Choosing Happiness Right Now


If we can really truly find happiness in the very moment/space we are in, wow… that is good stuff.

I know it can be hard. I’m not saying it’s easy. But I do think it’s true.

I choose this photo to share today, because I took it just a few months after I discovered photography. I shot it with my nikon d40 and the 50mm 1.8 lens. If that means nothing to you, let me explain. The d40 is an entry level dslr. The 50mm 1.8 is a fabulous and really reasonably priced lens. At the time, buying that lens was a huge investment…. a giant leap of faith. We definitely could not afford it, but I wanted it with my whole heart. 

Because I was using it with the d40, it didn’t auto focus and at the time I had no idea what I was doing. I was learning as I went. I simply knew the 50mm had a low aperture number which would allow lots of light to come in. And I felt completely blessed that I had it.

I shot the photo with my whole heart. I was so present in that moment….alive and in love with my new passion, photography. I can take myself right back to that day, that moment in time. I was sitting on our old staircase, it was mid afternoon, aiming at the lovely antique door knob, trying my best to get it in focus. I could see the picture I was trying to create in my mind… a Country Christmas photo.

Focus…..Click…. focus….click…… magic happened. 

It’s one of my favourite photos ever. And, It’s been licensed by many companies. Isn’t that crazy?

Would the d700 or the 5d…. with the 50mm 1.4g have made this a better photo?
I don’t think so.

As photographers, we are always thinking of the next thing… whether it’s a fancier camera, a better lens, the newest software. I am so bad for this! I won’t deny it. But, I know, if we can embrace and give thanks for whatever equipment we may have at this very moment, it can completely transform our art.

So my friend… wherever you are, and with whatever you are shooting…. whether it’s a point and shoot, an iPhone, a less than dreamy dslr…. whatever it is… go forward into this beautiful season of joy…and shoot with gratitude…..
Maybe, just maybe, magic will happen. And perhaps all that happiness will open the doors to so much more.

Today, share with us a ‘from the heart‘ photo. I just know you have some….. 


  1. says

    What a beautiful image – and a lovely, heartfelt story to go with it. Thank you for sharing!

    Certain events this week had me thinking about the masks we wear every day, in different situations and with different people. I wanted to try and express this in photography, snapped this image of myself with my phon,e while holding a Venetian souvenir mask up to my face with my other hand. I was amazed, and grateful, that I got an image that said exactly what I wanted it to, on the very first try.

  2. says

    I still use my D200 and 50mm 1.8 for my back up at weddings, I know it and love it. Only buy kit if you need it :) as it's the person that takes the picture. btw I love my 50mm 1.8 and can't justify the 1.4.

    Have a great christmas everybody :)

  3. says

    I love my 50mm 1.8. I actually purchased a 200mm zoom lens before the 50mm and regretted it because the zoom was so much harder to use as a novice user (not to mention so much more expensive) and the 50mm was such immediate gratification and a joy to use.

    I took this not too long after I first started taking photos with my dslr – it captured some really pretty daylight bokeh which was pleasing to me at the time because I'd heard so much about bokeh but had no idea about it!

  4. Jen McFadden says

    Kim, as always, you wrote the perfect message at the perfect time. Your photo is just magical. Thanks for the reminder to shoot from the heart, and trust that the rest will come regardless of equipment.

  5. says

    Kim, my friend Terri introduced me to your blog and your textures in October, and since then, I've read every word you've written, and have admired every image that you've presented. You are certainly an important inspiration for all of your fans for your candor and your sharing spirit. I am totally in awe of you and your artwork, and just wanted to share back with a huge thank you for all that you do. I'll be with you in January, and can hardly wait. Life isn't particularly easy for many of us these days, but you give each of us a boost of hope and determination to keep going with positivity. Shooting from the heart makes for wonderful images, even if we don't share them with the world.I can't wait until dusk to pick up my camera today.

    Thank you.

  6. says

    Oh! There are so many I could share but I'll share some just from this Christmas season alone. We can all relate to what you say here, Kim. All of my images are made with a Canon T1i and my two favorite lenses are the Canon 50mm compact macro and Tamron PZD 18-270mm. Here are some favorites just from this month alone (it's been a prolific month!), some have Kim Klassen textures, some do not.

  7. Marta Rhine says

    I agree! Some of the most dearest pictures were taken at random moments and with simple point-and-shoots. This shot was recently requested by Getty and I took it years ago before I even thought I might love Photography. It was taken using an inexpensive Kodak camera I had at the time. I love it, and I would certaintly call it a "from the heart image"

  8. Tamara says

    being knew to the dslr scene i have to admit…it's easy to get caught up in bigger and better! i recently bought a refurbished canon rebel xs, went ahead and got the kit lense with it, and added on a 50mm 1.8. i immediately wanted more…more zoom, more options. gradually i'm realizing it's not more "stuff" that makes the picture…it's me and my energy, expression, and emotion that makes a beautiful picture. one day i'll get that 50mm 1.4…and that super zoom lense, but for now i'm grateful for what i've got and the opportunity to capture my life in a whole new way. i took this photo the weekend after i got my camera. i walked in the backyard and immediately saw this rock…in exactly this spot, all by itself…i loved the shape and the fact that it had found it's way from the pack. in that moment i realized just how magical photography could be. a whole new way of looking at the world…and that has made me very happy.

  9. says

    Hi Kim,
    What a gorgeous photo and I love the story of your photographic journey! I think that we all yearn for the perfect lens and camera that will transform our work….. and it is true that certain equipment is needed to accomplish different visions, but we first need to come to our photography with a sense of the vision that we want to create and a feeling for our subject. As David duChemin says – Gear is good, but vision is better!
    Here is a recent post of mine and it's all about an outsider artist with a unique vision. All of the photos were shot with my Canon Rebel and kit lens on a cold winter day. Not the fanciest of equipment, but it did the job.

    Wishing you a blessed holiday!
    xo ~ Anna

  10. says

    This is a gorgeous photo and I love the wooden door and blurred background. I am hoping for a 35mm 1.4 for Christmas. Now I'm wondering if that was a good choice since I already have the 50mm 1.4 but the 35 is an L series and wider angle. Oh Kim now you have me guessing.. LOL
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year…to you and yours.

  11. says

    Thank you for sharing this! I am constantly left feeling more than inadequate with my photography equipment. Here's the thing, I have one camera, one lens and no external flash. That's all I've had for 5 years and that it. So, I work with what I have and I'll admit it, I do have lens envy…often! So as I look at your photo, I don't really care what you shot it with, the feeling, the moment is clear. That is what being a photographer is all about regardless of the equipment. One of my favorite shots is about the moment, the picture inside the picture. I share it with you here.

    I see from the rest of the comments that we are not alone. Here's to 'vision' in the coming New Year…no matter what we have for equipment.

  12. says

    Kim: This image is exactly as it should be … it is warm and welcoming. It says, "come on in, we are all friends here." Amazing that this is one of your first images as you embarked on our journey as photographer and that you trusted your desire to purchase the camera outside your financial comfort zone. I did the same about a year ago and have not stopped since. I'm loving seeing the world differently through the eye of a lens.

    Thank you for all you offer your faithful followers. Looking forward to your Beyond Layers class.

    My most recent favorite image is the third one on this blog post (the dog running through the snow):

    But I do believe the one where my heart truly resides is here:

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, Kim.

  13. says

    Dearest Kim,

    You speak with your heart. This image definitely is full of your spirit and love.
    Thank you for sharing this one because those moments, those candids, those memories and feelings are the most important ones to hold with your heart.

    I also agree, it's not the particular equipment we have that will capture the moments … it's that six inches behind the camera that has the eye for the moments, the ability to see what will be within the vision in front of them.

    You are all that and then some and I so very much value your presence here in the virtual world.

    I wish you a joyful year full of immense creativity and success in your endeavours, you deserve it all. I am hoping to be part of it all.

    Merry Christmas … this image is beyond stunning and truly does come from your heart.

    Hugs, Joy

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