I got thinking about my days as a young lad recently. I fondly remembered all the crazy things we did as kids. Looking back I am astounded that we all survived! We were fearless!!! Jumping off huge embankments with only a couple of tree branches reaching out as lifelines for us to grab onto. Missing these branches meant falling 20-30 feet onto a pile of rocks and debris, but did we care??? Heck No!
As we get older we tend to choose the safe route, the wiser route. We eat better, take better care of ourselves (from time to time) and value our security much more. I'm guessing it's because as children we do not always understand the the gift of life, nor the dangers that threaten us. As adults, we have learned to cherish our lives, each to a different degree, and to do all we can to protect ourselves from ending up falling on the pile of rocks, metaphorically speaking.
I think for me that's also part of why I fell in love with Photography. As we grow, we change. We learn new lessons about life and we take our place in society. But we also leave things behind. Innocent things, pure things and we lose our sense of wonder and awe with the world. We trade curiosity about the unknown for fear and stress. I guess I feel that capturing a child in their element is like freezing time. A photograph can say very little, or it can bring a moment of history to life, allowing you to enjoy that lost innocence for a lifetime, for generations even.
This image of Brittany on a shoot in St. Martin's a couple months back is what got me thinking... It's hard to see from that angle but Brittany was sitting on basically a small ledge with no more then a foot or so of solid ground on either side. Beyond those edges a cliff, more then 30 feet to rocks and water below. The picture I took does not do it justice. As she made her way out there I was admittedly nervous. Brittany has never been the most sure footed person, and there was very little stopping her from going over the edge on either side. Luckily, she got her shots and made it back without incident.
For her, the image she was looking for was worth the risk. And it turned out great. I guess challenging the rules of adulthood are an important part of staying young at heart. The imminent danger was oddly a bit exciting. So I guess the moral of the story is to make room in our life to push the limits. Challenge your preconceptions about what you can and cannot do. Risk is part of the game of life. It's what teaches us what we are made of, and allows us to push ourselves further then we think we can go. As the title of this post says... It's how we do!