My Views On Photography Are Changing...

My Views On Photography Are Changing...

Photo by Dallas Curow.

Photo by Dallas Curow.

I have been taking photographs since I was thirteen years old, totalling almost eight years of crafting and framing my own visions of reality within the incredible instrument that is the camera. At the end of this summer, I was feeling a bit lost in relation to my purpose in tandem with photography and my own direction within the industry. When you find your real passions within your art, you chase them - regardless of the followers or the likes. The past three months have provided me with the opportunity for this soul-searching journey and the artistic exploration that I so greatly needed. 

Thankfully, my veil of confusion has since been lifted due to my experiences while at school this semester. Shooting film, learning the darkroom process, and creating work I truly love has changed everything for me. Things have started to make sense, creative processes have clicked, and I have had some real "a-ha" moments along the way. I began to see my art form as my passport, my vehicle, to experience and interact with the world around me at a higher level, permitting me to establish boundaries, facts, and fantasies within the four corners of my photographs. I now feel excited and optimistic about my new-found direction as a photographer. It feels good - it feels right - and I have never been happier about what I have been creating, and the process that goes into creating those images. There comes a decisive moment when the lights come on and you find out what it really is that you want to spend your time and energy doing. This is that moment.

I believe there was a point where I got lost in all of the influencer-related content that is being churned out on Instagram. I am not saying I do not respect the work that influencers do, or that I have not enjoyed making content with influencers or companies. In fact, I am proud of that work, and I am aware of the effort influencers put into their jobs. I have personally just reached the point where I want to do something more with my work, to do something less expected of me. To influence in my own way; to challenge the status quo. I do not want to be an online influencer in the traditional sense, I want to influence people as a photographer and as a creative woman. That, I feel, is my true online and real-world purpose.

I have always been interested in documentary, landscape, travel/culture photography, and capturing inspiring individuals and their presence within portraits. I love including lines, symmetry, nostalgia, and cinematic framing within my work. These are all themes that are heavily seen throughout my photographs, along with influences from Martin Parr, Raymond Depardon, and Vivian Maier. I want to continue honing my skills in these areas. I also want to develop dexterity in business and entrepreneurship, something that I will begin to study as a minor in school come January. The dream is to run my own business one day, to be my own boss, and this goal is slowly becoming more and more accessible to me. 

Most importantly, I want to create pieces and collections of reflective and compelling work of the highest quality. I do not want to simply churn out easy or predicable photographs. I did this for so long, believing it was the 'right' thing to do because everyone else was doing it. However, in reality, I was not creating anything that particularly stood out or mattered in the saturated world of photography. More importantly, it wasn't challenging me or making me a better photographer. I want to create work that creatively stimulates both me and the viewer; work that opens someone's eyes to something new, to make them look at the world in a different way. I know I am capable of so much more within the realm of photography, and I want to push myself to create work of real substance. We all have to do something that fuels our own fire, and creating unique work of a higher quality is something I wish to explore. We all have our own needs as artists, and my own views on photography are changing.

-MS

The Staten Island Ferry, October 2017

The Staten Island Ferry, October 2017

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