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Reverb13: iPhone Photos as Soul Food

Gearing up for #Reverb13 (photo by Tui Snider)
Gearing up for #Reverb13 (photo by Tui Snider)

Reverb13: What nourishes your soul?

The following Reverb13 prompt comes from Kylie Bellard:

The way we nourish ourselves determines our ability to shine our light in the world.

And nourishment doesn’t just come in the form of food and drink and sunshine; it’s equally important to nourish your spirit.

What made your soul feel most nourished this year?

Oil & reflections on the boat shop floor (photo by Tui Snider)
Oil & reflections on the boat shop floor (photo by Tui Snider)

Artsy & Abstract

Photography nourished my soul this year, especially the artsy and often abstract photos I take while working at my husband’s boat repair shop as an office manager. It can be a stressful place, and when I started I knew nothing about boat repair. (I now know next-to-nothing, so at least I’m improving.)

While the office runs more smoothly, my creative projects (freelance writing and music) have taken a hit. This past year, I have not gotten as many articles published, nor have I been recording new songs or keeping up with this blog as much as I’d like… But as you can see, I’ve been busily snapping away at the boat shop!

Reflections in a rusty barrel (photo by Tui Snider)
Reflections in a rusty barrel (photo by Tui Snider)

Artist in Residence

Snapping photos with my iPhone throughout the work day has been my creative savior. As I started posting photos of the interesting things I see around the boat shop, I was surprised to find that other people respond to those images, too.

It makes my day (and encourages me to keep posting) when folks on my Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook accounts enjoy the pictures I share. These days, my husband even calls me “the boat shop artist in residence” and often remarks that, “I never realized I worked in such a beautiful place before I saw your photos.”

There's a crack in the floor where the sky creeps in (photo by Tui Snider)
There's a crack in the floor where the sky creeps in (photo by Tui Snider)

Is there a word for this feeling?

That said, even if no one responded to my photos I would continue to take them because of a feeling that is hard to describe. I struggle to express this feeling because it’s completely non-verbal and for a while I was only half-aware of it. It’s quite Zen, actually, like a flicker of poetry, a triumphant burst at knowing that I am completely in the moment, that I’m awake, that I am present and accounted for as the Universe takes roll call at that exact second. (Of course, the Universe never stops taking roll call, but I often fall asleep in class.)

The photo feeling goes like this: Let’s say I’ve handed the phone to my husband and I’m glancing around the shop when I suddenly notice clouds reflected in a puddle in such a way that it looks like there’s a crack in the floor where the sky creeps in, so I grab a shot of it with my iPhone before he hands the phone back and tells me to order a part for the customer.

In that moment my soul shouts, Bingo! and I feel as though I’ve done something worthwhile. (Of course, I then have to ask my husband to repeat what he just said because I was, as usual, daydreaming.)

Do you know this feeling? If so, what do you call it?

What is Reverb13?

Reverb13 is a set of daily writing prompts for the month of December. These prompts are a fun way to reflect back upon the past year and connect with other mindful bloggers across the web.

Full details can be found at the fabulous Kat McNally’s blog. We’re also using the hashtag #reverb13 on Twitter and Instagram.

If it sounds fun to you, join in!

Please add your response in the linky below if you’d like to reverberate with us. Be sure to check out some of the other blog posts while you’re there!

Tui Snider
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Published inTravel Photo Essays


  1. You have such a wonderful eye. And skill–you take better pictures with an iPhone than anyone I’ve seen. It’s simply amazing what you manage to do with that hand sized piece of technology.

  2. When I saw your top photo I thought it was from Margaret Bourke-White. Do you know who she was? A breakthrough early photographer… she was incredible and often took industrial photos but they became art. I think you two would be kindreds!

    I love your instagram photos, by the way. Keep ’em coming!!

  3. Jen Jen

    These are some lovely photos! thank you so much for sharing them.

  4. I love this so much, Tui! It makes perfect sense: the noticing, the capturing, the celebrating, the sharing.
    Long may it nourish your soul… and ours. xx

  5. Oh my goodness, your photography is beyond gorgeous. It is out of this world. I love nature photography and there’s something about how each person looks at the world and the things around me that always tickles me. I love this.

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