Giving and Taking

From the Journal

7 AM, at my desk, much on my mind, sunshine on the walls…

Since an experience I had on Saturday afternoon, I have been thinking much about photographs…and the difference between giving someone permission to photograph you and someone taking your photograph.

I do believe the distinction is more than semantic. For me, when it comes to photographing people, one speaks more readily of relationship. One is to be with someone who relaxes you enough to say, yes, you may photograph me, you may ask of me, you may do what you need to do to set up the scene, and I will comply…I will give you permission to photograph and to be in charge for these moments. It’s actually rather freeing, that feeling of trust and willingness. And it is steeped in things so fundamental and simple… care, story telling, attention, laughter, respect, comfort… steeped in grounding faith, really, that someone else will go to the effort to share that space with you and not have it be monumental, but rather a way of being in this world…easy, generous gift.

I am grateful when this happens. Whether at meals, photography, sitting alongside, or plain old extraordinary being with.

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