Not long ago I wrote about getting the right ingredients in your photography to help make a successful image. But, that’s not true for every shot. There are some things you cannot plan. Instead, they just happen. When you do take that shot, you might not even know what you have until you take the time to look closer. Photos can change your life and maybe… no one else’s.
I remember a story told to me a while back about a man who was visiting a museum. He sat on a red cushioned bench in front of a masterpiece that covered the ivory painted walls. There was very little clutter to distract him from the brushstrokes of the creation that captured him for hours. One painting… hours of awe and enjoyment… as he gazed at the creator’s detail in every brush stroke of color.
After hours of enjoyment, another man, in a gray flannel shirt, worked his way though the museum and found himself next to the man on the red cushioned bench. The man in gray, who just arrived, stared a few seconds at the painting. His body screaming impatience, his converse tapping and shifting, said to the man on the red cushioned bench, “Well, I don’t see anything… Do you?” The man on the bench who had been living every brushstroke for the last few hours said to the impatient fellow, “Don’t you wish you could see something?”
Some my photographs are like that… I see something wonderful and no one else does and I want you to know… that it’s OK. It’s art… story… it’s personal. One of my favorite photographs of ALL TIME is the one above. I will tell you right now, it is a bigger story to me than the image you see and that’s OK. I didn’t know what I was doing at the time I shot this picture, other than I was taking a picture of a child on a dirt path. Since then, I’ve found some wonderful connection to this photo that really encourages me to help make a difference in the lives of children all over the world.
Many details pour from this image and challenge me to think different about the world I live in and I discovered them weeks after I took the picture. Details you may or may not see.
It’s the Chicago Bulls shirt and pink flowered shorts. I don’t know if this is a boy or a girl and it doesn’t matter… It’s the determination and resilience of this child to move forward on this dirt path… despite a very traumatic injury to their right knee. It’s the large smile and the look that is locked on to its target. It’s bare feet. It’s a dirt path that leads to a blurred figure of another child in the distance. There’s always another one, but the one I see is the one I can help. Help this one then you can help the next one.
How many details can you find?
Two years ago I started partnering with World Vision to make a difference in the lives of children all over the world. World Vision has opened my eyes to things globally and locally. This photo is a reminder to me to make a difference “one child at a time,” everyday. Our family choses to do this through sponsorship of a child through World Vision.
I love sharing this photo… I used it as one of my limited prints to raise money for my mission back to Africa… It wasn’t a big hit at all. As a matter of fact, it failed miserably as a fundraiser. It’s a nice picture but the story and the details are what make this a masterpiece… to me.
I wish you could see it… Don’t you wish you could?