fake Books”.  She somehow missed an entire childhood and adolescence opportunity of learning popular music (she was one of those weird kids who didn’t have t.v. or radio and asked for Beethoven cassette tapes for birthdays), but these miraculous books helped her to “fake it till you make it”.  Any requests?

Brooke teaches private photography lessons , online photography classes, as well as monthly photography classes in Logan, Utah.

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10 Responses

  1. Well said!

    I think someone needs to photograph you playing the piano, or better yet, make a movie out of it. Photographs, video, etc. I would LOVE to hear you play someday! Even if only via a web video! Maybe those pictures would be a good reminder of the serenity and peaceful calm that can come over you while playing!

    I aspired to be a pianist growing up and took lessons for many many years, and then when I moved out on my own and had no space for a piano, I grew distant to it. I miss it. I still have no space for a piano, but it’s on my list for my next home.

  2. Wow, you just put into words something that I’ve been struggling to explain since I graduated 18 months ago. My love of music hasn’t changed one bit, but after pursuing “the dream” for 14 years it just wasn’t quite the same anymore. I listen to quite a bit of music, all types, but I’m not ready to go back to performing. My poor trumpet hasn’t left it’s case for quite some time. I do look forward to the day that I’m ready to pick it back up again.

  3. Its funny you mention a video of me playing Chelsea 🙂 That is actually in the works right now and soon to be put to use around here 🙂 I’m glad you have a piano on your list for your next home!

  4. Though I am very much a rookie and only have two fall seasons under my belt … I can say I feel the same way after each fall. The back-to-back sessions (since everyone wants to wait until Fall for family pictures apparently…) and the non-stop editing/delivering and blogging starts to get to be too much and I look forward to the winter break from all the craziness. Granted, by February I am DYING for some green grass and beautiful weather .. but that’s part of the joy for me. The first pictures I take of my kids in the spring are so beautiful and exciting to me after a few months of high ISO indoor only photography.

  5. Oh my I am sooo in need of a break too. I know that I have been too busy when I stop picking up the camera to take pictures of my kids. And I am there right now. I am glad to are rekindling your music. you’ve got crazy piano skills that need to be used!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one that gets sick of taking pictures. I love doing it, but sometimes I just want to do it for myself and take pictures of my kids and my family. I get sick of doing business. I’m kind of glad winter is slow too. May the passion come back in the spring.

  7. So well said! And no you are not the only one that is looking forward to winter and a breather from the sometimes too fast paced photography season. I think a break from anything is good for the soul. It helps us to appreciate it again later. Even if later isn’t a long time.

  8. I have just started my photography journey and business and already feel completely sapped of energy and looking forward to some downtime after the holidays. Thank you for this honest post, I’m happy that you have been finding a balance and rediscovered music this year.

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