Paradise is often associated with palm trees swaying in a cool breeze, with sun on your skin and sand in your toes.  Or maybe paradise is escaping our tiresome everyday lives and going away to our favorite spot by the lake for the weekend.  Paradise is a state of pure happiness and bliss and when we can truly enjoy life without a worry in our heads. It is a state that we constantly strive for and is thought of as something only achieved if we work hard.

We can easily get lost in the mundane tasks of our everyday lives, hoping that one day soon enough we will be in paradise, and the next moment we realize ten years have gone by.  Many of us can even lose sight of happiness, and get swallowed up in the mindset of constantly wanting more, but never being content with what we have.  We mistake that the material things themselves will give us our satisfaction, and so we consume faster than we can appreciate. We often take our lives for granted, thus getting in a perpetual state of discontent.  We are always looking for that newer phone, that nicer house, that happier life.

However, happiness isn’t that far away if we simply change our mindset.  Depending on our state of mind, we can find paradise in the little moments of our lives; we must first learn to appreciate life, to soak in every moment, and to find the true beauty in everyday occurrences.  Whether it is your morning cup of coffee, listening to your favorite musician, that face your dog makes when they want a treat, your friend’s laugh, or your camera collection, finding that state of relaxation can alter your outlook on life and lead to a happier one. Rather than focusing on the things we don’t have and what we think would make us happy, we should focus on the things that we do have and to acknowledge and enjoy every second of our time on earth.  

In this photography series, I captured the small moments in my days that brought me happiness. When I learned to appreciate these special moments, all my worries were gone, even if it was just for an instant.  These little things are the key to long-lasting happiness: paradise can be found through the little satisfactions of everyday life.  For example, a lot of my photographs in this series are of my friends, because when I am happiest when I am with them.  Shared happiness is the best kind of happiness.

Through this photography journey I learned to live more intentionally, and to live simply, and meaningfully.  I also learned to live each moment as it is, and to focus on it; to not have my mind wander to unimportant worries.  The goal of this photography series is to show the beauty in everyday occurrences, no matter how little it may seem.  Paradise is only a state of mind that we can achieve only if we truly want it and work for it.

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