Last night, I took a little walk up the local hill. When I got to the top, I set up my tripod, attached my camera, added a few filters to the mix and waited for just the right moment.
And then I waited some more. I snapped a couple shots, wondered what the family was doing down below, and thought about drinking a beer – all as the perfect light I had for the hike up was slowly engulfed by a thick band of precipitation-filled clouds.
And then, it started to rain.
I sat for another moment and figured I might as well accept the situation. And on the hike back down, I think I finally came to terms with what I now know to be fact: that I am not a landscape photographer.
I love shooting. I love photography. But I like capturing a moment that evokes something…more…you know?
I want the unexpected – wildlife on a secluded trail, or maybe the boozy broad in the corner on a street photo scene. I want the passionate holding of hands and gazing into each other’s eyes from a wedding or an engagement couple, or the depth of parental love you can feel when you look at a mother or father and child in a family portrait.
I can climb to the top of a mountain and wait for that perfect moment – that sunset or sunrise or storm blowing in, or make it just in time for that golden hour, and I can click the shutter and capture an image, but I just don’t know if that’s what I want. I mean, I thought I did, but maybe I would rather be spending that time as a mom playing with my child. Instead of sitting on that hill alone in the rain trying to snap a shot of something I thought would be there, but just isn’t, maybe I would rather go outside in the rain and hike that mountain with my wild kid and amazing husband?
I guess I am not a landscape photographer.
I appreciate the way photographers can capture still life in a landscape and how it can make me feel or take me where it can take me, but I don’t think I am very good at being that kind of photographer.
A good friend said to me “you can’t be awesome at everything” and I like that. I’m going to take that. I’m going to put it in my pocket. And I’m going to hold on to it. Thanks friend.
In the end, I’m okay with what I am. I get out and see amazing places. I meet incredible people and I adventure with the best family I could ever hope for. I like being that person, especially when I get to be that person with those people and capture it all from behind a camera. I like that.