By BlipCommunity

Life Up Close

Karin (aka SecondSeason ) started her photography journey like most of us: documenting special events and birthdays, her kids’ journey growing up and trips on which she went. Then she took a few courses, purchased a ‘real’ camera and, for a year along with a friend, took ‘weekly photography outings’ where they’d shoot anything from city life, architecture, cemeteries, nature and landscape or whatever caught their eye that particular week. She says this was a pivotal year for her in honing her creative craft.
During that time, she also had to deal with some difficult life changing circumstances. “The outlet of photography,” she says, “became an avenue of deep healing for me. My creativity and intuitive gifting has always been somewhat of a spiritual journey for me, so as I got lost in photography, I found healing and freedom from what once was.  Out of this passage came my SecondSeason.”  
The marriage of words and image
In December of last year, Karin randomly Googled ‘photo journal.’ She’d lost her inspiration, was floundering creatively and desperately needed a focus.
“I’ve journaled for years,” she states, “but felt that the connection between words and image was powerful and I was looking for a way to marry the two.  I took a 31 day writing course last year to give my confidence a boost and so have dabbled a bit in poetry, haiku and deeper musings and reflections.”
Photography and the marriage of words to images has since become a spiritual, intellectual and sensual journey for this creative soul.  
Blipfoto, one of the results her Google search kicked up, seemed to fit the bill for Karin’s purposes. “It seemed to jump out at me,” she says “and I clicked on the link, began to browse the site and within a few minutes, I felt I’d found what I’d been looking for.”
Finding a Style
“I think it’s taken a while to figure out what my theme or style of photography is,” she muses “and I continue to be on that journey of discovery. It’s really important to me to challenge myself and to be challenged…to continue growing in my skills and ability. “ 
But she does know that she prefers simple detail to landscape photography and close up as opposed to far away. She enjoys catching the special moments in candid type photography over posed shots. “My favorite lenses these days,” she states, “are my macro and my most recent lensbaby purchase which appeals to the dreamy, magical and atmospheric images I like to take. I’m fascinated with light, (aren’t we all?), love contrasts and shadows, backlighting and golden hour. I enjoy creating mystery in photos…leaving questions unanswered.”  
An Introvert’s Selfie Series
Karin started a Saturday Selfie series (#SSSS) on Blipfoto, as a challenge to herself: she’s a self-avowed introvert who really dislikes being in photos and would way rather be behind the camera. “I started off remaining faceless or hidden,” she recalls, ‘with most of my images being quite dark or in shadow. That was intentional. I feel quite vulnerable doing self-portraits and so there’s an amount of trust that happens when I reveal myself to you. You’ll notice as the series has progressed that I’ve gotten braver, which means trust has grown as I’ve gotten to know you and the caring community of Blipfoto.”
She doesn’t follow any particular theme with her self-portraits other than they’re mostly mono and at times may have just a splash of color. “More times than not,” she says, “the idea I start with is often not what I end up with.  This is what makes it challenging as well as funny as I’ve really learned to laugh at myself!  I’ve had a few ideas that I’ve thought would work creatively that have been hilarious fails. I use my tripod with wireless remote and a couple of times while on holiday when my tripod was too big or heavy for travel, I've enlisted the use of a human tripod.”  
What are the challenges?
She can usually find something to take a photo of each day, but some days does feel that she has to dig deeper than others. She appreciates the daily as well as community challenges and is grateful for the hosts who generously give of their time.  The challenges especially help when she’s not feeling very creative or inspiring as they provide a focus.  
“Probably more trying at times,” she adds, “I may not always be able to connect with the people I follow on a daily basis. I believe to receive the full benefit of belonging to a community like Blipfoto is making that connection. The difficulty of course then is (as there are so many wonderful blippers) how to find the time to keep up with everyone. I think eventually you have to decide who to follow and then they in essence become your tribe. People were very kind to me when I first jumped on the Blipfoto wagon and I felt very welcomed. Thank you!”  
It took a bit for her to figure out how to connect with people as initially she was browsing all 50 pages of Blip and soon realized that took way too much time.  This is where following blippers began and it became easier to make connections with people as she perused and commented on their journals.  It’s taken 6 months into her first year, but she now feels she’s found her daily rhythm. 
Advice for Other Blippers?
At under a year on Blipfoto, Karin still considers herself a ‘baby blipper’ and is not sure she’s qualified to offer any advice. “If anything,” she reflects, “I think it’s the expectations we may put on ourselves.  Some days it may be the wrestle between which photo to post, or the tension of posting what I like as opposed to what I think people would like. I decided early on that I would just go with what caught my eye that day instead of wondering what others might like. I think we all see so individually and what stands out to me may not be the same for another, but that’s okay. I love the uniqueness of what all my fellow blippers bring to their journals.  Blipfoto is you, it’s me, it’s us. An all-embracing community.”  
She’s also felt and observed the pressure we put on ourselves of not commenting or interacting as much as we’d like. “There are times when life just gets in the way,” she says, “whether it be due to work, family or health, traveling or perhaps we just don’t feel like we have anything to say.” But she quickly adds that from what she’s seen in her short time here on Blipfoto, it is the most caring and kind community of people that she’s ever come across and can’t imagine anyone judging someone for not taking time to comment.  
What’s the best thing about Blipfoto?
Karin wants a community that she can connect with that propels her forward and provides a creative focus.  For her, Blipfoto is more than just a place to post a daily photo.  It is a group of people with a common interest and a place where she can learn and be inspired. 
“I have loved seeing things and places that are completely new to me!” she states. “The photos of where you live or visit in your travels, have often quite literally taken my breath away. My bucket list of places to visit is growing steadily. The insects, bugs and birds and other animals you’ve introduced me to has been so interesting!  Thank you for your beautiful portraits introducing me to the special people in your life. I’m honored.”
Through Blipfoto, Karin is also meeting and making new friends. “I may never get to see most of you face to face,” she adds, “but I do so enjoy and am grateful for our virtual friendship.  I feel very fortunate to have already had two Blip Meets with some wonderful blippers from the UK.  Both were treasured meetings and I look forward to more meets in the future.”
She also sees her journal as something that she can eventually pass along to her kids and more importantly, her grandchildren: “I love the idea of making a photo book at the end of each year.  What better legacy to leave behind for my kids and grandkids than to have a tangible memory of who their Mom and Nana was.”
Karin has been married to the love of her life for 41 years.  She has two daughters (ages 40 & 38) and a son (35), who along with their significant others have given her seven grandchildren.  She was born in Brazil and her parents immigrated to Vancouver, BC Canada when she was 3-years old.  She’s been a vegetarian almost all of her life (doesn’t care for the texture of meat) yet she’s married to a hunter!  Yes, she does cook meat. :)

Remarks collected by Michele (aka Alsacienne)
Cover photo by SecondSeason

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