On the Photographic Life

In photography, the Kodak moment doesn’t just happen. The light doesn’t just fall in that heartbreaking way that reminds you of some long-forgotten moment shaken out of the cobwebs of your memory. Oh, no. It is not luck. The moment is created out of love and labor (and much of love’s labor’s lost). And in order to capture it, you have to take many, many, many crap shots.

Life is like this. #truestory

The key to the art of life — as in the art of photography — is repetition. In living color, every day is just another click of the shutter, another exposure that will come to light only in the dark. It is drafting, and revising, and rearranging, and reexamining. Every photograph, every life, is trial and error. It is the being undone and then put back together, sometimes into arrestingly beautiful new configurations. If something is not working for us — the light, the shadows, the noise — we change our perspective. We choose our light. We create our own luck.

And how do we do this?

There are an infinite number of ways. We wait. We return day after day to the same place. We sweat it out. We are still. We leave. We change our lens. We are willing to look like a fool to get the angle that no one else noticed. And if that doesn’t work, we just throw away the whole damn thing, and start over. We bring light to the present moment. We look up. We pay attention. We are patient. Above all things, yes, we are patient. And we find the moment.

We always do.