The other evening, I met up with my dear friend Julia for an evening to talk, eat, and enjoy some photography together. We walked around by the Legislative Building, and went down to the river, taking pictures of anything that caught our attention.
It was an absolutely beautiful evening, and I loved sharing one of my favorite hobbies with her.
What kept impressing itself upon me repeatedly was that although we were in the same place, often taking pictures of the same thing, we both have completely different ways of seeing things.
Juls loves to focus on the close-up stuff, while I am newer at this whole photography thing, and am still shooting all over the place, trying to get a feel for everything, and often feeling a little lost with my fancy new camera.
But when I mentioned this feeling to Julia, she reminded me that there’s no “right way” to do photography. It’s supposed to be art, and art can be whatever you want it to be.
For the rest of the evening, I kept thinking about Burt on “Mary Poppins” – he sings that song about his artwork, and says, “I draws what I likes, and I likes what I sees.”
Photography is such a powerful way of saying, “This is me. This is what I like, this is what the world looks like through my eyes.”
I learned to appreciate nature from my dad. He is always pointing out things he finds beautiful, and he was always thrilled when I would bring in branches of apple blossoms or berries from the trees in our yard. He said it showed how much I noticed things like that.
And I have always loved finding beauty in my surroundings, but I feel like photography enables me to share it with others. For that one moment when someone sees a picture I took, they are seeing the same beauty I see, too.
Maybe they wouldn’t have seen it if I didn’t point it out by taking a picture.
Maybe they would have rushed by without taking a second glance.
Sometimes I rush by, too. That’s the best part of taking an evening just to take pictures.
We walked slow, and looked long, and found treasure after treasure.
And slowly, I’m finding freedom in expressing myself in this way – in my way, whatever way it happens to be.