Thursday, March 29, 2018

Becoming Real

According to the Velveteen Rabbit, “Real isn’t how you are made…  it’s a thing that happens to you.”  Perhaps a photographer’s project becomes real when she puts down the camera and agrees to be interviewed on the other side of the lens.  I hereby present “Flowers for Mom” in a humbling piece created by the talented Ronny Taylor at Troy University.  



Clearly, this Camera Journey adventure has bloomed well beyond me.  Now go forth and seek beauty in your days.  It’s always there if you simply pause and look.  If you are inspired to add to a garden celebrating mothers, you can make a special Mother’s Day tribute in honor or memory of a loved one.  Pick your flower by April 20th and let it bloom for years to come in the Jackson Hospital Healing Art Collection.



If you have not already joined the Facebook Flowers for Mom group that I just created, please do so you can celebrate nature as we all share flower photos, help identify flowers others find, and more.

“Once you are real you cannot become unreal again.  It lasts for always.”
The Velveteen Rabbit

Friday, February 16, 2018

All I Really Need to Know I Learned Through Flowers

There is much to say, but for this Camera Journey message, I am going to let the images speak.  My inspiration comes from flowers and All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum.

Take a moment to pause and ponder.  Thanks for joining me! 


Like nature, people are full of surprises.




We can weather storms and still bloom.




We are healthier when our toes spend time in rich soil.




We are born alone and we die alone.




We leave behind nutrients for those that follow.




We all love being seen for our beauty. 



Stay Tuned
If you are curious, prints in multiple sizes are for sale and multiple flowers blooming together on the wall look marvelous, so contact me.  If you do not follow me on Facebook and Instagram, please do.  If you are new to this missive, welcome and invite friends to follow along.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Gardeners


“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
Marcel Proust


November is National Family Caregivers Month, a time to recognize and thank those who do so much within our communities.  What a perfect opportunity to celebrate and give my humble thanks to family, friends, and respite volunteers who are indeed charming gardeners allowing Mom to blossom and find great joy in her days. May these images that serve as examples of daily reminders of gifts surrounding us serve as my expression of gratitude.


In case inquiring minds want to know why I have been a bit quiet on this front, it is because I have been busy!  To date, I have taken over 450 daily flowers in 11 countries and 19 states.  Each day I post a photo on Instagram and my Elmore DeMott Photography Facebook page.  Join me in each spot for different images honoring an Alzheimer’s journey and celebrating nature.  To view Volume I, the entire first year of “Flowers for Mom”, click here, and for the start of Volume II, check here.  



Great things are ahead including a video feature about “Flowers for Mom” and a solo museum show.  Stay tuned, and join me in sharing your gratitude with the caregivers amongst us.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

An Anniversary

In 525,600 minutes, how do you measure a year in the life?  That is the question asked in the song Seasons of Love from the musical Rent.  Love was their answer, and one with which I absolutely agree.  As a tangible reminder of this past year in my life I have photographed a flower every single day and experienced many seasons of love including rainy and sunny days.


This Camera Journey began with a single stem of Queen Anne’s lace on August 2, 2016 at a time when my mother was recovering from a fall that kicked her Alzheimer’s symptoms into high gear.  I knew I could not magically make the disease go away, so in an effort to do something I chose to pause each and every day to acknowledge the hardships, the happiness, and the love of a year in the life by photographing a flower.

What I did not anticipate was that the seeds would spread and create blooms well beyond my single stem.  Through my Flowers for Mom series I have been given the gift of meaningful conversations with others facing challenges as well as kind words of encouragement along with gratitude for the joy in seeing one of the flower images.  I am humbled and inspired to continue on this journey.


Tears are in my eyes as I acknowledge this anniversary.  There are so many stories to tell that I know there must one day be a book.  Join me on Instagram and Facebook where I regularly share photos and stories, and help this mailing list grow by forwarding this message and letting me know who would like to receive my musings.  Flowers are so much more magnificent when shared!




Twinkles have returned to Mom’s eyes and she provides regular reminders of finding delight in simple things such as hearing a familiar song, and seeing her favorite flower, Queen Anne’s lace.  For this day I ask that you join me in pausing to notice something beautiful.  You will find something, I promise.  As with my flowers, on some days, I need others to help me find the bloom.  I give my humble thanks to all who have joined me in this flower garden.  In the next 525,600 minutes there will be daylights and sunset, flowers, and lots of love.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Awareness

June is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month as well as my birthday month.  Special occasions both challenge and inspire me to create a unique image to mark the occasion.  A friend’s beautiful garden filled with lavender provided the perfect subject.  The flowering herb is purple, the color associated with Alzheimer’s awareness, and according to flowermeaning.com, it represents “refinement, grace and elegance.”  There could be no finer way to describe my mother.




To me, this image of one stem of lavender enveloped by others is akin to my experience on this journey as a child of one with Alzheimer’s.  There are many facing the same illness as I am so often reminded when crossing paths with friends and when entering into conversations with people I meet.  While the experience for each of us is different, we are all supported by those in our midst, and in spite of drought and weeds, we persevere.  When we choose to look around the garden, there is beauty.  It can be seen when the person living with dementia has a good day, when we receive the kindness of a friend, when we laugh instead of crying, and when we pause to put life in perspective.  As the days move beyond this month with a special focus on a difficult disease, I give thanks for the continued support of those doing medical research, for those providing respite for family members, for the care partners who do heavy lifting every single day and for the many other flowers around my mother and others with Alzheimer’s.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Wood You Notice

Ever thought about the tree that produces gorgeous flowers?  While the blooms are fleeting, the tree is soaking up water and sunshine throughout the year, and presenting us with marvelous seasonal fashion.  Just think of all of the outfits - with leaves, with barren branches, with buds, with flowers, with green leaves, with golden leaves, and more!


What about the tree that produced the wood for the furniture on which you are sitting?  Just as the careful hands of a gardener allow plants to flourish for the eye to savor, the hands of skilled craftsmen turn the gifts of a tree into family heirlooms.



My camera and I recently spent time with Thomas Moser.  He is an artist, a craftsman, and a gentle giant in the furniture realm.  Because of his leadership and vision, he has built an incredible team in his furniture workshop in Maine.  To experience a place of gratitude for the beautiful wood being used, with a spirit of pride in the quality of work being done, and compassion for those with whom they work was something with which I am certain the trees are pleased.


Our natural resources are precious.  Care for them.  Appreciate them, and celebrate the thoughtful use of them.  Next time you play a round at Augusta National, make sure and check out this gorgeous tree.  It’s fairly easy to find as it is along the fairway of hole #2 - the “Pink Dogwood Hole!”

Where shall my camera and I go next?  Do tell!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mothers Day



What flower shall I photograph to add to Flowers for Mom for Mother’s Day?  Is there a certain flower that you associate with your mother?



As I build this photo series, there are many days on which I feel called to create something unique to mark an occasion.  May 4th is one such day.  It is the birthday shared by my husband and youngest daughter.  In a garden nurtured by a dear friend I call the Flower Fairy, I found sweet woodruff and ajuga growing side by side.  To me, the delicate white flower is like my daughter, and the tall purple flower, my husband.  They are each wonderfully unique, growing together and making the world a better place as they bloom.



My mother’s birthday in March posed a photo challenge.  While walking with friends we passed many classic spring flowers showing their colors, but I was not feeling inspired to claim any of them as “the” flower of the day to celebrate March 11th.  Then I found it on an incredible tree I had never seen before.  Thanks to a handy app, my friend identified it as a royal empress tree - the perfect flower for my mother’s birthday!  Thank you to those who shared your own flower photos on her birthday via social media, e-mail and text.  Mom was delighted as we looked at them all.




Many things become more beautiful when shared.  Flowers are one such thing.  In celebration of mothers, the Jackson Hospital Foundation is giving people the opportunity to make a gift to support their healthcare work in honor or memory of mothers.  In so doing, an image specially selected for the honoree from my Flowers for Mom series will be hung in a sun kissed walkway that connects two of the hospital towers.  For my mother, I find this to be a perfect way to recognize her on Mother’s Day.  May the images honoring her Alzheimer’s journey be a cause to “smell the roses” for many individuals in years to come.