It’s Saturday night and I’m watching people dance to a band at Bootstrap Brewing, the pub where I write my blog posts. I love writing here with a cold Lush Puppy IPA. Tonight, it’s so much fun to see folks enjoying themselves dancing up a storm. I even photographed them and may use them in my Roy Stryker photo project.
Or perhaps that’s what this post is about. Thank you, Muse!
But then the song ends, the dancers retreat to their seats, and no photos exist, unless they lift their phone for the obligatory selfie that no one will ever see after a very short time. (And I can see that no one even does that.)
I want to make portraits of them laughing and whooping it up, kicking up their heels. I want to document them like a news photojournalist, as a documentary photographer would (like I am). I want to make photos of these moments so that they’ll last forever for them. Their smiles. The looks in their eyes at each other.
It’s all I want to do.
Ah, the life of the artist. The insatiable need to create.
I think the purpose of art is to allow us to express ourselves, define ourselves, let us find out who we are–we who make the art. I write photography articles (like this post), plus screenplays. I make photographs, I play music, I make movies. Why, what’s the point of it? I think for me, it’s a joy to live the artist life. To make things that exist. To write words others read and consider–I get to become a part of people’s world, their thoughts. I get to make photographs that will become a part of other people’s lives.
Like these two. I spoke with them after the band wrapped and told them they were the best dancers with the greatest grins and I photographed them and would love to get them photos of themselves. The photo that they didn’t take. The photo from that photojournalist. Me.
I feel like’s it’s a privileged life. I get to observe and then create. I get to express myself in so many ways.
In the meantime, those dancers have the biggest smiles on their faces, having the time of their lives. And I have the photographs to gift to them to savor this night. To look back on someday and remember when they went out dancing on that Saturday night long, long ago.
To remember the way they looked at each other.
The life of the artist. It’s a generous one.