So for a project that’s all about discussion and conversation, there sure is a lot going into the photography department, which I guess you’d think doesn’t make sense. And it doesn’t. BUT, there is at least a reason for that. And it starts with my falling in love with photography of a certain kind. On the photography page on this site, I talk about how beautiful and interesting and amazing capturing moments in time can be. Like the act itself and all it produces mentally and emotionally in the long run is a very surreal experience. Which is why I’ve always been fascinated with this ability to take pictures.
But, starting at an early age, I quickly began to realize, I sucked terribly at it. Whenever there was an intended subject of a wanted picture to be taken, whether it be a group of friends posing at a concert, married friends who wanted their picture taken, even a stinkin dog or pet that I’d make pose for a picture, these pictures would always come out like garbage, I mean out of focus, out of frame, bad lighting, you name it. It got to the point where if anybody asked me to take their picture for them, I knew I was going to make a fool out of myself for being unable to do something a monkey could easily accomplish. And even when I did successfully take pictures of friends posing, a particular place, or a specific object, and the pictures did come out aesthetically decent, emotionally they felt absent and forced.
However, over time I started to realize that I had an eye for little moments in time that I felt told a story, or that isolated a particular kind of beauty. I’d always point out a “good shot” when I saw things like a mother talking to her child, a man smiling as he rubs his dog, a wave hitting the beach in an abnormal way. I never really took advantage of these moments by capturing them, but there was something about them that seemed so pure, so sincere, so unrushed. They were moments that were seemingly pointless, but at the same time, heavy and profound. But feeling this way only strengthened my love and fascination with people and with my environment. But my interest in taking pictures had died.
When I moved to Central California several months before this was written, I met a really cool guy named Erik. He was an aspiring photographer, and he talked at length about his passion. He talked about his camera collection, the difference between analog and digital, about zooms, angles, lighting, depth of field, on and on he went with such palpable enthusiasm. He had rekindled my love for taking pictures. And back at it again with calling out what I thought would be “cool shots” or “a nice picture”. And it wasn’t before long after being around the influence of such a passionate and skilled photographer that I’d pull out my camera and started to take pictures again.
But only this time, I wasn’t staging scenes or telling people to smile. I now combined my fascination with little, arbitrary moments in time, with my love for capturing moments in general. When I would review my pictures at the end of the day, I’d find pictures that had no deliberate subject in particular, but that I was capturing candid, seemingly insignificant moments that only last for a second or two and then was gone forever. I L O V E D it.
I started to realize that there was a distinct beauty that came from people in a vulnerable state. When they’re in deep thought, or when they’re walking down the street, or reading the paper, or blowing their nose, or listening to music. The looks on their faces when they have something to do, a place they need to get to, or when they’ve got nothing at all on their agenda. The looks of worry, nervousness, confusion, excitement, or just a blank expression of meditation. I think people are most beautiful when they’re in their sincerest form, when they don’t think anyone is looking at them, when all that’s on their mind is what they have to do, or just their own thoughts. I apply the same beauty to the physical environment as well.
There is beauty in confidence too, when everything is beautifully arranged, the lighting is perfect or even artificial, the subject looks at the camera and gives its most appealing pose. But I am absolutely amazed by people living in their own worlds, the environment around us doing what it naturally does on its own, and I’m honored that I’m able to capture that. Please check out Apartment 113’s digital catalog on Instagram @apt.113.
What’re your thoughts? If you’re a photographer, what’s your style? Who inspires you? Please discuss down below!