Taking photos is one thing. But for someone who takes countless photos on a regular basis, archiving has become sort of a hobby in on itself.
Each photograph activates a sleeping memory hidden beneath the newer ones (i.e. pay the electric bill, feed the dog, eat). The ones that take frequent naps with your earlier memories of your elementary school or your first taste of Chickenjoy. Which is why I enjoy archiving. It’s one of those – hey, I suddenly remember that one time when I saw a woman who eerily looked like Keith Martin at the train station! Or, hey, this is someone that a friend introduced me to but I can’t seem to remember her name but I vividly remember that she enjoys throwing tin cans at strangers! Or hey, this is a photo that was taken when we were drunkenly racing each other using wheelchairs!
Which brings me to the photo above.
It’s one of the first photos I took when I started out as a reporter. I came across it while archiving. It was right around 2007, in the wee hours of the morning. I was heading home after sleepwalking through the graveyard shift when a car literally burst into flames right in front of our news cab. Luckily, the passengers were able to get out right before this vehicle was charcoaled. More than this moment however, I remember showing this photo to my friends in one of those let’s-get-together-to-ruminate-about-our-jobs sessions.
“Your job feels like you work for the movies,” my friend non-chalanted. Of course, I made up a verb in that previous sentence but you know what I mean.
And it’s true. As a reporter, you come across images so vivid that you don’t even need a camera to capture a memory. Sometimes, it does feel like you’re living in a movie – one directed by someone like Michael Bay who shoots everything even before a script is finished – filled with adrenaline-pumping musical crescendos to warn you that disaster (i.e. asteroid bits falling from the sky, evil gigantic robots wreaking havoc) is upon us. Followed by tinkling piano music to cue the end leaving you to feel good that inspite of the quality of the movie, the world is safe and sound. And that even through frailty and hopelessness, anyone can uplift themselves into true winners with hearts of gold, and look sexy at the same time, like Liv Tyler and Megan Fox.
“Yeah, sometimes it does,” I non-chalanted with a smirk.
It doesn’t happen everyday but photographs like the one above prove and remind me that our workdays? Surreal.