“Why do you take SO many pictures?” It’s a question that I get asked all the time by multiple people and there’s definitely more than one answer.
I’m a picture person.
There is no denying that. I wouldn’t say I’m great at photography, but I live for the moments that a photograph encapsulates. I also love travelling. At least I thought I loved travelling more than anything else but I’m gradually arriving at a conclusion that proves otherwise. You see, I love the way you can capture the beauty of a moment in a photo. It’s like freezing time and years later when you look back at that .jpg file or Polaroid, you can time travel right back to that exact moment and live those memories as if nothing has changed. That one photo can bring the scent of that stranger you hugged or the taste of those fresh olives back to life. A photograph never lets you forget that moment of pure bliss and ecstasy. I’ve also realised that a photograph is often a catalyst for conversations. It is true that a photograph speaks a million words; sometimes even more than that. A mere picture has not only helped me initiate conversations, but also broken down barriers – both language and cultural.
I have travelled but I’m not a very good traveller. I experience things to the fullest and explore the tiniest details. But I don’t remember the name of the speakeasy bar that I loved in Singapore or the name of the private island that I visited back in Greece or the name of the cute waiter I had my eyes on. And I absolutely suck at giving suggestions. You’ll always see me scrambling through my pictures, showing you stuff and pointing at things instead of just speaking of them. But if you ask me ‘how did that place make you feel?’ rather than ‘Where is that place?’ my photographs can spill out the answer in great detail (if I ever forget about those moments…) It is because of these photos that I can move along with time with no fear of such precious memories dissipating. I know that someday when I want to look back at those incredible days of my life, I can trust photos to keep my adventures safe all this time.
My secret keeper, my savior of memories, my treasure box… I’d like to thank you. Thank you for reminding me when I was scared that I have walked down streets and explored untouched running trails. Thank you for making me realize that I’m not monotonous because I have a million stories to share. Thank you for showing me that I have friends, all over, and preserving their faces and the shape of their jawlines in your 1200 x 1200 pixel frame. You have made me realize that I’ve changed to a great degree and how. You have preserved all the little milestones that have shaped me to be me.
I will always, till the last day of my life, want to see parts of the world I haven’t yet seen. I will always embody this constant need to explore and find a new sense of self. And I will always do this with a camera in one hand. It will be these photos that hold the imprints of my footsteps all over the globe. I will always be that girl with her camera outstretched, finding the light and angle that makes her feel best with her friends complaining in the background “Stop taking pictures of every single thing…”. But little do they know that years later, I would find that box of pictures and I’ll be running my fingers on the outlines of their faces, their smiles and their stupid pout-poses they had made while I was trying to capture my ‘perfect’ shot.
I may not be a typical travel girl. But I’ll always be a picture person.
This is a guest post by Gopika EM.