Without Words | Teen Ink

Without Words

May 19, 2009
By PinayChica BRONZE, Virginia Beach, Virginia
PinayChica BRONZE, Virginia Beach, Virginia
2 articles 1 photo 0 comments

As the days of our youth pass us by, and the roller coaster of life continues on its tracks, memories fade with passing years, moments of happiness, sorrow, and fear come and go. Some memories are best forgotten, and some we wish to hold onto forever. CLICK! A moment in time immortalized on a strip of film. Many memories may seem long gone, but maybe they aren’t as far as we think. They may lie in a shoebox in the attic or rest in a frame over the fireplace like a time capsule waiting to be unearthed. These photographs, which show only a moment in time, can tell an entire story from forgotten years. Not only do pictures revive memories of our past, they are also a great form of expression. Photography is my passion because it doesn’t only allow me to capture the past, but the world and its glory in the present.

Thinking back, I can remember my first camera. It was a huge, bulky Polaroid camera, but back then I never complained. I used to run around the house taking pictures of everything in sight. Anyone who came into the house would come across a trail of Polaroid pictures lying on the floor like the breadcrumb trail Hansel and Gretel tried to leave. Once I got older, I started taking pictures outside. Even as a child I loved capturing the memories of my family and friends as well as the beauty of the world around me. That camera sparked my initial interest in photography.

Memories that have been captured in a picture are often cherished just as much as an expensive photograph or piece of art. Whether in a dusty box that has been hidden away for years or framed for all to see, a picture can revive suppressed memories which make them priceless. I myself have come across pictures from years that have been long gone from my thoughts and suddenly recalled an entire chapter of my life that was once lost in a sea of memories. It was because of times like that that I now carry a charged camera with a cleared memory stick at all times. Good and bad times are bound to happen and people in our lives come and go, but I want to be able to see a picture from all those times and of all those people and still be able to smile or cry from the wave of emotion that would undoubtedly envelop me like a blanket in the winter.

One fateful day, I realized that pictures were more than just memories; they could be symbolic as well. After a day of outdoor antics with my camera, I showed my mother some of the photographs I took. When she came across a picture I took of a rose, I received a surprising reaction. She smiled and told me it was her favorite of all my pictures. At first I was baffled. When I had taken that picture, I felt that there was no meaning; I simply took it because the rose was as red as a ruby and I greatly admired it for that. It was apparent to me that my mom saw more than just another flower. After further explanation, I was able to comprehend that photography could represent not only what is visible to the naked eye, but also a deeper, more purposeful meaning. From that point on, my view of the world through the lens of my camera was different. A flower wasn’t just a flower and a setting wasn’t just a backdrop; they became a focal point for my work and held a deeper meaning than anything I had shot before.

I may have been young at the time I discovered my love for photography, but those memories of my discovery are in my head like a treasured picture hanging on a wall. Even today, those lessons I learned from my mother are still swirling in my head whenever I pick up a camera and decide to take a picture. Photography is not only how I capture my memories, but also how I express my artistic eye and love of natural beauty and symbolism.

The author's comments:
This was an essay I did for my enlgish class. I was quite proud of it until I saw my grade. It was a C, but I still feel like I did a good job anyway.

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