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“It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.” -Alfred Eisenstaedt

All I’m saying is Alfred Eisenstaedt probably didn’t have an iPhone.

One Thousand and One. One Thousand and Two…

It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words.

The problem is, I don’t remember how to find X for number of pictures I have saved on my iPhone, let alone the sum total of ALL the pictures I have taken over the course of my life. I mean is there even an equation for that? I believe the word to describe the number of words my pictures would translate into, would be an infinity.

I have a LOT of words stored up. I could fill a million pages of a million books with a million words and I’d still have missing confabulation, incomplete sentences, mad-lib paragraphs.  

I take a lot of pictures. I mean like levels of addiction, can’t get enough, twitch twitch twitch, court mandated twelve step program lot. On the upside, I’m certain this hobby is going to earn me a spot in the Guiness Book of World Records for having taken -what averages out to be- ten photos per second, for every second of my entire life. 

The down side, might be that the act of sliding my iPhone out of my pocket has started to trigger PTSD reactions from my friends and family.

Look, I know I may have pushed things in the past, and I’m sorry. It’s not like I’m beyond feeling. It’s not like I start out my day planning to give people PTSD. 

At least not usually.

It’s not like I like watching my loved ones curl into a fetal ball over some innocuous phrase like,  “I’m going to take a quick shot of the sunset.” 

I’m not a monster! I’m 100% Hyde! And I don’t think I get credit for the steps I’ve taken to mend my ways.  I mean I hardly take any photos of my loved ones trembling in the raw pain of a photo-induced-fetal-ball-trama even though the desire to document their pain is a throbbing thing. I’ve offered to host a support group, but apparently it’s not PC to host a PTSD support group, and be the trigger that causes the PTSD.  

Also, I’m working on being mindful about how my actions affect others. I take yoga. I actively listen. Or, at least I actively TRY to listen. #addburns

For example, when my friend was lamenting about missing the last bus back to our hotel in Italy because I was shooting pictures of a some elderly couple crossing the road, I said I was sorry. I apologized for the inconvenience. And I DIDN’T even point out that maybe it would be better to discuss this in therapy at a later date instead of freaking out in Italy while the last rays of sunlight are sinking behind a field of wildflowers uncaptured.   #whydidtheelderlycouplecrosstheroad

Maybe I could start an online forum?  I think I would call it photo bomb. It could be a safe place for the photo injured to emotionally explode? It’s called making restitution people.  That way the child who almost lost three fingertips to hypothermia while I took pictures of the National Monument at dusk, could express his frustration in a validating setting.  I mean I know, I know, it was the coldest night on record, EVER and I had borrowed his gloves, because I’d already lost mine, and accidentally dropped them in a reflection pond, while reflecting obviously. And it’s not my fault that he wouldn’t do jumping jacks to get his heart rate up. Plus, the hot chocolate was presented as a gesture of goodwill, not some passive aggression attempt to scald one of my unnamed offspring forever!  How was I supposed to know his hands were too frozen to hold the cup? I’m not a mind reader.

Besides, the skin graphs are healing splendidly, and girls like scars.

I’m just saying, can’t people complain in a safe forum, preferably one where it doesn’t involve me not being able to take pictures. Why loose precious time exploring, just so another person can lament about how frustrating it is to loose me (again) in a crowded city (again), because I’d stopped to take pictures of skewered cockroaches (again). “Do you really need more than one picture of a skewered cockroach?” they always ask, incredulously. “Yes.” I always answer incredulously. But that’s not the point. the point is can’t we just have this conversation when there isn’t a box of perfectly ripe mangos just waiting to memorialized forever?

Look, I take ownership for my missteps. Take for example the time I made everyone wait to check into the hotel until I snapped a people free/traffic free shot epic of a Vegas sign. I mean, how was I supposed to know that Vegas was that busy. And, I both apologized AND bought shrimp cocktails for everyone involved. 

The good news is, I don’t think the effects of Photo-induced-trauma is long lasting. My children are making real progress working through the aftermath of Post Traumatic Stress Induced Jumping Shots (PTSIJS) with their therapists and shockologists.

Ok. Ok. I’ll own my truth, I’ll say it if it makes you happy! I’m an addict. And sometimes on sleepless nights,  I worry that maybe I should seek help. That I have allowed photography to cost me my human relationships. I mean, I don’t want to end up alone.

But then I unplug my iPhone from where its charging, the bright light of the screen illuminating the dark like the sun, and I start scrolling through the photos on my phone. It’s then that I realize, it will still be okay if I’m disowned by everyone I love; because I won’t be alone. My pictures are my family. My photos are my children. All 287,000 of them.

#mamagotbusy  #stretchmarksfordays #littlekodakstophittingfilmora #nowideangleimnotcallingyoufat


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