Today’s post is from the witty, humorous Rob Domaschuk of Rob Domaschuk Photography. I recently had a guest post on his site and now we’re lucky enough to hear his thoughts on photography. Be sure to check out his work and become a regular reader of his blog and listener of his podcast at Polarizing Images. Always entertaining and informative!
What an absolute joy and honor it is to write a guest post for Angie. We’ve traded blogging duties with each other this week and I so get to be her guest poster. My biggest worry is that I write something totally bland and boring. Of course, I could be my usual hilarious self (that’s a self-diagnosis, by the way) but then I run the risk of alienating 99% of Angie’s readership.
Hmm… I’ll start with the “Make Sure I Don’t Offend (too much)” checklist: I’m sober (check), I’m not in a ranting mood (check), I’m not standing behind a bunch of hipsters at Starbucks (hipsters make me want to throat-punch kittens, double-check), and still sober (check).
Now onto the “Gotta Make Sure I’m Funny” checklist: Have had at least three cups of coffee this hour (check), watched the neighbor’s kid/brat fall off his bike (check – would’ve been a double check if I had gotten it on video), and I’ve eaten lunch (check, check, and check)!
I’ve been reflecting a lot lately. Not just because I’ve been walking past mirrors, but I always go through this, I dunno, “thing” every year as autumn approaches. For whatever reason, this time of year brings odd thoughts to my head and today is no exception.
Miracles. That’s what we, as photographers, record. We record miracles. Each and every click of the shutter records an event whose very existence is a statistical impossibility. Hell, the fact that I am there to capture it is a miracle unto itself. Every day, we face choices and each decision brings a consequence. Several years ago, when I was still living in Canada, my phone rang. I was about to head out to meet a friend for a beer and I was going to let the phone ring and go to my answering machines (for you kids, and answering machine was a separate box that had this thing called a “mini tape” inside that recorded messages). But I answered it. It was a recruiter from Chicago calling to see if I had time to answer a few questions. Two weeks later, I had rented a small truck and was driving myself and my possessions from Vancouver to Chicago. Fast forward 14 years and I have a wonderful wife and two great kids (as of this writing, they’re great. But neither have had naps and in 10 minutes my opinion may change).
Point is, if I hadn’t answered that phone, a chain of events that brought me to this day would likely have never happened.
What if my dad had decided not to take that out of town summer job where he met my mom? One little decision and I would not be here. And when you start to think of all the choices that needed to be made in order for any one of us to be here and how easy it would have been for one small change to negate that, you start to get overwhelmed with it all and realize that, in fact, it is a miracle that any of us is here.
That statistical impossibility that I wrote about is multiplied every time we create new relationship because that person’s history was dependent upon another set of consequences. So yeah, every time I take a picture, I record a miracle because everything in the universe has conspired against it happening, yet it still did.
And that’s a huge freaking responsibility for us photographers. Almost all of us coast through life being uninspired at one time or another and that’s the daily approach to life that so many people take. It’s up to us to present the “every day” in such a way that those who view our images stop in their tracks and, if just for a moment, realize the awesomeness and grandeur of this amazing life.
Not every picture will achieve this, but if that’s not our goal with every shot, then we’re lying to ourselves about our purpose and we need to stop. As photographers, every thing we see, every person we meet is sacred and worth recording to the best of our abilities.Except hipsters – they can go play in traffic.
A huge thanks to Angie for letting me write this. Make sure you read her wonderful post on my blog. You can read more of my stuff at www.Domaschuk.com/the-blog and make sure you listen to the bi-weekly podcast, Polarizing Images. Three guys discussing the art and philosophy of photography.