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A Bright New Year

Happy 2024 Everyone~

And just like that, we’ve stepped into a new year!

Yesterday, there’s a strong likelihood that you or one of your friends captured photos of colorful bursts of fireworks against the night sky. This almost instinctual reaction to photograph fireworks mirrors an idea that might elevate your sense of hopefulness as you enter the new year.

Wherever you are in the world, there has been no shortage of celebration. Between the New Year, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Diwali, there is a strong likelihood that you have been spending time with family and those whom you love. 

In a thought experiment, how would you describe these holidays to someone who has never experienced them before? Is it a time of abundant feasts, gift-giving, cherishing family moments, or a period of spiritual and personal reflection? Now, to make things more challenging—what if you had to choose just one descriptor?

We believe that the holidays—especially this time of year—epitomize a celebration of light.

In the above article, professors Deven Patel and Steven Weitzman explain how holidays such as Hanukkah and Diwali offer a reminder not to lose faith, and that this idea is communicated through a symbolic understanding of light. 

“As full of despair as the world is right now, the holidays remind us that hope can be found in dark and improbable places.

-Steven Weitzman



“The project’s narrative is centered on the notion that every person possesses an innate source of light, a metaphorical representation of their unique qualities, emotions, and experiences. Through the use of MiDaS computer vision technology, the photographs reveal the subjects as ethereal, luminous figures, drawing attention to the contrast between their physical form and the intangible aspects of their being.”


It’s no surprise that many holidays featuring symbolic representations of light coincide with one of the darkest periods of the year: winter.

Both literally and figuratively, how do we focus on sources of light when there is no light around us?

As we navigate the complexities of the world, it’s crucial to recognize the challenges that often accompany the darkest days. Author Dr. Mary Pipher reflects on these struggles in the above article, drawing attention to the turmoil of wars, government dysfunction, and the looming threat of climate change. She underscores the interconnectedness of global tragedies and encourages us to confront the pain rather than blocking it out entirely, while still maintaining control over its impact on our well-being.

Dr. Pipher shares personal rituals that have proven effective in her own journey, particularly during the winter months. These include watching sunrises and sunsets, observing moonrises, lighting candles, and appreciating the serene beauty of the Nebraska winter landscape.

She suggests finding solace and inspiration in nature, with a special focus on observing birds. As we grapple with the challenges of our times, she advocates for seeking brightness in our relationships with friends and family, emphasizing the warmth and love that such connections bring during even the most challenging times.

In the face of despair, Dr. Mary Pipher’s wisdom invites us to embrace the power within us to discover light and positivity.

Let’s draw inspiration from her teachings as we navigate the complexities of the world, aiming our cameras at understanding our own personal rituals, the beauty of nature, and the warmth of our cherished relationships—all sources of light.

We can’t wait to share with you several initiatives we have planned for 2024!

Wishing you resilience and light throughout the year,

The Team at SeeingHappy


The team here at SeeingHappy are all photographers who enjoy the process of creating memorable photos. We are a mix of educators striving to share their knowledge and psychologists dedicated to increasing happiness in the world.

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