Prior to departing for the Linden Clover photography retreat back in May, we were asked a series of questions by the leaders. They wanted to know more about us—where we lived, our favorite snacks, our experience with photography…one of the questions was, “what do you like to photograph?” I responded that I loved photographing the ocean, mountains, taking portraits of family and friends; I suppose it wasn’t a question I had thought too much about prior to filling out this Google form—I just knew I loved photography!!! I shared that among my top favorites were (and remain to be) flowers and nature. We chatted about this at the retreat, as the leaders were a bit surprised! They had never really come across multiple people who loved taking photos of flowers so passionately.
I’m not exactly sure when my love for photographing nature began, but I know for a fact my mom loved taking photos of flowers, especially the roses my Dad grew (and continues to grow today) in their garden. She would take pictures of roses as they bloomed, send them out for development, and put them in a frame or hang them on the refrigerator. I constantly find myself gravitating toward flowers, butterflies, birds, and most recently, dragonflies.
This week, my sunchasing adventures led me to Descanso Gardens, twice, and I must say, I wasn’t the least bit disappointed. I went there hoping to find inspiration and encouragement and left with so much more than I could have planned or hoped. Obviously, you come to a garden knowing that there will be an abundance of beautiful flowers, plants, landscapes; what I didn’t expect was the opportunity to capture dragonflies and butterflies. I was left speechless as I followed the most beautiful dragonflies I’ve ever seen. Vibrant shades of orange and blue, their translucent and strong wings were absolutely breathtaking. I sat on a beautiful wooden bench, awe-inspired and filled with the utmost gratitude to witness these beautiful insects.
Some friends and family know that dragonflies have become an extremely special and meaningful symbol since my mom’s passing last August. Every time my niece and nephew see a dragonfly, they exclaim, “Oh look! It’s a messenger from Mimi! Hiiiiiiiii Mimi! They’ll fly around, hear what we have to say, and report back to her in Heaven!” The joy and excitement of these kids and the love that bursts out of them is not only contagious but necessary. I, too, find myself filled with joy and peace whenever a dragonfly is present.