Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What the World Needs Now..........

Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

― Howard Thurman

Me on Whidbey Island 2013

Everyone knows that digital photography has increased the number of photographers out there in the world. Throw in those increasingly amazing phone cameras and yes - everyone can now be a photographer. As someone who began with film and spent countless hours in a darkroom, I will admit that when I come across interviews of successful photographers that mention how they first picked up a camera in 2011, I get a tiny bit resentful. 

Something happened last week however that totally changed my perspective and brought me a moment of such intense clarity that I am still celebrating!

Almost every morning I take a 20-minute walk to get my "quad Americano", usually taking the same route. This has become such a routine that I see the same people on their walks, and we now nod and wish each other a "good morning" in passing.

One day last week, I was feeling a bit crabby and decided to walk down a different block.... for no particular reason except to shake things up a little. While on this walk, I began seeing things that I would have missed if I went down my normal streets. Out came my iPhone, and I began snapping away. 

©2014 Dianne Poinski

I walked back with my coffee and ducked into an alley to complete my trip home. Once home, I decided to enjoy my coffee under the trees in my backyard.

©2014 Dianne Poinski - Alley

As I sat there getting properly caffeinated, I realized the crabbiness had dissipated and been replaced with what I can only call joy. I also knew the source of this joy came not from the four shots of espresso, but the act of seeing and then creating images from the everyday scenes found in my neighborhood.

©2014 Dianne Poinski

Now this is where it gets interesting...............while sitting there, I began thinking that if creating images makes me this happy, then why would I not want others to have the same opportunity? So what if the number of photographers has increased by numbers so large they can't be counted? Does it matter if many of the photographs made might not win prizes at a local camera club competition? No........what matters is throngs of folks are out there seeing and looking, some for the first time in their lives! Everyday objects now appear as art and people are having fun and creating joy in their lives and the lives of those around them.

And that can only make the world a better place........right? Thank you Howard Thurman for presenting this same idea so eloquently (and with far fewer words)!

©2014 Dianne Poinski


  1. Dianne--I think that you've put the quandary of being a modern photographer/artist in a nutshell. I've puzzled out this same question and ultimately, it is the joy that keeps me coming back to my studio.

    1. Thank you Hannah! I suspect all artists deal with this sort of thing and it all comes around to yes - the studio is our "happy place"!