Hi everyone, if you are anything like me and you made a whole basket full of resolutions for 2014, by now your enthusiasm for hitting all of your goals may be waning. I think I may have the solution. Recently I had the chance to catch up with an old friend, Daniel Peralta. He is a healer and a photographer. He recently worked with Louise Hay and they created “I Can Do It 2014 Calendar,” which combines Louise’s affirmations along with stunning photographs taken by Daniel. I invited him to stop by and asked the obvious question:
Rachel: So Daniel, how did you get interested in photography?
Daniel: I took my first photography class in 1981 at the University of San Francisco. We were still developing negatives and doing contact sheets back then. My real passion started with digital photography when I no longer worried about how many pictures I took and didn’t worry about the price of developing the film. I gave me a new kind of freedom. The freedom just to shoot pictures without worrying about how they will turn out. I simply had to hit the delete button if I didn’t like it. Also, the ability to see what you are shooting as soon as you shoot it allows one to recompose the photo immediately and re-shoot it. And, I love beauty. If you look for beauty you find beauty. In April of 2009 I purchased a Nikon D60 from Costco. It came with two lenses and I started practicing. I thought it wasn’t such an expensive investment if I get bored. Digital photography is very forgiving.
The ability to edit and play with your photos on a computer is also a lot of fun. Photography and editing, along with teaching, allows me to feel timeless. I get completely absorbed in it and lose all sense of time. I also fly a lot and I love to edit photos on long flights. The time just flies.
Rachel: Why do you photograph so many flowers?
Daniel: Many years ago, during the holidays, we had a family weekend on the Big Island where many members of our family lived at the time. There was a blow up between two of the teenagers and one of them created a scene which made the many of us feel uncomfortable. We all took a time out and Michael, my partner, and I went to one of nice hotels along the Kohala coast to have lunch. When we arrived at the restaurant we were seated next to a tropical garden full of beautiful flowers. Immediately, I relaxed. I could feel the calm, nourishing vibe coming from this garden. I stared into the flowers and absorbed the energy and allowed it to heal me. It was then that I learned beauty heals. When I work in the prisons in Hawaii, I like to hike on the weekends. I walk into the forest and allow my energy to be re-calibrated. Nature has that ability and power. I like to capture Nature’s imagery. Healing has always been at the heart of my work. Louise Hay was my first teacher all those years ago. I started with her and we are still very good friends today. I’m an empowerment specialist. I’ve worked with all kinds of people in all kinds of settings. I seem to have a gift with incarcerated people. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know, but, I do. I worked 14 years with them before I left Hawaii at the end of 2006. When I moved to New Mexico I felt complete and finished in the field. In 2010 my old supervisor from corrections asked me if I would train a teacher in Arizona who was working with our Hawaii inmates who were housed there. I agreed to do it and that is what started my juices flowing.
Rachel: Does having an art form, or rather a way to express art and create something beautiful, help you when it comes to leading your professional life?
Daniel: Of course. There is something completely outside of the emotional process work I do that allows me to go to another place entirely. It works on me. Photography feeds me, nourishes me so that I am clearer channel, a present teacher, perhaps, because of it. Am I different, because of it, yes.
Rachel: Do you think having a creative outlet would benefit the people you work with? Do you think at some level creating art heals?
Daniel: It can. Does it always, I don’t know. Art has always had the power to change things, opinions, beliefs etc. The potential is certainly there. If we create art because we love it and we want to, then there is a purpose that drives our art. I didn’t take photographs so I could sell them. I took the photos because the artistry of it fed my soul. It engaged my soul. I took pictures for me. And, I wanted to remember the places I visited. Now after five years of shooting thousands of photos I have finally sold my art. I have the 2014 I Can Do It calendar with Louise Hay. And, I have an app too. This all started from a gift I gave Louise for her 85th birthday.
Daniel: I mean what do you give a woman who has everything? I took something of hers (affirmations) and something of mine (photos) and blended them together a photo book called “Love in every Flower.” She so loved it and took it to the CEO of Hay House, Reid Tracy. And thus, the two products I have with Hay House. That’s a story of just doing your art and letting the rest follow.
Thanks so much for stopping by. What is your creative outlet of choice? What gets your creative juices flowing. I enjoy hearing from all of you and thanks again for visiting.