Sometimes you come across something that speaks to you, that moves you in one way or another. Something that sends chills down your spine, and you feel some sort of connection to it. I remember watching this short film for the first time over 4 years ago, and feeling just that. I was in the final year of my undergrad degree and I was at a point where my career was all I was thinking about. Fast forward 4 years and nothing has really changed, I still think about my career all the time and this film still brings chills down my spine. Figuring out what it is you want to do for the rest of your life is a big deal, and while money is an important factor, it has never been my driving force. I believe that if you love doing something, the money will come through the passion, drive and focus you have for what you are doing. If you care about something enough you can move mountains and you won’t mind the hardships that may come, because you know in the end they will all be worth it. This is what came across to me in Darkside of the Lens and why it spoke to me so much.
“If I only scrape a living, at least it’s a living worth scraping. If there is no future in it, at least it’s a present worth remembering. The fires of happiness, the waves of gratitude. For everything that brought us to that point on earth at that moment in time, to do something worth remembering with a photograph, or a scar. I feel genuinely lucky to hand on heart say I love doing what I do. And though I may never be a rich man, if I live long enough, i’ll certainly have a tale or two for the nephews. I dig the thought of that.”
Mickey Smith, a surf photographer released this short film, quietly on the internet in 2010. What was created for his nephews in memory of his sister, who was his biggest fan, ended up winning multiple awards and drawing heavy attention to his work from all corners of the globe.
Every aspect of this film is beautiful. The narration alone is powerful, but combined with the mind blowing imagery of a cold, wet paradise it delivers a strong message of passion, gratitude, determination and the desire to do something that is worth living for.
If there is anything that keeps me motivated to continue searching for that passion, to continue practicing gratitude, and to take full advantage of the cards i’m dealt every step of the way, it’s this film.