The roots of CaptureYour365 are in scrapbooking. That means my photography grew from a love of documenting my life and the people and places I share it with. It’s not so hard to remember to turn our cameras toward the faces who we share space or the beautiful scenery that we encounter.
We may not always think about photography the place we live. The buildings. The sights. The nooks and crannies that we call our town. The place where we spend our time. The places we buy our groceries or pick up our mail. These are all important to our story. They define our space on the planet from the space others occupy. They show who we are and how we are.
Yes, it means we’ve got to get out and carry our camera and stop. Slow down perhaps in places where people are moving fast. We create powerful stories then. Stories I know that I want to remember.
Alleys. We are definitely an alley town and if you venture not far from my neighborhood you’ll find yourself in “downtown” with tall buildings and long alleys. I’ve always loved the character they possess, though not the smell. You can see the history of my town when you look down the alleys, the age, the architecture, and the eclectic nature of a place with roots from the California Gold Rush.
The Sacramento river front taken from the shores of West Sacramento. The Tower Bridge is an iconic spot connecting the two towns. It’s bright gold point prompts many questions from visitors. I love to tell the story of the public vote to pick the color. Shea voted for gold, I voted green. He won.
The same river, different perspective, pointing toward a different bridge. I’m lucky to count CalSTRS (California State Teachers’ Retirement System) among my training clients. I love the people who occupy their monumental building along the river as much as I love the views from their conference rooms. I really love the views! This is a view toward my neighborhood. If we could zoom in on the edge of that tree line in the distance you’d find my house and my street.
Don’t forget the street view. This is the street I drive down almost daily. My house is at the end where the street narrows to two lanes with a center median. There are restaurants and businesses and at least two tattoo shops between here and my home. It’s a simple view, but one I want to remember with the cars and the power lines and the non-native palm trees.
The street view of my town wouldn’t be complete without a train photo. It defines my town in interesting ways whether we talk about the history of Trans Continental Railroad or the likelihood of stopping for a freight training whether you are driving north-south or east-west. The rail lines run right through the center of town.
This is Rubicon. For many years it was a family staple. Ian grew up in their front windows, playing with other kids and eating french fries. We don’t go there very often now, but I have fond memories of this place. the places we eat, the places we share with friends are an important part of our town.
As I sorted through my photos I was reminded how often and how easily I can step closer to take a photo, and how important it is to sometimes step and get the big picture. I also noticed that many of the photos I selected weren’t beautiful or perfect or post card quality. They are real. They are the places I see. They are the town I live in.
Photographing our town challenges us to step back. Take a wider picture. Think about what matters to us. Think about what we want to remember. I found many photos of buildings and moments and bridges of towns I’ve visited in other places. I found far fewer of MY TOWN, this place I call home. It’s so easy to take it for granted. Think you’ll remember or to not bother looking.
I think I’ve got a little more work to do photographing my town. What about you?