I lift my head up to the sky and smell the fresh salt air. The breeze blowing on my face makes me feel joy and the quiet flapping of the sails gives me peace. A gull glides silently past. It is just me and my grandfather on the water. He tells me we are going to put up the jib, so I get ready. I pull with all of my might, the faster the better and it’s up. We are sailing. We glide smoothly along the water like an eagle across the sky. He tells me of the time he was in the Navy. A torpedo past right underneath their ship, terrifying the crew. There are no worries like that today. Today it is just him and I and the wind and water. He tells me more about his childhood. He tells of the time he had the cockpit on an airplane in his bedroom and he would pretend to be a pilot soaring through the sky. He speaks of joy. He tells of challenges and disappointment and lessons learned too. I treasure these moments. I want to bottle them up and pull them out on days where I feel discouraged and hopeless. To be reminded that life is full of challenges as well as joy. I long to go back to these times with my grandfather.
Then, I pick up a photograph of him and I’m back. I see the way his eyes crinkled when he laughed. I see the joy in his face. The type of joy that was contagious to everyone around him. This is why I do what I do. It’s why I photograph real moments. The images I capture allow you to go back to a time and a place where things made sense. It’s more than just a pretty picture, it’s the feeling you get when looking at it. It’s emotion. It’s authentic. It’s timeless.