Always Carrying a Camera


Photo courtesy LIFE magazine

I want to be the type of person who always brings a camera along. You know the ones, dedicated to their craft even when it’s inconvenient or unnecessary. I read about people like that and think, “That should be me.” So I try. I leave an old Canonet in the car. When the weather calls for a jacket I stuff an Olympus Stylus Epic in the pocket. If I’m going somewhere I think might be photogenic I bring a “good” camera. I even choose cameras like the Olympus OM or Leica M because they are small and quiet and convenient to carry. So you see, I’m _almost_ one of those people. The next step is to actually use the camera I have with me.

I love taking photographs, but I don’t have what you’d call a strong artistic vision. (Wouldn’t _that_ be nice?) Lacking the appropriate creative drive, I just sort of fumble around with unclear ideas and hope something shows up. I spend a lot of time not taking pictures. Not ideal, but that’s where we are.

Buying and selling a lot of cameras helps. Not because I think they’ll make me a better photographer, but because new cameras trick me into carrying them, and into taking more photographs. And _that_ will make me a better photographer.

So when I’m looking all nerdy with a Leica or whatever around my neck in the grocery store, remember, that’s me – trying.