I am intrigued by two statements lately; first, poet and philosopher George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." It is most important to understand what has gone before us, to understand the functionality of our medium. Through this understanding, we may discover how to push the boundaries because without such a known history we would not know where the boundary is even located.
Second, Pablo Picasso’s words, “good artists copy, great artists steal.” I feel both declarations are fundamental in the progression of photography or any school of thought if we are getting serious. Essentially, I feel both statements create the perfect union; we should understand our past, take it and make it our own.
Photography is your own. The world has been seen in so many ways, but never before through MY eyes and through MY thoughts. I am not entirely sure how one knows when they have taken a great photograph, aside from the way you respond to your own image and eventually see how others respond to it as well. If you do not feel passionate about your work, how can you ever expect anyone else to feel passionate about it? Creation takes risks. It may make you feel uncomfortable and often times being uncomfortable can be an impetus for growth. Get uncomfortable and let yourself become what is unexpected for a moment.
Photography is simple. I just start shooting and keep shooting until it feels right and then move on once it does not feel right anymore. I photograph people being people, people marrying people, people in places, things on the side of the road, children laughing and children crying. I feel inspired to explore the crudeness of photographing in such unconventional ways by knowing Diane Arbus’s work. There is this richness of life or the lack of life in every corner. I respond to my environment and my environment responds in subtle ways back toward the camera.
Photography is limitless. We spend half of our lives trying to define ourselves and the other half trying to live up to what we defined ourselves as, when in the end we could have had a full life just living and being. I am not saying do not examine your life, but definitions can set boundaries and limit us from achieving our full potential and to reach something never before obtained, we have to do extraordinary things. I do not believe we are solely defined by what we do, but how we choose to do it. As I continue with photography, more and more people want to know what kind of a photographer I am. Do I shoot landscapes, families, weddings, or products? I just want to do it all, this way I do not feel limited in my options to live and do what feels right for myself. We must be willing to be taken places we never before dreamed we could go to find places we did not even know existed.
Photography is beautiful. I can say this because beauty is indefinable, and undeniable in the eyes of those it plagues. The softness or harshness of the image may make someone cringe or tilt their head a little to the right, the way a concerned friend would do as you tell them about your dilapidated love life. We all know we even love things we hate and can find beauty in uncommon things. Photography can make the acronym of the very word beautiful, beautiful and the reverse. We have to take from deep within ourselves, place what we found in front of us and photograph it. The world of photography is taking us places and wherever we are going, I will have my camera in tow.