Viewfinders Manifesto #4
We believe in pulling the car over to capture the view.
. . . . .
Whenever life feels overwhelming and I get, perhaps, a bit whiny about my lot in life, I am usually immediately humbled by the realization that I don’t have much to complain about. I recently had two separate client shoots on misty Rodeo Beach (north of San Francisco) and was quick to register how lucky I am in this profession that I have fallen into.
Those of you who follow my adventures with #tobythemoseydoodle on Instagram know how much he loves the beach.
On one of those recent shoots, I brought Toby along but left him in the van (on a cool day with wide open windows for those who worry), intending to retrieve him after I was done shooting. I wasn’t on the beach with my client (and her dog) more than two minutes before Toby galloped into view, leash trailing behind him, having squeezed himself through the window and hightailed it across the bridge to the sand.
Just look at him. Pure joy. Neither my client nor I had the heart to spoil his fun so he stayed with us, content to roll in smelly things and chase the ball between shots.
And even on misty, cool mornings like that day, there were surfers braving the unexpected surf and frigid ocean temperatures.
Often with dolphins cavorting close by.
I prefer not to think about the great whites that also swim in these waters, and tell myself that the dolphins protect the surfers.
As I drove home, watching trees and hillsides and buildings appear and disappear in the mist, I was filled with gratitude. For my surroundings, of course. For my clients who entrust me with their visuals and willingly shoot in wild surroundings. But also for the fact that as I learn and develop my skills in the photography profession, I am often reminded, when I need it most, what made me pick up a camera in the first place. To document what I see around me, to tell stories visually, and to take the time – in and around a sometimes tenuous balance between work and home life – to be in the moment.
I am a slave to my 35mm lens – I adore it and rarely take it off my camera. But I recently betrayed it by starting to shoot with the 85mm and oh my…. I might just become one of those people carrying a big camera backpack with lens caps randomly falling out of my pocket.