“Thank you for capturing the moments. To an audience, it may be just another nice photo. But to the parent (and the swimmers), it captures the proud moments, hard work and sweat behind the weeks and years of training. I'm not a swimmer, but I am sure it means much more to them than just a nice shot. Continue the great job!"
While I am quite aware of my passion for photography, I have never really reflected on the why piece of that puzzle. The question led me to dig a little deeper and question not only the root of my passion, but also my role as a photographer. Why do I make the choice I make? How can I make an impact? And then I found myself asking this doozy of a question – For whom do I photograph?
The allure of photography is strange and wonderful; to some, there’s something about a great picture that draws us to it in ways we can’t explain, but can clearly feel. To others, they probably couldn’t care less. To me, photographs are small "pieces" of time, a slice of life, an instant in someone's life which, unlike us, will never age and never forget the particular moment in which they were created; subject not to fancy nor forget, but an eternal witness to what was - and to whom lives in them. Everyone has a story to tell, regardless of whether it is for the present or the future, and pictures help provide a visual narrative to that beautiful story. It freezes moments of our lives which pass unremarkably and which seems to have little importance to us at the time - an archive of forgettable, but important memories.
While the process is often exhausting, costly and time-consuming, the rewards are priceless. This message I received recently encapsulates the invaluable returns of photography, validating my reason to photograph – not for myself but for the beautiful subjects whose memories lives in these pictures. While I may not be gifted with remarkable athleticism and sporting talent, I choose to believe that I have been blessed in other areas. And the least I could do is to help bless others with what I have been blessed with. I will keep shooting for as long as God wants me to – this is my raison d'être.
Below are some of my favorites from the recent National School Swim Championship. Enjoy!