Passion is a misunderstood term in our carefree society. We think of passion as this romantic term for falling in love, but in truth it means something much darker. The number one definition of passion is the suffering of Christ that endured from the night before His death on the cross. The number two definition is actually the word suffering.
You can tell from that explanation that passion is not what we think it is. So why do we say things like he has so much passion for his craft? Or, he is a very passionate dancer? After photographing the Columbia City Ballet this year, I think I might have some idea. You don’t see it on stage during the performance because the dancers are trained to smile. You do see it in the years of practice that it took to reach that level.
A photographer friend who is also a dancer, showed me a picture one time of a dancer’s feet. It was shockingly horrible. The toes were all mangled and bloody from the day’s practice. That was a far cry from the beauty that you see on stage. But, in that moment of seeing that photograph, I got it. I saw the years and years of blood, sweat and tears that it took to make that performance happen. I saw the suffering, and quite literally the passion.
When I took this photo during the Nutcracker ballet, I knew immediately that I was capturing something amazing. The ability to hold a vertical split is one thing. To be held in space by your partner, upside down and while he is on one foot is another thing altogether. This was a truly unbelievable display of the human condition and the passion that it takes to be a dancer. This pushes me to work harder and suffer for my own art of photography. The way I do that, is by doing my best to capture the moment in a way that does them justice.