We are excited to be introducing a new photography project that we will be working on this summer with our two little girls: Annalise (20 months) and Nataleigh (5 months).

UNPLUGGED: Inspired by Bluegrass

I am sure you all have certain songs, lyrics, types of music, or artists that somehow transcend the radio and reach straight in to touch your soul. A lot of different types of music do that for our family- but lately we have been listening to bluegrass. J bought an album online a few months ago for the girls and the lyrics have been so fitting for where we are at and so poignant for our goals as a family. (More on the album later) As the gentle strums of guitar and feisty banjo accompaniment fill our living room everyday, the lyrics to certain songs have been touching my soul and inspiring me- and in turn have inspired this project. We will focus on the world unplugged. There are some things technology just can’t do. Some things you just can’t google. (gasp!)

Our world is so fast-paced these days; our family has caught the current and some days we just try to stay afloat. Technology has taken over the way we function and even the way we relate to each other. I often catch myself on the phone and then realize Annalise has been asking for something. (ugh- what a horrible feeling as a mom). Since before we got married we have thrived in our relationship when we are in the mountains, or on an adventure, or free of a schedule and plans. This is epitomized by our adventure honeymoon in Costa Rica. It is not surprising that our most meaningful family time is when we are out and unplugged- no internet service or cell phone reception- no way to charge batteries. Have you ever watched the moon rise from the top of a mountain, or been persistent in your evening fishing trip because you know if you don’t catch something you won’t eat dinner? Have you ever walked deep into the wilderness with nothing on your mind except the best place to pitch a tent? (ok, and maybe you’re also thinking about whether you can really carry your pack another 5 miles…) Maybe you aren’t that extreme- have you ever thrown a quilt down on a dock and snuggled your family as the sun set? What about having a tiny little hand grasp yours as your nearly 2 year old goes down the slide ‘just one more time’? Or snuggled under a mound of covers just listening to your babes breathe in and out? These are memories when the best of our time, energy, and attention is focused on people in real life. These are sacred moments. Soul. Freeing. – and friend, you just can’t google that.

Now, don’t get me wrong, technology has a special place in our home too. I don’t know what we would do without Annalise’s ‘show shows’ on AppleTV- especially on a snow day. We have two tablets, two laptops, two smart phones, and a desktop at home all decked out with the newest and the best- (in case you are unaware, J is a tech nerd). Sometimes I find myself really enjoying a moment with the kids or with family and friends and I begin to think: how I am going to create this into a caption for instagram or a status for Facebook… I sometimes view the world and my personal interactions based on social media. Huh. Depressing. Enter: bluegrass soul-healing lyrics and rhythms. Now bluegrass may not be your cup of tea, as they say, but I sincerely hope the lyrics that have inspired us will also inspire you.

The pictures in this collection will be of times and places and memories: ‘unplugged’- no internet, no phones, no wires… They will be accompanied by our favorite lyrics to bluegrass songs as captions. We hope this project will inspire you to get out, be with your family and friends, unplugged. No social media agenda, no evidence except a picture in your memory or printed on your wall. So someday when you dig up old pictures and memories you remember the quality time spent with your loved ones… and trust me, I bet the best of times you remember will not be when everyone was in the living room on their phone while watching tv.

Annalise in sunny dandelion field

Annalise exploring Central Park – Boulder!

This entry was posted by Emily Gazlay.

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