To Experience, Not Record

A few days back, I was having a conversation with a dear lady-friend of mine. She said, “Wait? What? You take photographs to experience them and not just record them?” I could see the look of puzzlement and wonder on her face. She, like many before her, was confused by my comments.

I get it.

You see, and as my friend would surmise, most people take photographs to record and document something. That’s it, that simple. Click, then next.

They want to freeze time and have a moment or memory to look back to. Fair enough. I do the same.

But I take it a step further. I use the photography process to not just record things but deepen and enrich my experience of those things, whether an event, an emotion, a conversation, a beautiful work of art, a taste of something, an emotional remembrance, a smile, a mood, a color, a shaft of light, a place, an object, a structure, a texture, a shadow. Click. Click again.

I’m sick and tired of researches telling us, constantly, that smartphones and smartphone cameras distract us from life itself.

Perhaps? But this is the sermon of a researcher, not a poet. To me, as I see the world, this falls on deaf ears.

My beating and bleeding heart lives on the edges of emotion and art not the edge of academic probe and perception.

Bullshit. For many of us, especially artists like myself, the smartphone camera is a blissful tool to not just stay in and connected to a moment but bring that same moment more significance and remarkableness. Depth and breadth.

It’s a fact, with the camera in my hand or to my eye, I see, feel and experience a different, even deeper side of life than the same without my camera.

The camera isn’t a distraction from life but an attraction to life.

Fuller, better, abounding, brimming, and bursting. Click

Good gadhhhh, I love my camera, I love photography, and I love the simple photograph.



Jack Hollingsworth