Today I was feeling down in the dumps for no particular reason, or at least no easily identifiable reason. After work I started to recognize the down in the dumps danger zone: All I wanted to do was eat everything in my kitchen and watch an entire season of some stupid sitcom that I’m a little embarrassed to admit I like to watch (yeah – it’s gonna cost you alcohol to find out which one). At the time I was all like, “Hell yeah I could go for some cereal and ice cream and baby carrots and guacamole and a popsicle and some leftover pad thai. And those episodes are only – what – 22 minutes tops? I can be done with a whole season in 18 times 22 equals [rummage for calculator] 396 divided by 60 is … 6.6 hours. Hah! I’ll be in bed before midnight!”
But I talked myself down, mostly by guilting myself into walking the dog. Once I got outside, I decided we’d just keep walking to the end of the block. And then to the next intersection. And then I thought we’d head over to the park. I’m glad we went to the park, because I got to see a lot of people running around, shooting hoops, throwing frisbees, scrambling around the jungle gym, and having a lovely summer evening. And then there were these two grown-up kids laughing their asses off as they tried to get the seesaw going:
When I walked over and asked if I could take their picture they grinned and laughed and attempted to seesaw even harder than before. Their silly mood was infectious and I was pleased to notice that I was out of the down in the dumps danger zone.
I love taking photos. I am lucky to always have a camera with me, and I often find myself looking around wondering how a particular scene or moment would look framed in a shot. And sometimes, like today, I’ll get really lucky and find myself around people who are willing to let me share in their moment.
I shoot in all sorts of moods, but photography is a great way for me to get out of my head. Sometimes all it does is distract; the problems don’t always resolve themselves, and the moods don’t always abate by the time I put the camera down, but sometimes a distraction is all you need to get you over the hump, or out of the dumps.
Side note: I had to take my Nikon into Best Buy to get the lens replaced. A darling 5-year old knocked my camera off of the table during a wedding reception and it landed flat on the lens, and the UV filter shattered, and glass got in between the lens parts, and the lens parts are all wobbly… so yay for that 3-year accidental damage insurance! Until then I’ll be shooting with my smartphone. Because as awesome people have told me time and time again – the best camera to have is the camera you have on you.