Photographers are moment stealers. Whether on film or in a digital file with the press of a button they freeze a moment and make it theirs in a picture. The thoughtful photographer will do this with uttermost care. They recognize the moment they are capturing is precious even if it is something as simple as feeding a flock of greedy seagulls on a blustery winter’s day. The “Happy Snapper” shoots haphazardly, wondering if they’ll get “anything good”. But for those who treasure the ability to preserve for posterity a moment that was significant to someone, capturing the moment becomes a visual trophy of success. It is something that is gained by “being at the right place, at the right time”, studying and calculating the light to get the perfect shot, or by waiting patiently to see the moment unfold.
Life has a way of causing us to forget how precious moments are until someone asks the question, “Where were you when…”, or we are riffling through a pile of papers and we stumble on a long forgotten photo which causes us to pause and think about “the moment”. Should “capturing the moment” only pertain to putting it on film or in a digital file? I’m starting to think that every moment is special, even if I don’t have a camera in my hands. But for the times when I do capture “that moment”, moments have become even more treasured because they are now preserved forever thanks to the connection of my finger to the shutter.