This I Believe

Sami - Davie, Florida
Entered on March 14, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Adjust the Focus

A photographer always notices the small details in everyday life. He looks at a rustic barn and says, “That would make a great picture.” I wouldn’t consider myself an intense photographer, but I do believe in perceiving life through a camera lens.

If only everyone would view life as if they were taking a photograph. Adjust the focus, pay attention to color balance, and find the perfect angle. Although these terms do not seem pertinent to everyday life, they have everything to do with it. If everyone paid attention to the insignificant details in everyday life, the world would be a better place.

One time, I noticed there was something different about the way my friend looked. For days I was thinking about it and I finally noticed that she had had some major dental work. Her teeth looked great! So I told her how amazing she looked and she told me that I was the only one who noticed. She was elated when someone finally noticed her new smile, and that made me feel incredible to know that by giving her one little compliment I changed her whole day.

If only your friends took a minute to notice when you were having an off day or if your teachers looked for the good in a paper rather than the faults, wouldn’t each day seem so much better? Ever since I was a young girl, I have been taught to accept the good in others, rather than point out their faults and foibles. By adjusting the focus, I have learned to accept people for their inner beauty, each characteristic adding a vibrant color to a black and white photograph.

I have always made it my goal to reveal the inner beauty of something in both photography and every day life, to make the happiness of a wrinkly old man explode through his smile. That’s the amazing thing about photography, you can look at a good picture and capture every emotion, take in every idea the photographer was trying to convey. Anyway, everyone knows the popular saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Through my photography, I have been allowed to achieve something I desired to accomplish my entire life: allow both people and things to express themselves completely and comfortably. Whether it is by taking a picture or by giving a compliment, I will always find joy in looking at life through a camera lens.