I think I’ve mentioned before the reasons I’m attracted to photography, but as I’ve gotten somewhat better at it, more and more I find myself enjoying something else about it.
While I’m certainly enjoying getting better at it, now I’m also really enjoying seeing other people enjoy my photos. Today that really became clear to me. I was volunteering at the library this afternoon, along with a good friend of ours. After our work was done, I presented her with a couple of 8×10 prints of photos that I thought she would like, as a late housewarming gift for her new apartment. Turns out one of them, the photo below of Blackwater Falls, WV, reminded her of a place near where she grew up in upstate NY, and she was really touched by it. (Either that or she’s a much better actress than I would have thought she was all these years!)
Later this same evening a friend of mine sent me a screenshot that had another one of my photos from his Flickr Favorites on his desktop. That really cemented for me how much I get a kick out of sharing my work. Not because people tell me how good I am, or how nice the shots are (which is nice too, don’t get me wrong), but because I can see where a photo I took is bringing them a little piece of beauty and enjoyment in their life.
Is there anything better than feeling like you’ve done something that brings a bit of happiness, no matter how small it may be, to the people you care about? I spent my Sunday volunteering to help raise money for the library, and making someone I’ve been friends with for 10 years smile brightly with a small gift. With my wife out of town, I don’t think I could have spent today doing anything better.