December’s Shadows

Hi! I’m Erika. Welcome to Two Mann, Two Sense! (2M2S for short). 2M2S is a musing, where I serve up an assortment of bite-sized tips, quotes, musings, stories, recommendations, and other spicy ruminations about photography, entrepreneurship, creativity, and life. You’ll see me in your inbox every couple of weeks.

December’s Shadows

What is it about December that always spotlights contrasting and contradictory symbiotic emotions? Like the dichotomy of cross-country skiing; where my skin is milliseconds from frostbite but my body is toasty warm. Or how when Christmas carolling I’ll beam loudly at the top of my lungs, but shed tiny tears beneath my toque. Spending the holidays with our kids and families excitedly recalls delights of the past, juxtaposed with the distinct reminder of how quickly life is flying by. 

December is bittersweet. Combined in a harmonious glow of longing memory and joy. 

December is puffy white snowflakes floating (yet falling) outside my window that create wonder and awe, while also wreaking havoc on some lives. 

December is a warm tea against my cold hands. 

December is deep longing for something long gone with a gratefulness for the present. 

December is the small and touching acts of kindness in the midst of frenzy.

Photography is about the contrast of light and shadow. Since its origins, photography has been about recording light on light-sensitive paper. But the shadows are equally important to the overall experience of an image. Shadows are what induce goosebumps, make you tear up, feel the darkness in art, be it photos, songs, poems, paintings. The shadow touches the depth of your heart. And the light allows you to understand its importance. 

Weddings are thought of as happy events, full of joy and light. Best days of our lives. But, hidden in that light, in plain sight, is also shadow. 

Shadows of the deceased, who gave their part in making the day happen long ago. 

Shadow of lost loves. 

Shadow of the past. 

December teaches us how to seek both sides of these stories. It’s the shadow that gives our photos depth. Literally and Figuratively. Shadow gives texture that brings out feeling. 

The path of light has a clear goal. It’s easy to follow. Obvious and well lit. The path in the shadow is an unknown destination. Insead of seeing your way through, you have to feel your way through it.

So instead of Happy Holidays. I wish you Holidays filled with both shadow and light. That is where we are truly photographers. 

Love, Erika

P.S. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of dropping into your inbox. These newsletters may be a little infrequent at times, but I am always trying to find ways to share my own challenges as I know they are not unique to me. I appreciate your willingness to be a part of that journey.

Want to read more Two Mann, Two Sense? Here is our archive.

More from our blog