The Je Ne Sais Quoi Test

So how will this one picture a day scheme actually work? The general gist is to throw paint at a wall and hope a masterpiece appears from the wreckage of effort. I joke, partly. I’m taking something of a more mathematical approach to this, the law of averages one might say. I’m hoping if I take an average of ten well shot pictures then at least one of them will pass the Je Ne Sais Quoi Test.

In french Je ne sais quoi translates to “I do not know what”, at least on google translate anyway. My french friends may disagree. Some pictures just have that special something, it’s hard to explain, or even identify at times but they perfectly capture an essence and take on a life of their own. A picture is worth a thousand words so the saying goes and some pictures say what you hope they would and so much more. The Cambridge dictionary describes je ne sais quoi as ; a pleasing quality that cannot be exactly named or described. The hope is to capture moments from this beautiful time that defy description, after all that is the miracle of the photograph.

My wife is currently feeding our son whilst scrolling on her phone, she’s a natural multitasker and a natural mother, its hard to imagine it is her first time…at times. I remember meeting her for the first time at a train station and looking in to her eyes. She would humbly deny it of course but she passes the Je ne sais quoi test. She is both beautiful and talented and blisteringly intelligent but there is a special something that I cannot quite place. Whatever it may be, God bathed her in it.

I find this phenomenon with less majestic things than my wife. Certain songs just have a special something that makes them catchy, repeat-worthy, or my personal favourite, nostalgic. Bon Iver’s re:stacks has a magic about it that submerges me into feelings of nostalgic warm memories I cannot quite place, yet always happy to visit whenever I listen. That is the aim of these pictures, to be transported to those moments, and the feelings we felt then and be able to feel them anew as though they are barely a day old. Obviously it’s a tall order but I’m remembering to have fun. I get the distinct impression future me will be very happy I took such an approach.

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