Friday, March 17, 2006
To shoot or not to shoot
I was raised to believe that cameras are not supposed to be brought into certain places. Synagogues, hospitals and homes whose families recently lost a loved one are all places where cameras have traditionally been unwelcome.
I've kept my own camera out of hospitals out of respect for this unwritten rule. But as we walked into the hospital last week to see my Dad, I was struck by how deeply I wanted to somehow record that particular time and place.
But I didn't want to tick anyone off. So blatantly shooting flash pictures around the nurses' station was a non-starter. A subtle approach - honed, no doubt by years of vegetable-aisle shooting at the local grocery store - was more in order. A bit of humor went a long way toward getting everyone around me comfortable with the fact that the camera had come out.
In the end, I quietly shot close-in details of things I thought would resonate with anyone who's spent any amount of time in one of these places. I tried to capture the dim light, the curious mixture of sadness and hope that defines these places.
Your turn: What would you record if you could bring a camera into a hospital? Why?