"And if you feel that you can't go on, and your will's sinkin' low
Just believe and you can't go wrong.
In the light you will find the road..you will find the road.."
One of the many things I love about photography is how much it coaxes deep thought of people. One photo can say a thousand things to a thousand different people. And though we can manipulate photos, at the core of a simple photograph is pure truth. A photo of a person? No matter the skill of the subject in portraying a poker face, the eyes never lie. I don't care if you're a ten-years+ successful actor. It is extremely hard to convey a lie in your eyes. One must really commit to the objective of the shot in order to make it believable.
The perfect photo can bring people to tears or inspire side-splitting laughter. A photo can start a revolution or bring calm to troubled social waters. Photos can arouse, disgust, touch, or demand introspection.
I've always been into art and art-related media, but over the years I've become more aware and almost developed a sixth (seventh?) sense for 'seeing in photos', as a friend once put it. With this, my personal photographs have gotten better and more artistic.
I love showing different aspects of a person, place, or object (noun? ha ha..)-ways to perceive something or someone that aren't traditional or aren't the biased representation. For example, I've been taking photos at work over the past few months of my fellow dancers and bartenders. I've focused on things like hands, jewelry, subconscious habits (folding and unfolding gum wrappers, for example), shoes, cigarettes, etc. Parts of 'the biz' that aren't all glamour and glitter and silicone. Aspects of the industry that reveal that these are human beings with human behaviors, not just fantasy objects in good lighting.
What's funny about my work is that I often end up being out of the series of photos if I'm taking them on a trip with friends or at friends' houses. We went on a trip last week to Jerome, AZ, and I took three photos (out of around 150) that involved me in some way: two were of my shoes and one of my famous mirror shots. Ha. But I don't mind being behind the camera for this type of thing. I'm lucky to be in front of a camera for a few parts of my life so when I can show my perception of my surroundings, it's quite satisfying.
I've also met some amazing creative minds through this interest. A few of the photographers I've been blessed to meet are so interesting and passionate about things that it inspires me to be a better, more life-loving person. I know photographers with very different styles as well, so I'm fortunate to learn about each and why each person loves the style he or she loves. I love learning about the interests of others who are very passionate about what they like. My best friend is a huge (that's actually an understatement, italics and all) DMB fan, and I love constantly learning new things about the band and why she loves them the way she does. She's taught me so much-things I never knew I cared to know-and helped me be a more well-rounded person regarding music. I was never a big DMB fan, but seeing her passion and how certain songs brought tears to her eyes convinced me that I at least needed to expose myself more to them. If something (band, artist, animal, shoes-whatever) moves someone, truly moves them, there is something (however small) for you to learn from it. However different we are from each other, we are still the same species and we are stuck here together. It's intelligent and relevant to learn about things that scare, shock, disgust us or make us uncomfortable-these things teach us to look inward and turn the mirror back at ourselves. They force us to examine our own motivations and belief systems to see where we stand and why.
It's a little amusing how so many of my blog entries begin with a concise topic and what appears to be a well-marked path, and quickly progress into chaos and rambling, culminating in some philosophical mantra regarding a lesson learned or to be learned.
I think it's the pot.