When you fall in love with a photographer…

This is a writing that I came across on tumblr. It speaks to me and I feel so connected to this little insight into a photographer’s thought process. (credit goes to: writingsforwinter.tumblr.com) 


There’s a kind of inherent loneliness in the world of photography, a subtle hunger that underlies all still frames. There’s almost a sense of loss, as if whatever has been captured with the click of a button is gone forever. If a photographer falls in love with you that sense of loss will be magnified by a hundred, or maybe two hundred. They’ll try to extract your soul with a needle and put it in a bag. And then they’ll pick up that camera and take a few shots of your soul from different angles, maybe a horizontal one, maybe a few verticals.

They’ll always catch themselves trying to adjust your aperture to let more light in, or maybe they’ll decide they want less. And the shadows on your face will let them know when the aperture is right. The photographer will memorize the entire length of your body, every vein and subtle flaw. You can never be free of those flaws but the photographer won’t want you to be. They’ll desire those flaws just as much as they desire to put you in a frame on their wall. They’ll take still shots of each freckle, each blemish and bruise and bump, and when you accidentally cut your hand on a few shards of glass, they’ll set up the tripod and put the camera on the burst setting. When you come home with a black eye from god-knows-what, the photographer will kiss you gently and trace your eyelid with their fingertips, then tell you to look straight at him or her before clicking the shutter.

In the photo you’ll look angry and maybe slightly confused, or perhaps even misunderstood, lonely and lost to the world. The photographer won’t care. And on weekends the photographer will want to stay in bed with you as long as possible, trying to adjust the amount of grain on your body. They’ll want a film shot, but not too grainy, just soft enough to look vintage. And then they’ll put their camera on self-timer so they can get a few shots of you two holding each other under the covers. Maybe you’ll want a few digital shots, so they will take out the Sony Cybershot or the Canon Rebel and snap a couple, then upload them to the computer to marvel at.

If a photographer falls in love with you they won’t be able to just say I love you. They’ll have to say My lens is always focusing on you and I can’t ever get enough of you in the viewfinder. I always want more, more, more. They’ll have to say My single-lens reflex camera, while complicated and full of different functioning pieces, isn’t complicated enough to capture all of you.

They’ll want you, entire. Every shot they take will be carefully composed with the rule of thirds. When you’re sad they’ll snap a few of you lying on the couch with your knees drawn up to your chest, skinny arms and wrists tucked into your body like a bird. And when you’re joyful they’ll snap a few of you in color out in the garden amongst the flowers, bathed in sunlight with your hair streaming out behind you, laughing.

If a photographer falls in love with you they’ll think of your body in terms of camera parts. Your eyes, the lens, your hands, the focus ring. Your eyelids the lens cap.

And after you’ve grown old and grey together, the photographer will take one last shot of the two of you together and develop it, weeping, in the darkroom. And when you die in your sleep the photographer that fell in love with you will go home and destroy every single camera on the shelf. But there will always be that one photograph of the two of you, smiling, your hands laced together, luminescent. And that’s what will remain when everything else is gone.




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