It’s always nice to feel like you contribute. Back in my engineering days I always felt that I was doing “great works.” Maintaining giant networks, making sure folks could reach each other, ensuring everyone had 911 service, and all the rest that went into my wireless job. It left me feeling important in the grand scheme of things.
Switching careers into photography I never felt the same degree of importance. I get to capture moments in amazing places. Often I’m imaging paintings for reproduction, and then running reproductions. And recently I’ve found myself photographing concrete saws, car batteries, jewelry, and more. Sure, all of that has import to the clients and helps them move their own business forward but I’ve still wondered, “How important is what I do really?”
My mind was turned today by a new client. And I realized that photography as a whole does have a lot of value in our lives.
See, I received a call from a potential client on my ride into work. They wanted to do a portrait session with one of their children. Pretty simple, right?
The client went into a little background and her hesitation about doing a photo shoot. She’d been raised overseas in a culture that frowned on portraits and pictures. Growing up there were no photos. And moving to the U.S. she found that her culture stuck. No photos.
Unfortunately last year she lost her spouse way too young. And when it was time to memorialize him she discovered something. There were no portraits of them together. And that really hit home.
It hit home for me as well. Before this was ever my career I was always running around taking snap shots. My new home in NH, hiking the AT, my puppies, all the places I’ve been. Even though I’m not super fond of photographs of myself I do appear now and again in all of those images. I look back through them here and there, and couldn’t imagine not having those documents of where I’ve been. Some images make me laugh, some make me ever so nostalgic, and some leave me with a few tears. I’m glad I have all of those documented moments in my life and I couldn’t imagine not having them.
So, is photography important? I guess it is. If it wasn’t Best Buy would be out a huge revenue stream, Canon and Nikon would have to make something else, and we all wouldn’t be running around snapping away with our cell phones.
In a few weeks I’ll be doing a shoot for my new client. And hopefully we’ll kick start her saved moments as well.
Now, make sure to take a snap shot of your loved one today with you in the shot as well. We’ve all got timers and no excuse not to………