In my TEDx talk, ‘How Photography Saved My Life’, a major theme I discuss is how my photography helped me become aware of the second person.
It starts off as the literal second person in my photos that I fail to notice, but it represents much more.
If you haven’t viewed the talk yet, I suggest watching it before proceeding.
You see, this is a theme that spreads throughout my life, making it hard for me to see those people who are there to love and support me.
It was a big problem that contributed to my loneliness, anxiety and depression.
In my talk, I give two prominent examples from my photos with The One Project: The Lone(ly) Surfer [see above] and Love / Loneliness (The Fine Line) [see below]. The latter had been pointed out to me by someone else, a jarring shift in my perception given to me by an outsider. That was like a gift and it helped me begin to see a pattern throughout my photos — and my life. I believe that’s what helped me become aware of the same in The Lone(ly) Surfer.
I’ve improved tremendously — which is why I’ve begun to notice this more in my photos.
But it’s something I’m still working on. And my TEDx talk is a perfect example of this.
Let’s go back to three days before my talk.
I’m running through my talk over-and-over (partially to full nude to help alleviate any anxiety on the big day — you’re supposed to imagine yourself naked right?) and making sure my tone, cadence and delivery is all on point.
I start to scroll through my slides and I stop to notice the last photo that holds the quote “You are the most important project of your life.” I used a public domain image to create it and initially I chose it for the single individual standing on top of the large canyon and cliffs.
The single individual.
WHAAAAAAAAATTTTTT!?!?! There’s a second person in this photo!
A mind-blowing moment that made me want to change my talk with only 3 days left, but instead I decided I’d write this post. Probably a good idea.
I was left laughing hysterically and astonished that this had happened to me (now for the third time) along with the incredible timing of it all — only days before my talk.
I still struggle. This is something I’m still working to improve.
Every day I try to shift my awareness (if only momentarily) to those in my life who love, care and support me in some way and I do my best to practice gratitude for it all.