i am not a photographer

I take a lot of photos. Instagram, Picasa, Flickr, 500px. There’s always a camera — phone or otherwise — with me. There are thousands in my public gallery and thousand more in my “archives”, a testament to my lack of self-editing. Despite all the pictures I take, I often don’t think I take enough. When the opportunity of subject and situation aligns, I don’t drop everything to “get the shot”.

That’s why I feel that while I take photos, but am not a photographer.

Yesterday I’d left work to grab lunch and then run home to walk the dogs quickly. After all that I was in my car turning the corner from Yesler, headed back to work. That’s when I saw him.

It might have been a really interesting street photo. A young African-American man, tall, trim and well dressed with a crisp shirt and vest. He had a guitar slung across his back, fedora-style hat tipped forward and was lighting a cigarette in front of the local beer & chips mart.

It could have been a great shot. Maybe he was a busker going to ply the tourists in Pioneer Square. He could have been a musician playing in Occidental Park for the lunch crowd.

I won’t know.

There was even a parking space right in front of the market. I had my new Fujifilm X-100 with me.

I kept driving.

There were things to do back at the office. It wouldn’t do for me to be gone too long. What if I’d asked for his picture and he’d said no?

A photographer would have stopped. Maybe the shots would have not turned out, or the subject wouldn’t have cooperated. A photographer would have tried to get the shot. In black and white, the cool musician resting between performances in front of the busy, dirty store.

I can see the photo now.

I am not a photographer.


Next time I will stop.

Published by Steve Banfield

Kentucky born, Seattle based. Entrepreneur. Team Builder. Photographer.

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