When I was younger my dad would tuck my sister and I into bedand read us a bedtime story many of which happened to be written by Dr Seuss, whetherit be ‘Green Eggs And Ham’, ‘Oh The Places You’ll Go’, ‘Oh The Thinks You CanThink’, ‘The Lorax’ or ‘Horton Hears A Who’ Dr Seuess’ subtle lessons willforever be a favourite memory of mine.
I once, more recently, came across a quote by Dr Seuss thatread ‘sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes amemory’. I have a passion for photography, when I look through the camera lensat whatever might be in front of me everything always makes sense. The worldbecomes a clearer, more beautiful place and I crave the feeling of my eyelash gentlytouching the eyepiece, the click of the shutter button as I press it down tocapture the moment and the release of air from my lungs through my nose whenthe image is exactly what I had hoped it would be.A camera is a device for recording visual images in the formof photographs, film or video signals. On the 27th of April 2015 Iunwrapped the birthday present that topped all the others by a mile and whichtwo years later, would still be by my side at every given opportunity. Truth betold my parents were tired of worrying about my using their camera so theydecided this would be the perfect time to get me my own. Although for my cameraand I this was the start of a fantastic journey for my parents’ camera, whichnow finds itself at the back of a cupboard in their room, hardly seeing the lightof day, it was not so favourable. From here on out I created a bond with my camera.
Hand inhand we learnt how to take the perfect photo to show off our skills, we learntall the tips and tricks and most importantly helped me realize why takingphotographs is so special to me. Life goes by so fast and often we get socaught up in it that we don’t even realize that there are so many things to begrateful for within a meter from where we stand and that is often a reason whyI take photos. On a Bnei Akiva trip to Israel in 2016 there was an optionalhike in Eilat for whomever wanted to go, it would require you to wake up at4:15am and hike up a mountain from which, at the top, the most mind blowingsunrise could be experienced.
The hike was difficult and long especiallyconsidering the time it took place, my ankle was sore so myself and two of myfriends took it a little slower than the rest of the group. When we reached thetop of the mountain our group had spread themselves among the rocks and weretaking in the moment as if it were something they had never seen before.Although the sunrise was gorgeous the feeling of gratefulness to be able towitness something so jaw dropping was in the air. That morning I was not onlyable to capture the sunrise but a moment that when the people in the photographlook back on they will forever be able to relive and remember how it felt. A photograph is our way of returning to amoment otherwise gone.Something I try to live by is always trying to be theoptimist, to look for the positive rather than pointing out the negative rightaway! My camera is a great tool for undertaking such an exercise as when it isput in front of me, I am immediately searching for something to photograph,looking to capture the beauty and wonder in anything. In a world full ofconflict between races, genders, religions, diseases I was privileged to photographMonica Yende, a young girl fighting cancer, meet former Miss South Africa,Ntandoyenkosi Kunene, for the second time which had once been her reach for adream wish and then walk the red carpet with her as if nothing more mattered inthis world.
This experience allowed me to see that if Monica can find the goodin something bad, I can too. Had it not been for my camera showing me the way, I’dhave never been afforded this most humbling of opportunities. Behind every picture there is a story.
When I look at thephotos on my picture wall in my bedroom I remember how special the people onthat wall are to me. I stare at the pictures from the time my best friendsurprised us with a visit from Israel and remember crying tears of disbeliefand joy that she was here in South Africa, in person. I look at the photographof myself and my friend under a waterfall and laugh as I remember how hard itwas to keep our eyes open from the splashing of the water in our faces.
Ireminisce as I glance at the picture of myself and my best friends around thedining room table at the Vaal River when we went for a weekend to celebrate mybirthday; I remind myself of how lucky I am to have best friends like them. I catch a glimpse andchange my focus to the photo of my family and refresh my memory to the day whenwe got all dressed up for photos with my family from London and remembersitting with my mom ironing my hair over and over because it would not flatten. I raise my glance one frame upwardsand see the photograph of myself and my ‘crush’ it makes me think of the time we kissed and how I felt as if my heartwas beating out of my chest. I look at thesepictures that my camera has taken and realize that that is only five of thethousands of photographs that have been taken on my camera and I just think howfrom ‘one day, the 27th of April 2015 a seed being my camerablown no one knew where, a new flower being my passion for photography hadcome up’.