There’s an old saying that a picture is worth 1,000 words. Where the story behind the photo is memorable, valuable and has substance. There’s story behind this photo that I didn’t put into perspective until 2 weeks after I had initially taken it. It was taken on a solo hike around a lake that’s about 15 minute drive from me, for a quick getaway. I saw this tree and thought, wow wouldn’t that be cool if I could walk out to the end of this tree, I bet I could get an interesting shot of the lake from there. But upon stepping onto the tree, I found out that it was too skinny for me to have a stable balance on it and I didn’t want to risk falling in, because ya know, the cold water and the fact I was carrying my camera & phone. I stepped back and took this shot, because I still thought the tree was interesting and how there’s no branches on the topside of the tree like it was meant to be walked on.
Fast forward to today (2 weeks after I took this shot). I realize there’s some deeper meaning to this photograph. I think huh, either I’m just being crazy or I had subconscious intentions of the story behind this photo. The tree represents my life & career path, whatever that may be. It’s skinny enough to scare me off, but I shouldn’t be afraid. I should take it head on and stop worrying so much about failure (aka falling off the tree). If I fall off, whatever, I can always get right back up and try again. So don’t be afraid to follow your dreams, yes I know how cliché. But everyone needs a little reminder sometimes about why they do what they do. For me, this could be photography, yes I like the medium and enjoy it extensively and I’m not sure if the career path is the most stable, but you could say it’s a dream of mine. To get paid to do something that I love? Can’t put a price on that (pun intended).
Whether the photograph is for a brand or it’s for a family portrait, the story is worth 1,000 times more than the location, the camera, the lens, or any of that superficial mumbo-jumbo. It’s often lost in today’s world. The person who can go to the most beautiful waterfall and take a few pictures of it with their expensive full-frame just to say they’ve been there and got this awesome photo, they have no story. A beautiful photo goes beyond the visual component. This also goes to say that gear does not matter. That’s not to say that every picture has to be a symbolic metaphor that has some deep meaning to it. I take photos of things just because they look visually pleasing as does everyone else. But it’s the photographs with the story behind them that make it a great one. And not every photograph is going to be a great one. Don’t be afraid to fail, everyone else does too, they just don’t show you their failures.