After having Em, I decided to take up photography as a new hobby. Nate and I equipped ourselves with a nice DSLR camera so that we could thoroughly document our little girl’s development and share photos with our families, who live painfully far away.
I have since become a camera junky. I learned about apertures and shutter speeds, learned how to balance the ISO to get bright pictures but avoid graininess, learned about the rule of thirds and how you can break any of the rules, learned about the value of light, especially in the eyes of a subject. What I didn’t expect to learn was that a camera can change the way you see the world.
A camera is a funny thing. You can take a picture of a pretty scene, but to me the best pictures are the ones that convey an emotion or capture the essence of a moment. When you spend a lot of time with a camera, you start to look for that emotion, that essence, in the things you see around you. It changes the way you look at the world. Try to go around and distill the core essence in the things, the scenes, you see around you. Now go have lunch with a friend or a coworker. Now watch your spouse do the dishes. Watch the people in your life do the same things you have seen them do many times, but with a keen eye for an emotion or a “moment”. All of the sudden you see the support of your coworker, the helpful way our spouse did a chore without being asked, you see reasons to be grateful. Or you see the distraction in your friends eyes and you become a more mindful listener. Maybe, even more simply and just as meaningful, you notice your husbands amazing eyelashes that have always been there but seem more beautiful when you see them with your new photographer glasses.
I guess what it all comes down to is this: Look for beauty and you will find beauty. Look for the clues in your shot that convey a message, meaning, or emotion even when you don’t have a camera in your hands and you will find yourself presented with the opportunity to be supportive or supported. Look for a moment to appreciate and you will find them abundant.