What Fuels My Flame?: Why I Take Photos
I hear time and time again about how ridiculous it can be to be buried behind the lens of a camera, or behind the screen of your cell phone. Told to live life “in the moment” or to put the camera down and enjoy the world or event simply as it is before me. But what if I want to relive that moment again and again in the future? Of course memories fade and can become fuzzy over time, but having a photo in place to remind us of the moment brings us back with immaculate vivacity.
This is why I take photos.
I take photos to document, to express, to share, and to inspire. And for so many other reasons that are simply too difficult to put into words. I enjoy showcasing the work I take the most pride in (like on this website, for example) to share with the community that hard work and dedication pays off.
But what no one sees are the hundreds, nearly thousands of photographs in my photo libraries that I keep private to myself. Not because they aren’t “good enough” to be shared, but simply because they are dear to my heart, and allow me to relive the moments that mean so much to me. Whether its photographing my family and pets on a peaceful Sunday afternoon, or documenting the ridiculous adventures I go on with friends. The reason I don’t share every little aspect of my life on social media through photos, is because it loses some of its’ value when it’s plastered all over the Internet. I enjoy having photographs to keep as memories that are private to me and allow me to brighten my spirits when I am feeling sullen.
At a recent Green Day concert I attended this past weekend, the lead guitar and vocalist, Billie Joe Armstrong said, and I quote “if you’re looking at me through your camera, you’re not looking at me”, and he told everyone to put their phones away immediately and enjoy the concert. Throughout the duration of the concert, I took my phone out a total of 2 times, simply to document the moment, so I can relive it again and again. The words Billie Joe spoke could not have been truer. The gentleman standing next to me was videoing and photographing the entire concert on his cell phone, literally the entire three hours, while I was next to him simply enjoying the moment to the fullest. This bothered me so deeply I cannot even find words to explain. Yeah, this man will have full documentation of the concert (which is good, I guess), but he was watching the concert through an iPhone screen… he may as well have just watched the concert online.
All I’m trying to say is that nothing can compare to how you feel in the moment of a specific event, and photos allow us to relive the moment and experience a deep nostalgia like no other. Depending on the situation, I may take hundreds of photos, or I make take two. Regardless, having an image to remind of the good times, or bad, is something that keeps me going everyday. Knowing that I’ve had the opportunity to share these moments with friends, family, or even just myself is so rewarding in itself.