February 27, 2010

Being the photographer

Everything makes me cry. I can't help, I was born crying tears. I cry because everything is close to the surface with me. Tears just leak out.

Today, Darren and Kyle buried their father. He was so nice and such a great person. It makes me weep thinking of him not getting to see them married, see his grand kids, for them to see how proud he was of them. But I couldn't cry today. Darren asked me to video tape the funeral mass, which didn't need my weeping as a soundtrack. So I turned off weepy Jen and turned on the photographer. Which works. This keeps me from sobbing at weddings.

Usually I just get the shot no matter the emotions involved, but that's usually because I'm shooting weddings. Today there was this moving, emotional moment and the photographer was fighting with the emotional Jen. Because this wasn't a wedding. This wasn't about joy. This was about loss, a life too short gone too early.

"Take the shot. It's perfect."

"It's their moment. What are you thinking? How can you even think to take that?"

"Take it."

"Seriously, what's wrong with you."

"Take it."

I took it.

Today the photographer won. Because if it was me, I would have wanted the shot.

It was that perfect solidarity between brothers, between sons and their mother. The shot that makes you weep only because the love and sorrow are both so intense. When all you can do is lean and hold the other up in the same instant. The moment when you realize that all you have, all you can leave behind is love. That's all there is to remain behind you. Just love. How could I not get that?


warmchocmilk said...

It sounds very intense. It's cool you have the ability to turn off the emotion. I can reign mine back a little but like you said it still "leaks out". I never have understood though why people want to take video or photos at a funeral. When are you going to look back at thant and what to subject yourself to harsher memory hten is already there? Anyway, to each their own, but please keep the camera out of my funeral service.My family can watch the vacation videos instead.

Jen said...

I totally agree. It's not something I would ever whip out and look at. EVER. However, I love my husbands cousins as if they were my own brothers and this was for them. As for the shot that I took, it's the mindset you have to have if you are doing newspaper photos. You have to step aside and get the moment instead of just capturing the personality like you do when you are taking portraits.