Hammock Happy

Forest camping…

Being in the forest transcends the written word.  The closest I can get to communicating how I feel, is that an exchange takes place, at a very deep level.  Each time I go, part of me is left there in the forest, and I take part of it with me.  What I take, and what I give is not tangible and it’s not greedy.  It might sound crazy to say that the forest needs anything from us.  Afterall, wouldn’t the forests be better off without us humans, given how destructive we have been and continue to be to these precious areas?  But so long as we humans are here, the forest does need from us.  It needs our respect, care, and appreciation.  In modern society it is all to easy to disconnect from nature and its abundant treasures.  But nature’s treasures certainly abound, and the only way we can protect its gifts, is to maintain a connection with it.  I feel a responsibility to engage my children in the gifts the forest gives, and to teach them how to exist in it with love and care.  When we camp in the forest, we heal some of the damage done during the times we are disconnected from it.

This set of images are the favorites I took of my kids and dog in our camping hammock and they are very close to my heart.  I am very lucky to be Mama to these two…in so many ways.  They are only eighteen months apart, and they are incredibly close.  They not only love each others as siblings “have to,”  they genuinely like each other.  Their bond is one of the strongest I have ever seen.  My goal in photographing them in this hammock was  just to capture how they are with one another.  I am in awe of their capacity for gentleness, kindness, and solidarity.  I am not usually one to gush, but this set of pictures really moves a lot of emotions forward for me.  Stripping away the typical noise in our daily routine, and being out in the woods alone as a family, really brings a perspective that few other experiences could provide us.  And I am just so grateful for it all.



About the Artist:
Natalie resides in Peoria, Arizona with her husband, two children, and two dogs.  Her primary goal as an artist is to evoke feeling through her words and photographs. Her artistic journey began long ago but it wasn’t until she entered her 30s that photography and writing became the primary outlets for her artistic expression. She likes to share the way she sees the world with those who are interested in her perspective. She is inspired by light, shadows, contrast, shapes, lines, colors, words, nature, adventure, music, and of course, the people, and animals she loves! She has recently been experimenting with self-portraiture and finding additional outlets for her art. While experimenting in different directions and following her passions as they arise, she is laying the groundwork for the future paths of her artistic journey. Her work has been published by Lensbaby, Beyond the Wanderlust, and she is an artist at Offset.com.

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