Back in the day, (ya know, like four years ago) when I was on my high school’s yearbook committee, I wanted nothing more than to be the photography editor. Quite honestly, I didn’t have much experience; I just knew that I enjoyed taking pictures. I was so proud whenever someone used one of my photos for their spread. In the beginning, I loved going to events to take pictures; I loved seeing my name receive credit once the yearbook was printed and distributed.
However, high school interests are exactly what they sound like: fleeting moments of obsession and then a lull of “who gives a shit anymore.” I didn’t take a photography class. All I knew was the click and shoot method. Sometimes I would throw in a different angle or perspective, but ultimately, when an actual photography student was named editor, I just kinda pushed it aside.
After going through the material on visual storytelling, I am a little ashamed to admit that I am an iPhone capture, Instagram filter gal. I take pictures to commemorate memories and let’s be honest, just most people, to see how many “likes” can be accumulated.
I still appreciate photos and the beauty behind them. In fact, my header picture symbolizes a photograph I have hanging in my room. I love the contrast on the red against such a dismal background. The one I currently own, is a black and white photo of a rainy day at the peak of cherry blossom season with a person walking, holding a bright red umbrella. Do I know technical terms? Or what that is supposed to symbolize? No. But I do know that it means something to mean. Whether it be staying positive in a negative world or choosing to stand out, I honestly couldn’t tell you.
After listening to Jason Eskenazi, something stuck with me. He talked about seeing what’s not in the picture. I have never thought about photography that way. Maybe what isn’t being captured is what is supposed to be making the statement? He also discussed the idea of focusing on one thing that captures the photographers/observers attention. Not every aspect of a picture needs to be center; sometimes, one characteristic stands out and puts the whole image in a different perspective. Additionally, reading about how the Migrant Mother came about showed me the history and societal commentary that comes with capturing a moment.
I really want to focus on capturing one small thing in a bigger setting. Or trying different angles that force the observer to twist and turn in order to decipher what is being portrayed. Reading this material has made photography into a way for me to capture the simple aspects of life. I feel like those are where the truth lies. What isn’t happening is what should be shown. To be cliche, I want to focus on the rawness of photos. I am excited for what this week of working with visuals will bring. And who knows, maybe I will actually become invested in photography instead of the half-assed attempt I made in high school.