Why It Matters
Welcome to my first blog post. I'm a little late to the game (of blogging) but thought I would give it a try. I'm not even sure if anyone will read this but I'm putting it out there regardless and I guess we will see what happens. I'm not quite sure what will be included but I can promise you it will most likely contain a ton of grammatical errors and run on sentences. (just a warning to anyone who might be bothered by improper English) I will do my best though, at keeping those to a minimum :) I thought I would start out by trying to explain why photography matters so much to me.
The above photo sits on a shelf in our home office. It is not very big and sits among quite a few other knick knacks and various odds and ends. Most might not even notice it but to me it's probably one of the most treasured photographs that I have. Technically speaking, I'm sure I could find another photo that is better - one that might be less grainy or a bit better exposed, one that one was taken with the nicest lens or most expensive camera. To me though, this photo is the definition of what photography is and why it matters to me.
My aunt took this photo after my grandfather died. As a child, I remember this chair in the basement of my grandparents house. My grandfather was a dairy farmer and this is where he would take off his boots after coming in from the barn. I don't have many memories of my grandfather - he died when I was very young - but when I look at this photo it takes me back to their house and the years after that we had with my grandmother. It takes me back to the years I grew up in New Jersey, the years that my Dad farmed after my grandfather died and the lessons of the importance of hard work, faith and family. To some and probably most, this is just a photo of a chair. To me it is a photo that fills me with gratitude for the sacrifices my grandparents and parents made and for the life that they provided for us in the best way that they knew how. To my aunt this photo might mean something else. To my Dad, I'm sure it is even different. One thing is for sure - it stops time and allows us revisit a time and place that might have been forgotten.
This is why photography matters to me. I guess it's not even really about "photography" at all. Expensive cameras, fancy lenses and beautiful locations are fun but when I think about it they are not the most important thing. At the risk of sounding cheesy - it is about slowing down to capture moments that go by so quickly. It is about stopping, noticing and looking. Our world is crazy right now and I feel like overstimulation and busyness is everyones goal. My hope for you is that you can stop and remember that old chair, those worn boots or anything else that fills you up with gratitude and gives you perspective. If you can't take a picture of it - write about it, talk about it, draw it or just simply stop...close your eyes...and remember.