We all have them. People whose pictures we should have taken. Images we could have captured, but didn’t.
Who’s sitting in your chair?
Or more accurately, who is missing from your chair?
Today I discovered that a friend and colleague of ours, Julian St. Pierre, passed away in his sleep last night. The news at any time would have been devastating. It is even more shocking because we just had breakfast with he and his wife 3 days ago. Just 3 days ago he was healthy, happy, full of life. It’s an unexpected, shocking, unbelievable tragedy.
Despite the fact that I was at a photography convention, had been taking pictures constantly of my surroundings and the people in them, and that I had my camera with me, I didn’t take any pictures of Julian and his wife Terry. Why not? I didn’t think I needed to. I had no expectation or inkling that it would be the last time I would see his joyous smile and twinkling eyes. I just didn’t know.
Now an empty chair sits where he should have sat. I could have captured one last image, one last moment. I think of other friends and family I’ve lost and didn’t capture while they were here. No more. I’m going to take pictures and lots of them. Some may laugh or poke fun, may think it’s excessive, but that’s okay. Can you imagine the value I would have placed on a photograph of Julian and Terry now, just 3 days later. Would it be worth enduring the chiding of some who might be annoyed that I am always taking their picture? No question in my mind. Unequivocally—yes.
So who’s sitting in your chair? Whose image do you wish you’d captured before it was too late? Who do you need to photograph now before another day or week or month goes by? Do it. Make it happen. Now.
Manual: Page 127—Exposure Mode. Okay, I’ll admit it, this page confused me. It had a tiny graph so hard to decipher and even see. So many numbers and equations. This is where my high school math phobia kicks in and my brain shuts down. I think I’ll have to revisit this page when I have a friend who can decipher it for me.
Images: Looked through a new photo book, America’s Heart & Soul, based on the film by Louis Schwartzberg. The book is a “photographic essay that sings the song of American one picture and one story at a time.” That’s my kind of book.