[ser-prahyz, suh-]
to strike or occur to with a sudden feeling of wonder or astonishment, as through unexpectedness.
to come upon or discover suddenly and unexpectedly.


I remember this day vividly, it’s a memory that, I am sure, will accompany me for many years to come.
I did not get any sleep, having stayed up late finishing last-minute work requests, I was not particularly grumpy, just tired, and had not asked for any uplifting hints from the Universe.
In fact, the bus was late and it was too dark to walk to the boat so in reality, I could have used that as an excuse to hit the grumpy button.

I haven’t seen a sunrise in a long time, and by the sea? It’s been years to say the least.
So when I got to my destination, all I could do was walk by the river and just stare.

I couldn’t decide on what to grab first, my camera or my mobile, I just knew I had to capture and share it, my surprise sunrise.

How many times has life gifted you with surprises?
I’m talking any kind of surprises here, gifts, trips, rainbows, you name it.
Those moments we are really grateful to be alive and so happy that words do not find their way out of our mouth. Moments we tend to capture on camera (while others all we can do is write about) and hope we never forget.


These surprise moments most often carry a story of their own, within the story of the moment, like waking up to surprise snow and forgetting to put your shoes on.


Or shooting a fence while your husband repeatedly asks if you got the Robin.
“Which Robin?”
The Robin you never actually saw, but captured in a surprise moment.



There are places on this earth of ours that have a sort of magical feeling to them, places we tend to visit and revisit, places we feel eager to go back to, even if it means shooting the same image in ten different ways and angles. Because every time is different, yes?
Places that, even though seen many times, we always feel, yes, surprised.



And with reason. Bokeh bridge lights are like fairies in the night.

If you shoot film, then you are no stranger to surprise. With expired film and toy cameras, it’s almost a sure fact that something, somehow, will find its way into your moment. Something you had not planned, but can’t really know if will happen.
Or where. Or even when, for that matter.



Surprise light leak.



Unintentional double exposure.



Expired film that almost never looks anything like the original scene.



I began writing Gone are the days when labs didn’t develop what they deemed “bad images” but then I realized it still happens today.
It happened a while back when I developed a roll and had to go back and ask for extra pictures.
It was like being 15 all over again with grown-ups telling me my images were no good.

Come June, and we here at Mortal Muses want to see (and share!) all your surprise images!

* Don’t delete on camera, wait it out and take a closer look.
Hey, you never know…

Was going for the incredible green moss and there it was, my red. I zoomed in, completely missed the green but got this instead. It was an instant smile on this little Muse’s face.

* Have fun with your adventures and create stories within your stories.
Create diptychs, I know you want to.

There was a time when kid two was constantly losing his shoe. Finding the shoe was always… let’s say surprise. And yes, just the one shoe, never both.

Got kids? Of course you do. If not your own, I’m almost sure you have an available toddler for use within short distance. Rather than taking pictures of them, hand them the camera… the good one. With straps. And teach them to use it around their neck. And then go take deep breaths in the bathroom. Let them capture the world around them.
Kid two captured kid one through the sliding door of our new apartment. Sometimes I get 150 images of me walking around, sometimes I get this. And other amazing gems.

“Now I’m just going to shoot things.”

There you go, advise from the seven-year old.
You’re welcome.

So let’s have it, make it a month of capturing little surprises, from physical to magical, from digital to film and while you’re in the spirit, why not make some?
Discover the unexpected.

Now go outside and click, surprise us.