I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about how to combine my two primary obsessions (writing and photography, in case this is your first visit) into a way to earn a living. I know, I know – I’m probably only going to succeed in sucking the life out of what drives me by doing this, but unfortunately, the electric bill doesn’t pay itself. Since the average American worker spends something like 100,000 hours* of his/her life working, it kinda makes sense to try and do something that won’t drive me insane. I need to figure out how to make money taking pictures and writing about them.
The world seems to be on the cusp of some pretty big changes. I find myself wanting to be involved somehow. I want to record the thoughts and feelings of John and Jane Public. I want to meet people and learn what makes them tick and see how these monumental changes will affect the average citizen of the world. Everyone has a story and I want to take photos and tell these stories to the world.
I also love to travel. I love to explore new places. I’d love to be able to take photos of these places and the people living there so others who have never visited can get a sense of what life is like there. I want to show people that the light really is a different colour in La Provence and that the ocean really is that blue in the Caribbean.
I need to tell stories – both with words and with images. I’ve always been good with words – creating characters, bringing them and their worlds to life is as easy as breathing for me. Now I just need to further develop the skills to put images with those words.
People watching has always been a favourite pastime for me, but now I find myself really looking at people and wondering about them. Who are they? Where were they born? What was their fifth Christmas (or Channukah or Ramadan) like? What do they really think about the world? What’s important to them? I want to work up the nerve to walk up to a stranger – no matter where I am – and ask to photograph them while I interview them. I want to be able to capture people’s essence with words and with their portraits.
* I am now revealing to the world at large my weakness when it comes to maths. I arrived at this number the following way: 50 years of working X 50 weeks a year = 2500 weeks. 5 days in a week X 2500 weeks = 12,500 days. 8 hours a day X 12,500 days = 100,000. If I screwed up, please let me know. I do hate to appear stupid.