The Shutterburg… by JoAnn

A pink flamingo holding a camera in its beak.

Where would we be without photographs? Today, as I was searching my phone for the perfect picture to add to the missive I was writing, I asked that question.  

As I scrolled through hundreds of saved images, many caught my eye and immediately brought back the memory of when they were taken. Photos of my grandchildren, pets, friends, and family. Photos of beautiful outdoor scenery that I saved because simply looking at them gave me such peace; the last photo I took of my mother as she prepared her famous dressing for Thanksgiving, and the one of my dad with all three of his granddaughters when they were small. One picture can speak a thousand words!  

When I was a teenager, I became very interested in photography. I bought my first camera and thus began my lifelong hobby of taking photographs. I must have taken thousands by the time my kids were all grown. I literally have boxes stuffed to capacity with photos, stored away like relics from the past. I was a true Shutterbug.

I always felt that photography was a true Art form. But since they included the camera in every cell phone, I have wondered if the art of photography was dead. I recently read an article from a professional photographer on his website, The Phoblographer, that begged to differ. It seems professionals are using the latest technology to only up their game to new heights. It thrilled me to read that. He wrote, “Anyone with a camera can take a picture, but not just anyone can create an image that makes people stop, think, and feel”. Spoken truth from a photographer’s heart. So, it appears the wonderful ART of photography is far from dead.

Ten years ago, I turned over my 1980s Canon to my youngest daughter, Chelsea, when she was 18 years old, and I never picked up a camera again. She too has what I call “the eye”. That would be an Artist’s eye that can see images through a camera lens that others cannot. It fills me with pride to see the pictures she posts on social media. I selfishly find joy because she has a talent that she just may have gotten from me. Maybe! And adding to my swollen heart, my granddaughter, Randi, seems to be cut from the same Shutterbug cloth. I am excited to see where each of them goes with their photography adventures.  

Maybe I too will pick up a new camera someday and give the latest technology a try. I will most likely need a few lessons from my daughter, but the photographer’s heart is still in me, and it makes me sad to see a beautiful sunset, or a smile on my grandson’s face, and not have my trusty camera beside me to take that precious shot. A cell phone is just not the same. Not to a true Shutterbug!

“The ability to convey a story, or message, with an image cannot be taught, it comes from within, and that is why professional photography will never die.”  ~The Phoblographer