Shutup and Smile

In a morning full of inspiration and happy, wishful thoughts, came a dark cloud. Rather than harboring these bitter thoughts any longer, I figured I’d just type the thoughts away – hopefully  getting them off my chest for the long-term. To those of you who ever rolled your eyes when I brought out my camera, sighed deeply when I asked for one more photo, or told me to “live in the moment” – I’d like to offer you a polite, FUCK YOU.


You’re an asshole. If you took 5 minutes to get to know me (I mean ME, the real ME) you would know how important a photograph is to me. Like Cory Richardson reminded me this morning, sometimes a moment, captured in a photo, gives me a reason to wake up each morning. Of course this situation is different when I’m climbing a mountain as high as the clouds, or walking through freezing water to reach an abandoned shipwreck. With those photos I am telling a story – showing something someone may not have seen before (plus, nature doesn’t whine).


When I’m taking photos of people, I am capturing a moment.


The thing about moments is that they are fleeting. And in a lifetime of memories, sometimes having a photographic reminder is the greatest blessing imaginable. Right now I’m looking at the family calendar I have on my desk at work, and I’m looking at ‘moments’ that I would not have remembered otherwise. Another thing about moments is that you cannot recreate them. I touched upon this in my birthday post – times changes… fast. Just because I am capturing a moment on film, does not mean I am not living in the moment. In fact, I am appreciating that moment in the one way I know how – capturing it. Capturing it so that I can forever hold it dear, and look back on the way things once were, for they may not ever be that way again.


My drive to photograph stems from a deep appreciation of a moment. In many cases, it is during my moment of inspiration when I encounter an asshole such as I’ve mentioned. And do you know what happens? That moment becomes tainted. I can specifically recall a handful of these moments, where I felt demoralized from the actions of someone else. The moment is gone, forever tainted, and not only do I now harbor negative feelings toward said someone, but my heart is slowly poisoned, killing my motivation to capture.

So, do me a favor. Stop being selfish for one just moment. Your hair looks fine. Holding that smile will not ruin everything. Let your eyes tell me of the joy that is happening right this very moment, and not of your selfish annoyance. I do not take an excessive amount of pictures, so stop whining. And don’t pick and choose. You don’t get to ask for pictures, and then humiliate me when I try to take one another time. You don’t want to be in it? Fine by me. Offer to take it for me so that I (someone who very much cares about the photo) can be a part of it.


Remember, you may not care about a picture, but other people around you do.


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