Yesterday, I opened up my Facebook page to find a message from my husband. He has been trekking with my son in New Zealand. They have walked 55 kilometers over the last 5 days. I have not heard from them since they started the trek. No communication for 5 days feels like a lifetime. I was worried but not worried. I knew if there was a problem I would hear from the company organizing the trek. So no news was good news.
I opened the message to see this photo and this message: "We're back"
I burst into tears. I was so happy to see their smiling faces. I was happy they achieved their goal. I was proud of their tenacity and obvious joy. I replied to their message and spent a long time looking at this snapshot. They look so happy.
I went about my day but continued to think about the photo. I thought about my own photography journey and all of the 1000's of photos that I have taken. Only a few have caused this emotion in me. This overflowing of feelings and love. As I thought more about it, I realized I have focused so much of my learning on the technical aspects of photography. I have concentrated on composition, light, and getting the focus tack sharp. I had looked at the gear I needed and the website to build. The type of camera bag I required to carry all of my gear and the business to grow. All important in there own right.
But somewhere, along the way, I have forgotten about the most important aspect of photography. I am missing the emotions of the moment. The very reason that I picked up the camera in the first place was to capture the emotion that I felt at the time. Somewhere, somehow, I have let the technical aspects get in the way. I have let my head lead the way rather than be guided by my heart. I feel this photo, this snapshot, was the reminder that I needed. Every photo doesn't need to be a work of art. Every photo doesn't need to be technically correct. But every photo, whether it is a snapshot or a piece of art, must contain the emotion that I feel. This photo finally ripped the blinkers from my eyes. I can let go. I can pause, and focus on the emotions of the moment
That is the power of a snapshot, and walking 55 kilometers along the track in New Zealand. Their achievement was the boot in the bum that I needed to see what I had forgotten.