Dear friend,

When I was a kid, my mom was constantly taking pictures of us, especially on trips and vacations. I admit I sometimes got annoyed by it. Why she couldn’t just enjoy the moment without always taking pictures of it?

Then I got my own camera and I understood.

Me and my brother at a children’s museum in a giant bubble, at age six.

What’s the story?

There’s something inexplicable about capturing a moment in time that will never be captured again.

Recently, a photographer friend said photography captures the things and moments only you see.

Pictures preserve memories.

Remember going through your grandma’s old photo albums? Or the first time you saw your dad’s baby photo? What about a picture of your mom in her prom dress?

These are all moments in history that would be lost to time without photography.

Photos also tell stories. Take that picture of your dad as a baby, for example.

Was he crying and upset? Did he laugh at something behind the camera? Was he ready for a nap and staring into space?

What story does the picture below tell?

This is a picture that I took of my friend on a girls’ weekend. We spent an extended weekend visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We both love taking pictures and it was a lovely October day.

It’s a creative point of view.

Like drawing, photography helps you look at the world differently. It helps you see inspiration in everything.

According to this Eksposure article, when you see the world from a different perspective it also increases your ability to enjoy it.

Photography grows your creativity. It fosters curiosity about the world around you. This article about creativity and photography by Steve Gosling from the School of Xcellence is fascinating.

How hard can it be?

Taking pictures isn’t difficult. Most phones, even dumb ones, have a camera built in. It takes very little effort to take a picture. Start with one.

Pose the fruit in the bowl on your table. Set it in front of a window. How does that look?

Sneak a picture of a friend or family member doing something mundane.

Try different angles. Bird’s eye view. Get one up close. Take a picture very far away.

What story are you trying to tell?

Next week I’ll post an article on basic principles of photography to get you started.

Get out there and take a picture.


R. J. Catlin