The right picture

August 13, 2012

Many a day has come and gone when I simply can't find the right picture.  Not that there's anything wrong with the (doubtlessly) hundreds of pictures I have stored away; I just can't find the right one.  The one that's perfect.  It's like trying to breathe underwater- it just doesn't work.  Keep trying, keep trying, and then you end up with a bitter taste to remember the experience.  I despise that feeling.  But I was thinking, when I was trying to hunt down "the right picture," I wondered what the right picture would look like?  What frame is that picture supposed to fill?  And whose model am I following?  Why do I really even need a picture that says "perfection" when there is no such thing as true, pure perfection?  And if I did find the right picture, how long would that perfection last before it changed too?

Perfection moves and changes with the personality of the artist.  One day we can lift up the ideal of our perfection, raising it high and shouting its glory; the next, we find fault with it and search for the next thing that meets our standards.  It's really a big mess, if you ask me.  It's hard enough to please yourself, but then when there are other people judging, criticizing, praising, complimenting... it's confusing.  And you don't know who to please, and what is the right picture.  I'm confused most days if a picture is really okay or not- the color is beautiful (all color is, you know), and the object is gorgeous in its own way; my style comes from my heart- intended or not, and so long as it comes from the heart, then I shouldn't worry.  But what makes a picture the right one?  Because there's silly things to worry about like grain, bad lighting, distracting objects, blurriness.  So... what are we exactly after?

I'm still wondering and guessing on this one.  I still don't know what I'm looking for when I raise the viewfinder to my eyes.  Because there's beauty in everything God made... it's everywhere.  The thing is: I know how to capture it; I know I'm surrounded by it; I know it's there.  But what is the actual "it"?  Is it something that caught my fancy?  Is it something someone said was pretty?  Is it something that needed attention?  What the heck am I looking for?

Then it sort of hit me: I'm looking for me in the things I shoot.  If you think about it, that's all that is.  When you raise the camera to your eye, push down the shutter, hear the flutter of mechanics deep inside its body, you look and then find the things that you love- and the things that you love represent YOU.  You're looking for yourself in the picture.  Your personality.  Your style.  Your sense of beauty.   What you want to see in there.  If you step back and think on it, you know it's true.  The only reason why we take pictures is to capture what we love, what our heart clings to, what our mind finds beauty in.  It's sort of my own revelation, I guess.  And now as I look through my pictures, I realize that the way I found my object to shoot, the way I captured it, the way I edit it, and the way I think about it all represents me- one way or the other.  It's like looking in a mirror.  And that's why it is so important for us (especially photographers) to only take the picture that we love.  Because that's the only right picture.

I've been going around in circles with this subject for a while, although this is the first time I've been able to pin down all my thoughts.  I think I got it right- at least, I feel like it makes sense this way.

Moving is going along nicely...  Louisiana is a beautiful place and we've had some church people come help us out.  We're going to be staying in limbo for a while until the house we're moving into is all ready.  Thanks so much for all of your comments and well wishing!



  1. This is beautifully written, Gabby! It doesn't matter if our "style" is like someone else's who may be a pro. It is important that our style reflects who we are. :) You know the saying "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". It is so true. To take pictures of things we love--things that describe us.

    Much love,

    ps-your pictures are gorgeous. :)

  2. love the first two! and the last two. so pretty.(:

  3. I love the photos! Especially the first one! Could you enter it into my photo challenge?
    Email me? (I can enter you, if you give permission:)

  4. such a lovely blog, and such wonderful follower!!! (:

    xx, Abi

  5. Gabby, how you always manage to put lovely words to such deep thoughts never ceases to amaze me. Your photos are right to me, darling.


  6. "It's hard enough to please yourself, " = D Very true...
    Yes, It's like when a group of photographers all shoots the same thing...and comes out with different focus, angle, emphasis...even if they all had the same camera!