June 20th 2015
Last Saturday, I went to the Arts District in Dallas for the Downtown Summer Block Party with a couple of friends. It was…. an interesting experience. From the overwhelming crowds ruining halfway decent pictures to the ridiculous lines and overpriced food truck, there were some definite low points. But overall, it was an exciting summer night filled with good vibes and good people. The pictures I took were laughably sub-par but one of my friends managed to get some pretty sweet candids, so that’s good. I spent most of the day annoying the absolute shit out of my aforementioned friends with my never ending quest for the optimal light for perfect pictures.
Photography is my latest obsession/addiction. I carry my heavy ass Nikon D3300 around with me everywhere just in case prime lighting and a willing subject happen to be within my grasp. Photography has opened a window for me to purge some of my feelings and ideas out of while also shining light on the darkest parts of me. It has opened up something inside of me that has allowed me to actually feel excited about something. I never thought I had anything all that special in me. I tried my hand at writing and singing and filming, only to discover that I am only slightly more capable than everyone else. (Except when it comes to singing. I am a terrible singer. A fact that brings me a great deal of heartbreak but does not stop me at all from belting out some Lana del Rey in my room.) For a while, that was good enough for me. But photography is something that I was just not willing to allow myself to be ok at. I want to be great. I want to be stunning and prolific.
Ok, that last bit is just me being over-excited, but whatever. I’ve got photo fever and even though I am just starting out, I can feel how much I love it and how much it is taking over my life every time I pick up my camera. But a huge part of photography, a part that I never really realized until this weekend, is that by capturing moments, I can’t necessarily be a part of them. I hadn’t realized that by being the one behind the camera, the one who gets to freeze that little spec of time, I exchange my moment for someone else’s.
I tried not to let it get to me, but it was hard. I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the pictures I had taken but when I went back through the camera during the nearly half an hour food truck line wait, it started to hit me. I wasn’t in any of them. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not a rampant narcissist who only wants to take pictures if she’s in some of them. It just threw me for a loop, like the whole day progressed around me, not with me. Like I had missed out on the fun and beauty and excitement that I had tried to encapsulate in my photos. It made me realize that as I continue to pursue photography, either just as a hobby or in a professional capacity, I have to strike a balance. I can try to preserve that instant but I can’t forget to live in that moment too.
I love art museums, they’re equal parts inspiration and safe haven for me. I love the atmosphere and the people. One day, if I’m lucky, maybe something I create will be deemed worthy of hanging on one of those walls.
There are just some things that can be captured but mean a whole lot more when they are felt and experienced also.