Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Writer = {Amateur} Photographer



Fireworks Grab Attention | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
I watched this firework display
through the lens of my camera.
It is no longer enough to be able to write well. You could be so passionate about writing that you are compelled to put yourself out there and share with the world like the eccentric, older, plumper neighbor who runs to the mall in leggings and a tube top. You could be as talented as the hypothetical lovechild of Emily Dickinson and Ralph Waldo Emerson. However, if you cannot snap and upload a decent photo, you might as well stop typing and take up knitting.

Double Yolk | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
This needs cropping before it can be
used, but I couldn't pass up snapping
this one in the kitchen last spring.
In today's world of online content, you have to catch your audience with more than a great title. You have to provide enticing imagery. The tools of today's writer includes more than a notebook, pencil, laptop, and Internet connection. Today's wordmonger needs also a smartphone with at least an 8 megapixel camera as well as a pocket-sized, waterproof 12-megapixel digital camera.

Cathedral in Savannah | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
A raw cathedral pic from my brief
stop in Savannah, Ga.
Of course, tomorrow this blog will be outdated, as the pixel capacity of smartphone camera apps and handheld cameras will have increased beyond our wildest dreams.

My point, however, remains the same. Without eye-catching photos sprinkled amongst written content, a writer's efforts are destined to dissipate into the white noise of cyberspace, never to be digested by the eyes, minds, and hearts of the masses. Social media platforms rely heavily on pictures to grab the attention of folks quickly scanning Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter during those nuggets of time throughout the day they require a break from the rigors of real life—or need to quickly cyberstalk an old friend during the twelfth of a 67-slide webinar presentation. 

NC Ice Storm | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
No one wants to see this now,
but next year it might come in handy.
As a contemporary writer embedded in a highly digital environment, I'm indebted to my father and uncles for being novice photographers who couldn't let family or friends achieve firsts in life without hearing, "Hold it! Wait. Okay, SMILE!" I am even more appreciative of their willingness to mentor me from my very first 110 camera, through several 35-mm cameras, which included a hand-me-down or two, all the way into the digital age when I bought a miraculously efficient, film-free, 1-megapixel camera.

Gulf Coast Sunset | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
You can't beat a good sunset over water photo.
On a recent trip to the Gulf Coast, I snapped
a hundred or so over the span of three evenings.
Everywhere I go, I snap pictures. Whether on vacation, taking an after-supper walk with the family, picking up groceries, or having my hair done, I snap pictures. I've become even more annoying than my dad and uncles. Some of the images are immediately deleted because they are blurry, didn't capture what I hoped to, or are just plain awful. I'm a writer, not a professional photographer. But I do keep thousands because, as a writer, I never know what image I might need to go with my latest blog post, column, or story snippet.

Photographs also provide inspiration. Scrolling through pages and pages of digital images can cure even the most stubborn case of writer's block.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
Email: mickibare (at) gmail.com
Connect with Micki on Google+
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Follow Micki on Twitter: @TurtleAuthor
View Micki's pics on Instagram @mickibare
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