We fall in love with photography. And yet, it is about more than cameras and lenses, depth of field and exposure, or image processing and printing. It is about learning to see. As photographers, we must figure out what it is that we are meant to see, to experience, to share. We must find stories to tell, places to document, subjects to delve deeply into, curiosities to investigate, emotions to express, ideas to share, or events to record. We must fall in love with something, or be moved, inspired or motivated by something beyond photography itself. We must focus our energy not just on learning to operate our equipment, but on understanding and investigating our subject or ourselves.
“A camera is a tool for learning to see without a camera.”
What do we photograph and why? How can we dig more deeply into matters that mean the most to us—that inspire us, anger us or intrigue us? How can we use our photographic tools to more fully explore that which piques our curiosity? How can we turn our cameras on ourselves—if not literally, then figuratively? What are the themes that run through our work and through our lives? What has shaped us into who we are and what we hope to become?
When we can answer these questions, or at least embrace and pursue them, and combine them with our sense of visual style, then we can begin to find our voice. Not that it is missing. It is simply buried deep within us and must be excavated. How is your digging going?