“Это твоя судьба.” It is your fate.
This sentence was said to me by the father of the groom whose wedding I was shooting when my camera broke. One week into my stay in Russia and my camera broke. It was an upsetting event all around. I had travelled all this way to photograph life in Kazan and I had no camera. What does a photographer do without a camera? How would I get it fixed in the middle of Russia? How do I tell this family how sorry I am that they won’t have any photos of the wedding party? The family took it quite well and was more concerned about my unhappiness than the prospect of an incomplete photo album. It is my fate. These words were actually quite comforting in the moment. Religious or not, fate is a belief held by many Russians I have met. I, unfortunately, do not have such a strong belief. For me, profound worry and stress would follow but in that moment nothing could have comforted me more. If I am to be cynical, I could think that a belief in fate is a way to accept injustices and mediocrity in life. I could see it a way to be complacent. But the beauty of believing in fate is that it actually frees you from worry. It frees you from feeling that you have to figure everything out on your own. I truly want to believe that everything happens for a reason and perhaps Russia is the perfect place to start doing just that.
P.S. Apparently what happened to my camera, the mirror fell out, is a known issue in the Canon 5D (the old one). So my camera is being fixed for free. And I now have a rental.