Different Angles This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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      Vibrant chairs, abstract light fixtures, and rusting bicycles scream beauty to me. To others, photos are cherished because of the special moments they record. Smiles of friends are common, while chairs are neglected. But why do we ignore the beauty that surrounds us? Ordinary objects can tell a story that we don’t often listen to. I find happiness in capturing these stories on glossy paper. Photography, to me, is appreciatively looking at life from a different angle and continually being aware of the beauty in life.

I try to go beyond only taking pictures of friends and family and my hometown. Art can be the most outrageous structure, or a blade of grass. Since childhood, I have been uncomfortable with portraits. I feel tense and restrained, and am certain personality is never revealed this way. The more motion I am in, the better. I think the best photos of me are when I’m laughing, running or dancing. They may be blurry, but that’s me in the picture. Movement captures the life of an object and brings out the best emotions of the person viewing the picture.

Europe brought out the photographer in me. The trip gave me an excuse to find more interesting photo subjects than the usual tourist sites. I longed to find the hidden beauty of the business people in London, the architecture of Paris, and the tranquility of Rome. I was always turning my camera in odd positions, finding the right angle of a row of columns or the symmetry of iron beams. Often I would crouch to capture a different perspective. When the landscape is all that is photographed, the impact of the scenery is lost and becomes boring. Why not see it in a way that people wouldn’t normally picture rolling hills? Sometimes the more creative the angle, the more striking the object or scenery becomes.

Photography opens my eyes to objects people would not normally admire. Friends who look at my photos ask why I take pictures of lights and chairs. Trying to explain that a table in a café or the initial-carved tree appealed to me more than a river or bridge can be a challenge. Sometimes they don’t understand what I saw in those overlooked items.

What makes photography worthwhile is when people say, “I never would have thought of taking a picture of that!” There is a certain beauty in everything and living life to the fullest means never taking those things for granted. Instead, I choose to capture them on my camera and keep their beauty alive.

People can point to a family photo and say, “That is who I am, that is me and my family.” When I look at one of my photos, I can say, “That is the essence of a simple chair being appreciated for possibly the first time in its existence.” Writers find magnificence in words and their sounds, and I like to think that the rest is left for the photographers to admire.

Daily affirmation of the wonder that surrounds us bring so much joy to my life. If someone can walk away with their eyes opened a little wider after seeing my photograph, then that is one more person whose life has been changed.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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