For Auld Lang Syne

… for "old long since" … a celebration of days gone by.

I had no idea that Auld Lang Syne was written by the Scot poet, Robert Burns - one of my favorites from high school English Lit (a yawp to Ms. Bornhop!). Bobbie Burns wrote another poem that goes something like this:

“But to see her was to love her, 
Love but her, and love forever.
Had we never lou'd sae kindly,
Had we never lou'd sae blindly,
Never met - or never parted - 
We had ne'er been broken hearted”

A poem about love, to be sure, but also one about reflection and risk of passion. A reminder that putting oneself out there is as much about the journey as it is the objective. And there are no guarantees.

2013 was an amazing year in many ways - without the support of so many of you, the 365project community, and close friends and family, I might still be hoarding thousands of images on my hard drive for future use as screen savers and desktops. THANK YOU. What started as a donation to the Surfrider Art Gala in May turned into three art shows, participation in the Longboard Luau, and a leased commercial space. And while the whole notion of "break-even" and "profitable" has necessarily entered my photographic lexicon, photography remains about the joy of the experience and the moment. And of watching someone take in the beachradish images® booth at an art show and comment, "You capture moods. These aren't photographs. They're feelings."

I do not consider myself a "professional" photographer - my background is healthcare … that is my profession. Part of why I chose healthcare was the ability and opportunity to engage with people, and to potentially help - each is accompanied by a somewhat self-serving side benefit of feeling good about the purpose I serve in this world. Healthcare, despite many folks' interpretation of it, has a soul that not all professions do. It is a soul that mine craves. Having spent close to 7 years in a space outside of healthcare delivery, I found that you tend to miss your soul when you feel it slipping away. The notion of a purpose-driven life cannot be underestimated.

Photography is a love - and, while I've loved and been grateful for the response to my images, I've been conflicted about taking the unburdened joy of something so personal and commercializing it, without having a clear sense for the end objective, or how "success" is defined. I've written a bit on this Blog about photography, its purpose, and its opportunity - documentation, communication, awareness-raising. The photographers I've highlighted were paid for their craft, but their purpose and what drove them was far broader than their ability to take a picture.  

After much rumination and soul-searching, I've come up with an idea that I hope you'll like: beachradish images® is introducing "Feel-anthropy" Images. A plethora of great causes exist in our world, along with organizations dedicated to raising awareness and addressing unmet needs - organizations that are soulfully purpose-driven.  I'd like to take the notion of capturing feeling and give it purpose in a different way. Starting January 1, 2014, you'll notice an "F" next to certain images in the PERSPECTIVES galleries and SHOP. These are images where 100% of the proceeds will go to a specific cause, organization, or charity. This will start small, in part because I believe in doing the homework to understand an organization's mission, its financial stability, and fidelity in its use of funding. The first two organizations that I've chosen are the Surfrider Foundation, and the Challenged Athletes Foundation.  "Navigation" will support the former, and "Docked" will support the latter. I'll use this blog as a forum to update you on organizations, provide background, and tell you the story behind the image. And while it's clear that the injection of "Feel-anthrophy" funding won't jettison these organizations to the next stratosphere of financial security, I do believe that we each bear responsibility for the world in which we live, and we must all find ways to support it.

Here's to the celebration of 2013 - for days long since, to the risk of the journey, and to the destination of supporting things that are bigger than ourselves. Thank you all again for making this such a fun, terrifying, and rewarding year - best wishes to you and yours for a happy, healthy, and meaningful 2014.

All the best,

Nicole, Jim, and Elvis