As a photographer, I have found a challenge in inspiration and passion. It was last summer when I found the real reason to document the world around me. This reason has transformed into a driving factor in my photography. I am sure many other photographers have had a similar moment of realization as to what matters to them. This is my story.
During college I was encouraged by professors, colleagues, and professionals to continue my pursuit with photography in rephotographic studies. As the one of the only females involved in rephotography, I had an advantage to be known. However, I truly have never cared about public recognition and the idea of spending all my efforts in research and technical documentation did not appeal to me. Sure, I had an advantage, but without a passion, it was never going to amount to anything. Rephotography was an artistic endeavor, one that I may pursue again, but I want to spend my energy concentrating on something else, or rather, someone else. I was inspired by old photographs in rephotography, and again, I was inspired by old photographs to document what truly matters.
After graduation, I was discouraged by the fact that I was no longer a photography student, but rather a professional and artist. I could not rely on projects to keep me busy, I had to truly investigate why I photograph. It wasn't until I was standing at this broken, beaten table, looking at photographs of my family, many of whom I never knew, that I found out what truly matters to me. Ironically, it was again old photographs, that inspired me.
I grew emotional as I peered into these tattered, torn images. They were beautiful and immensely valuable. There scattered on the table amongst clutter and Tim Hortons coffee cups, were people documented in fleeting moments. These people mattered to me, because they are my heritage. I realized in that brief moment that I wanted to document my family. I felt this great responsibility to capture all moments important within my tribe. That soon expanded to friends. This may be irony, or it may be fate, but the day that I realized my "calling" to photograph was the last day that I saw my grandma. It was a beautiful day in August and I can remember it vividly. My grandma, the true artist of the family, has always inspired me. I go back to that day and I wish with all my might that I could go back and take a photograph of her. So for all the fleeting moments, do not hesitate.
This drive to photograph the people around me was only heightened after my grandmother passed away in December. She was honestly one of my biggest fans and I was one of hers. Losing her was beyond challenging, but the photographs of her gave me peace and comfort. When I look at them, I can feel her presence and I am reminded of my purpose, to capture people.
I have made it my goal, truly my mantra, in life to document my loved ones, my friends, and now, any individual who desires to be documented. Because I know that what I provide to them has value. I have struggled with the value of my work and the purpose behind it. But I know that with every day and every lost loved one, the photographs only grow richer and more precious.
With that said, these upcoming months you will see more of me, my family, my friends, and my clients. Because that is what matters. People matter. My saying of "people driven, passion pursued" is coming to be.
It is my hope that you, too, will find your passion, your drive. Whether it be at a lonesome kitchen table or in the middle of the desert (more on that realization later), find what you love, and pursue it with your whole heart.
The above older photographs are various family members from both sides of my family representing my heritage and where I come from. Since developing my passion to document my family, I have had a strong desire to preserve old family photographs. I am currently creating digital copies of every family photograph that I possess so that the heritage that I deeply strongly value with be documented for future generations.