Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Photography as a way to appreciate beauty

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Like most people, I appreciate the beauty I see in this world. I love how beauty enters my eyes and gently settles into my heart. Even though I never studied photography, I find great joy in taking pictures. I have an SLR, which I rarely carry around with me due to its cumbersomeness, but I prefer taking pictures with my iPhone. It’s more convenient to use my iPhone because I always have it on me and can take a photo almost instantaneously. I never plan on taking a specific photo when I'm walking around Florence. I have a few favorite spots where I enjoy the view, but I only take a photo if I feel like it. A few of my best-loved photos are ones I didn’t plan on taking at all and it was just a case of being at the “right place” at the “right time.”Me, My Heart, and I :: Photography as a way to appreciate beauty

Living in Florence has made it both easier and more difficult to appreciate beauty. It’s easier because beauty is all around me, but more difficult because my base level for beauty is very high. It also takes a little more effort to open yourself up to the beauty where you live here. I walk around Florence all the time to run errands, see friends, and go out to eat, but I don't always take photos of everything around me. Mostly because if I don't feel inspired by something I see, I just can't take a photo of it.

What I love about Florence isn’t just what I see, but it’s what I feel when I see it. I admire Florence like I would a diamond. I hold her up to the light and study each of her facets. I only take photos of what touches me in the moment, which changes all the time depending on how I'm feeling as well.

When I’m strolling around Florence, I do make a point of looking all around me. I look up, down, left, right, and even behind me. I let my eyes graze lightly over everything in sight so that I'm open for something to grab my attention. Sometimes what calls out to me is the way the light enhances a building or monument, the reflections on the Arno, or the shadows on the street. It’s exciting to be open and wait for beauty to call out to me at any moment.

Me, My Heart, and I :: Photography as a way to appreciate beautyThe pictures I take of Florence aren’t just pictures of my beloved city; they are snapshots of inspired moments. They are moments when my heart soared so high that I couldn't help but capture it in a photo. I use Instagram to share my photos because it’s my way of sharing these special moments of my Florentine life.

Photography has not only allowed me to appreciate the beauty around me even more, but it has also allowed me to stay open to seeing beauty in everything that is around me. It is a gift not only to see beauty, but to also feel it, appreciate it, and share it.

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