Taylor Woods

Taylor Woods Photographer Blog

Taylor Woods is a Los Angeles-based destination wedding, commercial, and portrait photographer.

Something Like Serenity

I do this online podcast thing where you shoot based on a particular theme and then submit a photograph into a pool for viewing and maybe you'll win a book or something. Generally I don't actually get around to shooting that particular theme until its time for the next theme and then I can't compete. So yesterday, I felt really proud of myself for taking the initiative and setting up a composed shot about 'gear' where I had hung an orange jumpsuit (like the ones prisoners wear) in a window, backdropped by really lovely afternoon light and a number of objects like a shovel draped with a cobweb and a dirtied hat.

I was thinking of a photograph from a few years ago in National Geographic covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina where a child's soiled, Sunday shirt with a tie next to a soiled blue blazer were hanging in the remains of someone's home, hanging "to show how quickly life can change," the caption read. It wasn't going to be amazing, but I was excited because I don't usually think about photography in a staged way; I usually walk around and come upon something.

I lack a degree of intentionality in that I guess. I'm not really the person who constructs things and experiences in their mind, but more someone who observes. I don't create in an extremely conscious way, I don't have that burn to always say something with intentionality through art. Usually I play with vague ideas or concepts, play with words in a poem, and through the process of tinkering, I find something useful that is of - I hope - great depth, and not with that great intention, but through the process of finding it and identifying it.

So back to my story: I took out my camera after staging this scene in the spare bedroom and turned it on. Everything seemed fine, I focused and shot; the exposure was way too long, having shot candles a few nights ago. I turned the command dial to change the shutter speed and - dun dun dun - nothing happened. And then again with aperture-priority, nothing. The camera won't do its primary function. Needless to say, I'm a little freaked out.

So I spent 40 minutes on the phone with Nikon today (25 of which were holding to the most god-awful music), and I have to send it in... send it in to Nikon, not known for great customer turn-around, during the most photographically important month in Western North Carolina. My favorite time of year and I may not have my primary camera. Hell, I don't even have a secondary. Oh the horror.

But then, some days you just have to smile, say serenity, and - even in those simple ways - let the changes come.

Taylor Woods