To understand my photography, you have to understand how I view life.
Over the years, I've learned that the MOST important thing to me in life is happiness. I live my life everyday with the philosophy that as long as the people I care about the most in this world (my family, friends, co-workers, and myself) are happy then life is good. To me the details of the happiness aren't as important as the happiness itself. I choose to live a very low key life. I've never want to be the center of attention for any reason. I'm not the type of person that people run toward to tell every little detail of life. I'm not the one people always run toward to discuss relationships (both good and bad), events, daily issues, etc. That has never been my place. I have close friends who have gone on long trips or dated people for months that I've never heard the details about. It sounds strange, but that just how life is sometimes. To me, the details of life aren't as important as the bigger picture. Often times people will hear me say "As long as you had fun" instead of asking for details because that to me is the most important part. I'm the type who people come to when they really need someone to listen or offer an optimistic outlook on things. I value those moments more than anything else. I've tried to be that other person many times in my life (including recently), but it goes against who I am. I end up pissing them off by asking too many questions instead of helping (sorry about that). Truthfully, I learned a long time ago that life finite. We're not promised tomorrow. We're not promised 5, 10, 50 years from now. All we have is right now. You have to enjoy this shit. We all deal with daily frustrations that mess up the flow, but you can't let that interrupt the overall happiness. One little moment can make bad day good (or vice versa), and you have to appreciate that.
Recently, I've come to realize that my photography is a direct reflection of my life. Not just in the subject matter of my daily life and what I see, but also in my view on life. I don't tell grand stories with all of the details laid out in front of you with my photos. I'm not the type of photographer people run toward to take specific photos. I don't take posed pictures or regular portraits. It's just not me. I've tried to take those photos when people have asked, but in all honesty, I feel like those are some of the worse photos I've ever taken. Perfecting all of the fine details in every shot just doesn't interest me. I'm not and probably never will be a commercial photographer.
I've finally come to understand that my photography captures seconds of life. Thinking back over my favorite shots, they all tend focus on little moments that show the happier sides of life. I simply capture that moment - perfect or imperfect - as it was at THAT time. I'm still trying to come up with a clear definition of my overall style - in terms of technique etc - but the overall vibe is very much the beauty of life. Much like my life, some of the photos might be blurry or awkward, but that's how I choose to present it. You can take the same photo everyday at the exact same time, and no two images will look exactly alike. THAT is what I love. Due to the hustle of daily life, people look past certain things. I try to capture those things that people look past. The smile on a friend's faces that you might see everyday but never appreciated. The sun peeking between a couple of high rises in the financial district. A tag on a tag on a window, etc... The subject matter can vary, but the point is capturing that moment. After taking over 100,000 photos of various subjects, I'm finally at peace and comfortable with my style. My photos are a representation of the subtleties of life.
I chose to write this no just to gain a little clarity on why I take photos, but to also explain where I'm heading in the future. I now have a more focused direction with all of this. Recently, I've been posting fewer photos (and taking few shots during the week) in an attempt to focus my style... and it working. Truth is I registered a URL back in February but have yet to develop the site because I didn't want it to just be random photos. I now have a clearer idea of what that should be, so hopefully I will develop that soon, and who knows there might be a gallery show or two soon. It feels good to have a clearer perspective on why I take photos... after doing this for so many years.
Also, I appreciate everyone that has ever taken the time to look at my photos (or put up with me sticking my camera in their faces every time I see them). Those who have encouraged me over the years will never fully understand how much their words have pushed me to keep doing this and defining my style. All I can say is thank you! And I owe huge thank you to a number of people that have helped me reach this point... which you will get very soon.
You gotta love life and just live.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
This photo doesn't do these painting justice. These are some of the works of Zhong Biao. My homegirl Joce introduced me to his work last year. He has some of the most stunning paintings I have ever seen. There was an exhibit of his work in SF, and I'm glad i got to check it out. The level of detail in in these painting is amazing. If I could afford to buy paintings, his work would be high on that list.
Posted by E at 8:45 AM