Thursday, April 8, 2010

People Person

As I get closer and closer to my trip to France, and as I look at the pictures all my friends are posting, abroad or not, I realize more and more that there is a right and wrong way to take pictures. Normally, I do not consider
myself much of a people person. I do not like meeting lots of people at once, I do not like talking in a group, and I am very shy and quiet until I feel comfortable to actually be me. I need to be alone a lot. I would prefer to sit at home with my cat and a book than go to a loud crazy party with a few of my friends. I love my friends and I love spending time with them, but when it comes to making new friends I take a while.

That being said, when I take pictures I take pictures of people. Ten years from now, I will not care about that lion at the zoo, or that flower in a field, or that weird statue. This past weekend I found some pictures I took at horse camp years and years ago (I still had my glasses that took up my whole face, that's how old these are) as I was going through drawers of old things; I had to choose between those to be saved, those to be donated, and those that deserved to be thrown away long ago, yet were kept because of my former packrat identity. The pictures I kept showed me with people from camp, and the horse I spent the week with (because clearly Cheyenne was more person than random object or animal). I threw pictures of the other animals, sure deer and rabbits are cool; pictures of hills and trees, because those aren't everywhere; and pictures of the rooms and bunk beds, for one camp bunk bed is really the same as the rest.

For me, pictures are about moments in time, represent a way to recall the happiness of that moment as a way to relive all those wonderful feelings. They show my friends and the way we spend our time. You do not need to go on a trip to take pictures because there are joyful moments every day, and a few that are lucky enough to get captured on film.

There is no joy in a bunk bed; without the rest of the film I would have no idea where that bunk bed was from. A picture of myself and other campers on the other hand, while I no longer remember most of their names and wish I had labeled them, brings up memories of those ugly shirts, singing churchy campy songs, buying candy and playing foosball in the common area (this camp was where I played my epic 30-8 game against two people), and playing capture the flag around the ranch. These girls became close friends for this week spent away from our families as we all searched for a way to fit into a new environment.

I learned quickly that pictures of animals, , and landscapes do not interest me after developing the random disposable cameras throughout my youth. 10 years later I may not care about that lion on a rock, but I will care about that trip to the zoo; if there is a picture with my sister and a lion, that picture has some redeeming qualities. While I make some exceptions for artistic photography, I think those pictures should be kept separate from the rest because they serve entirely different purposes, and I will not take those pictures.

Pictures are about capturing a moment, not about capturing an object, so I take pictures of people. I take pictures of people and moments in time so I can look back and remember that ridiculous game night, that delectable dinner, and that relaxing vacation. Pictures allow you to re-experience moments and recall things that are insignificant in the grand scheme of life, but looking back you remember having the time of your life. Picking the pictures for this post made for easy choices, because I know what times I like to remember, and
know which pictures epitomize those days. Now I am just sitting here smiling thinking about the car ride to Thanksgiving, the Christmas spent with the boyfriend's family, Sister Day, the cabin trip, Stooge Week, Prom, winter break, freshmen year with the SAD lamp, and Padelford. Each picture has a story, not only of itself, but of the entire day and experience. Pictures capture a moment and make for wonderful memories, and in memories, people are what matter.

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