Editing photos is an interesting exploration. Sometimes it’s very easy, often it is. Softball, get the ball in the damn frame, get some action, whatever, move on. Not very tough. This is true with most of my “work” imagery. It’s easy, it’s easy because I largely don’t care in all likelihood.
Tonight was a bit different though. Tonight I was, did, deal with, only start to edit, the first review really, some images I had been emotionally, mentally, preparing for for months. Tonight I dealt with images I feared.
Over the past six months I’ve been working on a project, a wonderful project, a project I love, but a project which has created some great images through some moments I would never give up having witnessed and hope to never experience again.
A few months back a pretty major event occurred, and I was privileged enough to be able to document it. During the process I reviewed a few of the images on the back of the camera, some portraits, and they stopped me in my tracks, in my head at least. I kept shooting, kept working, kept doing what I needed to do. But in my memory were those portraits. I couldn’t not have them in my head, rolling around. I wanted them gone.
What she choose to share, the images haunted me, her generosity, kindness and openness amazed, still amaze, me. I couldn’t deal with the images, and I knew it. This has never happened to me before. Through the months of hard images, this had never happened. So tonight, over three months later, I knew I needed to deal with them. I knew the images were images that needed to be dealt with, edited, but I’ve just been afraid to look at them. I’ve been afraid of what they mean, what they mean to me, and afraid to “re-live”, afraid of being reminded of that time, and most of all, those images, I knew they would just hit me, hit me hard.
I opened them, and scanned them for maybe 10 seconds, then I had to walk away. Luckily, happily, while that was happening, a friend called (thanks Ya Looblue, you have SuperStar timing) and I was able to talk through some of it, and be distracted, get happy again, before getting back to editing.
Editing through them wasn’t a long process in the end, but I still want to block those images from my memory. Hopefully they’ll help and effect some other people some day, today, no matter how happy I am that those image exist, how honored I am to have been allowed to make them, today I want to forget those images exist.