Why do we photograph?
This thought has been spinning around my mind feverishly lately. It frustrates me that I don’t always have a clear answer.
WHY do I photograph?
What if my images never made it out into the world for anyone else to see but me? Would I still continue to lift the viewfinder up to my eye, frame and press the shutter?
Do I see more or do I miss out when I am lugging my camera(s) around with me everywhere?
I feel saturated visually these days. There really are so many amazing things to see when we are online, so much talent, so many worlds, and adventures and moments to follow along with. It makes me question myself, my work, and my eye. Does anyone care what I see? Of course, I then go back to another favorite practice, yoga. In yoga we practice because it’s a practice. We are not attached to the outcome, a particular posture or a feeling. We practice because movement brings us to stillness. When I re-frame my art into yoga-isms, I realize I come to photography because it lights me up. I come to photography because I have a story to tell. It’s my own personal story; and sometimes in the case when I am hired by a couple or a family or a business – I have their story to tell. But the way I tell it is completely unique to me. Maybe those photos never leave my hard drive or the film doesn’t make it to the lab (oh man, I don’t even want to tell you how many rolls of 35mm I have sitting on the shelf right now) or maybe I post them the minute I take them on Instagram or Snapchat but I shouldn’t ever feel like (and neither should you) I don’t have a story to tell. When it comes down to the nitty-gritty of it all, and when I get to the truth of the question I asked above, photography is the best way I know how to translate what is happening to me and around me at a given moment. I don’t always have words, but I do have camera. I can take a photo and not even have a clue as to how all the elements of the set up are playing out together, but I really do believe that my sub conscious does know. I wear my heart on my sleeve and in my camera roll…
I guess I am sharing all of this today because I want you all to know that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed with all the photos we see everyday. But to know that your story, it’s important. This practice, it’s practice. (even when the stakes are high, it’s all just PRACTICE).
Keep chasing that light (and I will too),
PS all images in this post were taken using my new favorite camera, the Fuji Instax Mini. I sorta love the imperfections and the learning curve of getting that focus and light figured out (actually, it’s my favorite part- the challenge of it all!). Plus, the tiny little magic that comes out of the camera captivates everyone, including me. The magic of instant film really doesn’t get old.