Lewis Carroll was up to something when he wrote his Alice in Wonderland tale. We all know that, but one of his famous thought-benders was the un-birthday. Carroll did not just come up with this idea for simple experimentation, but to show how us humans put special importance to dates and events when what we would really want is to perpetuate them in time and through our lives instead.
Tomorrow is THE day to be grateful about all the things that we have received. For us photographers, it means giving thanks for the weather, for the golden hour, for the fleeting smile on a face, and for the miracle of capturing the moment. We would also thank those that appreciate our work and thank even more those that put their wallet where their words are, allowing us to perpetuate our habit for expensive German or Japanese engineering.
But what do we do on the un-Thanksgiving days? To continue to be grateful for all these things year-round is what keeps us going and what builds a photographic practice. The essence of a great photograph is to discover beauty in our subjects, to fall in love with them, and be grateful for the opportunity. This includes all subjects, landscapes, tabletop photographs, etc. but as Annie Leibovitz states about her gorgeously expressive and tell-tale portraits: "A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people". There is no way of making a great image without being taken away by your subject first and feeling gratitude.
Now, what about all those things that are NOT photographed? The moment that fell short or in-between one of your 5-fps frames? The scene you saw in the corner of your eye and when you turned to look it was gone? The one your camera saw from within the bag?
How about all those where you never left the house? And then, there are those portraits that never came to exist because the person never got on front of a photographer, maybe they just could not afford it, or it just never came to their minds.
This December 10, join us at Help-Portrait Fort Lauderdale at The Salvation Army. For more details and to donate to make THE PRINTS possible, go to http://www.TheSoulCatchers.org
In the meantime, give thanks for the light and shadows equally!