see it for the extraordinary

….

carry your camera wherever you go. you never know what may happen

these are words i lived by. i lived by them religiously. for years after college i would carry my camera everywhere. i mean everywhere. it drove Jen crazy. if we went to the grocery store, it came. hanging off my shoulder with a extra roll of film in my pocket (or Jens purse). it would come with me to the car wash. it came with me to dinners. to friends. to family get togethers. it came with me everywhere. i had this feeling deep down that if i didn’t bring it with me, something big would happen. something that may change the course of history. (i know silly thoughts) but this is truly what i felt. i didn’t want to be that guy. that photographer. when the aliens landed (and yes they would land in view of my camera) or if some huge disaster happened, i wouldn’t have anything but my story to tell. no pictures, just words. i’d be the photographer with no images. i went to school to tell stories through imagery, not words. so i carried it everywhere.

but over time my camera started to come out less and less. my shoulder was a little lighter. Jens purse had a little extra space inside. the aliens never landed (not in view of my camera at least) and there were no huge disasters while I was driving to dinners. to me, nothing really “exciting” happened. so my camera came out less and less for personal reasons. however more and more for work. and the more it came out for work the less it came out for personal.

strange. but I’m sure many professionals can relate.

then two and half years ago my life changed. the big thing did happen. the biggest thing i have witnessed in my, then 30 years. my daughter was born. she changed my life. for the better. she made me smile hourly. she made my heart smile every second she was around me. she made me look at the everyday ordinary as extraordinary. i looked at her in awe. she looked at life like everyone and everything was alien. so my camera came out once again. for personal images. images of her. images of life. her life. our life.

it was fun. it was exciting.

but again it faded. i hate to say it but it did. even though she still looked at life through the eyes of a child. a beautiful innocent child. the simplest things were still incredible to her. and I still looked at her in awe. i watched her in amazement. still smiling hourly and she still made my heart smile every second we were together. but personal images were being created less. just as before.

sad.

then at the end of May 2010 another big thing happened for me. my second daughter was born. the look of amazement is in her eyes. just as it was with her big sister. just as beautiful. just as incredible. i also look at her in awe. she’ll stare into my eyes and i swear she sees right into me. she knows. she knows i need that. i need to know that everything around me is extraordinary. i just need to pick up the camera and shoot. shoot my life. it’s all extraordinary. it really is amazing how much we can learn from someone who has lived for so little. no life experience.

maybe that’s the secret. forget life experience.

now I try. i try to see it as they do. as Aisha and Ella do. i try to see my personal moments as extraordinary moments. brief moments in my life. but a lifetime memory.

so grab your camera. your phone. your point and shoot. memories don’t care if it was shot at f1.2 or with the new 1D MKIIIIzR9 at 204,800 iso. just take a picture. take another. and another. and another. and keep taking images. keep documenting these moments. cause one day the mind will need reminding. it will. it will want to remember the emotions of this day. the feelings felt today. the thoughts you had today.

i share with you a few brief moments from my life.

m o r e