Photography is a gift

Photography is a gift to the viewer.

This is one idea I have that I feel I haven’t expressed very well in my blog yet. Art should be a gift to the viewer. There is no hidden purpose, no product that I’m trying to sell to you, no hidden agenda with trying to become the most powerful person in the world! Hahah (okay maybe). But seriously, the reason that I take photographs and present them to you is because I want as many people as possible to see and appreciate the lives of other people. That’s it.

These moments deserve to be remembered, normal people are so often left out in the mass media that I want to put them onto a pedestal and lift them up. To be venerated beyond pop music stars and actors. This work is a gift to you, I want you to see these photographs and realise that you, just like everyone else around you, can be the subject of a work of art. everyday life deserves a place next to the mona lisa herself. The gift that I am trying to give you is the feeling of love that I feel when I take these photographs. That being said I don’t know if I will ever achieve my goal, most artists spend their entire lives doing nothing but preaching to the converted. Not that that’s a bad thing. I also want to have my work be seen by those that feel differently, that don’t see anything of value in the everyday.

I remember when I was sitting in a history of photography class and I first saw the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson and it was like a veil was lifted over my head. Holy shit! Everyday life can be the subject of beautiful photography. It was like the philosophers that I was studying came to life in the photographs. Humanism incarnated into the form of a photograph. (Cartier-Bresson also took portraits of most leading existentialists like Camus, Sartre, and De Beauvoir) I want to inspire others to be more humanistic through my photographs. To see, and appreciate, and to love, for no other reason other than these people exist. My photography is a fight, a fight for the belief that Life is worthy of admiration.

Why you should print your photos

This is one of the best possible things anybody who owns a camera can do (even if it’s your smartphone). Photographs are not pixels. Photographs are moments in time, I believe physical mementos are the best way to remember the things that are important to you. Think about any old antique that you or your family has, now imagine what it would look like as a photograph and you only ever looked at it on your phone/ipad/laptop screen. It kind of takes away from the value right? My family has a ship in a bottle that’s been passed down for three generations and I’ve always loved holding it because it’s just so freaking cool. All of the little parts that were so intricately pieced together just amaze me, the fact that someone took the time out to make it is simply incredible. If I had a photograph of that ship in a bottle it wouldn’t give me half of the pleasure I get from actually holding the thing. It’s the physicality of it and the idea that someone made this with their hands that makes it so freaking cool.

It’s the same for photographs. I’m sure my family has tons of photos of me and my brother that only exist as one’s and zero’s in a hard drive, but they also have printed photos, and I believe that it’s the photos that we actually care enough about to turn into something physical that we will truly cherish for generations. All hard drives will break eventually, It’s inevitable. If you don’t take the time to print your photos (as well as keep an extra digital copy on a separate hard drive, but that’s a blog post for another day) then you are essentially gambling with the fact that you or your family may never be able to look at them ever again. But a physical photo is something that can be passed around a table and show to all of your friends and family. The feeling is slightly different than passing around a ipad or a phone, in a good way.

I think it’s the feeling of actually holding the photograph that turns it into something that you want to keep and preserve. I believe everyone should go through all of the photographs they take at least every year and make prints in order to have something to hold. Anyone can look at a photograph on a screen, but when you have something to hold in your hands then the idea really comes through that this is a photograph with a capital P. The feeling of getting a print to hold in your hands is something that shouldn’t be forgotten.