Today I spent a lot of time looking over a photo shoot I did over the weekend. It is so funny – strange – to me that I have been taking photographs all my life, I’ve been a commercial photographer since the ’70’s, and I still feel nervous about the photos “coming out.”
As I am taking photo after photo I still think it is possible that none of them will be any good. Or good enough for me. I think that’s the crux. I also think I will fail to put the camera in the correct mode to take the photographs I want to get. Given how I feel about that you would think I’d do more planning – which I don’t. Time has shown me that all plans get put aside for the moment and anything I think I’m looking for or going to see is blown away by whatever happens in the moment.
A photograph is, after all, just a split second. A moment when we are whatever we are and change is the only rule. It is uncannily close to life. Lived in awareness or not, the photo shows the truth of that moment. Not the “truth,” just that moment.
I was given a camera when I was about seven. It was called an “Imp.” When its 8 exposures were taken it was sent back whole and a new one came in the mail with the photos I had taken. I tended to take photos of what was immediately around me. Much as I do today. Then it was sheep, their lambs and the dogs I lived around. I loved taking the photos – much as I do now – I felt alive and as if I had a special vision – much as I do now.
I looked for the special package to come in the mail and tell me that I had indeed seen my surroundings with a special eye, my own viewpoint of which I was the sole witness and director. Much as I do now.
And though I like what I see, I like more what I make of it. And what it makes of me.