One question I've been asked a lot lately is what sparked my recent interest in photography. The truth is imagery and photography, as a medium, have always been an interest of mine. Photography, in the right hands, and the images born from it, have the power to invoke emotion, stir debate, and even incite rebellion. It's amazing to see how people wield the power of photography to tell a story or for the briefest moment give you a glimpse of their vision.
Earlier this year I watched Cheryl Dunn's documentary "Everybody Street" and was immediately captivated by the idea of street photography. The film highlights the lives and work of some of New York's most iconic street photographers, including Bruce Davidson, Mary Ellen Mark, Elliott Erwitt, Ricky Powell, Boogie, and Jamel Shabazz -- and the city that has continued to inspire them for decades. I was inspired by each photographer's ability to pay tribute to the spirit of street photography through the lens of their unique experiences living, working, and existing in New York City. I knew right after watching that street photography was something that I wanted to pursue.
Less than a week later I bought my first camera with absolutely no idea how to use it. After fumbling through the instruction manual a few times I decided to sign up for a Digital Photography class at a local education center and lucked out with an instructor who stressed the importance of using emotion to guide you in your photography.
"Photographers make images, they don't take them" he said early on in one of our classes. The advent of social media has made photography and imagery a ubiquitous part of our daily life, anyone can take a picture but what does it take to make an image that leaves a lasting impression? The notion of making an image stuck with me and it's something I try to be conscious of every time I press the shutter.
Why am I taking this picture? What do I want the viewer to see? How do I want them to feel? Those are a few of the questions I like to think about everytime I look through the viewfinder and compose an image. All I can ever hope for is that my photography make you feel something.
Head over to Petapixel for a short interview of National Geographic photographer, Sam Abell on the difference between taking and making a photograph. For a taste of some of my street photography check out my portfolio here.
What are some of your favorite photographs or photographers? Why? I'd love to hear from you in the comment section!