In light of the recent news out of Newtown, I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be alive. My department had a holiday party last Saturday, and I brought my camera along for the occasion. I uploaded the photos to my computer today, and looking at them made me realize something: I love the people I work with, and I love that an excuse for a group dinner was filled with so much life. Even in those moments, I didn't realize how much fun everyone was having. It took me removing myself for a bit and looking at life through the lens of a camera to really make it clear to me.
Plates, wine glasses, strings of lights, silverware. All served as the backdrop for a scene now just a memory. It was my first time wielding my camera in front of a group of people, and my first time using it to really capture moments in time. The graininess of the shots bother me less than I imagined they would; I like the way it reminds me of what it felt like to be there. I like how the colors of clothes are changed by the soft lighting. I like seeing pictures of people laughing, or thinking, or clearly lost in thought or in conversation. I like these things more than simple smiles into the camera, because nothing was paused for the sake of a snapshot.
I see these moments and I cherish them. I think of the children whose lives were taken from them, and it takes my breath away. My heart goes out to all those touched by this tragedy.