“OUR COMMON DENOMINATOR”
When at first taking photographs, the human element can be very intimidating. Being shy about approaching people does not help in finding subjects. My love of photography acts as a kind of ice breaker. Unless it is street photography, I always ask, whomever I am shooting if it is okay. This initial introduction is like a conduit for what will hopefully come next. My interaction, from this point, becomes much more personal as we talk about their life stories and mine. I can connect with ones eyes which helps me better record the light that both dances on their faces and frames the subject. This brief conversation is what bonds us and connects my pictures to them.
Street photography, on the other hand, is still hard for me. You would think being somewhat shy, that this form would suit my personality. For some reason, without the personal interaction, I feel a disconnect during this type of shooting. The more I study and interact with this process, I feel the better I might become. The interesting part in street photography, and probably what brings me back, is that I can catch a more natural unfolding human story. Unlike anything else, these snippets of life always convey the human connection to my images.
Environmental portraiture for me puts it all together. I get instant feedback from my sometimes elusive subjects doing what is important, to them. With this type of picture-taking, I find I can tie all elements together, much like landscape photography. This connection can be instant or will develop over the course of the shoot. I feel this shared knowing is the bond we both experience. As my subject opens up, so do I… voices and stories turn into an instant slice of life, a frozen piece of time.
The human element in these pictures is what I am most passionate about. What someone sees, and what I try to emote, is what connects a single frame from my camera to what you actually view. Can you hear their voices, share in their existence, form a story? Then, the common denominator that bonds the stories I feel I can tell with a single image, is …. YOU.