What defines who you are? Is it the job you hold, the hobbies you participate in? Does one define you more than others?
I work as a paralegal in a one-person law office. I am also a photographer and a writer. Which of those things defines me? While I enjoy my full-time position, I don’t think that necessarily defines me as a person, but it definitely opens my mind to various subjects and allows me to look at things with an objective viewpoint. When I see laws that have changed or situations that have a negative impact on people it inspires me to write and create public awareness of the situation, whether it be good or bad.
The two things that I feel best define who I am are my writing and photography. Am I a writer who does photography or a photographer who writes? This is a question that is difficult to answer. I do not like publishing a post in which there are not at least some photographs or other images. When I take photographs I often think of how I might be able to use them in my writing or what I may want to journal about in my scrapbooks. When I write something my mind is wondering what photographs I have that relate to the post, because I want to include a visual image for the reader. What I like about these two activities is that they both inspire people to think about something, what I am writing about, what I have photographed. It may trigger a memory, inspire them to take action, encourage them to travel and visit somewhere different. Writing and Photography are activities that draw in the reader and viewer so as to hopefully trigger some form of reaction.
One example is a favorite quote of mine which hangs on my wall here at home. In fact I wrote about this in my very first post for this blog titled Life Is Like A Camera. Inspiration for photographs does not have to come from things I write, it can also come from things I read, such as the saying at left.
At the same time, photographs inspire memories, thoughts, and desires in lots of people. Several people can look at the same photograph and have thoughts or memories that are very different. For instance look at the photo below. Does this make you think back to a time when something happened and you ended up in a ditch or in some other form of accident? Do you wonder why a photo was taken of this? After all, it is nothing spectacular, just a jeep in the ditch…or is there a hidden story to tell?
Did you notice, the jeep is backwards to the road and nose down, so now what are your thoughts? This is where the photo needs the words to tell the story.
I was recovering from an accident and lacked mobility, so my husband would drive the vehicle across the lawn and up to the front porch to park near the steps so it was easier for me to get into the house. Luckily I wasn’t with him when he left to go on an errand because the front lawn had iced up. When he made the circle through the front lawn to go back to the driveway he lost all traction on the ice covered grass. The jeep would not stop and would not turn. Into the ditch he went. The ditch is quite deep and was a wet, soupy mess and he was unable to back out. The tires were sunk half way in a suction-like muck. A tow truck had to be called to extract our vehicle from our own front yard ditch. We were so glad I hadn’t been in the car because I would not have been able to leave the jeep and climb up out of the ditch. I did take the photo. I grabbed my camera after Ron came in to call the tow service and worked my way to the front door so I could shoot this photograph. It was taken through the front door window which is why it is not a properly positioned photo. I was working around the posts on the front porch and a tree in the front yard. Now you may ask, why are their bales of hay sitting there? Because Ron was planning to spread the hay on the front grass to absorb moisture and help provide a little surface traction as the lawn thawed and froze. So much for great plans!
So who am I? Am I a photographer who writes, or am I a writer who takes photographs? I would love to hear your thoughts. I would also like to leave you with a few photos to inspire your memories and your thoughts — I hope you will share them with me.