As I send in submissions to magazines and other publications lately, I’ve had to sit down and give some solid thought to the meaning behind my photography. As I write up two-sentence elevator pitches and artist biographies, as I repeatedly ask myself “What do I want people to take away from my work?”, the question has become somewhat all-consuming.
Fundamentally, at this point in time, I think that I’m trying to use my photos to convey the same message that I have wanted to drive home since I fell ill: that life is fleeting and, while painful and messy, beautiful and deserving of deep respect. I’m trying to capture moments that are often forgotten, from musicians losing themselves momentarily in their music, to familial love, to streetscapes and my dog falling asleep on my lap. Throughout the past year I have explored different mediums through which I could express this sentiment to it’s fullest extent possible, and I believe that I have found a home for my mission in photography.
As humans, we are so often consumed by regrets of the past and goals for the future that we forget to appreciate the moments directly in front of us. Sure, there are milestones that absolutely deserve to be recognized and celebrated, this I would never deny. The small moments, however, the day to day monotonous tasks and interactions which “glue” together these milestones, deserve equal recognition and celebration. Life is beautiful as is, major accomplishments or not.
Being sick has been extremely painful and difficult, in the physical and emotional sense, but I believe that it has also blessed me with an incredible appreciation for every single experience that I am so fortunate to have. From being severely ill I have learned to take nothing for granted, and to wonder at even the simplest and most fleeting moments. Summed up in one sentence, I have seen too many sunsets from hospital windows to not appreciate the ones that I experience while walking my dog.
If viewers take one thing away from my work, I hope that it is a newfound appreciation for their own lives. I want my followers to begin to notice the beauty in their own lives, and to be able to shift their perspective, even slightly, without encountering the hardship that I have had to.
I guess you could consider me a music photographer with a mission.