coffee + cre8tive [mar 23 06]

This photo always makes me smile, snapped in London in 1997 with a $4.99 disposable camera, long before I owned a digital one. There I was, young and naive in Knightsbridge, admiring a witty sign advertising a soon to open Seattle's Best Coffee shop. The sign made me smile, so I quickly snapped a photo of it as I darted towards the bus, one that my friend had already boarded, her face pressed against the window with arms motioning for me to hurry up. It was only after developing the film that I noticed a traditional black London cab, a great detail that I didn't even notice at the time, a detail that resulted in a photo that I'll always cherish.

Thirteen visits to London later, I still reflect upon my earlier adventures photographing anything and anyone that I deemed to be cool. Long before I realized that taking photos inside of Harrods' was a huge no-no (I was nearly escorted out of the building once). Even strangers feeding the ducks at Kensington Gardens were photo worthy back then, times when I fearlessly snapped whatever I saw, caring less about who was watching or whether the photo would be of quality or not. I was never on a mission for the perfect photo, yet I always returned from vacations with some beautiful shots.

I wish that I still approached photography that way, haphazardly, without lining things up, adjusting the lens, waiting for people to move so I could get the full shot. Seeing things through the eyes of a girl and not a woman. Looking at everything through naive eyes, thinking all things were so amazing and awesome and worthy of a simple photo, a captured moment of time on paper. Times when I tried to steady the camera from giggling so hard while photographing a business man dribbling pistachio ice cream down his crisp white shirt. Times when we all ran very free, never worrying about what others thought of us, not caring whether a photo would be worthy of framing.

From now on, I will not take a photo because I think it will produce a beautiful picture. I will simply point and click whenever I see something that evokes some feeling in me. I will snap without thought. I will run free as I did in 1997, snapping photos of funny signs in London.

(psst: Harrods' has a great online home and leisure shopping site...)