You may be all alone with your camera but photography gives you the opportunity to connect. Connect to the environment around you if you photograph landscapes, experience the time and space, the place. When shooting portraits you get the opportunity to take time with the people that you photograph, this is why I love what I do, I love people!! People of all ages, backgrounds, cultures, the rich and the poor, everybody has their story and experiences that make them who they are and that is what fascinates me. And of course, finally, photography gives you the ability to connect with your audience. That beautiful silent communication that you get from an image. It can be so powerful. Much more so than words.
So much can be told by body language, the look of an eye, or even the angles used on a landscape to portray the mood of the place.
The image at the top of my blog is one that I took as a student at University, I like to look back at it as it reminds me of why I love photography. That moment when everything aligns perfectly to illustrate the situation, the sounds, the emotions, the connections with the children. When you look at this image you can feel the mood of that moment.
Cartier Bresson would call this the ‘decisive moment,’ that exact perfect moment to release the shutter. I do believe to some extent that this ‘descisive moment’ exists and this type of intuition of timing can make the difference between a good photographer and a great photographer. However, it’s not necessarily always an innate response, but also something that can be taught. Like anything, study it enough, understand the theory behind it and you can learn to identify the ‘decisive moment.’ We will talk more about how to do this later in my blog when exploring what makes a ‘good’ image?
So what do you want to ‘connect’ with?!! Where will you start when you pick up your camera?! Well, the answer to that is easy.
We tend not to explore the environment that we live in, or we take for granted the faces that we see every day. But these are what you know best, and therefore a great place to start. Almost always the best work comes from within, draw what you know, film what you know, write about what you know, and shoot (not literally!!) what you know. With this comes an integrity, and it will shine through your work.
You MUST have a passion for what you photograph, you MUST CONNECT with what you photograph.