Pack it up and go
Each time I’ve taken picture portraits of an individual, they ask me without fail, half joking if I will make them look better. I smile and tell them I don’t use photoshop (everyone thinks I use Adobe Photoshop when in fact I use Lightroom). I then add that there really isn’t anything to improve upon.
Isn’t that the fascinating thing about human beings? That we all are so very different? All unique in some way or other, yet we’re connected to each other by the mere fact that we are the same species.
That’s what I love about taking portraits of people – their individuality and differences that make them so very unique. Why would they want to look like everyone else (specifically some model/actor)? They are real and not plastic or twisted in some way to form something else completely.
I’ve often dreamt of selling our house and the majority of our belongings, buying an Airstream, and driving around the US with Matt taking pictures of everyday people. My mind hasn’t figured out the financial aspect of things (healthcare, student loan payments, internet, phones,etc.), but it’s just a dream.
Swiss-born photographer Robert Frank did something similar in the 1950s and shocked the public when his book The Americans was published. He traveled the US and took pictures of what one would see each and every day.
He shot over 700 rolls of film which came out to about 27,000 images. In the end, he only chose 83 as his final products. (Here’s a photo gallery of some of his images.)
That’s what I want to do – get out and travel around, telling people’s stories through my camera.
“Like a boxer trains for a fight,” Frank says, a photographer needs to practice by getting out and taking pictures every day. “It doesn’t matter how many he takes or if he takes any at all. It gets you prepared to know what you should take pictures of or what is the right thing to do and when.”