Finding the Warmth and Humor in Photography

By John Frelich

What’s happened to our ability to enjoy our passion in photography? We started out the year quite normally in all respects after the holiday season. Then a strange thing occurred – a worldwide pandemic that has impacted all of us.

From fears over how it will be finally mitigated to massive unemployment to our restricted ability to visit foreign countries and even our own states without quarantining ourselves for 15 days, change has been everything. We’ve even seen bare shelves in stores that supposedly haven’t been that way since World War II unless you lived in Eastern Bloc countries.

Our rarest commodity changed from gasoline to toilet paper. Our short term future also faces being inundated with political ads where persons either promise us everything at an easy “fix” or take personal credit for something an entire Congress took weeks or months to accomplish.

So how can we focus on photography? In the last two months I’ve gone back and worked hard scanning my old photographs to put them into collections my children can enjoy in the future. While doing that I focused on what makes those images so interesting. My answer was the warmth and humor that was found.

Whether it’s a relative, some children at play either here or in some foreign land (be careful to get some form of consent from parents before photographing their children, even in public places), persons in unexpected “trappings,” or even animals, humor in photography makes us feel better.

Where’s the shutter button
The animal
Horsin’ around

That will all make us feel better. So on Fridays after our Photography Club meetings, several of us used go to a local grocery store and have coffee and donuts. That doesn’t work the same now. Instead, we get together via Zoom. Just after yesterday’s meeting I went online and looked in my email and saw a sale ad for a mirrorless camera that I have been thinking about. With positive energy I got in my car and went to my favorite camera store (yes, some still exist).

Upon getting there, I saw that the door was locked but there was a pole about 6 feet in front of the door with a doorbell on it. To get inside I had to ring the bell, wait until someone came to open the door, get my temperature scanned upon entering, go upstairs with a mask on, speak to a salesperson through plexiglass and handle equipment with plastic gloves on. I decided not to purchase the camera but I know I want to start planning for those future trips and great images instead of just photographing my t-shirts indoors.

John Frelich is a Photo Guide with Arizona Highways PhotoScapes.