September 17, 2018
I recently had the opportunity to connect with classmates I haven't seen in 20 years; yes, wow - 20 whole years! A lot can happen in 20 years. I've been a photographer for almost that long, or at least tried to be, until I decided I was definitely going to be serious about it and try to be great.
Our class president said to me in a message that she loves how I am constantly reinventing myself and exploring my interests. I'd really never thought of it that way, but it resonated with me in a big way.
I am 38.
Seven weeks ago, I began learning Irish Dance. Well, Irish Dance is hard and especially so when you're out of shape, like 20 years out of shape! That interest led to eating better and exercising more, which is a whole journey in itself. On the way to dance class, I began listening to YouTube videos on how to speak Scots Gaelic, which is difficult to learn. It doesn't sound anything like English, and all the "ochs" and "rrrr's" can really get you tongue tied!
Last week, I deleted my old website and redesigned a brand new one.
This week, I'm speaking to the Boy Scouts about local government for one of their badge requirements. I am also cutting and coloring hair this week, as a professional hairstylist.
I will also be photographing things, or people, or places.
I will do all of these things, because they comprise the full and amazing life I want to live. Life is complex, beautiful, epic, sometimes hard and sad, but it is a mosaic of moments and experiences that we create and share.
Photography is one of the very few ways we have of living on past our lifetime and recording those moments of reinvention, renewal and celebration. Of course, there are written works and stories passed down through the generations, but a photograph can speak the language of the universe. You never need a single word to accompany a photograph, and anyone from anywhere can understand it.
A truly great photograph never needs an explanation. A great photographer should be able to tell your story, no matter what chapter you're in at the time.
You have a camera, your cousin's cousin has a camera, everyone has a cell phone and we now have 7 billion photographers on Earth. I'd wager that 90% of the next generation will never ever see those pictures being frenziedly snapped because they will never be printed. So, what I'm saying is most of the photos being made today are pretty worthless in the long run. They are temporary, in an extreme way and they will die with your device.
The next time you are at a place of great change, reinvention, accomplishment, think of the best professional photographer you know, and give them a call.
We spend YEARS seeing the extraordinary in what everyone else takes for granted. In those years spent refining our craft, we also learn to make sure you're photographed in a real, but flattering way. We also believe that a photograph is just a great idea until it's in a tangible form. If you can't hold it in your hand or hang it on your wall, it's only temporary.
Life is fleetingly sweet and insanely amazing. Remember to pursue your dreams, and get a few really nice photographs along the way that you can pass down to your kids and grandkids.
Otherwise, they may never really know how truly remarkable you are!