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Above all, life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference.
[Robert Frank]

 
Liss Ard Estate, Ireland. 2013.

I was talking with Johnny the other day about how photography has changed my life.

It’s a bit like having newborn senses again. Seeing the lines of a bird in flight against the vastness of the sea, the way the morning light falls across the breakfast table, or how the last rays of the sun shine through tiny spring leaves, is a miracle. It doesn’t matter whether I have a camera around my neck or not. Photography has forever changed the way I see and perceive. It makes me notice things like little wildflowers growing at the side of the road. Or how books make a colorful, haphazard stack on a shelf. Or how beautiful my husband’s hands are. Or the color of the sky, a field, how the clouds change through the day from white to yellow to pink, how green foliage changes hues depending on the light. I notice the moods of the ocean. I walk through town and see faces and expressions that interest me, handwritten chalkboard signs, little doors and windows and flower boxes, a bike propped askew. I see stories: the old man sitting by himself in the cafe reading a newspaper. The little boy standing at the window of the toy shop with his face against the glass. A teenage girl hitchhiking with a guitar in her backpack. A woman walking with a basket overflowing with fresh produce from the farmer’s market.

Photography makes you wonderfully, sometimes painfully aware of everything you see. In that, it is a gift that gives more back than I ever imagined.