A Mother’s Guide to Savoring Life through the Photos You’re Already Taking
Your camera isn't a distraction--it's your portal to presence
For mothers, life often feels like it is passing by in a blur. You take countless pictures, trying to freeze time and capture the memories, but in looking back find you barely even remember experiencing the moments. But what if there were a way to preserve your family's story while also becoming fully present within it?
Combining the science of memory preservation with timeless photography principles, professional photographer Joy Prouty shows you how to exit survival mode and enter the present moment through the photos you're already taking.
With the camera as your magnifying glass for meaning, you'll learn to let go of perfect, embody self-compassion, and experience more joy in the memories you are making right now. Through human stories, poetic motherly wisdom, and gorgeous full-color photographs, Practicing Presence is your invitation to show up to the practice of fully living.
"This book has enabled me to do more than capture photos of our family; it has freed my heart to live into the expansive joy of the everyday."--Ann Voskamp, author of the New York Times bestseller One Thousand Gifts and WayMaker
"Joy Prouty invites us into perspective practices that help us see we are already standing on the sacred ground we have been searching for."--Scott Erickson, author of Say Yes and Honest Advent
"Few books have taken my breath away more times than Practicing Presence. This book has taught me how to be a better memory keeper and meaning maker."--Ellie Holcomb, Dove Award-winning singer/songwriter and author
"Learning how to point a camera lens taught me not only how to turn and point my soul but also the art of looking for the light, subtracting from the frame, and focusing on beauty that can be found in the midst of anything. It has enabled me to do more than capture photos of our family; it has freed my heart to live into the expansive joy of the everyday. Joy Prouty's lens and love have been gentle guides, and the way she sees is absolutely breathtaking and life-giving."
Ann Voskamp, author of the New York Times bestseller One Thousand Gifts and WayMaker
"Everything! Everything! Everything is about how we see! Through honest words and vulnerable imagery, Joy Prouty invites us into perspective practices that help us see we are already standing on the sacred ground we have been searching for."
Scott Erickson, author of Say Yes and Honest Advent
"Few books have taken my breath away more times than Practicing Presence. This book has taught me how to be a better memory keeper and meaning maker, and after reading the beauty on these pages, I will forever be training my eyes how to look for the beauty and light in each moment. I don't want any mothers to miss the treasures in this book, as it will help them to not miss the treasures in their own hearts and lives."
Ellie Holcomb, Dove Award-winning singer/songwriter and author
"Your life matters. Your humanity deserves to be honored and seen. There is goodness glinting through your days of both gladness and grief. Practicing Presence makes these truths feel real enough to receive as ours. Through stunning photography, poeticism, and compassion, Joy Prouty shows us the worth and the holy weight of paying attention to the lives that we have. Practicing Presence is a work of art that amplifies the art unfolding before our eyes."
K.J. Ramsey, therapist and author of The Book of Common Courage and The Lord Is My Courage
"This book unlocked something within me I didn't realize was hidden away. With searching candor and armfuls of practical tips, Joy Prouty offers a gentle reminder that we don't need to settle for distraction and disconnection. We already have what it takes to find our way back to curiosity, compassion, and, ultimately, each other."
Shannan Martin, author of Start with Hello and The Ministry of Ordinary Places
"Motherhood, like photos, develops in the dark--those unseen, exhausting hours that shape us and break us and make us. Somehow Joy has captured all that refracted light in this book. If you were to take a mother and press her like a flower between the pages of a book, you would have these stories--delicate, tender, surprising, and sacred."
Lisa-Jo Baker, bestselling author of Never Unfriended and Surprised by Motherhood and podcast cohost of Out of the Ordinary
"For those desperate to see light in their darkness, let Joy's words guide you along the way. Through her vulnerability, I became open to my own. What our world needs now more than ever are whole people living out their God-given art. Read this book and breathe deeply the beauty of life."
Anjuli Paschall, author of Stay and Awake and (in)courage contributor
"Practicing Presence speaks to us through powerful writing and shows us, through Joy's incredible images and poetry, what it truly means to be alive. Joy's inspiring stories and moving method of communication speak right to the heart. This book had me not only believing in myself again but grabbing for my camera. This much-anticipated and welcome work is something I'll be buying for every budding, blooming, and hidden creative I know. I highly recommend!"
Leah Boden, author of Modern Miss Mason
"This book is a feast: beautiful, nourishing, healing, and celebratory. Joy Prouty is a lifelong artist who invites mothers to live artistically simply by showing up to witness the wonder of the present moment. Full of stories and advice, images and vulnerability, Joy's book is the embodiment of her own name: a light in darkness. If you, too, are seeking more light, Practicing Presence will help unleash your creativity and your ability to truly see, using tools that are already in your hands."
Christie Purifoy, author of Garden Maker and A Home in Bloom