Take a photograph if you’re wanting this to last

A couple weeks ago I was suffering a bout of writer’s block, and Brian said, “Why don’t you write about your budding interest in photography?”

At first I was surprised he knew about my interest in photography. I had merely asked him whether the x-rays that they use to check luggage were going to erase my film (it seems like a guy thing to know about x-rays), and he found the answer for me. I didn’t know he was going to read so much into it.

Of course, he has seen me lug my camera to every small group event in the past four years, so, you know, it makes sense that he’d know I was interested in photography. And he knows I scrapbook, so he knows I use a lot of pictures. But I guess there’s a bit of a difference between liking pictures and liking photography, at least in my mind.

I think the reason it surprised me was because I kind of am interested in photography. Not in that girly I-want-to-take-pictures-of-my-feet way, but in a sincere I-see-things-I-wish-I-was-skilled-enough-to-capture-on-film-but-now-the -moment-is-gone way.

This happened a lot in New York. I took my old camera so it would be smaller, and I loaded it with black-and-white film to be artsy . . . and I was too chicken to take very many pictures. I know exactly why. I didn’t want to be too touristy. I read all this stuff by New Yorkers about how annoying tourists are, and I didn’t want to be one. So I let moments go by and I left my camera in my bag, and I regretted it all the way home.

I do it in regular life, too. Notice how I mentioned that I take my camera to every small group event? And yet there are gazillions (yes, gazillions. That’s a scientific measurement) of moments that I want to capture but don’t. Because I don’t want to be annoying everyone by being that girl with the camera flash going off all the time. And because we have some people who take pictures already, and they are better at it than I am.

Every time this happens, I tell myself, “Next time I am going to do it. I will stick my neck out there and be annoying/touristy/embarassing, but I will have pictures of what I want.” I haven’t done it yet.

Maybe next time.

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