Why do we photograph the hard stuff?

Have you ever wondered why we take pictures of the hard stuff? Or do you find that you actually don’t take pictures of life when it’s painful? I’m somewhere in the middle.

When it comes to my own hardship, I tend to let my camera collect dust, unwilling to create any tangible reminders of what I’m going through. Sometimes, photography can be cathartic – a way to focus my mind on something other than my difficulties. But when pain is overwhelming, it’s almost like I don’t want to taint something I love so much and so I have to process and work through the hurt/anger/frustration/etc. before I can pick up my camera. That process may last a day or a month.

And that’s okay. I used to feel bad about leaving my gear on a shelf (it’s not cheap, after all) but it’s always there when I’m ready to come back to it.

Yet, in my efforts to document the childhood of my little vultures, I think nothing of photographing the broken arms, allergy testing, tears, etc.

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