On Being More Than Just a Photographer

On a recent trip, I had a situation that caused me to remember that this whole world of photography, especially for me, is not just about cameras, lenses and ISOs.  It’s really about what I do for the sheer enjoyment and enrichment of life that photography brings to my world.  I don’t do this for a living, nor do I do it for much more recognition than I hope to gain from my family or a few friends.

On one particular day when I was out shooting with a group of fellow photographers, I was having some personal problems from back in my real-world, and it was generally not a very good day.

A fellow photographer, who not incidentally is way, way, beyond my skill level and pay grade, went out of his way to catch me on the path to our beach shoot and ask if I was OK.  He said he’d noticed that my mood had changed and said he was worried about me.  Now, this is a guy who has every right to keep his distance and to stay uninvolved with the students of a workshop.  But instead, he stepped out of his zone.

I’ll never even come close to his accomplishments, nor will I likely be a guest blogger, nor will I be featured as a notable photographer, nor a teacher of his stature.  But, I do know human kindness when I see it.

I was reminded that photography, for me, will not be a career and I don’t depend on it for making a living.  Instead, it is a way for me to enjoy the world around me, to capture (either by lens or by memory) images of interesting and beautiful things I am lucky enough to experience.  So, to have someone check their understandable and deserved ego at the door and reach out to someone he barely knew was a big deal to me.

Maybe the value of my photography passion has a side that isn’t technical, isn’t critical, but is human.

So for me, I could’ve ended the trip with that moment on the beach having come away with much more than some award-winning photo.  I came away realizing that even a big-time photographer can have sensitivity.

I’ve had several friends (not too many) in my photo world who fit that category.  It seems that others are too insecure or threatened by even a non-professional’s encroachment into their territory.  Not this guy or the others I’m alluding to.  I won’t use names, but you know who you are.

So thank you for your compassion and effort.  And of course, the very same to those few others (JLD, RH, BF) for your friendship, mentoring and thoughtfulness.

From the heart,


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