Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Is that the whole story?

I am a receptionist and I work with the public. I know it seems to the average observer the life of an artist is filled with paint, compulsive sketching and coffee. Sadly that's not the case. Although I am at a coffee shop right now.... Truth is we work to pay the rent since art, while it feeds the soul, doesn't feed the belly.

I am a photographer. We train our eye to analyze any given situation and lay hold of the strongest details in a snap decision. It is a constant exercise in seeing the entire scene and cherry picking the choice details. Stories are written before the shutter snaps.

A few weeks ago, in my day job, I encountered a woman frantically looking for her teen son. I knew he had come in earlier but she became frantic when she did not see his name on a particular sheet. After all he hadn't done what he was supposed to do which was to sign in! "this lady needs to calm down" *snap*. His teacher approached the mom who laughed nervously as she chattered on about the list her son hasn't signed. "She really needs to chill out!" *snap* Quietly the teacher asked the boy's name. She reminded him that her son wasn't on the sheet as she pointed and looked quickly at the exit then to the door from which her son would exit. The teacher calmly said her son was on his list. Now she took a few steps toward the room her son would exit soon. She was now nervously giggling at everything the teacher said. "no this lady is nuts!" *snap* Her son finally exited and saying "hi mom" he walked with her out of the building.

For the next day or two I was certain this mom had lost it. Then I learned the rest of the story.

This seemingly peculiar mom entered and grabbing the list of names remarked his name was missing. "here we go again" *snap* Then it happened, the unseen figure came into focus. As she left she said, "I never know if his dad has dropped him off. He knows it's my weekend!" All of those *snaps* were blurred images that didn't capture the whole story. They only stole the confused aftermath.

What are you photographing?

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