Traditions tie us together. They give family and friends commonality and a sense of community. Traditions that involve travel can provide especially strong memories, as we bind the unique sensations of a place- its sights, scents and sounds, to the particular activities and emotions of the tradition.
Kati, of K Dimoff photography has a tradition of taking her family on a walk on Hecata beach, located on the Oregon coast, around Christmas time. Kati says, “It’s my favorite tradition. Every year between Christmas and New Year we go home to visit my family on the coast.” Kati’s parents live there and “sometimes my brother and sister are there at the same time and we all make it out together.” Although the winter weather along the Oregon coast can be rather stormy Kati recounts “…somehow we always get lucky with the December weather.” For the walk pictured in this session “…there were storm clouds to the North and winter sun to the Southwest. It was warm and the shadows were long.” Last December the ocean was depositing Tsunami debris, washed all the way from Japan, on the Oregon coast. Kati describes the experience of handling the items as “solemn and eerie at the same time.” As the walk continued “the kids explored driftwood castles and ran through the windy dunes.” The afternoon slipped into evening and the family made it back to their cars “after the sun set over the ocean.” An important participant in the walk was Kati’s parents’ Brittany Spaniel, who sadly recently passed away. “These are the last Christmas beach walk photos he’ll be in. This (coming) year won’t be the same without him.”
Through this set of images, Kati has done a beautiful job of documenting something that is very important to her family. By varying perspective, utilizing several types of light, incorporating movement and allowing her subjects to interact with their environment with spontaneity and integrity, Kati has given the viewer the gift of insight. We are invited into this scene, given the chance to feel the breeze in our own hair, the sand falling through our fingers and hear the rustling of the grasses on the dune as the waves crash in the background. The love and connections amongst the subjects feels honest and genuine; Kati captured family dynamics both as an observer and as a participant. In several of the images it as though we are able to feel her love for the subject.
Thank you for sharing, Kati, and may your family make many more beautiful memories in the Christmas walks to come.
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