If you know me well at all you’ve probably heard me complain about being a photographer. Yes, it’s kind of pathetic I know. When photography became a job, somewhere after the 150,897th picture is when I really decided I didn’t want to do it anymore. All my creativity got sucked down the drain and where inspiration once ran rapid there was nary a bit to be found. It’s about the point that every shot I took looked vaguely similar to a shot I already had. Really though, it’s about the point that I started to get sick of being the person who spent half my time not actually experiencing the things I was doing because I had the compulsion to live behind a camera lens & who spent the other half in front of a computer screen editing shots of something I didn’t experience in the first place. Living that way is in opposition to the way I was made to live but I’m torn between the conviction to experience life and the inspiration to capture life. After all, I started my hand at photography because there are some things that God has created that no representation can do justice. That is, people. While I’ve got my personal issues with the job as a career, I had the best job (by far) on the medical mission this year. Not just because people probably thought that I never actually did any work but because being the one designated to document the experience allowed for two really great things.
Firstly, that camera was like an all access pass. Especially to the best drama and the grossest wounds. I got to film eye surgery and get the closest one will get without being the doctor or the one on the table. Not only did I shoot while teeth were pulled, shots were given and blood was gushing but if ever there was a really good wound people actually came looking for me so I could stick my camera way to close to the mess! (I wore gloves… most of the time.) It was exhilarating to be in on the action and when a man came in to the clinic bleeding profusely from his foot and near death I saw it all. Granted, it was behind a camera but even then there were tears behind the lens so many times. The point is to be the fly on the wall and no one says anything to you and most times people make room for you without question or without saying anything at all and through it you realize it’s important. It’s lives at stake, it’s lives changed and impacted and it’s lives that need someone to share that so it can keep happening, so the cycle can continue. Second to the people who actually bandage those wounds and save those lives, my job had to be the most rewarding.
Secondly, I never took that stupid, heavy camera bag off my hip and people noticed. Many times when we arrived at a place we were greeted by singing and onlookers and children and of course I was usually in the midst trying to get it and because of that I was immediately noted by most people as the girl with camera (not that I’m not somewhat easy to spot anyway) and so for the next three days as I walked around with my camera the villagers came to me to take their picture. So I got to walk around snap people’s photograph and laugh with them as I flipped it around and showed them their faces. The reaction was crowds of bursting laughter every single time. I got to be the most popular person at the clinic because my job was to make people laugh & be happy! And people came to me to do it, I didn’t even have to ask!
Warning! The next time I post I will be posting some of the significantly more gruesome shots and videos. I just thought it is only fair to give you a chance to avert your eyes. Until then, here are some shots for all to enjoy.