Let’s all do something fun to take our minds off of what’s going on in the world right now, something to make ourselves smile, and to make those around us smile. Every day for the next week, take a picture of something that you find interesting, out of the ordinary, fun, or beautiful. It could be anything from a flower, to a crack in the sidewalk, to an adorable critter that you see. Whatever it is, make sure that it’s fun, happy, and uplifting. There is enough stress in the world to last us a lifetime. Instead of concentrating on this stress, let’s instead put positivity and happiness out there.
Even if you think you aren’t good at taking pictures, give it a try. You aren’t trying to win awards or sell your artwork. You’re just observing the world around you.
Take this one step further and share those things that make you smile with the people around you. Put your photos and on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest and say, “look at this pretty flower, adorable dog, or crazy looking tree that I found today”. Text pictures to your friends or family, that you think they would like. Email someone that you don’t see a lot a picture of you and your friends or family smiling. Just seeing pictures of others smiling and laughing can make us smile and laugh as well. So, share those happy pictures in some way with other people. If it makes you smile, then it can make others smile as well.
How does taking random pictures benefit you?
Taking the time to look at what’s around us gets us out of our own heads, and gives us a break from our day to day existence. We begin to notice and appreciate the little things that most other people don’t. We also notice things that we may never have seen, even though we walk by them every day. In the process of exploring our immediate world, we are reminded that there is a lot of beauty and happiness in the world as a whole. By noticing this beauty and happiness we allow ourselves the chance to see outside the stressors of life, to see that what we’re going through won’t last forever, and to see that we have a choice in how we view the world around us. We can choose where we place our focus.
Actually snapping a photo of what you’re seeing gives you the opportunity to go back and look at these beautiful, interesting things at any time; to remember why it made you smile to begin with.
What you’re taking a picture of doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but you.
There was a little plant outside of a restaurant in Charleston, SC that looked like tiny peppers. Most people didn’t pay any attention to it. It was just a decorative pot that they walked right by every day. I took pictures of it because I had never seen one like it before. In Michigan, my husband and I were walking along the waterfront, and I noticed a moose man carved into a rock. It looked like a little stick figure wearing a moose hat. This was not something that pretty much anyone else I knew would be interested in, but I found it interesting, so I snapped a picture. These are things that weren’t the majority of my trip, they didn’t really have anything to do with anything in particular, but when I look back at these photos, they make me smile. They remind me of what we were doing at the time and the conversations that we had about what I was taking a picture of.
I take random pictures so often, that I sometimes find myself looking back through my pictures and asking, “what on earth was I taking a picture of here”. Sometimes I figure it out, sometimes I don’t. Occasionally, someone else who sees the picture will think that I was taking a picture of something entirely different than my actual focus. It’s fun to see what others think the focal point of my random pictures are.
We may also find new perspectives.
Everyone lives somewhere different, and sees the world in a different way. Even if we live in the same city, or the same household, we each see the world through a different lens.
I love to see what other people take pictures of. It’s also a lot of fun to watch other people take pictures and see how they do it. At ballgames I’m always wondering what the photographers with the huge cameras are seeing. At theme parks, it’s fun to try to figure out where and how someone took pictures of certain rides or areas of the parks. When we visit a new place, I always look at the postcards that are available, and the photos that others have taken, to see what angles they may have used to get the best photos. In looking at other people’s pictures, I get ideas about what pictures of my own to take. I don’t just mimic what they do, but it does help me to see things from someone else’s perspective. I’m able to see the place that we are, and the way that other people have experienced it.
Part of the beauty when we take a picture is that, not only do we get to take the memory of our experience with us, we also get to share that experience with others.
For people who haven’t been to wherever we’ve gone, we may inspire them to go, or we may give them a chance to see something they otherwise wouldn’t. If people have been to the same place, then we can swap stories about our adventures, share our likes and dislikes. When we see someone else’s photos, it’s the same thing.
We are connected by the photos that we take. How many hours have you spent on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, looking at pictures that others have taken of things? When we need to learn how to do something, it’s easier if we can see a picture of what someone is telling us about. We take photos of friends, family, ourselves, and our life’s events, to keep and share with others.
If we’re doing it anyway, why not use our photos to inspire happiness, laughter, and smiles?
For anyone who wants to join me…
Each day for the next few weeks, I will post a new picture on my Facebook page and Instagram of something that I find throughout my day that makes me laugh or smile. Take pictures of your own and share them on your own page, share them on my page, and/or share my photos on your page. (Be sure to tag @thenovelturtle – we’d love to see your pictures) In doing this, we all get to see something beautiful, funny, random, and interesting, and then we get to pass that joy onto others as well.
I’ve listed a few random pictures that I’ve taken over the years as inspiration to get you started:
1) Find a flower in your favorite color
2) Cute animals that you see – yours and/or someone else’s
3) A piece of artwork that you did
4) Pretty trees
5) Water – a river, creek, the ocean, a puddle, a sink full of dishwater with bubbles, etc.
6) A smiley face – one that is hand drawn, painted, or your own =)
7) Find a shape in something – a fence, a wheel on a car, your floor, a rug, a crack in the sidewalk, the shape a ladybug makes when it crawls through the steam on your bathroom mirror, etc.
8) A flower that is just starting to bloom
9) A mural on a wall
10) The front cover of your favorite book
11) Find a fun rock
12) A beautiful door
13) Airplanes in the sky
15) Blades of grass
16) The way a light reflects off of a mirror, window, or wall
17) The moon
18) An old barn
19) An abandoned building
20) An old advertisement
21) A flame from a burning candle, a fire in a fire place or fire pit
22) Shadow puppets that you or someone else makes
23) A bug
25) The knots and lines in a piece of wood
26) A pile of seashells
27) A bird’s wing print in the snow
28) A footprint in the dirt
29) Icicles hanging off of a house, trees, flowers, etc.
31) A close up of someone, or something’s eye – a horse’s eye, your dog’s eyes, etc.
33) The side of a boat
34) A log or stick in the woods
35) Tiny moss growing on a tree
36) The screws, nuts, and bolts holding something together
37) Something that reminds you of your favorite movie
38) Numbers or letters that you see in things, ex. a gate that has a pattern that looks like an “L”, a chair that is shaped like an “h”, or a pattern on something that has the number “6” in it.
39) Buttons on something
40) Jars or cans that are pretty
You get the picture. (hahaha…..pun intended) The world is full of possibilities. Look around the room you’re currently in, go outside and see what’s in your yard or on your balcony, go to a nearby park and spend some time exploring.
You don’t have to travel far to find beautiful, interesting things to focus on. (another pun intended. I’m on a roll…..although I’d say some of you are rolling your eyes at me. =))
When we seek out the positive, and choose to focus on it, rather than focusing on the chaos swirling around us, we attract more of those positive things into our lives. We show ourselves and others that it’s possible to be happy, even in the most chaotic times in life. We also make those times much easier on ourselves overall.
For more ideas on how to be more aware of the things around you, read this post and get the free downloadable calendar.