Lazy yellow moon comin' up tonight
Shinin' through the trees
Crickets are singing and lightning bugs
Are floatin' on the breeze
Baby get ready
-The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Summer is upon us and we've had a heat wave here in Virginia. I grew up in Georgia and South Texas, so I have lived this sort of thing my whole life. It has brought back memories of my childhood like a flood. I have the opportunity to document this for my family. I have the opportunity to give them something that they can show their children and their children can show their children. They can show them exactly what childhood was like for them.
As I was shooting this, I was so inspired by the summer evening light and the moonlit shadows cast in our yard. We have beautiful sunsets and when the moon rises over the river behind our house, it looks like a million brightly sparkling diamonds scattered across the water. When we moved here, the first time I saw it, it brought tears to my eyes. It's that spectacular.
I'm inspired by ordinary, every day events. If you look close enough, there's something wonderful in every moment. We ate dinner on the deck with the dogs eagerly awaiting fallen tidbits, followed by chocolate pudding. And what is summer without staying up late? Waiting for the lightning bugs to come out must've seemed like an eternity for the little ones, but when the first one was spotted, it was like their light sparked an electric current in their little bodies. They chased lightning bugs with a net with a hole in it and a mason jar, in the cool evening light. Thankfully for me, I had my camera handy. One was barefoot with pudding on her dress and her characteristic unruly hair and the other in rainboots passed down from his big cousin with dirty britches and a shirt he insisted on wearing that is just a tad on the small side. And I was there, capturing every moment until my little guy climbed up on the table to turn the candle off for the night.
Certainly, tonight was one for the books- locked up tight and filed under Childhood Summer Memories.
Did you do this as a child? Do you do it with your children now? What are some things that make you feel like summer? When it's freezing cold and bleak in the dead of winter, what do you long for about summer?
Jess is a photographer serving families located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She specializes in documentary and storytelling photography.