Claire Yaffa: Thoughts of Photographers for Poets and Dreamers, Chapter 20

Claire Yaffa took her first photograph 45 years ago when her son was 18 months old and it was the beginning of her journey, first as a mother, then as a photographer. She has worked extensively for The New York Times and Associated Press. Her photographs have appeared in countless influential publications and have been exhibited at major venues in the US and around the world.

Waterscapes, Part 2

Returning to the water where sky and water meet is similar to listening to a beautiful symphony. As movement of the water continues, the image changes. Clouds appear and disappear. The flow of the water continues its movement with the force of the wind. Light and shadows collide. In a brief moment, the landscape is different. What was, changes into what is now. It is with hushed beauty, breath held, to see what is there. As shapes disappear, a new wonder appears, to see and explore.

In the play, “Our Town,” the main character, Emily asks the stage manager, a character in the play, “Does anyone ever realize life while they live it … every, every minute?” He replies, “Saints and poets maybe, they do some.”

Perhaps as photographers, we learn the appreciation of life. We decide to point our camera to what means the most to us — our families, our children, celebrations of birthdays and weddings. We become concerned with people who are not as fortunate as we are. We want to say something with our camera. Perhaps we can make a difference with our photography to call attention to the inequality and prejudice of society. Just as life is a gift, the camera allows us to explore our reality. We look, we see, we care. It is who we are.

- Claire Yaffa

You can also see more of Claire’s work on her website, www.claireyaffa.com.