I often catch myself thinking about my career, my favorite hobby, my love affair with life through a lens...photography.
Is what I'm doing beneficial to life? Does it make a difference in the grand scheme of things? How am I helping others? I don't save lives. I don't bestow knowledge upon developing minds. I don't fight for our country.
To some, we photographers may just be glorified button-pushers. But I'd like to think that we play a role in the world by capturing fleeting moments in time that will never happen again, preserving memories of those who are no longer with us and keeping a visual history of what happens on Earth and beyond.
So, what is a photographer?
We are the chasers of light. We seek out the sun as it rises and sets, soaking in the warm colors in the magic hour. We use the play of light and shadow to create drama and mystery. We let the light paint the scenes that we capture.
"Light makes photography. Embrace it. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth and you will know the key to photography."
- George Eastman
We are the tellers of stories. Frame by frame, our photographs chronicle the big moments, the little moments and everything in between that makes up our lives.
"I have the great privilege of being both witness and storyteller. Intimacy, trust and intuition guide my work."
We are the keepers of memories. When you need a little help remembering that epic touchdown catch on the goal line, the way the light gleamed off of your old Mustang fastback or the way your grandma's dimples appeared when she laughed...our photographs are there to keep those memories alive.
"Kodak sells film, but they don't advertise film; they advertise memories."
We are the catchers of moments. Everything in life is fleeting, here today and gone tomorrow. But in that instant when something life-changing occurs, when our eyes are on the viewfinder, our instincts take over and our fingers hit the shutter button...that moment is caught forever.
"A good [photograph] keeps a moment from running away."
We are the preservers of time. Things are ever changing in the world. You can't stop time, but you can preserve it. We preserve what's happening now and who's here now so future generations will know from where and whom they came.
"Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still."
We are the documenters of history. When people use to look back on the history of civilization, they read the written word or they visited art museums to see paintings of famous people and events. Now they look at photographs to see our history. They flip through newspapers and magazines or browse social media to see the only still representation of an actual instant of time.
"History happens, and with it, memories, but photographers alone are able to capture it in frames."
We are the chasers of light, the tellers of stories, the keepers of memories, the catchers of moments, the preservers of time, the documenters of history. We are photographers.
I am a photographer.
Editor's note: After reading this blog several times to proof it, I realize it may sound like I'm giving myself an "atta girl" on my career choice. That wasn't the intent when I began, nor is it now. This blog started as a little idea for some Instagram posts and just grew from there. All I really wanted was to share my passion for photography.
In a world where nearly 2 billion photos are uploaded to the internet every day (unfortunately including lots of selfies), I think the importance of documentary photography, portraits and fine art has been lost along the way. I look forward to the future of photography, while at the same time dreading it because of things like Snapchat and selfies. I hate to even lump the latter in with the word photography, but I feel that is what a large percent of the population associates with the word...the word that means drawing with light. If nothing else, I hope my blog helps at least one person think otherwise. Pick up a copy of National Geographic, visit the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston or get out an old photo album and flip through it. Embrace the magic that is photography.