On Photography

I am not a great lover of the feeling of nostalgia. I’ve always been a burn the bridges, salt the earth, move forward kind of human, and if you look at my early 20’s nothing could be more evident. Memory problems contributing to only the most basic grasp on a personal history kind of make you avoid engaging in much backward reflection of times gone by. They’re all just ‘times’, and that can be very frustrating.

But for whatever reason last night I got to thinking about the life I lead now (as disrupted as it currently is by a global pandemic) and the life I had before I came back to Canada to go to University. Mostly though the lens (hah hah) of my old main hobby, photography.

It would be very simple to go “I don’t really take photos anymore because I’m too busy with school” and move on. But that isn’t true. The real reason I don’t take photos anymore is that all my friends are 1000 miles away.

I like to take photos of people. I have been told many times that the only photos people like of themselves are the ones I have taken, which is the greatest compliment you can get. I spent a lot of time documenting my surroundings in Lincoln, taking self-portraits in my clawfoot bathtub, and then started taking photos of what was happening at my place of employment. Then started doing set photography which landed me in any number of interesting predicaments. Taking photos of people throwing themselves off sets of stairs hoping to land on a tiny twin mattress. Photographing a city-wide services emergency rescue exercise in an empty airfield. Shooting naked women covered in dyed-black butter, and beautiful gay men coated in 3lbs of glitter someone off camera was throwing at him. Fashion photoshoots and behind-the-scene hijinks. Puppets, stilts, blood-spattered vans, murder mystery burlesque parties in historic houses.

Not sure why, but cameras have always made sense to me. I have never taken a class and no one really taught me how to use a camera. I can look at the temperature of the light and just. Know what the numbers are supposed to be.

For the most part, I am fine with my very solitary existence. Focusing on my work and education. But once in a while, I miss the bizarre and very visual life I used to lead.

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