Saturday, January 7, 2012

Unloading and The Context For

So. The other day I took an inventory of photos I've taken over the years. I was amazed, though not surprised, to find more than 11,000. Certainly not a lot by serious photographer standards, but a lot for me.

This is great because it means that I've gotten somewhere with photography. To no lofty place of technical expertise, but somewhere. I wanted to take Photography I in high school but couldn't because all my elective credits were routinely consumed by band and French. (Two things that did turn out to be worth the time, by the way. Though my mad clarinet skills can exclusively be filed under Activities That Promoted General Brain Enhancement. I was no Benny Goodman and was pretty much in it for the Bandie camaraderie and the trips. Whether I practiced ever during my senior year is debatable.)

So I didn't get the chance to take a photography course in school, and my pre-digital experience was pretty much limited to your basic film disposables and an old SLR my dad unearthed for me to play with. Emphasis on old, emphasis on unearthed. I had absolutely no idea what to do with it besides depress the shutter and make sure there was film inside when having done so. I didn't even know how to extract the film from the camera without destroying it. Which means that somewhere (somewhere) this old camera still contains an undeveloped roll of film I took in 10th grade of pictures of my friend Susie gleefully displaying whatever-in-heck it was I used to ask Peter Anderson to the Sweetheart girls-ask-guys dance...probably some sort of cake left on his doorstep.

By college, digital photography came into being, which was around the time I had any money to get myself into the hobby I already knew was mine. At this point, the method of "true" photography was becoming irrelevant as digital photography took its place. But the most important thing for me was form. After function. You can be a technical expert and still never see. There were so many beautiful small and seemingly unnoticed things in life that NEEDED to be documented. Most namely, moments experienced by and between people. But lots of other things, too, like Grandma Dorothy's humble but utterly expansive dresser top display of jewelry.

So, the 11,000 photos. What are they? A lot of things. Maybe it's the new year, maybe it's the prospect of turning 30, but I feel the need to share them more than I have, because the beauty of photography is the impact it can have for simply having taken the time to capture something. So many of the images are of things that have had a profound impact on me, but what good are they if they are not shared?

Beyond this desire to see and preserve moments in our lives, there is also an utter love for interiors that I can't shake. I know this isn't world-critical stuff, but I do feel that the surroundings we give ourselves influence us so much more than we're usually willing to admit. So I do feel a need to share my vision around this more, as well. How, to be determined.

Let it be known that I really do not like being an in-your-face camera person and have a very hard time photographing strangers for fear of being chased down the street afterwards. Bill Cunningham of the New York Times, I am not. But I do like being in a position of "you'll thank me later" by documenting things to show people that those moments in their lives were noticed and mattered.

So I think I can use this blog more to accomplish that. In other words, more to come in 2012. 


sonrisadejoy said...

I LOVE THIS POST! Your photos are amazing... please keep sharing with us! :)

Mom/Mary Jo said...

Hear, Hear!! I approve wholeheartedly!