To say this last week was a rough one is a gigantic understatement, in a fair comparison, rarely does it get harder. The week began with the funeral of one of my family’s best friends and ended with the funeral of one of my family members. Everyone around us is in a state of some sort of numbness and no cocktail known to man is strong enough to make it go away. For the first time in a long time, I was actually relieved to not win the jobs that I had been bidding on. I only hope that some time at home will aid in putting this behind me.
One place that I find solace for the events of this last week is that I turned to photography to help me calm my mind and escape the situation. All too often I have found myself reluctant to pick up the camera in times of stress, for I feared it would remind me of work. However, there is a point at which pride and ego must dissolve. Only then can we give ourselves over to the idea that there was once pure passion that made us press the shutter button. After all, one of the most basic needs of a photographer is to capture the world within their creations even if just for his or her mind’s eye to remember.
When I learned of the deaths that beset our family, I snagged a Fuji X-Pro2 to help me calm my mind and focus it towards the light that the world still had to offer. I would walk around the backyard with my dogs and just take pictures. It was part mediation and part reflection on how much those that we lost had meant to my life. It was somber, yet peaceful. That is the power that photography has over my life and state of being.
The day of my aunt’s memorial, my family and I decided to go to the New Mexico flea market, for it was one of my aunt’s favorite things to do. While the shopping wasn’t great, the culture of the people and texture of the items grabbed my attention. Again, I walked around with the Fuji X-Pro2 with the dials preset and the viewfinder in rangefinder mode. The pictures I made are less important than the way that they helped me to relax and find a sense of peace. Going through tough times is inevitable in life, so when it happens, pick up your camera and take a walk. Be it down a busy street or an empty forest, capture the world around you, only looking for the light that shows it. While this won’t fix everything, it will calm your mind. When the bad times have passed, you will have some images to remind you that the tough times will always pass, and that your art will always be there for you.