Sometimes, when the sun hits a fish just right, they’re not just brown or orange,

but pink and green and blue […] in that little patch of sunlight where there is no “just”, but more of what could be 

The anatomy of fish is the name of the essay I submitted for college. I wasn’t sure what to write about or if should be sarcastic, metaphorical – or just blunt? I decided to tell the story of a fish named Lucky, who my father saved years ago from being eaten by a heron. She lived in our pond for years.

I connected the story of Lucky to photography and the way I feel as a photographer. As cliche as this is, the camera saved me, and as I take pictures I see it save other people. My models are my friends and people I know who gladly volunteer for pictures. No matter who they are, something changes about them when they’re in front of the lens. That’s the sunlight I mentioned; I see them all turn these beautiful shades that may not always be shown in the day-to-day the world.

I’ve been taking pictures for four years now. For a while, I took pictures of what I saw: I’d see a building and photograph it, I’d see a lightbulb and photograph that, and early on I didn’t edit the pictures at all or try to give them any meaning.  By doing so I never gave my camera the credit it deserves. Over the years I discovered my camera is more of a portal to connect what I see in my head to a visual. Art is so wonderful and important because it doesn’t have to be reality, it can be full of characters and colors that could never exist or are hidden in real life.

There’s a whole world out there where the word “just” simply does not exist. Go find it.

How do you tell a fish it’s worth something if it’s just a fish? You make it into something else. 

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January 26, 2017

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