As winter settles in and my spring semester starts I have to start focusing on my studio practice again. Last semester I played around a lot with the role photography had with my own vision. That slowly evolved into how each person see's things differently which grew into people's perspectives. I was trying to use photography to literally portray these ideas, but found myself coming up short. This semester I want to visualize the idea of perspective in the minds eye. People choose to focus on certain things and filter out other things. Our perception becomes what we feel is most important.
Photography has the unique ability to visualize perspectives. From the start, the photographer chooses what subject to capture and what to look past. I found myself in the beginning discovery stages of photography I would photograph EVERY SINGLE THING. I had a large catalogue of images piling up with little overall content. When I realized I was just shooting and not thinking about what I was shooting I had to take a breather. I had a slight panic attack, nothing I was going to shoot would ever be original or creative. All my images were mediocre and as a whole it just described a high schooler in a midwest suburb. I saw all these travel photographers on the internet from all around the world and couldn't help but see the lack of wonder my photos held. Over the years I had the opportunity to travel to all sorts of places. I began to see great images come out of my travels and started to gain some confidence. I looked forward to when I went on my next trip to somewhere exotic or with great landscapes and rich culture. I was finally becoming the photographer I wanted to be but my photography at home became unsatisfying. I found the confidence to apply for art school and follow my dreams as a photographer. I could picture myself in the future getting paid to travel the world and document every moment of it. I continued to travel in between semesters and focused on studio projects during the year. My studio practice was lacking any passion and I started to think I could only be a good photographer if I was traveling.
It wasn't until my sophomore year until I was pushed in my studio class to fine tune my skills and discover who I was as an artist. I began to transform from a photographer to an artist. I was learning about how to create instead of how to take a good picture. My perspective began to shift away from who I thought I should be to what I was discovering about myself. I started to understand that the most important thing I could do as an artist was dig deeper and make something that was important to me. I was not a picture maker, I was a communicator of ideas.
Although I still love traveling and the inspiration that is drawn from it, I don't rely on those moments to captivate me anymore. What captivates me is the ability to take the ordinary and make it beautiful. The act of treasuring every moment of the day and stretching myself creatively. The individuality I bring to my practice can only be found if I look to myself to see the world. My perspective is unique and when I am able to fully access it, I can make some of my best photographs. If you allow yourself to be influenced by everyone around you, you will never be able to influence someone else. The secret is to first take yourself seriously, and once you do that don't ever stop creating.