I am a photographer with a passion for film. For me photography has lifted a veil, where I see all the inherent beauty the world has to offer. If you aren't learning you're dead, so everyday I am constantly taking things in and asking questions. I am fascinated by people and sentient beings; the way we all cohabitate this planet and the ways in which we interact. Photography helps me understand this journey and make sense of it all, but I don't think it is supposed to make sense. A film photo is the original form of time-travel which makes it one of the greatest magic tricks. To be able to freeze a ripple in the ocean of time and relive that memory again and again never gets old. If no one could ever see my photos I would still take them because I personally enjoy the process and the discipline it teaches me. That being said the energy people get from my photos-whether it be positive or negative-and the inspiration that goes both ways is another amazing aspect of photography. Meeting people on the streets and getting the opportunity to connect with them and share our experiences really helps me put things into perspective and better my life's journey.
My photos tell you more about me then I ever could.
I can't tell you why I take photos or why things catch my attention. All I can say is that photography has been a form of meditation for me. Capturing moments has been a way for me to learn about myself and the world around me. It has been a way for me to freeze a piece of my life forever and make something of it. Paradoxically it has been a way for me to completely relax but also go completely insane.
I think I take pictures because my parents do. My mother is always keen on capturing every possible moment and I think being able to look back at those photos has made me appreciate it. My father was into photography at my age and has always had an appreciation for art forms that express the human condition; whether it be music, photography, film, etc. My sister who is 7 years younger than me has a gift where she can excel in anything she puts her mind to. Being able to collaborate with her artistically helps me develop and influences me to pursue the boundaries of my craft. The cliche of support cannot be undersold, having people you care about respond positively to what you do really influences you to progress.
Growing up I loved skateboarding. Skateboarding taught me many lessons, but above all it taught me how to see the world differently. A piece of concrete was transformed into a ledge where I envisioned what tricks I would do. The entire world around me opened up, all these things I would regularly walk past now came on my radar. This perspective shift opened up the floodgates to the possibilities that the world around me possessed. My inherent desire for perfection pushed me progress further and further. Talk is cheap and to prove your ability it needed to be recorded, thus the pursuit for a video camera. As a perfectionist I wanted nothing but the best and since it appeared that all the pros and anyone that mattered recorded with the Sony VX series that was naturally the camera I desired. Unfortunately for me at this time digital was taking over and this soon to be obsolete Mini DV camcorder was more difficult to obtain. Therefore I settled for a JVC hard disc drive mini camcorder which in hindsight was much more practical at my skill level and for the fact that I beat the hell out of it.
Throughout high school ironically I filmed almost everything but skateboarding. I filmed the shenanigans that my friends and I got ourselves into making dozens of short edits. The gear didn't matter, what mattered was that I captured these moments forever. I learned how to use the tool I was given and add the perspective I had at this time in our lives. The camera gave us the ability to capture time, to write history in our own way, to create. Like good wine these videos got better with age and became timeless classics between my friends and I. As I got older I began to lose this, this sense of freedom.
Fast forward to 3rd year University I started to notice the constant state of change our lives were in. And my life did feel like it fast forwarded. I was missing something. I can't explain it but I guess all the internal gratification I got from creating something and documenting life was absent. I wasn't creating anything I felt genuine or pure like I had before, so one day I just went out and bought the camera that to this day was haunting my dreams. Like no time had passed I began to film every weekend with my friends that summer with the VX in one hand and a beer in the other. Just like that I decided, I dreamt of what I wanted to do and I made it a reality.
Filming every weekend soon wasn't enough, I wanted more and I didn't know why. So naturally I turned to photography as something I could do on my own when I wasn't filming. Gradually photography took more stake in my life until it eclipsed videography entirely. Just like what skateboarding had done to my perception of the world photography did the same. It unlocked a new filter where I began to observe things deeper and ask questions. My curiosity guided me and my thoughts began to wonder; how did get they here, what your story, what are you thinking, who was standing here before me, who else has noticed this, what does this mean, how do I best represent this, what is it trying to say, what am I trying to say, what does it say, does it really say anything, does any of this matter, whats the point, why, how, who, what, when, where, why, why, why...why. Taking pictures of things that caught my eye and question why. Taking pictures of a man that walks by, why?
The world became more illusive, I felt that I could be literally anywhere and be content. Everything now had a purpose to me, everything began to speak to me, a language that was always there but I just couldn't speak it until now. I discovered that everything had an inherent beauty. I had been given the tool with infinite possibility to capture a single fraction of a moment. A sliver of time that we all share together. This tool brought enlightenment to my life freeing my mind. To predict things before they happened, to frame things in particular ways, to learn that candid life is far more strange than fiction. A camera is simply a tiny black box that lets in light. A camera, has taught me that the most powerful tool is the mind.
I ventured between cameras looking for the best one. It took me a while to understand that the best camera is the one you have with you. But I also found it was important to have something that inspires you and is conducive to your life. I found the medium to be critical in my photography and left digital for film. Shooting film helped keep me more relaxed and not so obsessive of the quality of image or the editing. Its been a way to focus purely on the image and what it says to me rather than the infinite ways in which I can manipulate an image after the fact. For me the medium of film helped keep me in the moment and take only photos I really felt I wanted.
So now I just take pictures I guess. I just enjoy creating, I think every human has a desire to create. To leave their mark that this is what they thought, felt, saw, enjoyed, hated, loved at this moment in time with the single life that they were given. For others to look back at their work and feel something, to learn something, to be inspired by something, to have a purpose, to wonder. Or maybe its all bullshit. Either way I just like to take pictures.