The one downside of living overseas is that you miss your family. The upside is that when they come to visit you have such fun together. Last month we had a lovely 3 week long visit from our “babies”. Joel is 32 and Rob is 31, and they both tower over me in height, but they’ll always be my babies! We got to see the sights, take them to some of our favourite restaurants, visit places we’ve been wanting to go to, and just hang out together, which was the best part.

While they were here we took the opportunity of taking a trip to Oman. To be honest, Oman was not a place that I had ever considered visiting. I have a pretty long list of countries I’ve always wanted to go to, but Oman was not on that list. However, when we moved to Doha, so many people suggested Oman as a top destination that we decided to see for ourselves. Spoiler alert – they were right.

Oman is a country with a long and fascinating history, striking landscapes,  beautiful coastline and (importantly in this region!) a stable government under a well loved monarch, There is oil in Oman – not enough to create the extreme wealth of other countries in the region, but sensible development has created a growing economy and a booming tourism industry. There are sandy deserts, striking mountains, green oases, historic forts, ruined towns, date palm plantations, rocky coasts, traditional markets, wildlife, sandy beaches, luxury resorts and a warm and friendly people. In short, a fabulous place for a holiday!

This was a trip with a bit of a difference however. Since there were four of us, all keen photographers, I opted to leave my camera at home!! Shock!! Horror! I did have my iPhone of course – I don’t think I’d cope with no camera at all!  Since this trip was really for our sons, I decided they should be chief photographers, and I would take a back seat role. Actually I ended up being literally in the back seat of the car, so that Rob could get photos through the front window. Mother-of-the-year material, don’t you think?

It was fascinating and very satisfying watching them both with their cameras. Usually I’m the one trying to get the perfect shot, so it was very enlightening being on the other side of the camera. There is a popular opinion that says that people who view the world through the viewfinder of a camera are missing out. I’ve never subscribed to that opinion personally. Watching my boys as they observed Oman and documented what they saw with their cameras reinforced my belief that photography is not just about capturing photos to remember an occasion or place, but it actually hones our senses and enables us to see and notice details that would otherwise pass us by. Without my camera, it was tempting to look around, maybe take an overall shot or two with my phone and then be ready to move on. But our photographer companions would be looking, and enjoying the scene, taking in the shadows and light; shapes, angles and patterns; movement; faces;  trying to capture not just what they saw but how it made them feel.

I have more photos than I need from that trip – part of the deal was that they would share their photos with me before they went home. And I really derived a lot of pleasure from watching them be the photographers. It was definitely the right decision to leave my camera behind – but I won’t be doing it again!! I missed my camera!

Here is a double page spread I made with some of Rob’s favourite photos. (Joel, if you are reading this – send me some of your faves if you want equal billing 🙂 ).

Content used on this page:

  • Pixels2Pages Blueprint “Hogwarts”, mirrored and slightly altered for the facing page #p2PHogwartsBP
  • Peppermint Creative Leather Texture Papers
  • Laura Burger Eclectic Mess Bundle (the alphaset)
  • Fonts: Jane Austen, SF Cartoonist Hand

Photo captions:

>> The stunning mountain scenery – and everywhere, goats.  >> Symmetry in the archways at the Al Alam Palace. >> Camel closeup>> Eager traders at the Nizwa goat market>> Green turtle, having laid her eggs, heads back to the water. >> Omani men discuss the price of goats>> The stunning chandelier at Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque>> A local woman on the steps of her house>> Reflections on a rainy day

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12 Responses to Blog: Where is your camera?

  1. Grace Perez says:

    Beautiful pictures and design! I am new to the site and enjoy reading all blogs and learning from you all. I travel to Doha often, always thinking about extending my trip to Oman or Petra, just need more planning. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Jan says:

    I have loved being on trips with other photographers and watching them in action. The hardest part is getting their photos (like the ones you took in Chicago, hint, hint!). Good for you for letting them have a go – Rob’s shots are fantastic! Hopefully Joel will share soon!! xx

  3. debbie says:

    Love this friendly sibling challenge to give Mom their photos to scrap. This is what goes on in my house quite frequently!

  4. Alison says:

    Rob’s photos are fabulous, and your pages bring them to life. What a wonderful experience to share with your family! Adding Oman to my bucket list.

  5. Sandy says:

    I don’t know if I could ever go on a trip without at least one camera. I am getting ready to set out on two Girl Scout trips this summer and you can bet they will be well documented. i will admit how proud I am of your for leaving your camera behind. I am sure it was one of the hardest things you’ve done recently. But I am also sure it was probably one of the most rewarding experience watching your boys walk in your footsteps.

  6. Cindy Rold says:

    As I said on your Facebook page, I wish I had gone to Oman instead of Dubai, or at least included Oman on the trip! It looks fabulous. I can’t wait to get there.

    • Shelley says:

      Next time Cindy! Dubai is well worth seeing too. It’s the lure of travel – there’s always somewhere else to see and not enough vacations to see them all!!

  7. Pam says:

    Just love seeing your pages and reading your blogs. Will certainly add Oman to my holiday destinations list. Thanks Shelley.

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