Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Life Not Lead

I mentioned to a friend today that in an alternate life I'd be in Egypt right now standing in the middle of the crowds of protesters snapping Pulitzer Prize winning photos.

My friends response was "I don't want you in Egypt right now."

Well I'm not saying I'm running away from home with my point and shoot. I'm just saying there was a time in my life that I thought maybe that would be my life.

In college I was a communications major with a minor in photography. This is back in the pre-digital dinosaur days where cameras used actual film that had to be developed in a dark room full of noxious chemicals.

We were a strange group there hanging out in the dark room. There was the wanna-be hippy girl who loved photographing nudes, the guys who liked to play with trick photography and of course the artistic photographers who had glamorous dreams.

My love was photojournalism. I don't have an eye for art or lighting or fluid lines. But I knew when to snap to capture a moment in time that spoke a story words couldn't tell.

But like most stories, mine took a different turn. I met my husband, moved with his career, had babies and made a different life. It's not a bad life. Just a different one than I once thought.

The sad part is I don't even have my portfolio anymore. In a moment of postpartum depression I threw it away, convinced I'd never again do anything beyond changing diapers and breast feeding.

The few people I've shared my past love of photography with have asked why I don't just pick up the camera and start shooting again.

I'm not sure. All the usual reasons I guess: time, energy, opportunity.

Not prize winning.
But the kind of pictures
my college education bought me.
I can't have regrets when I look
at pictures like these.
Last year I took pen to paper for the first time in a long time and began this blog (well technically I started typing on my mac). Maybe this year will be the year I pick up the camera again and start shooting.

I'm past wanting to win a Pulitzer Prize, but I still want to capture those moments in time that tell a story.


  1. I took photography one semester in college. The old school kind with the chemicals too. It was a really neat class. I never wanted to make anything out of it, it was just my fine art credit but I really enjoyed it. Last time we were cleaning the attic I think I finally threw my portfolio away. I guess now you're making me wish I hadn't.

  2. I took photography in school. I love black and white! My final for the year was Frank Zappa! Made my way up to the stage and got the most awesome pictures. I got an A. Wish I still had them. Pick up your camera again!!

    Linda Shook

  3. Are you also participating in #365yoga? I'm beginning to think that part of this is just finding what gives you some peace. I'm practicing yoga, blogging, reading yoga blogs, and making beaded bracelets. It's nice to have some hobbies (or interests or whatever you want to call them) that allow you to just be in the moment.

  4. Yes! #365yoga has been great - not what I anticipated but what I needed!