I have several friends who are passionate about photography. I find one couple very interesting because they are both photographers and each capture things very differently. They take the most detailed interest in the little things, like the way sugar is dusted across a dessert, the colors in sunsets or the wrinkles on the hands of a small child. The details in the portraits they take intrigue me, and I often like to compare the pictures they take to see the differences they capture from the same object. I can sit and gaze at some of their portraits for hours wondering how they capture those details.
Recently, I had the opportunity to watch several photographers all photographing one event. I felt like I was invading their special place as I watched them take pictures. They have an obvious passion for what they do and by watching them, I felt like I was uncovering a secret world of portrait story-telling.
First, they are more than friends with their camera. I know a camera is an inanimate object, but a photographer demonstrates an embrace of fondness when they pick up their camera…almost as if their world is not complete when they are without it. Then, almost as if in slow motion, they gracefully bring the camera to their face and look through the lens. They do not only peek, or glance, but a deep and intent gaze that checks for details. I observed the eye move around the little square hole, assuring that the framing around the picture is just perfect. They sacrifice all sense of self and position themselves in the most awkward postures to get the best image possible.
After taking time to observe this art in the making I realize why I cannot possibly enjoy something like this - it’s just not me, and that’s okay! I begin to appreciate life through their eyes and I am reminded how we can miss out in life because of our own inhibitions towards sharing our talents with others. I also see the obvious reasons why we all have our individual gifts and talents and suddenly, I was grateful and marveled over the vast creativity in our world.
To me, watching these individuals siphon joy out of their gift was a gift in itself; it brought me the great realization that no gift or talent (when used appropriately) ever goes to waste. We all have gifts to share that benefit us as individuals as well as the society we live in. It’s important to realize that although our contributions are all different, they ALL hold equal valuable. As we embrace our talents and share them with others, we really make this world a better place, and we are not meant to work the same way as everyone else does!