Thursday, March 18, 2010

Warning: This is a long, mushy, and overly thought out post, and with out photos, so watch out!

I read a blog named Brand Camp Blog. Today they posed a question:

What would you do if you knew you could not fail? What would you be shooting if money/success/fame/family worries were all taken care of?  You have everything you want in life, and a camera.  Where do you go?  What are you photographing?

For the life of me, I can’t settle on one answer! First of all, anyone who knows me, and some of you who don’t, know that I am the most completely indecisive person. Once I’ve made a choice, I follow it through full force, but it’s just getting to that jumping off point. I am surprised that I ever chose a boy to walk down the isle to. But I guess I got lucky and a good one picked me. But I guess that brings out another characteristic in myself – I am totally okay with people telling me what to do. Down to the point that basically someone told me that I should be a graphic designer, and I thought that sounded good, so I changed my major the next semester.

I digress. Anyway, so I saw this question today, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot. If I won the lottery (which someone in my family actually recently did, so I figure that’s out of the question since what are the odds of 2 people in one family winning the lottery…and plus I’d have to buy a ticket), and all the worries of taking care of my family and my future were taking care of, what would I do?

Well, let’s be honest, I would probably sleep all day and do nothing except for shop online and fill my wardrobe with fabulous clothes from anthropologie for a couple of months. But then, after a while, I would want to get life back to a more normal structure. I know that I would want to do photography full time.

Okay, let’s start there. Photography. Why do I want to do it, why do I love it? There are a couple of reasons I can think of off the top of my head. But one of them is that I get to create my own little world. I can not express myself verbally very well – words don’t come to me when I’m talking to other people. I used to be better at it, but ever since I graduated from college, it seems like my brain has been stuffed full with things like mortgages, and work projects, and recipes to think about cooking, that all of my ability to explain something has been pushed out of my ears with-out me noticing. It’s actually really frustrating, and it makes me feel really bad for people who have diseases that attack their body, but leave their mind intact. I think being trapped inside your own body would be so horrible.

But photography gives me a way to create a little world inside a 4x6 window. You can’t see what’s going on outside the edges of that frame – but inside that space, I can create and control what’s going on. And show people a little of what I see going on in my head.

Another reason that I love photography is that it is relational. It is that it is a moment that I can give to people that can never be exactly reproduced. Especially in the wedding photography realm. What a legacy pictures are to be able to leave to your family, that their grandchildren will put out someday and say ‘look how beautiful grandma was’ or ‘can you believe she made her bridesmaids wear hats?’ It gives a jumping point for them to tell stories about Ryan--I mean—grandpa balled as she walked down the isle to him.

I also like photography, good photography, because it makes people see the best in themselves. I love my wedding photos. I actually think I look pretty, which I can’t really say for any other photos I possess. And I hope that my photos do that for other people.

So where am I so far—I want to be a photographer because it helps me to express myself, it’s relational, and it helps people to feel good about themselves. Sounds cheesy, but I promise I don’t take myself too seriously. All those things are nice, but where is the solid answer in what I should chase after…should I pursue just wedding photography, or just children portraits?? Should I drop everything and get into editorial photography (which I think would be a BLAST), but what about all those sweet babies whose little cheeks are just waiting to be kissed and photographed?

But maybe I don’t have to know it all right now. I suppose I can keep loving taking pictures of giggly toddlers, AND of blushing brides, AND of loving families until these questions work them self out. Or at least until someone else tells me what to do…. 

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