To share, you first must have

Later this month, I’ll present a photography workshop about how to have emotion in one’s photography. One of the key points that I will make is that “you have to feel it before you can share it.” That got me to thinking about anything that we want to share.

It doesn’t matter whether you want to share an emotion or a well-cooked meal or an artistic expression of a feeling…you have to have it yourself, first, before you can share it.

  • Have awe for the grandeur of the landscape before making the decisions to create a photograph that will instill a sense of awe in viewers.
  • Feel genuine excitement for your little leaguers hit if you want to share in words, photos or actions that you are excited about it.
  • Empathize with the person whose story that you are about to capture in words, photographs or sketches before tackling the creation of said works.
  • Reconnect to memories of your grandmother’s kitchen and her cooking of your favorite dish while preparing that dish for your family.

…and so on.

I remind photographers that to see better we need to close our eyes; the view is very different if we engage our other senses before seeing what or who is in front of us. (If this intrigues you, you might like my book, The Seeing, Not the Taking:  A Guide to Seeing for Photographers.) Anyone can take a picture – push a button – but seeing…that is another matter. How do we see others? See life? See beauty? See sadness? See anything in our lives? Only one way…with all five senses, not just one.

Immerse yourself with all senses in all of life’s experiences and the treasure chest of what you can share will always be full, and re-filling every day. Be open to love, emotion, feeling, awe, sorrow, joy…so that you can use it to share with others. We can’t share what we don’t have. Live full; share lovingly.

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