[Note: All photos were taken by Tammy Strobel, and are being used with permission. Visit her blog here.]
I recently had the pleasure of reading and enjoying Tammy Strobel’s newest book, My Morning View: An iPhone Photography Project About Gratitude, Grief, & Good Coffee. After the death of her step-father, Tammy copes with her loss by beginning a project that combines two loves she and her step-father shared: coffee and being outdoors. This book chronicles Tammy’s daily photo-taking, which allowed her to reflect and appreciate the small things. It is an inspiring read, full of anecdotes, quotes, photography tips, and beautiful photos. My Morning View is short but sweet, and very powerful. I felt motivated afterwards to write in my journal, and I experienced a surge of creativity. I recommend My Morning View to anyone who wants to get inspired. Reading this was a welcomed respite from the craziness of the day, and it helped me put things into perspective.
Although Tammy is busy running a blog of her own (RowdyKittens), she was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions I had about her book and her writing process.
DV: Why did you choose to write a book that combined words and photos, rather than sticking to one or the other? What do you think this achieves?
TS: I felt compelled to share words and photos because both mediums have helped me cope with grief. Also, while my dad was ill — and after he died — I had a hard time reading serious books. I continued to read. However, I read novels and photography books. Both genres inspired me to get out of bed in the morning.
DV: What was the hardest part of your challenge?
TS: When I began the project, I was afraid people wouldn’t like my photographs. I had to muster up the courage to share my photos and to be myself.
DV: What was the most rewarding part?
TS: Taking the photos! Photography has become an integral part of my daily routine. I love that part of my day.
DV: Does one photo stick out in your mind as the real embodiment of your project?
TS: That’s a hard question. I had a difficult time choosing the images for the book. I wanted to include all of them!
With that being said, I love the cover of the book. When I took the shot, it was foggy, cold, and I didn’t want to go outside. I forced myself to step out the door and once I got going, I felt much better. Engaging in daily creative rituals can be so powerful, whether you are healing from grief or trying to wake-up with a cup of coffee.
DV: What do you hope readers take away from reading My Morning View?
TS: Each person copes with grief differently and I hope this book will inspire readers to begin their own creative project.
In addition, the advent of camera phones has made photography accessible to a wide range of people. You can do so much with the phone in your camera! So, I encourage friends, family, and blog readers to start a daily photography project. It’s a wonderful way to slow down and to notice the magic in your everyday life.
DV: Since this is a book blog: What books will we find on your bookshelf or bedside table? Are there any books that have remained favorites over the years?
TS: I live in a very tiny house, so my library is tiny too. I only keep books that I constantly refer too and adore. Right now, you can find the following books on my shelf:
this I know by Susannah Conway
Still Writing by Dani Shapiro
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Life Lessons by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and David Kessler
Maddie on Things by Theron Humphrey
Find Momo by Andrew Knapp
Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton
I want to thank Tammy Strobel, again, for taking the time to answer my questions and for providing me with a copy of My Morning View. I will return to this book whenever I need inspiration and a fresh perspective.
Would you ever consider doing a daily photo project?