This I Believe

Robins - Wareham, Massachusetts
Entered on January 9, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: creativity

I believe in photographs. When I pick up my camera I feel empowered. History is in my hands. Time is in my hands. Memories are in my hands.

As I walked along the boardwalk I feel silence. Meditated. I see the bird, the toddler, and the man and his dog. All unaware and lost in the shuffle. I glance into the viewfinder, set my aperture, and release the shutter. Their lives and emotions are captured and compressed into a five-megabyte file, later to be printed on glossy white paper.

One day, I was flipping through my family albums. My childhood colors escaped from the prints into my mind. The photographs take me back to the second grade, my old image, the trip to Canada, my sixth birthday. The image of my bike brings me back to the days when my friends and I rode down to the school, miles away, to be welcomed by an empty playground. The memory of the empty playground brings me back to the third grade. The memory of the third grade brings me back to my old friends, and of course, kickball. Kickball brings me back to the day my friend and I were yelled at for running in the halls after recess. That day reminds of the fact that my friend and I had the same shoes. All this because of one photograph.

My friend and I continue to talk about the third grade to this day. We will be able to look at the photographs thirty years from now when we are eating at a diner. “Remember those days?” my friend will say.

Today I make it a priority to take at least one picture everyday. I’ll be able to look at these photographs in the future and instantly remember what had happened that day. I’ll be able to see how I changed. I’ll be able to see what is important in life. And as an added bonus, I’ll become a better photographer.

I believe in photographs, in saving memories. I am going to capture everything — breakfast, short trips, work, friends, everything. That way, I lose nothing.