A Slow Return to Photography

It was about eight months ago now when my friends asked me to take photos of their wedding. We met for dinner, and were grabbing a drink at a pub across the street from the restaurant where we were going to eat.

It was put to me as a proposal. One which I, after some questioning, accepted. The bride was less wavering than I was, as I understand it.

Scheduling seems to be the obstacle to most social engagements these days, as we’re all slowly accepting our early- or mid- thirties and our responsibilities as professionals. I only mention this because weeks go by without seeing friends, and when we do connect we tend to remark that it’s been too long since the last time we’ve hung out. We part ways at the end of those nights, resolute in our desire to see each other again soon. These days, I call people when I’m in their part of town, as I would if I were visiting another city entirely.

Anyway, after agreeing to take photos of their wedding, I was overcome with an anxiousness I’m not unfamiliar with. Photographing a wedding was once a goal of mine, but that was before my camera had been stored away for nearly three years. Then, eight months ago, I was starting a new career, had just returned to Toronto, and was decidedly more interested in writing than photography.

Remember when this is what a selfie looked like?
Remember when this is what a selfie looked like?

Since then, I’ve done some reading up on photography, scrolled through the camera’s various menus, and taken photos of shit that I find around my apartment. I’ve spent minutes sitting in my arm-chair, just holding my camera, waiting for the cat to do something interesting. It gets dark in the evenings, and I have a lot of lamps that are out of reach.

This past weekend I took photos of people for the first time in nearly three years. It was fun. I forgot how much I enjoy taking pictures of people doing things that people do. I didn’t take many, but I took enough. I even posted them to Facebook, like socially savvy folk do. It was one of those increasingly rare occasions when we all — us friends — get together.

Now, I’m getting really excited to take photos at my friends’ wedding. I’ve read through the list of “must have” photos that my friend sent me earlier this week about nine times. I’m actively looking for interesting things to take pictures of. I think I might even find a nice park to take nature photos in this weekend.

I forgot how much leeway people give you when you have a “proper” camera in your hand. They let you in to places and trust you more than they would if you were to hold up your iPhone. Maybe it’s because you have to look through a viewfinder.

More than that, I forgot the feeling I get when someone says that they really like a picture I’ve taken. In this case, it’s nice to know that they are getting to see a moment that they were once in.

Did you know that I once did some artsy photography that involved me taking me pictures of the head of my penis which I then digitally manipulated to look like a flower? I wonder if she still has the image hanging above her bed.

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