There are plenty of statistics out there about the sheer number of photographs taken every year. And our phones are becoming ever more capable cameras thanks to hardware, software & AI advances. This trend will only accelerate.
And with all this comes continued sharing of our lives on social networks. A photograph has always had the power to inform, connect and inspire. I am amazed by all the amazing art and impactful photographs I view on a weekly basis. I am truly grateful for all of this.
But as I look back on the tens of thousands of photographs I’ve personally made, the most important ones are certainly not the ones with the most likes, comments or retweets. That’s because they weren’t shared at all. The are intimate family moments. Or the out of focus shots when I was chasing my kids. Or the low resolution poorly scanned photos made with a disposable camera during our honeymoon. Or the self portrait I made upon hearing very sad news from a loved one. When I look at those photos, it brings me back to that very moment, that very feeling.
I suspect this is quite true with most of us. The most meaningful photos aren’t public.
So keep making those photographs and don’t worry about the likes.
Earlier this month we spent four days in Eleuthera. The island is quite long, over 110 miles long. While I’m told the northern part is developed, we headed south. The southern portion of the the island is thoroughly remote. The nearest market or restaurant is about a 40 minute drive or so. We didn’t see any a single souvenir shops. Our rental car was provided by a resident, a gentleman named Robert. We paid in cash. Folks that grew up and live here will tell you that at one time this was a bustling island. But that has changed. All of that tourism has since moved to Nassau. Life on Eleuthera is quiet and remote.
But the thing that struck me the most was the kindness from everyone we met. Lauren compared it to going to our first trip to Ireland and talking with the locals. All the stories, life challenges, rich history and island beauty. Although we got a lot more hugs in Eleuthera than pints in Ireland :)
We were quite taken with this place. And have already made plans to visit again.
(All photographs made with a Hasselblad 503cw and Kodak film. Developed and scanned at Richard Photo Lab).
One thing in particular I thought I would share from our class is the idea of daily gratitudes. The exercise we are doing is to write down three things you are grateful for each day and share them with someone. In my case I’m sharing them with my wife.
It’s become a daily thing for the last three weeks and it’s absolutely wonderful. Some days I’m grateful for the simplest moments. Other days something much more memorable. But it doesn’t matter. It’s the practice of taking a few minutes each day to take the time of thinking about it, writing it down and sharing it with someone.