When I began my photographic career way back in high school, I never thought that all these years later I would be so lucky to continue to work on my passion every day. I am truly lucky in the sense that I get to work on my craft and my passion every day, nearly all day. But it was not until recently, that it occurred to me that my passion for photography is not just about the art, but it is my passion for telling a story. Whether it is a simple story, with merely a sentence to utter or a powerful story that brings tears to the viewers’ eyes. I am constantly in awe of the power of photography and what it can do. Photography can freeze a moment in time, it can hold onto a person no longer is with us and it can be used as a tool to deliver a message.
A photographer seeks a lifetime to find the meaning of their work as do the artists of any generation. What is the message they are trying to convey to the world? What impact, if any, will that photographer leave? What will be her legacy? After years of searching and ultimately landing at the same place time and time again, the most important message I have is simply this; we are all the same. Yes, simple, I know, but is it?
Whether we know it or not, we are all the same. We all smile at the silly and frown at the sad. We breathe the same air and we walk the same planet just as your neighbor does next to you. We have the same face, the same shoulders, the same legs, the same toes. Yes, it may look different from one another, but we are all human. I have the pleasure of working with people from all walks of life; from various religions, economic backgrounds, gender identities, ethnicities and so on. The notable thing is every single person smiles when their baby giggles at the camera for the first time or swoons when their significant other dips them for that perfect photo or when the whole family all screams cheese as I take the photo.
As a photographer, to produce consistent quality work, it is my job to look at a person and actually see the person. To see who they really are. The quirks that make a child laugh, the quiet moments that a mom shares with her newborn, the intimate embrace of a couple celebrating their love. I look past the outer and try to see who that person really is. I try to connect with that person on a deeper level than just surface. Dig deeper than the safe 'how about the weather' that we Minnesotans are so fond of starting a conversation with.
It may seem like there is a lot of negativity swirling around the world now, and believe me, I see it too. When everyone is telling you to hate and not to accept those who are different from you, try to look at life like a photographer. Look for the beauty in the world. Look for the smiles in the crowd. Look for the love. Look for the giggles. Look for the awe-inspiring moments. Look for the human moments. Look for the art of human life and celebrate it.
Sitting at my computer, going over and over this piece, I was hesitant to publish or even write a piece like this as the world is so divided now. However, my studio and my art is a reflection of who I am as a person. This is how I walk my path in this world. I try to encompass love and patience in all that I do and my studio is no different than anything else in my life.