Living the Sweet Life: To My Camera, I Wish to Say Deep Thanks!

By Alisa Murray Nationally recognized portrait artist and award- winning columnist.

By Alisa Murray
Nationally recognized
portrait artist and award-
winning columnist.

Well, I’m gonna miss her. For five years, she has been a faithful companion and has delivered when asked each and every time exactly what I wanted. Through the surf in Galveston and in the heat of our most humid days in my yard, she’s even taken one for the team once or twice when a diaperless newborn had to pee! Not many humans can hold such accolades. Of course, I am referring to my camera.

When I went recently to the most fabulous Degas exhibit at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, I saw a gloriously comprehensive collection of the artist’s works. I have followed him for almost 35 years. I have traveled to Washington and Paris just to see his work and even have replicas of his ballerinas in my home. What I wished I could have seen or dared to even touch were his brushes. The magic that he gave to the very instruments to make his craft would have been an even larger treat for this old artist.

300-cameraLike my brushes and – increasingly more – my laptop, my camera is one of the most important “things” in my life. Without them, I could not create, nor paint or write. So I want to thank her, because for five years at approximately 1,000 frames per day for almost seven days each week, she gave me her everything.

I was shooting when she froze and I coached her through, repeatedly taking out the battery and carefully placing it back into her hoping she’d come back for one more round. And she did. Like an old friend, it was as if she just knew we had to finish this last one together! Sure enough, as I clicked that frame and turned her off, it was to be her very last. Brian tried to turn her back on, and she was completely and utterly finished, refusing to even acknowledge another frame. But you see, she gave me that last frame. She died not leave me hanging in the middle of that shoot without her. I won’t forget that. How cool would it be to truly have friends like that? I am deeply grateful for her loyalty and duty in my hand.

I have all of my old cameras and a handful of old brushes, and I’m keeping them. This last camera was the first one in nearly 20 years that I pushed until she could go no more, and I like it that way. I think about all of my brushes and recall they too have had the same treatment. We should live our lives giving until we can’t give another thing. The world would most certainly be better for it!

As such a large part of my life, these companions deserve to be honored and kept because of their duty and loyalty. When I am gone, I sure hope someone decides to keep them around to remember me by, because they are as much a part of the art I have spent my life creating as the art itself.

Take Care of YOU!