For the (photo) record

I don’t take many photos. It doesn’t matter if I’m at a family wedding, catching up with friends I don’t see very often, or on some amazing travel adventure (remember them?); you just won’t find me behind the lens.

Lately I’ve been thinking about why this is. The best reason I can come up with is that I like to experience things in an ‘up close and personal’ way, not streamed to me through some artificial eye.

I guess my conviction on this is strong enough that I don’t take photos despite knowing that I am forfeiting the opportunity to have a ‘hard copy’ record of the event down the track.

Sure, others usually take photos that they later share with me, but those photos are taken through their own lens – literally and figuratively. They are imbued with their biases about what or who is the most important thing to photograph.

When I do look back at photos, the ones that capture my attention – the ones that I love – are not the perfectly framed or the beautifully stylised or the ones with the artistic lighting. The ones that I love are the candid, imperfect shots. The ones that are a bit blurry; that have caught someone mouth agape, not with laughter, but mid-chew. The ones that have some well-known landmark in the background and a pigeon pooping the foreground. They’re the ones that match up with my own fuzzy, slightly askew memory. They’re the ones that I want to keep.

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