I first started chasing down the moments with a camera in early high school. I felt like a collector. That was before digital and cell phone cameras and, while I still had to wait to develop my film, I knew I had captured something. Inside the little black box that was my Canon AE-1 a moment was waiting and it was mine. I loved how instantaneous it felt.
Photography allows me take time out and SEE the world around me in a new way. It allows me to stop and appreciate tiny moments of beauty, humor, juxtaposition and the unexpected. Photographing people is a special gift because you get to see the subtle nuances of someone's expression, their face and their personality.
When I manage to capture something special, it's like a little energy bolt goes through me. That may sound silly or cheesy but there's no other way that I can describe it. I can feel it and it's exciting. When I catch that decisive moment, I feel deeply connected to that person or my surroundings. It's what I still find most magical about photography.
Taking pictures helps me know myself. When I browse through my collection of photographs, I can see what's important to me. I see exactly where my heart resides and I find it reassuring.
Photography helps me be grateful. When I stop and collect a moment, it's my way of saying thank you to the universe. It's like the famous "plastic bag scene" from American Beauty. That scene took my breath away when I first saw it. It was like the writer and director had a direct line into my head and heart. It's hard to see the magic that's all around us when we're rushing from one thing to the next thing to the next. We're so pre-occupied with that next thing that we don't see what's often right in front of us. Sometimes, what's in front of us might just be a simple plastic bag but sometimes it might not...it might be dancing with you.
Photography helps me do that- to see the dance. It allows me to stop time for a moment and say thank you. Thank you for this moment.