After spending the last few months taking portraits of hundreds of children, Veterans, spending countless hours preparing for my first two photo exhibits, I'm taking a moment to answer the one questions that I am always asked. "What inspires me as a Photographer"? My answer is simple, "To be in the moment" so I can catch a spontaneous image, that just might touch someone else."
I know it sounds simple but it's not! Too many people pose and over pose, and miss the opportunity to let "life happen" in front of their camera. I was thrilled to pieces the other day while shooting a preschooler with down syndrome, I love these types of photo shoots. Before I began photographing her, I was told "Good Luck?" I didn't need luck, I just needed to be in the moment with her, and I was so we got some incredible candid shots.
In the midst of photographing some Veterans, from VFW Post 3208 in Sierra Madre California, I would ask them to tell me about the memorabilia that they brought with them to the shoot. As they began to talk I began to shoot. The emotions were priceless. Their heartfelt feelings, still so close to the surface, took my breath away and gave me a new found respect for what they went thru.
Yesterday an 8 year old boy was spell bound as he looked at images of a U.S. Navy ship, that sustained serious damage from a hit by a kamikaze pilot during the battle of Iwo Jima. Another priceless moment that might have been just another picture, had I asked him to turn and look at me. Can't image what goes thru and 8 year old's mind looking at photos like this.
Veterans day is nearly over, yet I find myself still thinking about so many of these unselfish men and women who have given and given to our country. I didn't plan on writing this blog with a Military theme, it just worked out that way. Fitting I think, as we wind down Veterans Day 2012. So remember to be "In the Moment" when you hold your camera the next time. Oh, and one more thing, you don't have to wait until next veterans day to tell a solider "Thanks for Serving." Just some thoughts from Debra Snell Photography.