"One doesn't stop seeing. One doesn't stop framing. It doesn't turn off and on. It's on all the time."
Today, I heard this quote for the first time and my heart jumped in my chest (Literally, I had a little heart murmur happen right as I heard it). It was one of those things you hear, and you know that it applies to you. You know exactly what the person is talking about. I heard this quote and it was just another confirmation that I am doing what I was created to do. Because this is our life- this is a photographer's world. I cannot make myself not see, not compose, not try and find the beauty in the ordinary and share it with everyone.
Day 2 of this Click Away conference I'm at, and somehow it was even better than day 1. Sat in on Ben Sasso first thing yesterday and he really got me thinking about how to brand myself. About how to truly figure out what it is that inspires me. To look at a picture I love and not just acknowledge that I love it, but to figure out WHAT ABOUT IT that I love. Yesterday I took a step back through my old pictures to find common threads. Already so many ideas were running through my head! And then today...
Today I had a moment I really believe will be a defining part of who I am as an artist, and where I take this career of mine. I was in Elena Blair's class on "The Modern Family", and as she played her slideshow of her work, I felt a tightness in my chest as the tears started to flow. As she clicked through each slide and showed picture upon picture of these beautiful families, these raw, intimate, breathtaking moments, I felt an iron fist of resolve squeeze around my heart as I realized this was my dream- to one day make someone else feel the same way by viewing my work.
I want to make people feel things. I want to evoke emotion.
Elena asked "What do you feel?"
And right away I thought "I feel infinite."
For those who know me a little better, you'll understand the significance this phrase has had in my life. For me and the people closest to me- the ones I considered my dearest friends for so many years- that was our saying. That IS our saying. That is the phrase that I have treasured and used, for those moments that make me feel like I'm flying. For those moments that make me stop and think, and I know right then and there "This is a moment I wish to suspend forever in time and space. Right now, there is nothing else that exists except me and these people and this moment right here."
As Elena continued to talk about her passion and her art and what inspires her, I knew that's what I had been missing for the last year. I had not let myself been feeling like I should have. I was trying to nail all the technical work down. But that is not what this job is about. Photography is about capturing a memory and freezing it forever. It is about suspending someone in mid sentence, mid breath, mid kiss, and forever being able to go back to that moment in time.
I want my work to reflect who people are. I want to constantly be OBSERVING the world around me, composing, framing, noticing beauty and joy and sorrow and pain, and finding ways to share it with others. There is so much to be seen, so many beautiful people to be found. It's time to say "forget the rules, forget what everyone else is doing", find my voice, and GO.