I love photography. I love pictures. I love looking at them. I love being in them. I love taking them. However, with the way I’ve been treating my camera, you’d never know it. While I am an avid Instagrammer, I have been neglecting my DSLR. My camera body is pristine from lack of use. My Lightroom is laughably outdated. I need to make a change beyond toting my camera around with me like another member of the family. I need to examine what it is that I love about photography, how I got here and why I want to keep taking pictures. Some introspection was in order.
The photography blog, Click It Up a Notch, has a series of photographer interviews that I read voraciously. The more I read, the more my mind sparked and fired, ideas pinging around faster than I could grab them. If reading about other photographers created such a response, what would happen if I posed those same questions* to myself? Over the next few weeks, we’re going to find out.
*photographer interview questions courtesy of Courtney Slazinik of Click It Up a Notch.
Where do you find your inspiration?
My mom used to get Vanity Fair magazine when I was growing up. I can remember thumbing through the gloss pages during the mid 90’s, the height of the age of the Super Model. The iconic Herb Ritts photograph of Stephanie Seymour, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, and Tatjana Patiz was like none I’d ever seen before. I was so blown away not just by the beauty of the models, but by the sheer simplicity of the image. There was no busy set, no props, just gorgeous lighting and the strong clean lines of the women being photographed. Never before had I seen a picture where the subjects looked like they could reach out from the page and brush their fingers against my own. Everything up until that point had been flat and two-dimensional. Beginning with that image, my ideas of what pictures, of what photography were forever changed.
I recognize now that I have always tried to emulate that creamy, dreamy style of portraiture that I saw all of those years ago. The trouble was, I didn’t know how to describe it. I didn’t know that I could pursue knowledge of photography and leapfrog that into a potential career. For a long time, I pressed my creativity down, down, down in order to let the more practical aspects of my personality take focus. It wasn’t until about five years ago, the lid snapped off and the creativity came surging out.
My current sources of inspiration include websites like Pinterest, and Instagram. I do continue to love images from Vanity Fair, and have added Vogue, GQ, and other glossies to the list. My tumblr site is a true depiction of what inspires me, with respect to photography. I’ve amassed a catalog of everything from fashion to food, destinations to decor. It’s my personal treasure box of images that make my eyes water with possibility and pleasure. When an image plucks at me, sets off something vibrating inside of me that makes me feel like I have got to do that, it’s priming me to embark on a creative endeavor.