If there’s anything that photography has taught me, it’s that I’m more of a “why” kind of guy than a “how” or “what” kind of guy — in essence I tend to spend a lot of time thinking about why I’m a photographer rather than thinking about how to be one, or what I am getting out of it in a practical sense. I think the biggest quest in my life is and will always be to find my purpose, not just over the course of my entire life, but even just day to day. What purpose will I fulfill today?
This quest applies to everything, including writing in this blog. I take these words more seriously than I probably should. I mull over my writing for weeks, despite the fact that from a business standpoint, it’s the photos that matter. But that doesn’t matter. I am not in this for the business of it, although it often feels like I should be. I revert to my old way of thought, questioning why I’m writing and why I’m doing family photography in the first place.
It’s so easy to lose sight of the “why” when faced with an overwhelming “how” and “what”. Sometimes, when things get busy, I almost feel like I’m running an assembly line, email after email, photo after photo; you know how it goes, because we all must make a living and work in this world. It’s funny because I never in a million years thought I’d become a small business owner. I always thought you had to be smart for such things, and I’m definitely not nearly as organized as I probably should be. But I do love photography, and I love my own family so much that they make me intensely interested in other families. These are the why. Everything else is secondary for me.
Because I believe with all my heart the power a family can hold. The incredible effect, for better or worse, that one’s family life can have on their lives, for the rest of their lives, and in turn, the lives of their children and their children’s children. This cycle of generations is a thing to behold. A thing to respect, a thing to work for, a thing to love. I am so thankful to have my parents, who have taught me sincerity, honor and kindness. I am grateful for their parents, for teaching me as a child things like joy, warmth and wonder. I love my brother and my cousins for showing me amazing friendship. And with a full heart, side by side with my wife, I look forward to teaching our future children all of these things, and having them teach me new things as well.
What I wish to capture is some small sliver of this in action. A moment in time that transcends the moment in time. I wish to capture it as it happened, but with vibrancy, organically, better than memory. It’s an obvious, elusive little thing, like standing out in the rain trying to catch a drop in your mouth while the rest of you gets soaked. I feel like I’m getting closer and closer with every year. Almost there.
And when I think of this quest of mine, when I think about the “why” of it, I am simply reminded of the “who”. And they are people like the Torres family here, hailing from California, all happiness and sunshine. I’m incredibly thankful for them, not just for a great session, but also just for their company! I thought it was super cool, too, but Dad Nick Torres is a rad artist who has worked in the videogames industry (something I wanted to do when I was younger), and has even made a children’s book about Dinosaurs (something I wouldn’t mind doing now)!
I suppose I didn’t come anywhere near the videogames industry because I didn’t know why or how to do so. A different story with photography. Let the quest continue!