I was asked by a reader recently if I still love photography. While I have had moments in my life when I tried to put my camera down – the answer is absolutely – yes – I still love photography. But it made me ponder why. Why do I love photography? I was forced to embrace my softer side to answer that question. And the answer may surprise some who think they know me.
Outwardly, I exhibit a hard edge most of the time. Its a persona – its not the whole me. Its just a habit I developed decades ago when I was on broadcast radio. It makes for good ratings. There are times when people think thats all there is to me. But theyre wrong. I am a whole person and in this post, I willingly share the side of me you usually don’t see.
When it comes to photography, I feel like a little kid again. While my body is old and tired, when I have a camera in my hand, my brain seems to be unaware of my physical limitations.
When shooting, I can romp around with the best of them if I am working a subject I am passionate about or telling story with my camera that I think others may enjoy. I don’t seem to notice my numerous medical problems. I only see the image I am going for. Everything else just drifts away.
Sports figures often call this being in the zone. Creatives can just as easily find a zone. I do it all the time. Its the best part of my life. When I am camera in hand, visiting beautiful places, photographing beautiful things, telling beautiful stories, I am filled with gratitude, joy, happiness, faith, compassion, love, purpose, optimism, empathy, and awe.
No other activity brings me such satisfaction. I am just wired to be at my best when I have a camera in my hand. Like all human beings, I am flawed. In fact, I am as far from perfect as you can ever get and still be in the parking lot. I am the least among you. No doubt about it. But when I have a camera in hand, I am closer to my purpose and perfection than I will otherwise ever be while still walking this earth. If you can find that thing in your life, whatever it is, that thing that makes you the best you that you can be, grab it. For me, its photography.
All of this makes me very lucky. I know my purpose. I am to capture, protect, keep and share images that move me and hopefully others. If for only a brief moment in time, I can use photography to see and remember beauty and joy. A person could do far worse in life.
Why do you love photography?