Practice 9


How it started
Things we take for granted
This strange thing happened to me years ago. I found myself saying thank you all the time, not out loud, but to myself. This thank you mantra started out of the blue. I heard myself saying it under my breath almost every time I had a camera in my hand. I'd be walking down the street and stop to photograph something that touched me, or on assignment. It happened when something beautiful caught my eye. It could be a moment between people, something in nature, almost anything I felt grateful to see. It happened during complicated assignments like a lifesaving surgery, the astounding sight of a beating human heart. I heard the thank you when I saw a great family moment or looked up and saw the way the sunlight filtered through the trees. It wasn’t about nailing a shot or money.
Even at my steepest day rate, It was clear to me, just getting a great shot wasn’t giving me those swells of gratitude and joy. Today photograph as many things you are grateful for as you can fit in ten minutes. It can be your dog, as mundane as a bicycle, that first cup of coffee in the morning, or the cold beer waiting for you in the fridge at the end of a hot summer day. You don’t have to take this assignment too seriously: have fun with it. You can walk through your home and do it, take a walk through your neighborhood, or just go outside and look around. When you make a picture, as you press the shutter, say, thank you. Don’t say it out loud; just say it to yourself. At first, it may feel a little