#photographicmemory is a feature in which someone sends in a photo of theirs and writes about it. It was created because sometimes you can find out more about a person by asking them to describe a photo than by asking them a ton of questions. It was also created because it’s nice to look at pretty photos.
I took this particular image in High School. It’s no one’s favourite. When I show my portfolio to other photographers and artists, no one seems to take a particular interest in it. In fact, many people criticise it and do not like how the lighting hits the models face. Yet, over the years it has remained my most prized photograph. It was shot in South Carolina, on Kiawah Island: a quiet, calm, over-grown, beautiful place where you can escape reality but can’t escape from yourself. It’s beautifully abandoned and lonely, yet addictive and inspiring. I spent two weeks there with the girl in this image doing nothing but exploring the almost uninhabited island and talking about everything and nothing. We were 16 at the time and vacationing with my parents.
My parents are very conservative and extremely against smoking, especially at our age. We’d take long bike rides and find hidden paths leading to over grown jungle-like forests. We’d sit in these incredibly inspiring scenic forests, far away from parental control and talk for hours about everything from sociology to our childhood memories while smoking far too many cigarettes. I took this snap on one of those long, smoky afternoons. Every time I look at it, I’m brought back to a peaceful and simple yet inspiring time. She was then and still is now the most influential figure in my life. When I look at this photograph of her I feel empowered, inspired, calmed, and motivated. This may sound cheesy, but it’s photos like this one that remind me why I love photography. One single image can be so powerful, even if it’s only believed to be powerful by one person in the entire world, and in this case it’s me.
Charlotte Klein studies International Relations at Edinburgh University. She’s never lived in one place for more than four years so never ask her where she’s from because she’s bound to get extremely confused and stutter for a while before answering. She loves culture and art and, if we’re honest, wants to become a photographer when uni’s over.
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