Boy has this summer been a whirlwind for me. I’ve been busy on a project recently (which I’m hoping to share more detail on before the end of the month) and it’s absorbed a lot of my energy. Along with that I got a promotion at work and that’s zapped a bit of my focus away.
Because of this I’m trying more and more to take some timeout for myself and I got a chance to do that over the Labor day weekend at my family’s cottage on the Long Island Sound, my favorite place on earth. My Gram, who passed away almost a year ago, lived there in the summers but now my aunt & uncle have moved in. They were away for the weekend and at one point the other family members who were around all went into town for one reason or another and I found myself at the cottage alone.
I’m 30 and in all of the times over the 30 years I’ve been visiting that cottage I’ve never been there alone for more than 45 minutes. This time I had nearly 3 hours to myself on one of the most glorious sunny September days and I did something I’ve always wanted to do: photograph and capture the bits and pieces of my happy place.
As I was able to quietly frame up the view and make the room just right I think I managed to capture the sense of peace that you get when you’re away but you still feel at home.
I setup the tripod and use a technique called HDR (high dynamic resolution) to really get my camera to capture the scene the way I see it in real life. I wanted to capture breath of fresh air as the light cascading through and filling the entire cottage.
If you’ve spent time around the ocean you can almost taste the salty warmth trapped in the air and smell the honeysuckle breeze fluttering in the window shades in these pictures. I feel like i’m back there now writing about it.
I can remember working my part time job in college and seeing this mirror in the gift section at the unfinished wood furniture store I worked at and immediately knowing I needed to get it for Gram to hang at the cottage.
These two chairs are the spots my grandparents always sat – my grandfather in his rocking chair and my gram in the wicker chair. Loss is a funny thing and it’s hard to put words on it. I had a sentence here but I rewrote it 4 times before deciding it was not mine to share; maybe photos will have to do that on their own.
Thank you for letting me share this with you. Tell me about your favorite place in the comments!
PS. Yes, this is the cottage where the wall hanging I’ve posted about before will hang.
PPS. There’s a giveaway coming on on Instagram involving 6.5 lbs of fabric later this week, follow me on Instagram to keep your eyes peeled!
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6.5 pounds of fabric?!?!
Loss is a funny thing and I know exactly what you mean about trying to find the right boundaries and sharing. I am so glad you have such wonderful memories of your grandparents and a tie to the cottage; I hope that is comforting and healing for you, too.
I can’t say that I have a favorite place like the cottage. Home, safety, and security for me are more tied to an emotional feeling of family, and for me that is my husband. When we were on vacation, we called our hotel room “home” and it felt true because that was where we were staying. Where we were together.
Thanks for the sweet words Yvonne. It is comforting having those memories, we’re actually changing a lot at the cottage so part of my attempt at capturing the little moment is making sure they’re never lost forever.
I love your perspective of home not being a place but instead being a feeling and sense of security, so true!
What a wonderful place to get away to and find some peace. I was totally taken there with your photos. Such beauty!
Thanks Katie. For years I’ve struggled to find where my photography sits in my life. Friends want me to “go pro” and be a photographer doing weddings, portraits and such but I think I’m truly happiest just selfishly taking the pictures that I want. I think that shows in the end product too. Kind of words of encouragement like yours help keep me reminded of that!
This cottage looks like heaven, all wrapped up in a pretty bow. Thanks for giving us a peak! And now I have to try and stay current on instagram to find out about 6.5 lbs. of fabric!
Like I I snuck the poundage of fabric in there Diana 🙂 I’m so excited to purge that pile from my craft room, scraps make me anxious and I’d rather see them go to a home where they stand a chance of getting used than sitting in my room glaring at me!
Love your photos. Love the cottage and love your grandparents chairs
Thanks for the kind words Helen. It one of those things I’ve felt before but hadn’t really fully identified how those two objects are such a warming reminder that my grandparents are certainly there with us in spirit!
Thank you for finding the right balance in sharing publicly what is a personal space full of memories. Your photographs are beautiful and certainly do capture the clean air atmosphere of the coast.
Our family cottage is my favourite place as well. I think your words and photos combined did well to convey the atmosphere of a cottage and the memories it holds. This year I spent the majority of the summer living at our cottage and it was great to relax and have unscheduled time. My Grandpa (who passed away a year and a half ago at age 96) also lived at the lake and there are sights and smells and sounds (like the ball game on the radio) that bring back summer memories for me.
Such a great little beach cottage! It’s so nice that you aunt and uncle kept the place so the memories can continue. Glad you enjoyed your time alone and hopefully for more next visit
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