I was recently at an art show in Malibu when two kids whose ages I’m putting at “younger than 19” came in. Both with cameras hanging from their shoulders. At these shows you kind of get used to the same old questions, “Are you the photographer?” or “You took all these?” or my favorite “You must travel a lot.” I typically smile, nod and say something witty that will invoke a smile or smirk. But these two kids didn’t ask those questions.
They both had a gleam of excitement and wonder in their eyes. They wanted to learn more about photography and how I shot things, and how I thought about composing images and, well, the list went on. I think the most important thing a professional photographer can do is to stoke the flames of excitement and ambition, especially when it comes to art. I can’t tell you all of the things we discussed that day, but I do remember what I told them as they were getting ready to leave: “Always have fun.” Never lose the joy and fun that comes with capturing images. That’s how it started for me three decades ago and I could see that’s how it was starting for them. This image is how I had fun this summer.
Michael Wicks is a photographer and a Pablove Shutterbugs mentor. He lives in Los Angeles.
Photo by Michael Wicks