Type type type. Backspace furiously. Type a few more words and backspace again. This is my normal mode of operations on Sundays. I usually have an idea, or two or three, throughout the week about what I will write about but they don’t really come together until Sunday evening when I finally sit down and put hands to keyboard. And then remove my hands, and put them back several more times. Sometimes my thoughts come from “helpers”; my kids, husband, articles I read, or even people out in the world. This week it comes from the story of other people.
This week, yesterday in fact, I was able to spend a few hours helping my friend do a wedding photo shoot. Her normal assistant who is much more versed in this than I am was drafted away to other duties and I stood in, a little unsure of what I was really going to be able to help with but ready to follow through as best I could. Her work is great (hint: she took my photos I updated recently, I think she’s beyond awesome), and it’s easy to forget the amount of work that goes into these types of things when you don’t do them. After all, my idea of photography is some pointing and clicking with my iPhone. I do okay, but that’s not my medium and I take for granted how much work and how much vision the person holding the camera has to have.
This does not take into account the amount of patience the photographer is using when maybe those who should be in the photo wander aimlessly away, or don’t quite understand the instructions for certain poses. It was a wild flurry of activity much more related to mildly organized chaos (albeit helpful people disguised in chaos’ clothing) than what I imagined photography consisted of, all over approximately six hours – which is the time I left, but she would have many more hours ahead of her at the shoot, not to mention the weeks of editing photos to make sure that everything is flawless for the couple.
I am glad for opportunities like this because it helps me stand in someone else’s shoes. Shoes that maybe I take for granted, or don’t really understand. It is so very necessary to understand where someone else is coming from – be it in the work they do or just their perspective in life – because it gives us a point to understand each other’s story. And I have to say, understanding a story always makes the story better – fictional or otherwise. We can’t bake a cake if we don’t understand the steps, and we can’t make the world the best place it can be if we don’t understand everything that is going into it.
The next time you are out, maybe getting your pictures taken, or maybe ordering a cake, take a moment to stop and appreciate the person doing the work. Let them know you appreciate that they are taking their time to do this, that this means something to you. That will make a huge difference to them understanding your story too.