I watched as a WWII veteran showed a four-year-old little girl in fairy wings the medals on his uniform. Inquisitive and wide-eyed, she asked about the bars as he chuckled and smiled his wrinkly smile. He was the grand marshall in the small town parade and she was there for the candy. They met over burgers at the Rico fire station cookout and it was one of the sweetest moments I’ve seen. I was the lucky one to have caught this odd little connection on camera.
These are the moments I want to remember. You can’t stage them, you can’t fake them and you certainly can’t recreate them. These private heart warmers are why I look through my lens and pick up my camera. I have to admit that at times all my insecurities flood out and skew my reality, bullying any ounce of confidence in attempting to make it as a photographer. Good grief, at times I can’t even white balance my camera or tell you what settings or aperture I’ve got my camera on. More often than not I feel like a failure when I can’t tech talk around fellow photogs or brag about the latest and greatest gadgets. Everyone else seems to have it all figured out and I just feel like a hot mess.
But I can capture a connection. God has given me the ability to create connection, capture it, and gift it back. That I can do.
I look back over shoots from past years and I cringe at some of my shoots that I shall deem my “learning moments,” but then I come across some priceless shots that I know made a difference in someone’s life. Some people can go a lifetime without ever stepping out to do what’s on their heart and what lights them up. I am grateful for the moments through my lens that have lit up my heart and taken me to places I never dreamed. It’s moments like these between a tough-as-nails vet wearing the scars of war and a little four-year-old fairy that remind me that more than anything life really boils down to the human connection, no matter how unlikely.