How Late is Too Late?


There are times in life when we want to say something. The words are in our hearts and at the tip of our mouth, but they remain unspoken. In confusion, apathy, weakness and fear, we do not express what we feel. The moment runs away, only to come back with a deep sense of longing.

There are times in life when we want to make a picture. The frame is compelling, the light magical, but the picture remains unmade. Or on the few occasions that we photograph something that is so important to us, we just let that picture be. In some hard drive, in an unnamed folder, lost in our maze of digital memories.

Photography, like life, is a lot about what remains unspoken. Some of the most beautiful conversations in our lives happen in our heads. And so do some of the best photographs.

Of course, this romanticisation of thought should not be a crutch for laziness. We should have met yesterday’s deadline on the day before. We should have executed that grand plan of ours before someone else did. Published a book, built a website, developed a language… it should all have happened yesterday. But if it didn’t, tomorrow is another day.

Time, say the cynics, does not wait. But in photography and life, we pressurise ourselves a little too much, set our goals too high. Maybe we should slow down. Maybe we should look back, look around, live and relive the moment. The next time you remember that unfinished conversation, the next time you recall that photo you always wanted to make… do it. It’s never too late.

And once it’s made, tell the world. Share the picture. Make a print. Instagram. And when we finish what we always wanted to do, it should not be a full stop… it’s just the beginning.

This article originally appeared in the August 2013 issue of Better Photography.