OK maybe the title should read “people or bust…..most of the time” but that doesn’t have the same ring now does it? I do admit that I’m into photographing just about anything, but my real passion as a photographer is most definitely photographing people – no question about it. After some self-reflection on why this is, here’s what it comes down to for me:
Because I’m a person, people seem to be the most interesting thing to observe and understand. Now I’m not sure if that’s a deep thought or a simple one, but for me it’s 100% true! Don’t get me wrong, certain inanimate objects can be interesting to photograph and certain landscapes can be breathtaking when an awesome photographer has the ability to show that genre of work in an interesting way. However, give me that same breathtaking landscape except this time add a model, a couple, or a group of people that tell a real story and it’s going to be ten times a better shot than just the awesome landscape – at least subjectively for me anyway.
For me, the beautiful thing about photographing people is the ability of a photograph to capture someone in a moment that we can somehow relate to our own humanity and the human condition. While we socially know how important eye contact is, we sometimes don’t take the time to truly look at one another, possibly due to the busyness of our lives, our new-found anti-social issues with always connected mobile technology, or perhaps because it can just be considered rude to stare at someone up close – Seinfeld’s “close-talkers” come to mind. Soooo…..a still photograph allows us to take the time to really observe a person that we perhaps might not under normal circumstances. Taken with purpose, photographs of people captured in a natural, interesting or sometimes shocking ways that say something with intent is almost always a fascinating subject as it can so easily relate to our own humanity as individuals.
These thoughts in combination with my desire to always attempt to make art out of a situation that might normally just be a picture is what I hope always helps me stay creative moving forward. I’m truly excited about each and every single portrait session I photograph – for me, this is where the true beauty and excitement of this artform is…photographing people!