A lesson from Tim Walker in The Photographer's Playbook, It's All About Love.
In the end, photography is only good if it’s true. And I think a photographer’s truth is born from their love of their subject.
Anything you ever put in front of your camera you have to love. Truly. Madly. Deeply. Whether it’s a person, a flower, a dog, or the muddy tire of a tractor, you have to be mad for it. Absolutely in love with it. Whatever anybody says you have to know in your heart that it’s beautiful.
We made a trip to visit the Marine Corps Museum in nearby Quantico, Virginia. My husband goes along happily with so many of my adventures, I wanted to return the kindness. He really wanted to visit this museum. Less so for me. I have the greatest respect for the sacrifices made by those who defend our country and support our way of life. And yet the pain of the stories of separation and hardship and loss, I find almost unbearable. I spent most of my time at the museum studying a long wall of photographs of military families as they saw loved ones off for deployment or embraced them upon return. I still can't get those images out of my head, and maybe I shouldn't even try.
I took a few half-hearted pictures in the museum, and then as we were leaving, the picture that was mine to take revealed itself. I fell in love with this sweet little girl in the car next to ours. She was being watched by an older sibling resting in the back seat. She put on a little show for us, smiling and pretend driving the car.
On a day when my feelings were sad, this playful little girl reminded me it's all about the love.