Creativity · Just Another Personality · Pic-A-Day

Snap Happy

iris, st. johns wart 002

My husband and kids are getting tired of it, but I can’t help it.  I’m snap happy.  I snap a few times in the morning.  I snap as soon as I can after work.  I snap all weekend.  It is so satisfying to get what I have composed in my mind composed on camera.  I love my camera – it’s a good one. 

I was never a person to invade someone’s space.  I’m very sensitive to other people’s privacy.  Sometimes that’s a good thing, but many times it’s not.  One of my Sistas is very good at breaking through a person’s reserve to talk about the deep issues that are bothering him or her. She has a knack for setting a person at ease.  And she isn’t afraid to dig when she knows the person needs to talk, no matter how resistant they are initially.  I have an older patient who braves the mall crowds each Christmas Eve.  He finds a bench and just sits there.  He doesn’t shop.  He people watches.  It’s pure entertainment for him.  I know other people who love to people watch.  I would love to as well – only it’s this stinking privacy issue I have that has become a wall between me and observing the walking stories going on around me.  I can hardly bare to look at people for more than a quick glance.  It really stinks.  There are countless story ideas and character sketches just waiting for my fingers to write that could be inspired by the people surrounding me.  

What does that have to do with taking pictures?  I’ll get to that.  But let me first tell you why I love photography.  It’s the story.  I’m drawn to story.  No matter what I pursue – what interests or the job that I have or subjects I love – it always comes down to that.  The story.  My favorite subjects in school?  English – duh (the story part, not the other stuff).  Also psychology, sociology, even biology.  They all tell interesting stories. 

I told my kids that I delete all pictures that don’t tell a story.  Why take pictures if they have nothing interesting to say?  But it’s all subjective I suppose.  I’m no great photographer.  What I shoot is what everybody else shoots. But I get some results that please me.  Because they speak to me.  They tell me a story.  Or I find beauty in them.  And when I’m successful, it’s very satisfying.

A friend of mine, who is the creative arts director at our church, told me a couple of years ago that writing and photography go hand in hand.  I had never thought of it, previous to that conversation.  But knew in my heart that it was true – for me at least.  I remember taking my notebook, pen, and camera to Michelle’s memorial one day.  I sat in the Adirondack chair, mind paralyzed.  So I started to take pictures of the memorial – the sand, the shells, the white picket fence, the stone crab, the plate that said her name and her earthly bookend dates, the pond that the area overlooked.  It was while I was shooting that I broke down.  And it was then that I could begin to write.   

Photography insists I slow down and pay attention to the details.  That’s good stuff.

I want to be the kind of photographer that always has a camera in her hand – ready to take a shot at something when something presents itself.  For the past year or so, maybe for all my life, I’d look at the landscape or people around me and want to recreate it, to capture it on paper.  Countless times – almost every day if not every day –I want to pull my car over and shoot something cool that I see.  I never had the camera for it.  Not one worth the time and effort anyway.  I hope I have the courage to do it now.  It’s that privacy thing.  And something else.  I need to slow down – take time.  I take time to notice – but I do not take time to capture what I notice.  I’m in a hurry to get from point A to point B.  And I tend to be a highly focused person (when I’m not being scatter brained).  If there was no plan to pull the car over before setting out – then I have no right to pull over.  My type A side just loves routine, order, and predictability.  It has hindered the creative side for so long.  In being a photographer, you need to invade space.  Sometimes it’s with the landscape, and sometimes it’s with people.  I suppose there are some unwritten rules to this.  I have tried to use common sense. 

I don't know these people  and didn't focus on their faces.mother's day 059

{I don’t know these people and so I didn’t focus on their faces}.

No matter how much I want to, I will not post the picture & video of the little boy involved in Noel’s musical who was just adorable and theatrical in his lip-synching performance.  I think I took more videos of him than I did Noel. 

I would love to take my camera to work and shoot my work family in action.  To catch their individual expressions (don’t worry guys, unless invited to, I won’t).  I would love to get my sis-in-law on camera, but I know she detests being at the wrong end of the focus.  I guess you gotta know when to be bold and push, and when to hold back and respect space and privacy.  I tend to hold back too often – or did.  Now that I have a dream camera? 

I’m going to be snap happy. 


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