When I first read that, I immediately thought of SNAPshots. And then in the next second, I thought of Live. SNAP. Write.
And it’s about then that I realized some dots were connecting in my head…
The below snapshot is one of my favorites that I’ve taken lately.
I realize it’s not particularly notable, artistically. My daughter looks cute – but then, she always looks cute! (And often in photos where her face is better-lit!) I didn’t have my camera settings adjusted optimally here at all – hence the blasted-out white sky.
But regardless, I really like this one!
The fact that I do like it as much as I do is a good reminder for me that my photographs don’t always have to be technically proficient to be worthwhile shots. Sometimes really good things can happen when you just “fly by the seat of your pants” and don’t over-manage what you’re doing.
Of course, that’s not to say that random snaps are always valuable.
One thing I’ve thought a lot about, the deeper I’ve gone into photography, is the fact that snapshots don’t always hold up as accurate records of a moment. Camera angles or an ugly flash or a million other mechanical and/or human error issues can actually distort reality – as much as something beautifully and painstakingly photoshopped can distort.
But when they do work? When they effectively capture a mood or a personality – the essence of a moment in time? There’s something so fascinating and interesting in the effective capture of an unplanned, un-curated moment.
So Jenni and I, after dreaming up this site together, and working out the kinks of how it would work (how we would collaborate across the miles, etc), and then finally launching it at the start of the new year, almost immediately afterwards found ourselves – both of us, in different ways – pulled pretty powerfully in some variant directions. This has completely altered our plans for running the site.
While this reality has certainly inhibited our ability (both of us) to regularly post here, I think ultimately this state of affairs isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’m actually coming around to the realization that it might actually be a good thing.
And the reason has something to do with that snapshot of my daughter.
For myself, I know that taking the step to start a collaborative site – something that was mine, but not just mine, and with the potential to grow into something bigger – especially with a writer I admire as much as I do Jenni, has been very empowering for me. I’ve in fact realized that some of my current preoccupations – the things that are actually drawing me away from focusing on Live.Snap.Write. – are actually, paradoxically, present in my life because of Live.Snap.Write.
It’s because that act of stepping outside of my head to create something with somebody else, trusting myself and my own ideas to do that, and actually bringing the vision forth into the world, just the whole experience of that, has hugely opened up my mind and my sense of the possible.
And that’s a big deal!
I hadn’t realized I needed to open up more. I hadn’t realized I needed to be empowered. But I did. I hugely did – on both counts.
I think you don’t always see clearly until you actually go and DO things…try things…make that decision to trust yourself. Get out of your own way and just go. (I’ve considered this in myself before – but apparently I needed the reminder!)
I don’t mean to imply that I think that now that a degree of self-empowerment has been achieved for me via my work on this site, Live.Snap.Write. has thus achieved its purpose and there’s now nothing left to do here! I don’t feel like that at all.
What intrigues me now though is the idea of letting go a little. I want to see what happens if we, Jenni and I, give our our original vision the room to morph and shift and grow organically.
I mean, we’re doing that right now because we kind of have to – but I’m beginning to be grateful to the circumstances that are forcing that.
There’s an art, I think, to knowing when and where to give away control and just let things be what they will. It requires cultivating a certain comfort level with surfing the inevitable waves of things.
That’s something I’m still working on – but I have to say, I’m getting more and more intrigued to see what emerges from a less planned-out, probably messier, definitely more-organic-than-we-originally-envisioned version of Live.Snap.Write.
I think there’s some interesting potential in that! 🙂
(words & image: Maggie Carlise)