So there are not going to be any photographs on this post. This is an all writing post into my retrospection with photography as a focus.
I think asking my parents for a camera on my 18th birthday (the summer before I headed to Clark) was probably the best decision I have ever made. I did my research, and got a quality, entry-level dslr on a discount through amazon.
At that point, I was still very much a traditional artist, working with paper, pencils, pens, paint, etc, only using my camera to document special places that we traveled to. Pretty much that whole first year of having my camera, it just sat there, in my camera bag, only in use when there was an event at Clark that needed to be photographed. I never took it out to photograph everyday life or just people at clark cause I only intended to use it for events and nothing else. However, I soon began to find myself getting tired of traditonal art and with an audience slowly growing for my event photography, I decided to make a shift into photographing everyday stuff, but only the last couple weeks of spring semester into the summer. An important point to add is that the main reason why I was at almost every event at Clark during freshman year was to get a feel for the settings and capablities of my camera and being able to fine tune my skills with the equipment and kit lens that I had.
It was only the beginning of this year where I made a significant effort to push myself out of my comfort zone and photograph people for the first time.
My camera and I merged into becoming one and the same,with me rarely leaving my room without a camera and a full charged battery. I saved up enough money to afford a new all manual prime lens (which I am going to be using for the rest of my life), which I used for all my photography except events (which I use my kit lens for). Where I went my camera went, and constant documentation followed. I documented everyday life, from unusual sights in the library, to shooting my friends being candid, to adventuring to new spots in Worcester for the sake of documentation as well as locations to take my friends to to photograph them. There were some times where I did scare my close friends by going to abandoned spots at night, pureley for the thrill of seeing stars with no light polluting the sky, but those are posts for another day.
I arranged a fall semester project, which evolved from a shadow based project to a conversational one, focused on getting to know individuals who made up the Clark community. I ended up photographing about 30+ individuals, and finding myself through my portrait photography. The pictures that I produced were, I realized after looking through all the photographs, were a direct reflection on how I saw the world — real and magical. I narrowed down my portrait style, basing it on moments that were real and candid and could never be replicated in the future. I ended up getting closer to my friends through this project as well as becoming close friends with the people that I shyly messaged through facebook to be a part of the project.
Photography as an art has turned into my primary focus as an artist, for the main reason that it has changed the way that I observe my everday life. Constantly looking through the viewfinder, has, throughout a year or so, sharpened my vision to noticing details in a photograph that might go unnoticed by someone who is too focused on the technique rather than the purpose or even the feeling of the photograph. It has led me to constantly document, often to the slight annoyance of my friends or people that I just end up meeting, to my family, but nevertheless I still continue to do it. Its taught me that equipment dosent really matter, rather taking the time to focus your shot and capture a real moment is going to matter more to you and your subject than creating an idealized and fabricated photograph through caked on edits and heavy alterations.
Photography is me. Photography is life.
*i had no idea how to end this post so I ended it in the only way I know how
*also important to note that my friends rarely see me without a camera and know that im always down for an impromptu shoot whenever