COLUMN: A photo is worth ... What images define your life?
Editor's note: This post is part of a series by Dr. Baker on Our Values about core American values. Dr. Wayne Baker welcomes guest columnist Rodney Curtis, who usually writes at Spiritual Wanderer. Here is Rodney’s first OurValues column, this week
This week, pictures will tell the OurValues stories. That’s the goal of photography, Rodney’s life vocation. He’s been so dedicated to the craft, he even married a photographer.
In more than a dozen newsrooms, he’s been a photographer, photo editor, designer and web producer. But he’s also been a columnist, copy editor and author. So, in a left turn off the normal route of the OurValues series — this week, it’s all about the pictures.
And, please! Don’t leave him stranded out here in this detour from Dr. Baker’s familiar map. Take a moment and comment, below. Tell him about images that are important in your life.
We all have experiences like his
Photo 1: That Snapshot!
I‘m still a bit mad at Mrs. Johnson. Sure, it was 1968, and I really should get over it, but sometimes it’s tough to let go of childhood grievances. I was minding my own business, goofing around with a toy mirror that her daughter got as a birthday gift and WHAM, Mrs. Johnson caught me in the act with her Kodak Instamatic!
Right then, I knew the power of photography. I also knew I wanted to harness that power for good — not evil like Mrs. Johnson had. I’ve been a photographer ever since.
Well, not since 1968, exactly. A few missteps occurred where I was sure I could be a professional baseball player (until a mortal fear of being hit by the pitch brought me to my senses). And then there were the times I convinced myself I could skateboard professionally or play the trombone for a living. Thankfully, I never thought of doing both at the same time.
My tremendous high school teacher, John Bassier, introduced me to the darkroom and once I started getting odd jobs shooting pictures for friends or working in one-hour labs during the summer, I knew this was the career for me.
Everybody reads newspapers, I reasoned. They’ve been around forever and are never going out of style; I’m going to take pictures for them. More than a dozen newsrooms later, I’ve worn all sorts of journalistic hats. I’ve even managed others. In fact, four of my closest friends are people who once called me boss.
Working with photographers and being their partner in crime was a great gig. Getting to shoot pictures for a living or getting to edit them, for that matter, is nothing short of miraculous. And following your passion while getting paid to do so sometimes just seems wrong — almost a crime of passion.
Then, the ax finally swung and I lost my job. I didn’t lose my love for the still image though. I’ve gathered for this week’s series just a tiny sample of my favorite images. I’m including brief explanations each day, but I’ll let the pictures tell 999 words themselves.
Now it's your turn — think about the images from your life ...
Any images that define your early life?
Tell us about one in the comment area, below ...