08: A life in pictures.

- August 14, 2016 -

The last time I travelled abroad, I took around 1,000 photos with my DSLR camera.

Without a doubt, these are some of the most beautiful photos I’ve ever taken. And many of them, in fact, mean a great deal to me. Some have been compiled into what are now treasured family albums, and others have received a lot of positive feedback across social media.

.. But the vast majority of these photos have never seen the light of day. They remain untouched, collecting dust in some distant corner of my hard drive.

Even now, though, as I sit here writing this, I don’t feel particularly compelled to do anything with those photos. And you know why? Because, as beautiful as they are, they don’t really capture the reality of that trip for me.

You see, the memories which I have of that trip, and of that time in my life, are not framed in picture-perfect, golden-hour moments. Just like that summer, those memories are hectic and humid and untidy and emotional. And my perfectly framed photos of hotspots in downtown Zagreb don’t capture those feelings. In fact, they tell an entirely different story. Someone else’s story, perhaps, but not mine.

Looking back, the moments that I miss the most, the ones that I find myself returning to the most often, are the ones which are either entirely unrecorded or which were captured with only the low-res, front-facing camera on someone’s old phone. In those instances, if there is a photo to mark the occasion, the photo is helpful only so far as it serves as a record of that moment. It need not be perfect, and it doesn’t even have to be in focus.

And so, this time, I’m leaving my DSLR behind.


– J


This piece comes from Jana Marie’s newsletter, The Sunday Letters. You can sign up to receive future editions below.