01 May 2016

What's it worth to ya?

Whoever said a picture is worth a thousand words didn't know what they were talking about.

I've been working on photos from this weekend, and I shared the one below with a friend. It's a picture of him with his little girl, and she looks so incredibly happy, and her dad, looking at her...you can tell without a doubt she's the apple of his eye. How do you put something like that into words? I know my words - what you're reading right now - don't really convey it properly.

I take a lot of picture. Good LORD do I take a lot of pictures! But very rarely do they mean something. Every one of them tells a story, certainly - I can look at them and tell you a lot about when and where they were taken, what I was doing, etc. I shoot a fair number of events - concerts, charity fundraisers, things like that. All of those pictures are important as they capture those moments that people like to look back on. But that's not the same as the photos having meaning.

When I shared the photo above, my hope was that he liked it, that's all. He told me that he felt it's his favorite photo he's had with his daughter. Look at the pair of them, you can see she means the world to him, and even though she probably wouldn't be able to explain it, I guarantee she feels the same way about him.

It really moved me when he said that. It says that photo means something, it's not just a snapshot, or even a frozen moment in time. It means something to him, and hopefully someday to her. And that makes it mean something to me. And I can't tell you, as the guy behind the lens, how satisfying it is to hear that. All the thousands and thousands of other photos I've taken, every flower, every guitarist, every sunset, every cloud, is worth more to be because they led me to that one shot.

It also makes me a bit sad, as well. As I said in a post here a few months back, when I lost my dad it dawned on me that I never got a photo of him and my son. I don't have any pictures of my kid and his grandpa. When we visited, we spent time catching up, and that didn't seem that important. I had time, I'll get those shots later. And then the time is passed. The moment is gone, and won't ever be here again. I'm trying to not let it get to me, but it does. I wasn't terribly close with him, but he's still my dad, and my son's grandpa. And it's tough.

But I look at that picture, and I see that perfectly happy, innocent, carefree smile, and I can't help be be thrilled to have caught that moment. I didn't know I was catching it at the time - I honestly don't think too much about that stuff when I'm shooting. That's one of my joys of editing photos, finding the nuggets buried in a hundred other commonplace shots.

I'm glad I got this shot, and I'm glad it means so much to him. I don't think I've ever been paid as high a compliment as he gave me about it.

I'm glad it means something words can't say, no matter how many thousands.