Ever since my first (and only) photography class in the 7th grade (which is like an eon ago), I've been a silent admirer of brilliant photos and of brilliant photographers. I suppose that's redundant because they go hand in hand. Since then, my interests refined in other directions and I never really pursued photography as a form of art or self expression. But, as with anything else you can think of, it is never too late.
At the blogger meet up last weekend, Sandy had mentioned a video about the photographer behind The Sartorialist. I had heard of this blog, but had never visited before. The video sounded interesting so I went digging. It didn't take much digging at all of course. I quickly found it and just as quickly, found myself feeling truly inspired by it. If you're not yet familiar with The Sartorialist, it's a hugely popular fashion blog where photographer Scott Schuman posts daily photos of everyday people who catch his eye (albeit his ever-searching, former director of fashion in New York City, style-radar-having eye). He has documented people in NYC, Paris, London, Milan, and Seoul, just to name a few. If you're into people watching, this is definitely a blog to keep an eye on.
A couple of things he stated in the video really resonated with me. He mentioned that he didn't have a formal background in photography, but his initial lack of knowledge helped him to refine what little he did know into something that ultimately worked for him. He strives to capture "the most beautiful image...in the most simple way" that he can. So camera in hand, on the streets, with natural lighting, every day sights, and passersby. Simple. Brilliant. So doing this required a lot of patience... and waiting... and "just reacting" to his environment. And the end product--amazing photos that capture a definite mood that is sure to elicit something from the person who views it--perhaps something different every time, from picture to picture. I love that. And that is the thing I love about photography (as an onlooker of course. I can only dream about being the one who actually captures brilliant photos).
I love the idea of being immersed in your own environment, yet viewing it with a new eye, each and every second. So I was sparked and excited to think about how I could translate that idea into my own everyday, as a photography exercise. It was tough and somewhat defeating in my mind. Do you know what my everyday is? Some of you can probably guess. I'm at home full time with my 2 kids (my 3 yr old son and my 1.5 yr old daughter), plus I take care of my 8 month old nephew several days a week. How in the world would I find anything interesting or eye-catching about my visual environment, which usually looks like a toy tornado just ripped right through it? And there's not much happening on the streets of Kansas in the middle of January, much to your surprise, I'm sure.
So this is a definite challenge for me... one that I wasn't sure if I could take on.. and may still be unsure about it as I type this. But now that I've jotted it down in virtual ink, I suppose I've committed to following through. So now I'm going to embark on this personal photography exercise -- finding extra in the ordinary. I'm not really sure what will come of this, or if I can even rise up to this challenge. But dammit, I'm going to try! Anyone else up for the challenge? Who's with me??? Let's grab our cameras!
Here's to finding inspiration in your everyday.