A Thousand Words This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     “You are the only person I know who gets excited over a sunset,” my best friend commented on the phone, laughing, as I rushed inside to exchange my cell phone for a camera.

“Oh, yeah? And what’s wrong with that?” I responded as I bounced up the stairs. I grabbed my Minolta and stepped into the January cold. After a major snowstorm, I was looking forward to capturing my first breaths of fresh air on film. Taking note of the diminishing light and how it silhouetted objects in my yard, I pointed the camera at a tree I had seen countless times, recognizing now its extraordinary beauty in the brilliant sunset.

Shivering, I clicked the shutter once, twice, three times, finishing my roll while focused on the horizon that was lit with glorious color. Though I wished my black and white film could capture the pinks, oranges and yellows, I knew that no shot was wasted, especially when I was enjoying myself looking for that perfect picture.

For my cheerleading captain, Karrah, and her cousin, Mckenzie, that perfect picture had come from this same camera. In the fall, I’d brought it to a football game anxious to fulfill that night’s simple five-photo assignment. I asked them to pose in front of the empty stands and months later, after lots of practice developing my pictures, I brought two framed prints to practice. I gave one to Mckenzie, whose gracious smile made my day.

“This is coming to college with me!” she exclaimed, hugging me. I delivered the other to Karrah, who looked as if she might cry. I smiled, knowing that that one perfect moment and my barely trained eye had created a lasting memory for two close friends.

Photography class ended, but my passion for shooting was just beginning. After closing the door on that fabulous sunset and entering the warmth of my house, I examined the 27 prints I had created in one semester of Beginning Photography. I looked through the photos for my emotion assignment, which brought a smile to my face. Bridget and Alicia, laughing next to my locker, brought back memories of the hilarious and spontaneous shoot we had after school that day. I found a picture of my brother and his new BMW, which had motivated him to wax and wash it the next day. A picture of my aunt and uncle at a friend’s wedding warmed my heart as I remembered giving them a print for Christmas and seeing how happy it made them. I set the pictures down and rewound the finished roll of film in my camera.

Gazing at the canister of film on my dresser later that night, I couldn’t wait to get it developed. As I drifted to sleep, I imagined the possibilities that tiny roll held. On it, perhaps, was that perfect picture, that picture that was, in fact, worth a thousand words.

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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CaseyLeigh This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 8, 2009 at 9:53 pm
As a photographer, this piece really hits home. I love it!
 
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