Behind the Lens
I find myself constantly thinking and looking for ways to improve like most of us do. in business and in life. I often find that sometimes, I do this to the point of checking out of real life sometimes as well. One of those moments was on my drive down on vacation where I am currently writing this today.
It's a beautiful Monday morning in June, my feet are up and I hear the waves crashing on the beach below me. The boys are still sleeping as everyone else starts the day. The power and size of the ocean mesmerize me and remind me how small we truly are. As I mentioned above, on my drive to the beach over the weekend, I found myself deep in thought, contemplating new and better ways to serve my clients. I found myself daydreaming about big things coming with Wes and with Throat Punch Productions. I try not to get ahead of myself in these moments because of some previous business failures, but this feels different. This is different. This post isn't about that, not yet. This is about the hard stuff and what happens when cameras are put in the bag ( my Ona bag is preferred ) and we aren't editing. I am sure this is different for everyone, and I'm not going to get into my hobbies in this post. I wanna drop all the BS and talk about my family.
Yesterday was fathers day and I was greeted with Happy Fathers Day from the kids and my wife and the sweetest letters, they each wrote to me. I loaded the kids up and off to the flea market we went because they wanted popsockets LOL. I immediately regretted this decision. Too many kids, coupled with too many distractions, meant my anxiety was through the roof. After a ridiculously long line to get coffee and driving all over to find crushed ice for Tosh, we were finally back at the resort to play. In an ideal world, I would relax more, maybe with a cold drink all day watching the kids play but that is never what happens. This year in particular as we are now a family of 6, we find ourselves dividing and conquering more every day, but for a few laughter-filled minutes, I was hurling the kids in the air, and was greeted with "Do it again". Then we were taking turns doing cannonballs, and can openers off the edge of the pool making tons of ruckus. Before long, Jahim was jumping in mimicking everything we did. So I made sure to make conversation with him and introduce myself and the kids. I am very grateful for how easily most of the kids make friends everywhere we go and can talk to anyone just like I do but..
I had a thought this morning when I woke, this isn't the post I had in mind on my drive in, but one I wanted to write anyway. I find myself always looking for interesting people to photograph. I have even handed a business card to a lady at a Mcds drive-thru window once because how compelled I was to work with her. ( still waiting on her, unfortunately) I am not this forward usually, and that's what today is about. If you have ever met me, I hope I spoke, I hope the encounter was a good one, and if it wasn't then you probably suck. I am just saying. But I have this weird self-conscious feeling when approaching someone asking to photograph them. I don't get it. I can speak to anyone I pass hiking with a smile and good wishes. I have no problem striking up a conversation with strangers on the elevator every day I'm here but this is different. WTH
I actually fell asleep thinking about this last night because yesterday there was a moment on the beach that I wish I had my camera, any camera to capture but a moment was missed. Several were actually. As I was laying on the air mattress waiting for sleep carry me away, something clicked. To me making your photograph isn't just about capturing an image. It is not just about freezing a moment in time. Photography for me is personal. It is an intimate moment between myself and the other person or people involved. It's important to me to have meaningful relationships with clients. I have wanted to create a Thru-Hiker book for myself but I think the thought of simply stopping someone for only a moment to take an image is selfish, and that the craft deserves more. Images deserve a damn story, people. They deserve our attention. They deserve our focus. Social media makes everyone want it now, and they are moving on. No more. I want to know who I'm taking photos of, what makes them happy, and what makes them hurt. Only in a true conversation, a true experience, can I capture what I have been chasing since picking my camera up the very first time. Realness. Brokenness. Laughter. Pain. Acceptance. Loss. Love. Respect
Don't get me wrong, I love all things street photography and candid moments, but I want more planned real emotion in imagery too.
So I'm challenging myself, maybe while I am still here at the Beach or when I get home to approach more people. Be real with them so they can be real with me. Capture images that captivate, but tell a story and believe it or not, all stories aren't fairytales with happy endings. I believe those stories long to be told just as much and maybe even more deservingly so. This isn't a normal post for me but I'm going to try and be more open and honest in at least one post a week to help myself grow as well. I also want to write once a week about something that sucks for me or that is hard for me because I think it is only fair. I want to capture you in all stages of life, so why can't I bring you into a little of my life weekly? I will also VLOG again soon as well.