"I'm so busy."

This simple phrase appears in almost every conversation I have these days. Every person I encounter seems to be overwhelmed by their every-growing "to do" list, running around from work to errands to events with hardly a glance to their bank teller or grocery clerk. And when we do have a free minute (or hour), they are quickly swallowed up by scrolling through social media, playing mindless games on a smartphone, or watching another episode of the latest TV show. I am certainly not exempt from these examples...but as I've grown in awareness, I've personally put into place some ways to detach myself from just living life through a cell phone or screen. Do you ever wonder what you could do to bring back those simple joys of childhood, as an adult living in a busy, changing world? Here are a few thoughts of mine!

  • Obtaining a local library card and actually reading REAL books brings me so much joy for no cost at all, and I've posted some of those here. I'd love to share more, so email me if you'd like more suggestions! (And, of course, I would love to hear your book reviews as well!)
  • Painting forces me to slow down, sit, and focus on something for a solid amount of time. I've purchased a "real" watercolor set from Hobby Lobby (their weekly 40% off coupons are life!!) and also have used watercolor pencils, and acrylic paints. (Oil would be my preference, but they take a lot longer to dry, so acrylic is, ironically, my preference.) See the header on my blog and website? That's a piece I created a few years ago!
  • Shooting film! For Christmas a few years ago, my mom gifted me her old Canon AE-1 35mm camera. I actually haven't used it, due to a few ruined rolls of previous film and a slight fear of that happening again. BUT, I have purchased multiple disposable cameras over the years. These are one of my favorite ways to slow down and document moments while still being present and without electronics. A disposable camera runs about $7, and another $15 or so for development (I go to Walgreens, get singles and an archive CD). Plus, picking it up is like Christmas morning! You rarely remember everything you did during the course of the camera, and may find a few surprises inside. [Note: I also sometimes forget about the camera altogether, and that adds to the suspense when you finally get the photos developed!]

This post contains some of my favorite photos from three rolls of film. They span from the winter of 2014 to the spring of 2017, and cover Jacksonville, Des Moines, Iowa State University, Ames, Chicago, DisneyWorld, and Colorado. I often take along my current disposable when I know something special is about to happen, generally when it's outdoors. The quality of photo depends on the lighting (bright, outdoor light is best) but the flash does help when inside. 

Iowa State University spring of 2014
disposable film 35mm photography
Des Moines Iowa portrait photographers who use film
street photography in Chicago film photographers Amelia Renee
film photo of Chicago Marque
college students on Central Campus of Iowa State University in Ames
things to do at the Iowa State fair
Iowa State students enjoy breakfast in Seasons Dining Center, circa 2015
Grimes Iowa wedding and family photographer
tips for using film and disposable cameras
photos of downtown Ames Iowa
product photographers for hire freelance
Ada Hayden
Amelia Renee photographs life through the eyes of a disposable camera
Destination Wedding photographers based in Iowa and the midwest
Iowa wedding videographers creative and romantic
film photo of tulips
Colorado Destination wedding and elopement photographer
Des Moines styled shoot photographer
film photos of chicago street photography