Photographing November.

November has always been a hard month for me. The colorful fall foliage has all fallen from the trees and scattered in the wind. The days are oh so short. The sun is scarce. And my seasonal affect disorder kicks into high gear — making me want to either sleep, cry or go mad (and eat lots of unnecessary chocolate).

BUT there is also beauty in November. The crisp, cool air can be invigorating. The shorter days have me waking earlier to seize the daylight hours. The barren trees allow me to more easily spot the gorgeous Maine birds that choose to spend their winters here. I begin to finally spend some time indoors … organizing, crafting, cleaning … preparing for the holidays ahead. And I seek out the company and comfort of friends and family. All good stuff.

Oh, and the photography … well, it seems to suffer a bit in November. I mean, Summer and Fall are so much fun to photograph. Spring too (after the “mud season”). And I am not opposed to photographing Winter either. Kids in snowsuits make for wonderful photography. But it is that space between the richness of Fall and the beauty of Winter snow … that space where the earth is slowly falling into a deep sleep, but is not quite there yet … the space where everything looks a little too dormant (i.e. dead) … that is the space that is November. That is the space that I struggle to photograph. Perhaps it is a visceral reaction to anything that appears death-like. I love and long for vibrancy … rich coloring, expressive action, etc.

But perhaps herein lies the lesson (as there is always a lesson) … perhaps I am meant to seek out the beauty of this dormant phase … to make peace with it … and to find (and photograph) the “life” within it. Photography – for me – is a soul search … a journey into capturing moments in time that can never be repeated … finding their beauty, appreciating them, savoring them, giving them the attention they deserve … and learning more about myself in the process.

So, I will journey out into November … exploring the seemingly dormant landscape for the life I have yet to appreciate … allowing myself to accept that the earth is winding down … remembering that just as the sun rises every morning so too will spring return … making peace with the time and space that I am now walking in … seizing the day … and capturing it on film.



Jodi Renshaw

About Jodi Renshaw

Jodi is a homeschooling Mom, a photographer, a wife, and a proud resident of the city of Bangor. She spends part of her time working at a locally-owned shop in the downtown area, part of her time homeschooling her favorite young man, and most of her time behind a camera lens. She often writes about adoption, family life, homeschooling, and community.