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

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     I like pictures. I like taking them, I like seeing them, and I love showing them. You couldn’t really call it a hobby, though, it’s more of a necessity. Maybe I live in the past, but I would probably disagree if someone accused me of that. I simply strive to capture moments so that I can flash back to them. Later I add tiny details to make the moments perfect. I guess you could say it isn’t a good way to live, constantly creating perfect situations, because real life doesn’t live up to my imagination. But to me, a fake perfect situation is better than no perfect situation. And so I continue to take pictures of happy times and embellish them.

I’m not an artist. One could call me a thief since I “take” pictures. I steal moments in my photos, but it’s more of a copy than a cut, if I can use computer terms. I’m not into getting the perfect lighting to increase the shadow on something like a wooden spoon, and I’m not very interested in taking loads of pictures of a blade of grass and rejoicing if one seems artistic. I don’t use editing to change my pictures and make them better. I take pictures of moments that don’t need to be edited, where doing so would be an insult and ruin the mood. And unlike some professionals, I don’t like to capture shadow, but light. The light of smiles is my favorite, but open, breezy windows are a source of happiness for me, too. It’s a strange circle of a combination. That’s how happiness is, isn’t it? Light from happiness reflects into my pictures. Looking at them makes me feel happy. It’s not very deep, but I think the best things in life don’t need much scrutiny. Simplicity, that’s the way to go. Simple as the click of a camera.

My friends call me a camera freak but I don’t mind. They know to expect a camera wherever I go and joke that I’m like the paparazzi. I’m fine with that because I still get my pictures. And people laugh while they tease, and smile brighter in my photos.

I guess I’m such a photo maniac because people are important to me. If my camera is my most treasured item, my friends are my most treasured necessities. I end up memorizing each photo on countless slideshows because I look at them so much, reveling in the memories of the happiness I feel when my friends are around. The impulses, the shocking moments, the vague staring-off-into-space expressions, the planned “cheese!” smiles, and the unexpected grins all characterize each person I know in so many ways. I can see emotions in the picture, and I can feel them inside me when I look at them. I hear the click of the flash and I feel myself ... click. I work with the world - I fit into the world when I am taking pictures.

Photography is my passion. I’m not doing it for other people, to make me look better or to feel accepted. In a world of ladder climbers, where every activity is carefully planned to build future success, my camera is my happiness. The pictures I take can only help me be a better person by causing me to be happy, thinking about memories and lessons I’ve learned. The only way a photograph can help me get a better job, or more friends, or any other significant achievement is by helping me develop into a better person more deserving of good things.

Relating to the paparazzi has helped me. Now, all the time, I think about being photographed. Or I think about my millions of photographs. And I smile.

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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