Every Photo Has a Story
The other day Marcie and I went by the Old Tin Gin in Sargent, Georgia. It was something we had been wanting to do since we arrived here. As we drove by at the end of the final leg of our cross-country journey we saw flags surrounding the building that sat abandoned the last time we were by. There were other signs that things had changed since our last visit five years earlier. The grounds were well maintained, and all the window had glass. From a once abandoned building, a business had sprouted.
In my last post, I talk a little about finding the story in images. Every picture has one, even if you have to make one yourself. The story behind this image is simple. It’s a story that will probably grow, and had I not been reminded of the date I might have missed it altogether.
As I said, our last visit to The Old Tin Gin was during a previous trip to Georgia on October 22, 2012. Marcie’s brother-in-law was showing us some of the local scenery and took us by the very tiny town of Sargent. I saw this old building with signs attached all around the top and wanted to get a few shots. It looked like something I could make some great black and white images of. It’s what a photographer does. They look around and find the stories, then they make images.
Here’s what that same window looked like on October 22, 2012 next to what it looked like exactly five years later on October 22, 2017.
In spite of my plans to do something with the images, they got put aside and forgotten for the most part. Distractions and the “some day syndrome” are brutal about keeping you from finishing goals. Finishing requires being equally brutal about limiting distractions and counting today as “some day.”
Except for the metal print of the window hanging on our wall, the Old Tin Gin pictures were filed away and forgotten. I didn’t think about them again until we went out to see what the new business that now occupied the building was all about.
Someone had bought the property and opened a small antique and odds-and-ends store at the beginning of summer. About a dozen local artist and entrepreneurs rent booths where, on weekends, they can sell their creations and antiques. In a few short months the business has become successful enough that their is a waiting list for booth space.
I asked the owner a little about the place and for permission to take pictures when no one was around during the week. “Take all the pictures you want,” was his response. In exchange, my goal is to write about the Old Tin Gin and see if I can help get some exposure for his business as well as myself. Seems like a fair exchange.
Find Your Picture’s Story
What drew me to the Old Tin Gin five years ago was the building itself. It was old, abandoned, and obviously had some history. It also has a story.
When I first made a few images I didn’t have a plan for what I would do with the images. Without a plan I did nothing except post a few in an album on Flickr. Beyond that they were left untouched. I started something, but I failed to finish.
I remembered why I started. I found a building that has a story to be told. Going back, I saw what changed, and realized that the pictures I made five years ago were only the first chapter of the story. It has just taken five years to find the rest of the story.
Whether it’s an image, writing, starting a business, a diet, running a marathon, whatever it is you started, remember why you started. Then…
…find your story and finish it.
Want some more inspiration? I recently finished a book that has inspired me to become a finisher, and I’d like to recommend it to you. It has a very clever title – Finish. Find out all the ways you can get it at Books by Jon Acuff. (Disclaimer: Jon had nothing to do with this recommendation. I just think it’s a great book that will help you finish, and I want to help Jon too.)
Old Tin Gin does not have a website, not yet anyway, but they do have a Facebook page if you want to find out more about them.
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