Regrets and the Pictures You Don’t Make


If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that I never regret making a picture. What I always regret is NOT making the picture.

A good friend took me on an adventure this winter – down some roads I’d never been on to places I’d never seen. Honestly, I was completely turned around and have no idea where we were most of them as he weaved his truck in and out of two counties and across narrow, muddy backroads that my little nerd mobile could never navigate.

Toward the end of the adventure, the already gloomy day was turning more so by the minute. That’s when we passed an amazing old church.

Wood clapboard siding with faded, pealing paint. Clearly abandoned but still maintained by someone. We commented on it but didn’t stop. I almost made him go back. Had I been driving, I would’ve turned around. But we were tired and hungry and daylight was fading.

I have regretted that decision ever since.

So my friend gave me directions and I went back Saturday, hitting the road before sunrise so I could make the ninety minute trek back to the middle of nowhere for a picture. It’s a great church but I’m fairly certain it’s the wrong church. In my memory, it sits high on a ridge with no trees or buildings around. The road was wide but there was a big curve and it felt like you could see for miles.

I remember thinking I would frame the church to the left and show that openness in the other two-thirds of the photo.

But maybe my memory is playing tricks on me. Who knows?

Either way, I got to see this great old church.


There’s a fence with a padlocked gate. Another gate facing the yard of the house next door was open, making me think the neighbors probably tend to it. I thought about knocking on their door but saw no cars in the driveway. Besides, it was before 9 on a Saturday morning. Who wants a stranger on their porch at that hour?

I can’t tell you a single thing about this church but think it’s worth sharing anyway – along with a warning – always stop for the picture!

That day also took me to the Silver Moon Dinner, through some beautiful farm country and to a Dress Barn location for some desperation shopping because I have no clue where I’ll buy professional work clothes in southern Ohio after they close. I’ll share some pretty farm pictures off and on this summer. 

Have you ever regretted not making a picture? I also regret not photographing more of the people in my life but that’s a whole other ball of wax. Tell me your story in the comments.



7 thoughts on “Regrets and the Pictures You Don’t Make

  1. That is a cool looking church – what a nice find.

    I don’t think I’ve ever regretted not taking a picture, but I do regret the photo’s I missed because I’d been using expired film, or old cameras or some such – instead of something decent – and that didn’t come out.

  2. WOW! Great images, Brandi.
    Regrets: I was stationed on Terceira Island, Lajes Field, the Azores for three years (1970-73). Local legend has it that Christopher Columbus, on one one of his voyages to “the new world” stopped on this island and worshiped at an old crumbling church. Well, to be fair it probably wasn’t crumbling back in the late 1400s but it certainly did not age well by the time I got there). I remember shooting a lot of 35mm film on this subject but was always hampered by the cliff that dropped off into the N. Atlantic on the front side and the graveyard on the back side. I really needed to shoot that church with B&W in medium format, a camera I didn’t possess. So the regret is not having the right tool for the job. I need to go back there to Lajes in the not too distant future and do that job right…provided it’s still there!

    • What a story, Rich! Indeed, you need to go back. Imagine having the right tool for the job as well as the added experience from years of practice. You may view the subject in an entirely new way. Thanks for sharing this story. I love it!

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