Tuesday, August 17, 2010


"Patrons walk through the Museum of Ancient Life during "Two Dollar Tuesdays" at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010. Every Tuesday in August is "Two Dollar Tuesdays" at Thanksgiving Point."

Let's face it, some assignments just sound as boring as they are.

We sit in the office minutes preceding or in bed the night before trying to visualize moments that will never come. We try to think of the lighting that will be nowhere close to what it is. And we try to convince ourselves that we'll come away with something spectacular.

I used to do that a lot when I first started shooting. I'd literally stay up hours on end trying to conceptualize what I was hoping to see. But I quickly found out that I was always setting myself up for disappointment. Nothing is ever how we picture it before hand. It's life.

So why I decided to over-think this essentially mundane assignment is beyond me.

From the minute I stepped onto the grounds of Thanksgiving Point, fundamentally a large museum and petting zoo, I was down on myself. Granted I had some other worries on my mind at the time, nothing seemed to pan out.

My images of children petting animals bored me. The angles were wrong. The light was harsh. I was being too critical of my images.

Instead of dwelling on this aspect of the assignment, I put my camera in my car, and walked into the museum. I had to look without any pressures of my camera.

It's amazing what I saw. I simply meandered through the gallery of artifacts as a visitor. I wasn't forcing myself to take pictures or find moments.

After one walk through, I returned to my car, grabbed my camera and made maybe 40 frames.

I think it's a good exercise to see without your camera. And sure, it's not always ideal with tight deadlines and multiple assignment days when time is tight. But hoping to run into something great is not going to happen everyday. Sometimes it just has to be a no pressured scavenger hunt.

"Photojournalism is an adventure that falls somewhere between cultural anthropology and a scavenger hunt." -Don Bartletti, LA Times


Blogger julia said...

I always love your "daily work," Patrick. In my Google Reader I see the text before the image pops up. Whatever I was thinking I might see, turns into a "Sweet!" once the image loads. Thanks for the inspiration.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 1:05:00 PM  
Blogger Patrick Smith said...

Thanks for the kind words. I can't say enough about your work, too. You've got a great eye. Keep it up.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010 1:33:00 PM  
Blogger lopo said...

Great post, Paddy.
This reminded me of Jed.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 10:49:00 AM  

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