A trip to Japan and I missed an opportunity to capture the moment.
I convinced a local to drive me around the Japanese island, Okinawa. After 8 days traveling across the Pacific Ocean, I had finally arrived. I was rested. My camera equipment was clean, charged and formatted. We worked our way north.
We stopped at the 85 foot Hiji Falls, the highest water fall in Okinawa. I captured the environmental portrait.
We continued north. The roads curved around molten rock formations. It was as if miniature Godzilla scaly-mountains were growing from the sea.
After 3 hours, we nearly rounded the northern point.
We stopped at a small cafe on the top of a coastal shoreline drop-off. A small 20-something woman was gardening in front of the restaurant. She was wearing a hat, a white work apron that covered her floral dress. She spoke english.
My heart was racing. I knew this was the moment. As I left Oklahoma City, I set out to create visual content that would land me a free lancing gig with National Geographic. And this woman was the story that could get me there.
The lighting was cool and soft. A slight breeze gracefully moved her thin black hair. Her white smile held the warmth and steadiness of the smooth coffee she served us. In the kitchen she moved dishes, a small window lit the dish pit perfectly; her eyes gently lit.
The perfect photo essay was upon me. The moment I was to capture my first world-traveling photo essay was all I ever wanted.
But, that moment came and went.
I was scared, intimidated. I couldn’t break through the tension I created in my own mind. I had photo-paralysis. I will never forget that feeling. Especially as we drove off. A perfect day, a perfect story, a perfect moment — a missed opportunity.
In the near future I will find myself in some setting across the globe. I will be faced with the same circumstances. But, this time I will be ready. I am learning. I am growing. The moments I have missed will not define me, rather, they will teach me and I will listen.