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Give thanks for photos

November 27, 2010

I was trying to come up with a topic for this week's Foto Flash column and thought it would be nice if I could somehow work it into something to do with Thanksgiving. Of course, if you know me well, my first thought was how photography relates to food.

I thought I would be clever and come up with a recipe for a great photograph. Being in the right place to see just the right scene, dial in the correct ISO, add a stop of aperture with just a dash of shutter speed, with just a pinch of light, stir in some color and serve. But that just didn't feel right.

Then I went on to relate photography to hunting. But I remembered that I had already talked about that a few weeks ago by saying how good photographers could use a lot of the techniques that hunters use to get the best photographs: Show up early and stay late, always keep your eyes open and keep yourself comfortable and safe. So that idea was out the door.

Then I went on to how shopping related to photography. But that sounded too much like hunting; get up early, stalk the big bargains, bag your prize and bring home your trophy. I was really stumped, but then a light bulb came on and I realized what it is about photography that really makes me thankful.

I'm very thankful that photography has allowed me to make a living doing something that I truly love more than anything. I'm thankful for all the places it has allowed me to go and the things that I have seen and been able to photograph. I'm thankful for all the people I get to meet and the honor of sharing and capturing some of the most precious moments in their lives.

You are probably thinking that's nice for Brent, but what about me? That's easy. The photographic things that you should be thankful for are those great pieces of paper and digital files that you have taken of your own life and family. Be thankful that you have been able to capture moments in time that you will be able to look at and remember who you are and where you have been.

Whether you spent the holiday cooking, eating, hunting or shopping, I hope it was a great one.

(Brent Kepner is the owner and photographer at Foto 1 Pro Photo in Elkins. He is a master photographer, certified professional photographer and president of the Professional Photographers of West Virginia.)



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