Today as I drove to town some expert on the radio said that there are 12 states of happiness.
I can’t remember what they were or how “happiness” is determined, but after a bit of searching I found a short article that said to be happy we must “anticipate with pleasure, savor the moment, express happiness, and reflect on happy memories”.
I know there are times and things that make me happy. However, there are also moments that no matter what my surroundings are or the circumstances I am in, I am just not happy.
My wife makes me happy, and even when I know she is mad at me for something I have said or done, I am still happy when she’s with me. Maybe that’s one of those states.
I doubt there has ever been any studies done on the states of happiness for photographers. So while those reading this think about what makes them happy I’m going to delve into that mysterious state.
Happiness might be about things like camera equipment, or about creating a good photograph.
Most photographers are devastated when they receive a poor review on a picture, so there is lots of ego involved in their happiness.
I know sitting around with other photographers talking about anything photographic is just plain blissful.
I don’t have any science that I can call up and haven’t discussed happiness with any philosophers, but I have always felt that photographers have a culture of their own. There are those who might argue that concept, but I am absolutely convinced that it is so.
I constantly interact with other photographers in online forums, or talk to them personally, and those photographers are always ready and willing to tell me when they are happy or not with their photography.
Some seem to be more interested in the technology of photography then the process of making pictures and there are others that care little about the equipment as long as they can make a picture.
I once knew a photographer that was happiest when he found a problem with a piece of photography equipment. He delighted in making test after test and would sometimes spread twenty or more prints on my counter explaining how a particular camera or lens didn’t match what the manufacturer or other photographers claimed. Personally, I’m disappointed when something doesn’t work as described, but he would actually be cheery.
I remember a fellow that used to spend all his spare time hunting (with his camera). He’ll show up at my shop with a grin as wide as all outdoors and happily describe how he crawled thru the sagebrush, waded some creek, or slowly froze as he hung off some cliff. What made him happy was the process of making pictures.
I know photographers that are continually changing equipment. Not because of problems with what they own, but because they read something, or talked to someone, about a new addition from their manufacturer of choice, and can’t live without it.
Sometimes their choices don’t so much meet a practical need as an emotional one, but they make it easy for me, and anyone else they talk to, to observe how very happy they are with their new acquisitions.
This medium has so many genres and outlets to make one happy. There are portrait photographers, wildlife photographers, scenic and landscape photographers, street and sports photographers, those that specialize in plant photography and, of course, many more, each with differing sets of skills, and, to my mind, their own states of happiness.
I don’t know if photographers have twelve states of happiness, or only the four I found in that short article, but I will say that I meet lots of people that are happy to be doing photography, and being involved with it in their own way.
Maybe its just as simple as the words I once saw written on a wall, “Happiness is a day with my camera.”