I love to wander neighborhoods, photographing an interesting chair on a front porch, a bunch of flowers on textured steps, or a colorful front door. You get a glimpse of the personalities that live inside in those welcoming spaces.
But my porch? Not so interesting. I mean, I know what goes on inside the house, so there is no mystery there. The architecture is nothing exciting, being a mid-90’s vintage. Sure, there is often a flower or two planted, but it wouldn’t catch a photographer’s eye.
What suddenly made it special? It’s the combination of our flowers and plants, partially there by planning and partially there to protect them from being eaten by a certain orange cat in our family. It’s the freshly painted red door, and the harmonious scene inside. It’s the texture of the wet concrete steps, the spots of color in the flowers, and the scattered leaves on the door mat. It’s lived in and loved and wholly ours. Wait long enough, and you will see my husband or son coming out the door. Maybe a cat tentatively peeking around the corner, until we chase him back inside.
It brings home something I realized in my travels around Europe. Early on, I thought the beautiful flowers on doorsteps I would see around quaint little towns were for the tourists. But when I would find flowers in a hidden back alley courtyard, or see a farm house on a lonely country road bursting with blooms on every window sill, I knew it was for a different reason. It was for the enjoyment of the people who live there, pure and simple. It’s a little personal message to the family, whispering “come back soon” when departing and “welcome home” at the end of a long day. It’s evidence of life, thoroughly loved and well-lived, inside.
I know, because I have that kind of front porch. Took me a while to see it.
Have you ever wondered how or why I came to use only my iPhone for photography? I’m sharing my reasons over on the f4 studio blog right now. Come visit!