I have come to believe that love is, in fact, exquisitely sighted.
Turning our full attention to those whom we hold most dear, all the little details that make them so precious come into focus. The way his eyelashes brush against his cheeks. The way her hair flies out behind her as she runs. The tongue stuck out in concentration. The head thrown back in laughter or song.
Our looking, our curiosity, then becomes an act of love.
People think that a camera is for recording what things look like, but its deeper, more meaningful purpose is to record what things feel like. More than just a mindless snap shared on Facebook and then forgotten, we can use the camera as a tool in our intentional quest to show those with whom we cross paths just how much we love them.
The image becomes a tangible manifestation of love. A photograph becomes a way to catch time, bringing you back to those candid, in-between moments of everyday tenderness, and allowing you to relive them.
When you look at an image that you’ve taken of someone you love, even
if it’s not technically perfect, your heart swells and you are reminded
all over again just how dear they are.
In this way, taking pictures of the seemingly insignificant moments…
The ones in between the weddings, the bar mitzvahs, the anniversaries and big celebrations
The way the light fell across his shoulder as he read on the couch with your daughter.
The way he grabs the spoon to lift the cereal to his mouth, one of the few things that reminds you of the baby he once was.
The way her ankles look as they meet the tops of her sneakers.
We fall in love with our lives on a daily basis, moment to moment, documenting our own love story as the light shifts.
Let’s take more pictures. Let’s print more pictures. Let’s share more pictures.
It’s time to revitalize, reclaim, elevate the art of the snapshot. Love is sighted. Open your eyes.
When we capture your real life, as it is, as you are, right now, a different kind of beauty, a different kind of pattern, emerges—the beauty of your life, the pattern of your love. The Book of Love Experience is designed to let the real you shine through. Come as you are. Your love ~ unposed.
Hi. My name is Miki DeVivo. So very nice to meet you.
My work on The Lovely Now lets me combine several of my most favorite things: storytelling, playing with kids, and mindfulness practices.
As a theater major, I learned how to tell stories in a visual way. How to see the moment when physical space and physical gesture combine and a connection between two people is made. How light can play with your heartstrings. And I applied these lessons to photography.
My work with kids as a teaching artist traveling from school to school through out the five boroughs of NYC taught me how to create instant rapport with kids. I know how to communicate in a way that meets them where they’re at (rather than talking down to them), and I once ate my own booger just to make a shy kid laugh (totally true, by the way).
My lifetime of studying mindfulness practices taught me how to bring my awareness into the present moment and truly see the beauty in its perfect imperfection. My theater and teaching experience also helps me know how to guide a group of people into this mindful place where we can all see and feel the beauty of THIS one special moment together.
And if my nine years as a mother has taught me anything, it’s that my kids long to be seen as they truly are. More important than a clean house, more important than getting them dressed up in their Sunday best, more important than being all smiles, images of my kids–as they are–mean the world to me.
These images record our real lives together, my real love for them, even through the messes and the tears, the laughter and the singing.
And these are the moments I will miss when they slip through the fingers of memory.
When my daughter was born we bought our first really nice camera. And it became my salvation.
I’m a really good student. I know how to break down a complex problem into it’s component parts and spread those parts out over time so that I can compete the assignment on time and earn a gold star from my teacher.
And then I became a parent.
And it was waaaay harder than I thought it would be. Here was a problem that couldn’t be solved with academics. And believe you me, I tried. I read book after book after book. I studied. I took notes. I documented.
But try as I might, I could not, for the life of me get that baby to sleep. It was an impossible problem that no amount of academic prowess could solve.
Then one day I picked up that fancy camera to take a few pictures of her for a thank you card. And as I looked through that lens, it was like I was seeing her first the first time. For that moment, the guilt and frustration melted away. I stopped seeing her as a problem to be solved and simply saw her in all her her-ness.
Of course, when I put the camera down, I forgot the feeling of flow and connection, immersed again in shoulds, and must dos and guidelines and well-meaning, but useless advice.
Until one night I had an aha. I could turn the part of my brain that loves and needs to solve problems toward teaching myself photography. I could have that feeling of flow and connection I felt when I looked through the lens whenever I wanted.
And as I turned my camera toward the people I hold most dear, I realized that, just as I chose what to focus on when composing an image, I could also choose how I wanted to see my life.
As I began to really pay attention, I noticed a special side effect: my seeing, my curiosity, became an act of love. The more closely I looked the more love I felt.
And through this practice of seeing, of becoming the author of my own story, I have learned, more than from any parenting book, what the type of wife, the type of mother, the type of human, I want to be looks like.
I’m not there yet. But I’ll keep practicing. Because it is in these everyday, candid, in-between moments that my love is lived.
We all long to be seen for who we truly are. Choosing to see those around me in this way is an act of love.
I love my kids.
The way my son smells after he wakes up from a nap. The little hop-step he does as he runs. The way my daughter is constantly singing, trying to make me laugh, and creating elaborate imaginary worlds.
I love my husband.
We’ve been friends since 1996 and we’ve been married since 2003. He makes me laugh (even when I’m mad at him) and is a true partner in life, keeping me company and doing the dishes.
I love my family.
There are eight of us and we live within a half hour of each other. We see each other at least once a week. And we talk a billion times a day. Coming from a small family, it is such a joy to be able to have so many, so close.
I love to eat yummy food.
Some day my hubby and I are going to fly to New Orleans, eat all day, and then fly home. I love Italian food and French fries. The fries and chocolate shake my husband brought me in the hospital after we had our first child is the best meal I’ve ever had.
I love nerdy board games and TV shows.
Even though my husband always wins the games, and the Doctor keeps regenerating right after I fall in love with him again, I just can’t help myself–I’m obsessed.
I love photography.
How it goes right to the heart of a person. How it takes your love and makes it manifest, tangible in the world. The very truth of your connection becomes clear and is captured forever. When I have a camera in my hand, I feel completely alive.
I love stories.
How they bring people together, build them up, connect them to their history. How they help people know who they are and where they came from.
I love you.
Yes, it’s true.
I am fascinated by people and those little quirks that make you, you.
My heart sings every time I can share with people how special those little moments truly are.
You deserve to be seen and it is my honor to witness you as you are.
I would love to help you create a Book of Love that will capture this
moment in your family’s life.
Get in touch via the contact form above, or give me a call at 623-242-2203 and we can begin the process. I can’t wait to get to know you and help your family tell its story.