The Haunting Feeling When You Miss a Moment
As a photographer, you miss a lot of moments. It’s natural that things happen and you can’t capture every single second of the day. It always hurts though to miss a moment. The other night I was on my skis, skinning across town to head home. All day it had been snowing viciously, consuming the town and leaving close to two feet of snow across Burlington. On the streets it was quiet. Normally, on a Friday night, there would be tribes of loud and drunk college kids roaming the streets between campus and downtown. But on this this night, there was no one on this stretch of road.
The roads weren’t clear. The dangerous conditions lead to very few cars on the road. Occasionally, I’d see someone duck out of a building, jog across the street and dissapear into the night, running away from the freezing cold that bit at their heels. As I went to cross the street, I saw two people, far down the road. They were alone, wandering aimlessly in the middle of the street. I skied into the middle of the street, raised my camera and shot off a few frames.
As I put my camera in my pocket to continue across the street, the two people stopped and embraced each other in the middle of the cold, deserted road. Only seconds after I had put away my camera. A moment that would never reappear stuck its tongue out at me and flew away. Though this photo above tells a part of the story, I knew that if I had kept my camera up for just a few seconds longer, I would’ve completed the story with another photo, or captured an even stronger story. One of late night, desolate love. Maybe the only reason I’m taking the time to write this story out is to try to deal with the haunting feeling of missing an even better photo. The entire rest of the way home it dug at me, it was burning a hole in my heart. Even now, it still hurts me. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t. That’s the thrill of the hunt of photography. Always looking for the story and the moment.
About Ben M. Collins
Ben M. Collins is a music, portrait, and documentary photographer inspired by the rhythm, harmony, and mystery of life. Ben started this blog as a way to work through his own learning and thoughts on photography and art as well as to connect with other artists through conversation.