It’s kind of impossible to take a bad picture at the Baltic Sea because everywhere you go, there seems to be something worth photographing. Then again, everywhere you go there seems to be something worth photographing. Photography, however, is sort of a complicated affair. When I am on an assignment, I go into my zone. It’s work, and I know that 100% of my attention and time can be devoted to the exact act of seeing. I think that’s what I love most about reportage photography – this and that I love to be able to tell a story visually. But taking photos for me doesn’t just end when a job is finished. I want to photograph and catalogue my life. I do so to have records of memories for me and me alone (there are many pictures that never get posted here) but I also do so in order to share them with others. This does raise the pressure level of turning out images worth viewing when I am on holiday, do something “noteworthy,” or when I am just spending time with friends.

But there are just some scenes that are not conducive to photography. There are plenty of times the lighting isn’t ideal, or a location may not be aesthetically up to par with what I have in my mind. Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to create a perfectly curated version of my life for myself or for anyone else for that matter. But I am always chasing things that visually compel me; I can’t be satisfied with a mediocre image. It’s the price you pay for being an artist, I guess. But there are plenty of moments that are compelling regardless of if they look so in a photograph or not. They are moments that turn into memories that I will in turn, hold close to my heart. Which is why I choose to shoot things I know that I will never edit as well. I keep a folder of all the original photos I take. And then there is a folder full of images I deem worthy of editing. And then there are the ones I actually share. And majoritively speaking, most images belong to that giant folder of “crap” images. Because sometimes as nice a place was, it didn’t translate visually. Or conversely, a scene is just too fucking beautiful to be captured by a machine. But looking at even the crappiest of images can bring you back to a time and place – they are a raw and unedited depiction of the way things were. And viewed chronologically, they tell a story. I definitely see parallels here to that folder overflowing with images which no one will ever see with passwords kept safe, not meant to be shared with anyone.

Still, there are other times when I am just having the best fucking day ever that I just want to enjoy the moment and don’t want to be arsed with fragmented experiences, a few seconds being in the moment, the next being somewhere else, worrying about composition. I try to draw a line between how much day-to-day existence I catalogue for that very reason – holidays being the exception. There is a give and take with photography. There are moments you say “screw it” and leave the camera at home – you might regret it, you might not. There are other times you also say “screw it” and lug around that heavy metal that seems to always let you know it’s there sitting on your shoulder, or tucked in that annoying but extremely important case protecting the most expensive 2 pounds of equipment you have ever owned. But even though you might not be able to run around as carefree as you could without it, you shoot the hell out of the day and come back with images that will turn into memories one day. Ultimately when photography is being used as some sort of record, the likelihood that you will look back on a series of images and think “Goddamn, why did I take all these amazing pictures? Who needs photographic evidence of this special moment?” is pretty rare. In fact, I don’t think I have ever heard anyone say it before. But I have heard people regret not living in the moment. But the paradox is that in that very moment, when the world is spinning but you are standing still, watching it all through the viewfinder on your camera, that moment, that future pastime, has sort of gotten away from you, hasn’t it?

Photography: Rae Tashman

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Stay conscious, Rae


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Rae Tilly

Rae the EIC of LFB and YEOJA Magazine. She is also a photographer and social media influencer.


  • Ahh! You take beautiful, beautiful photographs! I’m just like you. I’m always looking for something to take photos of and sometimes, I get frustrated because lighting is a HUGE deal to me. Sometimes, I don’t find anything inspiring even though in my mind, I composed a certain image beforehand and regrettably get my hopes up. It’s so frustrating sometimes but I love doing it!

    Seriously though, you take amazing photos!

    Katherine Lou

  • You always write quality and beautiful posts! I love photography so much as well and I constantly regret not carrying my camera wherever I go. :P By the way, you take AMAZING photos!! :) Hope you are having a great week!


    • rae

      Thank you so much Shelley, that is very sweet of you. And maybe a good new years goal would be to carry your camera around with you at least once a week!

  • Stephanie Louise

    Sometimes you get so drawn into the place and it’s so beautiful and you just want to take a picture of everything! When I get like that it does help like you mentioned when you get in your zone. :)

    • rae

      Getting in the zone can be awesome!

  • So true, it’s hard to balance taking photos vs. being in the moment. Although I must say, I more often regret not taking a photo than taking one. But in general the photo is never as good as what I’m trying to capture!

    • rae

      I agree – I can’t really think of specifically regretting a photo, but what I do sometimes think is that I would be able to enjoy the moment more if I wasn’t so focused on getting the image. Esp. when you are the only one of your friends who is always taking the photos!

  • “as nice a place was, it didn’t translate visually. Or conversely, a scene is just too fucking beautiful to be captured by a machine”
    I was thinking (+ bizarrely) posting about this today. Sometimes I can be lazy with my photo taking, and I’m honest about that, and then sometimes I’m not and I think I take images that are ok. I don’t work as a photographer, but I do understand the compelling visuals, I feel like sometimes all I want is to look at pretty things forever.

    • rae

      I think that anyone who is enthusiastic about photography – wether as a profession or because they just love taking photos (which is just as legitimate if you ask me!) wrestles with this!

  • Amazing photos, so inspiring <3 and I love your writing, so true!

  • It’s such a tricky thing isn’t it. I find when I have my camera around my neck I grasp the world around me, I notice the details I would never have noticed before, I capture memories and laughter between my friends and I come home with images I will cherish forever. However it comes at a cost. I have to lug this heavy machine around with me, I am usually capturing a conversation rather than being in it and before I know it my memories are ones that are behind the camera rather than in front.

    So therefore, I spend the next day without my camera. I run around with friends and I’m enjoying being free from camera bags and lenses and I enjoy myself thoroughly. But then I come home with no images to show for it. It now just exists in my memory

    Oh the photographers conundrum!

  • These are beautiful. I spent a lot of hours looking at old photographs when I was young. Especially since we didn’t live near any family! I tend to lean on the side of lugging my camera around because I don’t really ever regret the images later on.