What I Love About Photography

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It was a couple of years ago that my daughter began learning photography. She’s been a writer all her life, and I don’t know what got her interested in photography. What I do know is that she learned to capture unique, really beautiful photos.

Recently, I started playing around with photography, and I was motivated by the fact that I have also been a writer all my life – but I had run out of the mental energy to write. To write well. I’m discouraged, and sad, and unsure of myself.

But photographs give me the chance to say something wordlessly. To express a feeling – because really, isn’t that what we do when we use written or spoken words? – without committing both writer and reader to only one version of that feeling. Taking pictures – or editing older ones to see it in a new way – lets me reach toward my instinctive home, which is beauty, and hope, and joy.

Look at the little girl above. She’s probably five or less, dressed up and dancing in a powwow. You’ll notice that she hangs pretty close to a woman beside her – her mother, her aunt, her grandmother – we don’t know.

What thoughts do you have when you see her? Are you struck by the vivid color of her dress, and wonder if someone made it for her? Do you wonder if this is her first powwow, and if she’s a little scared? Does it make you want to learn more about this powwow? Where is it? Who is there? What’s the story behind it?

I look at photos on Instagram and Flickr and I an struck by the creative talent of men and women, young and old, from all over the globe. Like two lovers seeing the same moon from far apart and feeling like they are together, I feel connected to the unknown photographer. Because I see something from a new perspective through their photo, and see what they hoped I would see.

I don’t know what “composition” means, really. I’ve never taken any classes and I surely can’t compare to 99 percent of the
people shooting the photos I love. I don’t know the language and terminology of photography. I’m a nurse practitioner, not a photographer.

But I do know when I love something when I see it. It can be black and white, landscapes, portraits… What I love is life captured.

What do you love about photography?

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