Friday, January 22, 2010


I'm not very good at them. I'm not good at looking even remotely dignified (or sane) in them, and I'm not good at taking them. For whatever reason, they just aren't a wavelength that I can jive on.

Most of the snapshots of me that exist from the past decade or so were taken of me by classmates on field trips. There are a handful taken by family, and a handful taken under various other circumstances, but that's about it. Entire chapters of my life have little to no photographic evidence. What photographic evidence does exist generally indicates that I am eternally 16 years old, and possibly rabid.

It's not like I'm prone to taking them, myself, though. I've gone years without owning a functional camera, and the Nikon D60 that I bought over the summer is the first decent camera that I've owned since early high school. Even when I have had a camera, including now, I'm just not inclined to take pictures of day to day life. If I'm going to take pictures, I do it purposefully, and as its own activity.

When I left on this latest round of travel, multiple people urged me to take pictures. And I'm trying, I really am. But... I've been busy hiking! And having challenging conversations! And building fires! And, of course, getting naked for art! My Nikon hasn't come out in a week or so. The best I've managed is taking a camera phone shot of Jitterbug at most new locations. Today it was a shot her looking bored and slightly surly by a cactus at Saguaro National Park. It isn't much, but it's a heck of a lot more than I've ever done in the past.

Ultimately though, my mind just isn't wired for snapshots. If I'm going to play a role in creating an image, I want it to be purposeful. Whether as subject or photographer, I can't go halfway. There will be intent, or there will be nothing.

..well... except for an unimpressed dog with a cactus, I suppose. There will always be that.

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