I just want to open up


I mentioned in a previous post about how I feel like my heart is full, and opening wider and wider. About how, inside, I feel there is an infinite amount of love, waiting to get shared with the world.

The sun poking through the clouds in today’s IQ kinda illustrates this, as does today’s quote:

“I just want to open up and give, and give, and give.” – Ben Lee

It’s taken from Ben Lee’s album “Awake Is The New Sleep” – my favourite record of his, and the perfect music to play in the car when you’re trying to get your kids to sleep (for some reason!).

For a little back-story, the album was written and released after Ben Lee and Claire Danes broke up. It would appear – from reading cover liner notes and listening deeply to the lyrics – that he had experienced a transformational experience of sorts after the break-up. Good on him – the quality of songwriting on this record is very high. It has depth, heart and love throughout it.

This particular song has relevance to me beyond this quote. It takes me back to a time when I was a photography conference in Bowral, about five years ago. I had seen Joe Buissink (celebrity wedding photographer) talk about his work as art, and describe how much he loves to simply connect with people, and dial-in to their emotions while shooting.

It struck a chord with me, and was the first of many realisations about what makes me tick as a photographer – I’m a storyteller of human connection and emotion, first and foremost. I connect with people, and allow them to tell their stories and expose their vulnerable selves to me and my lens.

Driving home from this conference, I was trying to explain to Bel how deeply this had affected me. I remembered these lyrics, and felt that they conveyed what I wanted to say:

I’m trying to make eye contact
With each and every stranger that I pass
Thinking about the city
It’s living proof people need to be together

I played the song for Bel as we drove. I tried to speak, and suddenly found myself sobbing, trying to talk through my tears. Through this little awakening, I was able to release the build-up of emotion around how much I love connecting with people, and how much – at that time – I felt I’d lost sight of that connection with my work and my style of shooting.

It was, as I said, a little awakening. It brought me closer to my heart, and closer to my work, and closer to my subjects.

I became a little less afraid of my highly emotional nature.

Now, as I consider my work and my heart and my gifts, I am proud of my emotional nature. I am aware of how easily and deeply I can read emotions in a situation, and intuitively understand what people are feeling – even, in some cases, when they don’t realise it themselves.

My heart is open, and I just want to give and give and give.

I heartily encourage you to do the same. Open your heart, and learn what it is that YOU can give and give and give to the world.

I look forward to hearing all about it.

Why not drop me a line in the comments, or maybe an email?

With LOTS of love,
Israel. xo


“Begin” by Ben Lee

I’m walking down broadway
Each foot step is a new love letter
I’m trying to make eye contact
With each and every stranger that I pass
Thinking about the city
It’s living proof people need to be together
I’m thinking about how I just want to open up
And give and give and give
And it’s ok for you to care
Cause I can feel you in the air
And while you wonder “how’s this gonna end?”
I only want it to begin

I’m thinking about desire
I’ve had to learn how to sin successfully
I’m thinking about bliss
And bliss is all dressed up
And there’s no one to dance with
Remembering her smile and the nuclear bomb
And the reasons I loved her
Walking through Central Park
I’m in a foriegn country and I’m waiting for a sign
That it’s ok for you to care
Cause I’m not going anywhere
And while you wonder if you should let me in
I only want it to begin

I’m still singing
Twisting new melodies, breaking arrangements
Thinking about my heart
I guess you’ve heard, sometimes it’s heavy
But I just keep moving
When I hit a wall, I look up at the sky
I’m thinking about my maker
In spite of all this I know she won’t give up on me
And its ok for you to care
Cause I can taste you everywhere
While it’s true
All straight things must bend
I only want it to begin

I only want it to begin
I only want it to begin
I only want it to begin