For me photography has never been about anyone else, its always been about me. Maybe that sounds selfish, what I mean is, it has always been about freezing a moment in time. A moment I am admiring so much I want to freeze it in a frame of focused attention.
It seems like just a 2-dimensional organization of pixels that we scroll past moment-to-moment on our screens but to me it is a time capsule. Of course once this is captured the intention is to share, but its not to share how good your ass looked or to convince everyone else of all the fun you are having-- its to transport people to a moment, my moment. It's to share with them the joy, terror, magnificence, or whatever else made up that moment. I am hoping to share a piece of my world as it stood in that split second.
Books also have this power to bring us to another realm, this is what photography does for me. When I reflect back on my photos not only do I remember the aesthetics but it brings me right back to how I felt when I was in that place--that moment, who was around me, what adventure I was about to embark on, or what beautifully ordinary occurrence showed me its brilliance.
Well today I looked back at some old photos. It is funny to look back at your old self, at times it can feel like you don't even recognize that person you once were, like that person is some sort of stranger. Though today that wasn't where I landed. I saw the beaming smile, an innocence, a naivety--a mental state at times I wish I could revisit.
It's funny as we get older what continues to unfold is some kind of a paradox. On one hand we grow wiser, and we experience all of the beauty and darkness that life has to offer. Though at other times it feels like life would be better spent on the playground at recess playing tag, or in class where we would actually pass notes to each other-- yes physical notes--not virtual bastardizations of modern day communication. Sometimes I wish to return to the innocence of that person in the photo, when life seemed so simple.
In bad times there is always a glimpse of light, and in light there are shadows of darkness. My grandmother always says to me when you go down you go up, when you go up you go down, so simple--yet so wise in its simplicity. Things seem to happen this way don't they? A series of unfortunate events or sometimes we are on a roll, on top of the world even.
Today I looked at this photo and I saw beauty, a beauty that I still have and can access at anytime even in the darkest of moments. Even when it seems as though there is not even a glimpse of beauty, we are alive and in a constant process of ups and downs, the illusion is that someday we won't be. Life is about taking a step back in each of these moments-- whether up or down, it is realizing it is all impermanent and in just a moment everything that we have become accustomed to could be pulled out from under us, or all that we are suffering could heal and bring us to beautiful places.
No matter what though, we are alive, and there is always beauty in that.