"Photography, alone of the arts, seems perfected to serve the desire humans have for a moment - this very moment - to stay." - Sam Abell
2017 will be my tenth year as a professional photographer.
It will also be the year of changes; professionally, politically, creatively.
This year is the year where I will delve fully into living the photographic life that is authentic to me. This is the year I will document my families in a way that is truly unique and meaningful to them, and to me.
For years now, I've engaged in practical pursuits, and photography became a means to make a living. To that end, I've tried all kinds of people photography. I've even become good at some of it. However, only one approach has endeared itself to me the more I do it, and that is truly candid street and documentary photography.
I get the dream, though, for perfect pictures, real or imagined. When we look back at these photos, we delight at how lovely the light was that day, and how lucky we were with the weather, and that the baby slept peacefully through it all. All of it had to do with the photography. It had little to do with the subjects.
Sometimes, I'd be lucky to get a glimpse of mom or dad being their true selves, even if it is to stare daggers at an uncooperative child. More often than not, time is an obstacle, compressing impossibly the day's ration of good behavior into MAYBE 30 minutes for this strange lady with her camera.
"When you're here, I can't be myself," a child once said to me. All I wanted to do that moment was put my camera away. My heart broke a little.
Yes, this switch is quite a bit about not wanting kids to hate me and to loathe the fact that I'm back again, forcing them into uncomfortable clothes and shoes, only to smile and hug and be nice for an hour. Instead, it will be a day of mom and dad and sister and brother spending all day together, with the TV turned off and the phones put away. That will be my only rule.
I've dreamt of becoming a photojournalist ever since I became a writer many years ago. Sadly, opportunities were few. Today, documentary family photography brings me closer to that dream and photographic life.
I hope you will join me in turning this corner.