It all began with listening. Noticing. Marveling at acorns and their tiny tops, deer moving quietly across a foggy meadow in the early morning, summery twilight spilling across the sky like a big bowl of orange sherbet.


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(photo courtesy of Julia Mary)

These elements in nature taught me to notice beauty in what was around me; it also awakened a sense of “something more”, as if I had heard a language both foreign and familiar. I began to understand these subtle elements in nature, even in decay and imperfection, helped me feel seen and known. In my heart I started to wonder: if I notice these little things… can I, too, be seen and appreciated for who I am?

By the time I started photographing people and engaging in their stories, I knew that the same question I asked pertained to them as well and the same kind of beauty I witnessed in nature was present in details of ordinary lives. Perhaps most importantly, I didn’t need to do anything to make these life moments more breathtaking than they already were.

These days, my desire is to photograph life as it is, to see the significance in the everyday moments – moments like the ones where toddlers wake up from naps, rosy-cheeked and pigtails awry; or when words aren’t needed because there’s a hand to hold. I want to share those kinds of life moments with you.

– Monika

If you’d like to read more about the inspiration behind my business name, please visit http://openairjournal.com/behind-the-name