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The Mindful Act of Photography

When we make an image, we are not only capturing a moment, we are freezing time.

When I was in high school, I fell in love with photography. I knew it was what I wanted to do with my life. Like many people, high school was not the best for me. I ate lunch in my car, (until the security guard caught me and told me I couldn't anymore) I sat in the back of class, and drifted from one period to another, always taking the fastest route between point a and b.

But photography class was different. Photography class you could leave campus all for the sake of a photo. You could explore or direct or discover, and with a barrier between you and the subject. For the first time, I felt the power and anonymity of being behind the camera, and I loved it.

What I didn't realize at the time, was it was an escape for me. I didn't realize that when I got behind a lens I was practicing mindfulness. When we're behind our cameras, we are focused on capturing a moment, which brings us to the present. Each click is a mini meditation, a quiet mantra of eternity. So as a young woman, I had no vocabulary to articulate what would happen when I would shoot, but I knew I was peaceful and somewhat magical.

Photography is an empowering medium. You are deciding if a moment is worthy enough to last forever. Your are stealing time-- a time thief. For a split second, you are in charge of realising eternity, and it is with your eye it is frozen. You are playing god with each photograph.

This is why I believe in the craft of photography. It is a skill that is valuable. The business of photography is the business of legacy. A photo of you will outlast you. It will be passed on for generations to come, and extend your life beyond your body.

When we take a photograph, we are not only being mindful, we are becoming eternal, which proves that if we live within each moment, time itself expands.

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