When you look at a photograph, what do you see, what happens? Do you just see a pleasant image that you find appealing? Is there a moment or a memory tethered to it that takes you back to a beautiful time in your life? Are a deep plethora of emotions stirred and is a connection to some dream or passion of yours’ made? For most people, I believe all such of these experiences are, relatively speaking, fairly occurring commonalities. For the longest time, I also largely cycled through the same reactions. It wasn’t until after I had been doing photography for a while that I discovered there could be more to such reactions, that photos could speak more in volume. The realization came about one day when looking at one of my more decent photos. Looking at it, all three of the common responses came to me at once, almost overwhelmingly. At the same, I was also reminded of all the little details that made up not just the time, but the day that photo was taken- where I had been, who I had talked to, what I had thought, what I had been wearing. The depth was immense and shocking, unexpected. It was like that photo was somehow a conduit into that one day of my life. In what it was reflecting, all of those aspects, so many of them no one else would see or know of unless I told them. Even then, it wouldn’t be the same. They wouldn’t have the same perspective, the depth, unless they had been there too and lived out the time I had myself. This was when I discovered a fourth dimension to how you can look at a photo, the highest and most intimate of them all, that of the owner and creature of the photo their self, the photographer’s.
It’s strange, there is a surprising amount I'm capable of forgetting at times. The names of actors, places I have been, shows I have watched or people I have met, I have caught myself having forgotten all sorts of details. Even when it comes to previous clients to I’ve worked with or places I’ve worked, I’m liable to sometimes have them and certainly at least a few of the details slip from my memory. However, if you show me a photo I’ve taken of whatever it is that I may have forgotten or become somewhat opaque about, I will remember it clarity once more and that perspective, the photographer’s perspective comes to breathe new life to such. Above all else, this is particularly true of the photos from my travels. Sometimes, what I’m able to recall is shocking even to myself, down to what I wore or what I had for breakfast.
These days, my portfolios and my photos are like a timeline of my life, personally and professionally. They’re asimiliar to bookmarks or tabs in the history of my life and each one flips me back to a date and point in time that is somehow exhumed from the past in my memory. It’s something truly special that I’ve never found anywhere else. The only way I can think I could somehow be able to create the same otherwise would be to do video logs and simply record what I do as I am in it. But the present is far too demanding for that and all that would just be too tedious anyway.
It’s not uncommon that I get the question why I almost always have a camera with me. Aside from the fact the pursuit of beautiful never ends, the simple reason is that perspective, the photographer’s perspective and the significance and place it holds for me in my life. While much has changed about photography in the past few years, whether the technology, the profession, conventions, or print, that perspective, everything tied to it with me, has not changed and nor will it. That is why I will always probably have a camera in hand or with me, whether I’m still working in the field or not. That perspective and what it allots myself is just to
valuable to give up.