How Photography Made Me Appreciate Life
I don’t consider myself a photographer. Don’t get me wrong, I love photography, but it’s not something I do every day. It’s something I haven’t done in weeks. That’s mostly because I prefer analog photography, which requires rolls of film, and I’ve run out of the film, which can be expensive, not to mention the fact that I’m trying to save my money. But photography is such an eyeopening experience for me. It allows me to view the world in a different light.
Just like with my writing, photography allows me to observe others and capture the little moments and immortalize them. But that’s where photography differs from writing, with photography I’m able to look back at a certain moment in time and remember the day, who I was with and what I was feeling or thinking. Writing is something I hope I can impact others with, whereas photography is selfish, it’s completely for myself, it’s for me to capture moments that I am afraid will be gone too soon, because I know they won’t last forever.
The little things
Photography allows me to look around me, to take notice of the little things, the small moments. When I’m out and about with my camera, I aspire to capture moments, or even objects, that will mean something to someone, to hopefully fulfill some type of purpose. Photography has forced me to find the beauty in things I would have previously just walked by without even so much as a glance.
I like the fact that when I’m out with my camera, there are no boundaries. If anything, I want to capture the unexpected. I crave to bring meaning to the unfulfilled. I want to capture something mundane and give new life to it. Anything can be beautiful if you believe it is. Because of photography, I’m allowed to take a step back, and truly embrace everything around me. If it wasn’t for photography, I’m afraid I wouldn’t take as much notice of the little things around me, leaving special moments uncaptured in the past.
Friends: Good and bad, old and new
Photography allows me to capture my friends at their best. I’m able to better understand the people around me. Some are camera-shy and prefer not to have their picture taken, whereas others are all for it, they love the spotlight. It’s kind of odd because the more confident, bold, and outspoken of my friends don’t love having their picture taken, but some of the quieter ones quite enjoy it. I think it’s interesting. I love when I’m hanging out with someone and they laugh or smile and I hit the shutter button at just the right time. Their happiness is forever encapsulated.
Looking back at these pictures of my friends can sometimes make me sad because some of them I don’t speak to anymore. But it brings me back to the moment. The naivety, oblivion, and pureness of the moment are not forgotten. It’s something I can always remember, whether I want to or not. Because of photography, I’m forced to remember the good stuff, to depart from these people with memories that make me remember these people in a good light, and maybe that’s not such a bad thing after all.
Confidence: Compliments from acquaintances
I remember I came to school one day with some of the photographs I had taken because my school’s literary magazine had wanted to include some of them. I didn’t think much of it. My friend and I were doing an assignment. He would ask me some questions related to photography, I would answer them, and he would write them down. That was it, I had assumed. I would show him some of my photographs and we would narrow it down to the few we liked best.
Our teacher had seen me pull out some of the photographs from my bag and was intrigued. She wanted to sneak a peek. I pulled some out of the folder they were in, and placed them on the desk she was sitting at. She flipped through them and quite enjoyed them, to my surprise. Suddenly some of the other students who were apart of the magazine had come over. I had never really spoken to these people before, and it was only my second time meeting them. I wasn’t apart of the magazine, I had only come to this meeting because of my friend and our little assignment.
But the classmates took turns flipping through the pictures, and they were quite intrigued by them too. I think this might’ve meant more to me, simply considering these were people my age. There’s something neat when a kid your age can relate to your art. They also didn’t have anything to gain from me. They didn’t know me, and frankly, they didn’t need to compliment my work. But they did. And it made my day. I still remember that day so clearly, even months after the fact.
Moral of the story: do whatever makes you happy. Become closer with the things that bring you peace and provide comfort. Not to sound too much like a cliche, but the world needs more of it. More art, more writing, more connections. But sometimes the world seems so big, so think of your friends, classmates you wish you got to know better, teachers who have inspired you. Do it for them. But most importantly, do it for you. If you do not truly find pleasure in whatever you doing, it will benefit neither you nor your audience, and where’s the growth in that?