The joy of being… yourself


Like “they” say, if only I had known then what I now know.

When I was young and single, I had a much different view of the world and myself than I do now.

I spent too much money on haircuts or styles (you can charge more for a style than a cut) and clothes and spent far too much time worrying about what others thought about me.

There is both good and bad to that. Bad because I wasn’t impressing anyone by caring too much about what others thought and good because any mistakes you make in life are good mistakes if you can learn from them and learn I did.

Looking back on  myself I lacked self confidence. Too much time was spent thinking about what others thought. Did anyone really care that I was wearing expensive clothes or that my hair was “styled”, I doubt it. When we were small kids and without much money with no extra money to by clothes for Sunday school my mother used to say that God only looks on the inside and doesn’t care what you are wearing.

She was a wise woman telling me something that took me years to learn for myself.

I see so many of us photographers trying so hard to get the attention and praise of others and wonder to myself if all of those people are just as insecure as I was about myself.

Even the most “successful” photographers are guilty of that. I recently received an email from a world famous photographer who was touting his winter photo workshops in the Canadian rockies and he made a point of mentioning how well known he was for his winter photos. It kind of reminded me of Donald Trump having to mention in every speech that he gives how successful/rich/famous, etc. he is. If you are confident in yourself you don’t need to tell everyone about your successes. Mentioning or bragging about them does in fact the opposite.

Mom also used to say that if you got a really high grade in school not to brag to the world about it because the world doesn’t really care. Tell your mother, your wife, etc. and leave it at that.

Winter this year in Alberta started out very, very cold and the last week has been anything but. With temperatures well above freezing what little snow we have is quickly melting away. Have no fear though because the coldest days are head and they will come as sure as the sun rises every morning.

The photo above is from a cold, cold winter morning in 2011. I remember it well. The temps were in the low minus twenties Celsius and the sky wasn’t looking promising for my sunrise shot.

I was near the town of Fort Saskatchewan that morning and  was desperately looking for anything that would make an interesting foreground. No interesting buildings or trees were near only the long, long drifts of snow that tailed into the ditches.

As a last resort I hopped out of my vehicle into the cold winter air, dropped my tripod close to the ground and as I lay in the snow clicked off a series of bracketed shot.

These photos to me bring back long forgotten memories. Maybe yours also do the same for you? Remembering the steam rising out of my thermos as I poured my hot coffee into the thermos cup, frozen toes, wet pants, fingers that throbbed with pain because they were so cold. All of those experiences come back upon viewing the old photos. To others they are just pictures that someone else took.

So many memories…

Happy shooting,



~ by Dan Jurak on December 10, 2017.

4 Responses to “The joy of being… yourself”

  1. Beautiful tonality!

  2. Thank you C.S.

  3. love it, the colours are familiar

  4. Thank you. Yes, the colours of a Canadian winter.

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