So it's Time to Stop Taking the Camera to Parties

Fact of Janie: I don't like parties with lots of noise and lots of people I don't know well.

Universally Acknowledged Fact: It's impossible to socialize and take photographs simultaneously.

For many years, my coping mechanism for parties has been to take my camera along and (figuratively) hide behind it. It has been my safety net, my security blanket, essentially, my crutch. My photography is something familiar and wonderfully antisocial.

But now I'm coming to see that I wasn't doing myself a favor by hiding behind my camera all those years. I've withdrawn into myself more and more, letting a camera lens become the face of my social identity. Sure, all that extra practice has made me a much better photographer, but was it really worth the thinning of my (already scanty) arsenal of social skills? Probably not.

Furthermore, is God happy that I'm drawing comfort and security from a camera instead of from Him? Is He content with my refusal to let Him show Himself strong in this weak area of my life? Probably not.

So, from now on, my camera's going to stay at home or in its bag when I'm at a gathering of some sort. I don't think I'll ever be a very sociable person. I know I'll always love photography. The camera will probably re-appear at some gatherings when I see shots I just *have* to take, but I want to stop letting it define me. My photography will always be a big part of who I am, but maybe it's time to let the world in on the rest of my personality...