It’s Father’s Day, and when I think about my three girls, all grown up now and living many hours away, I sure miss them. I look at old photos and examine my own photography ventures. I have to ask, “What’s it all about?” and “Why do I do this?”
In many ways I guess, I hope that my photography will live on for them for many years. They can look at an image and know that I was there, and preserved that moment in time in a picture. And even more than that, know that this is what I saw and felt through my eyes and in my heart.
Then I think, what else has photography done for me? It has given me so many things. Nature and landscape photography in particular has taught me to be patient, passionate, forgiving, reflective, meditative, and quiet. It has given me a burning enthusiasm to experience and appreciate wild places and do what I can, to spread the word about how important these places are to protect and preserve.
I hope that when my kids see my images, they can also feel the excitement of the moment, what it was like to be there, and feel the connection we all have to our natural world.
My sister posted something to facebook the other day that said, “If we are paying attention with our eyes and ears and hearts, what a blessing it is to have small children in our lives. To watch the leaves on the trees dancing in the wind, as they do, to listen to birdsong, as they do, to look at the world again as the enormous miracle it is….as they do.” Then it struck me. That’s what it’s all about!
Seeing the world with a sense of wonder, as a child does, is something you must never lose. And if there’s one thing this Father’s Day that I hope to have passed on to my kids, it’s just that…holding on to a sense of wonder.
The world is a great place. And through photography, we can capture the human experience, what it means to be alive, and the inseparable connection we have to nature. Photography gives us an opportunity to translate not just what we see but what we feel.
One of my favorite movies was playing this Father’s Day. It’s called “Dad” with Jack Lemon and Ted Danson. There was a great scene where Jack Lemon was talking to his wife (played by Olympia Dukakis) about dying. She said, “Don’t talk about dying.” Then Jack said, “It’s ok. We’re all going to die. Dying is not a sin…not living is.”
Then I look at my kids and see all the things they’ve done and accomplished compared to what I did at their age…
I’m thinking, I must have done something right.
Happy Father’s Day everyone, happy shooting, and make your pictures count.