I often get the question, “How long have you been into photography?” but I don’t have the standard answer many other photographers have. I can’t count the number of years I’ve wandered with a camera, because I frankly can’t remember a time when I haven’t. My earliest photos predate digital, when I carried a cheap plastic something that took film cartridges I didn’t even have to queue or wind.
I’m always a bit surprised when I hear folks say something along the lines of, “I’d love to find more time for photography,” like photography is an extracurricular activity for which one must set aside dedicated time. I hear tales of sad cameras left forgotten in a closet for months on end, and I just can’t comprehend this.
We’re all quite small in this vast world. We fill our lives up with work and projects and social lives and activities. With everything we add, we discover how much the earth has to offer, and we realize we could never experience it all, given a hundred lifetimes. The world feels bigger and bigger, with each new interest requiring thousands of hours to master, though each never reaches the state of “done.”
What drives us to be so insanely busy all the time?
What inspires you?
All too often, I hear about photographers who have simply grown bored with what they’re shooting. It all becomes the same, and there’s no fire left to the craft. I find that terribly sad, especially when it leads to some quitting entirely something they once loved.
How do you see the world? Some see it through routine. Some see it through the happiness of others. A lucky few see it moment-by-moment, as it unfolds in front of them.
Me? I see the world through my camera.
It feels somewhat easy to distance myself from the devastation in Texas, and I turn only a concerned brow toward what lies in wait for Florida. It’s tragic, and my heart aches for all who have lost their homes and livelihoods (and all this month, I am donating 25% of all proceeds from print sales to Harvey relief efforts). But once the news is turned off, my personal life creeps back in, pushing the drenched scenes, the tears, the pleas for help – back across the miles from whence they came.
But when tragedy strikes so close to home, I can no longer shut it out – intentionally or otherwise.
The world is inundated with superb photographs on a daily basis. It is an immensely saturated market. As someone passionate about photography, I’ll never stop working at my craft and trying to find my edge. However, I often feel grossly inadequate. Who am I to try to break into this market when it’s sadly undervalued by the general public and already dominated by artists far more talented than I?
If you didn’t know by now, I’ll let you in on a (not-so-)little secret: I’m a bit obsessed with photography. I experience much of my life through the lens, and I remember through pictures.
It’s difficult for me to separate photographs of good technical quality with those that have a strong sentimental tie, because I have similar reactions to both. The former are like the good child – always doing well in school, someone who brings great pride. The latter are also like children (they’re a piece of you), and while they may not perform as admirably, the mother loves them for all of the happy moments and experiences.