A Life of Looking at Pictures

As a father every once in a while I feel a warm surge of pride when I look at where my daughter’s have gone in life.  The years of worry, late nights, fights over what they shouldn’t wear out, boyfriends, discussions on how to make it through elementary school, high school and then university and college have now culminated in two, if I do say so myself, success stories, albeit successes that still throw me new curve balls and the odd knuckle ball every now and again. Both of my daughter’s career paths intrigue me.  My eldest chose the course of public service demonstrating her skills and empathy every day by giving Ontario inmates the chance to educate and better themselves, which is no easy task given the environment.  While my youngest daughter, who is fervently independent, spends her days and nights reviewing hundreds and hundreds of photos bound for the international market place.  The lure of Hollywood’s bright lights, film festivals like Sundance, Cannes and TIFF are very strong indeed.  You will find her there in the background pouring over countless photos looking for just the right one for us to admire, and possibly pin up if people still do that. All the while working earnestly on a screenplay that she hopes will make it to the big screen and film festivals one day. I’ve talked with my picture editing daughter at some length about her chosen field and apparently she believes it is something she “fell” into but I think not.  From a very young age the movies and fashion were of great interest to her.  I think she enjoys the glamour and the joy of being transported to another place through imagery.  That is what art, music and dance does for us, it transports us if not physically then emotionally from the mundane thus providing those of us that have a hard time expressing ourselves and our feelings with an outlet.  We can look at a picture, whether moving or still, and think that captures how I feel exactly.  A piece of music can create strong emotions or calm the beast.  That’s why I think she loves the work. After all that, a new question arises.  If she looks at so much every day is there still time for more, can she see and appreciate other images?  The answer, thankfully she says, is yes.  Glossy magazine picture editors often do good work with their entertainment and fashion shoots (just pick up a Vanity Fair, Vogue or GQ, and even movie magazine Empire recently had a great series of celebrity portraits to peruse), news outlets like the BBC online have a dedicated editor who curates a wonderful page called In Pictures, which makes an art out of documenting news events. A life looking at images sounds interesting enough, but it comes with a price.  My daughter’s eye has become more discerning, her tastes more refined; it is harder to impress her, which at times becomes frustrating as there aren’t always quality images being put out for view.  But for her that makes the hunt more exciting.  I believe that’s a nice metaphor for life, for what else is life if not a hunger for the hunt? | Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS

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