My favourite wedding guest I ran into during the last weeks was a young chap. He was only in his late 80s and had a lovely smile carved into the wrinkles of his face. At one point during cocktail hour he walked over to me. Mustering me from closer he leaned in to see my camera and said, ‘I used to be a photographer. Something like forty years ago.` Which of course is the best conversation starter I have heard in EVER! ‘During the war I was in a war camp in Russia and took pictures in secret.` I just stared… ‘Later I used to photograph the race cars and all the high society with it. … ‘Once I photographed the queen of England, during her visit in Stuttgart.’ feel free to imagine my mouth wide agape by now… I was blown away by this mans life and was only left to nod and smile, since my semi shouted words did not seem to reach him anymore. Thus I smiled contentedly at him and longed to hear stories of a life which seemed to burst with photographic adventure.
One thing, that caught my attention was his genuine interest in my own photography. He asked about my external flash and who I used it during the ceremony (romantic, low lit castle hall). He told me about his recently passed wife and how he had taken photos of her grave.
At this point I sincerely wished for more time to chat with him. He told me that no matter how young a photographer he comes across, he always asks them how they take pictures. What they watch out for. What technique they use.
I was completely in awe. His eyes lit up with curiousness. ‘I still wan to learn. I still want to learn from the youngest photographer. There is so much I don´t know yet.’
Now, days later I still love the memory of that conversation. I want to stay curious, just like him, always asking to learn, never assuming I already know it all.
Always a student of life.
Ya´ll there is so much to see, so much to explore!!
Let´s stay curious that way.