The Art of Capturing Moments.

Photography or in this case, the art of capturing emotions and fleeting thoughts, is often viewed by both the taker and the viewer/s as a moment where something of interest is captured for an eternity.

The love I have for taking photographs and documenting monumental and important moments within my life has increasingly heightened over the years. There is something about the need to press a button, capture the moment and experiencing different varying shades of the same emotion over years has and probably was brought on by accident.

So much so, I often find myself laughing uncontrollably when looking back on the first photo I had ever taken as a child and if it were possible, I would no doubt frame it and hang it up on my wall. Not only as a reminder of how far my photography skills have branched away from this photograph but also, to remind myself just how much I love to capture these moments and share them with others.

Being a child of the nineties and growing up in an era where instant digitised photographs did not exist. Instead the reality my parents faced when wanting to take a series of photographs consisted of purchasing appropriate cannisters of film from your nearest department store and since I live in Australia, you would inevitably put the film cannisters in the fridge so the film wouldn’t erode with the ferocious heat.

Unlike today where we can point a camera/phone at a person, click a button and transfer it through WIFI or Bluetooth to another phone or social media account, the nineties were a little…. slow regarding technology.

This leads me to my first and only time at being a professional photographer and how it was rather short lived.

If you were given the task of being the photographer for an event or you wished to take a family photograph in the backyard (this seemed to be my parent’s favourite place for photos), you would open the back of the camera, wind the film into place and gather your group of suspecting patrons.

However, if you had a camera like my Father’s and it was rather “precious” in the sense of: if you looked at it the wrong way, it would either freeze or randomly take a photo; you had only five seconds to ring that escaping child back into the photo, force a smile on to your face and pray that it had taken a photo that wasn’t out of focus and every one had a face.

Which leads me to my first and only time at being a professional photographer and how it was rather short lived.

My story originally begins somewhere around the tender age of five or six, when I was presented with the opportunity to take the somewhat ‘bimonthly’ family photo in the background (see, told you). Having been given a running commentary on which buttons to push, what buttons were forbidden and what to say, I was left alone with my Father’s camera as he went to fetch an escaping twin, while my mother dealt with a profusely vomiting Pablo.

In was in this very moment of excitement, Red was in the process of wrestling with the escaping twin as he went sat down with a now restrained twin and Lois was hiding all evidence of vomit, when my finger accidentally pressed the button.

Forever capturing in film, Red’s backside while bending down to help Lois and place the twin on the mat.

Having just said this, I am 100% certain,  Lois would beg to differ with my previous statement. Instead, Lois would state my first photo taken would consist of four human bodies being taken from the neck downwards because I worked on the assumption that a  person’s head was slightly overrated. Clearly in any case, I was the ultimate fan of taking photos consisting of the human body and the relevance as to who it was, alongside the facial expression, did not mean much to a small child.

It also implies, that you as a person are also growing and developing. 

Least to say, Dearest Reader, I have never entertained the thought of becoming a professional photographer in any sense because as much as I love taking photographs; I am someone who simply prefers staring at them for hours on end, dissecting the hidden messages in all of the photos and picking up tips and tricks as to how I can change my style, slightly.

Besides, I can also state to being a firm believer in there being nothing wrong with changing your style of lifestyle and photography every once in a while. As it not only implies you are wanting and wishing to learn and be educated, but it also tells others that you are implementing those gained skills and tips from all venues such as professional and amateur photographers and anything else that floats your boat.

It also implies, that you as a person are also growing and developing. 

Something of which I have learnt can be difficult. Particularly, since most of us opt to live in the hurried and fast paced lane of the 21st Century and often results in becoming heavily influenced by the accessibility of having a camera within quick reach, various social media accounts and highly processed and filtered photos.

In a way, we all seem to share the same itch as one another because we have that itch and need to document our lives within a series of snaps, apply filters to hide the reality of exactly how tired we think we appear and upload them onto social media; so others around the world can view and comment on them.

Something of which, Dearest Reader, I must admit that I am struggling to understand at great lengths.

Some comments as you no doubt would have experienced since the transformation of the internet and social media can be positive and beneficial for personal growth and development. However, can also have a negative impact upon said growth and development which often results in increased mental health illnesses, people being trolled by those who don’t care about the lasting impact it can have upon the reader and unfortunately, a high increase of suicide, suicidal ideations (the thought of harming or killing yourself and/or others) and family members sitting there going, “what exactly happened?”

Something of which, Dearest Reader, I must admit that I am struggling to understand at great lengths.

I am not sure if it stems from the fact that I am a survivor of being bullied continuously throughout my years of schooling and working as an adult or because in my days, bullying consisted of having the bully say horrendous thoughts to your face before pushing you down a set of stairs. Or in some cases, punching you in the face as a crowd of children would gather around you, chanting sayings or comments and anxiously waiting to see how you would react to being punched, name called or slandered.

As a woman and person who has overcome and will continue to overcome the social disadvantage of bullying and the aftermath it can impede on someone’s life, I share some sadness towards the modern day, technology obsessed and slightly deranged troll (an updated version of the word ‘bully’). Only for the fact, I believe they have lost the art of standing up, looking someone square in the eye and say whatever horrendous shit they have to say about the person being bullied.

These modern day aliens are nothing but useless human beings…. 

When you think about it, Dearest Reader, this modern day delinquent has become a gutless piece of nothing. Simply for the fact, they are making fake social media accounts rather than personally using and branding their name to the fact-shaming attitude of what bullying has become today and as a result, are enjoying the fact that they are ‘anonymous’ within a vast, incredibly fast paced world of technology.

Being a nineties kid, who actually knew the facial plains and angles as well as the names of her bullies because they had the guts to stand toe to toe with me, these modern day aliens are nothing but useless human beings. 

So, if you are a parent whose child/ren are experiencing online bullying or showing signs of being bullied (such as becoming withdrawn, highly anxious or agitated at the prospect of going to school and spend a little more time on social media), than you should tell your child/ren that this “bully” is nothing but a power-hungry, obsessed individual who feeds on creating mayhem, distress and despair within a person’s life. 

Also, give your child a hug.

Because it is not only an overwhelming experience to be going through alone since most children and teenagers don’t openly express their thoughts on the subject of being bullied; or, if you do go to broach the subject, don’t be surprised if they brush it off like it doesn’t matter because remember, this shiz wasn’t cool when we were teenagers upon a time and who wanted their parents to broach the topic. Um, certainly not me that’s for sure but then, at the same time, I wanted to openly broach the subject with mine while I was experiencing bullying in high school because it got to a stage where there was only option.

Rather, it is based upon the capturing of emotions, fleeting thoughts of the subject and how this particular image of yours is of relevance and importance.

An option that would’ve left my parents asking countless questions and wondering what in the hell had caused this to occur. So as much as your child/ren pull away from you and tell you “nothing’s happening”, continue broaching the subject and letting them know that they can always come to you or if they don’t feel comfortable, there are other sources and people available to have this chat. Particularly if they are being bullied online because their vision upon life, social media and other things based on reality is considered “different”, “stupid” or not to someone’s taste.

At the end of the day, we need to remember one important and vital thing and that is: we as human beings are all different and unique in our way of thinking, perception about life and the outlook we have on everything in between. If we were all made to be the same standard and very two-dimensional in our thoughts and outlook, we would be 100% boring as bat shit and there would be someone who would continuously point that out.

Remember, ‘The Art of Capturing Moments’ is not based upon someone else’s perception of how you should take photographs and displaying them. Rather, it is based upon the capturing of emotions, fleeting thoughts of the subject and how this particular image of yours is of relevance and importance. Especially when it is going to be captured for eternity and others are going to review it long after you are gone.

I believe the love I have for taking and capturing photographs that document and tell the untold stories of endless monumental moments within my life is not only heightened. But also, the joy I get from snapping quick glimpses into the past, present and future will no doubt end up with me reaching out a hand for a camera and doing exactly that. 

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In fact, I am rather proud of myself and of the hidden stories, awaiting awaiting to be unlocked and told.

With much love, 

Eliza xx

P.s. There is really no technique to the art of capturing moments, when you really think about it. 

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