Jim Richardson used to say “If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff” and I really used to act like that. At the beginning of my career, I used to spend nights and nights around, through Milan and other cities, just to find out the good stuff for an interesting image. Do you think it worked? Of course it didn’t. I collected a series of images that look like they’re not connected. And they weren’t. They were not connected because I was not connected. I wasn’t in deep connection with the environment, with the people, with the places, with the situations, because I wasn’t really living that situation. I was there just to take some good pictures, hoping that those places and people would have been far more interesting than my daily routine. People want to visit New York or Paris (with the hope to find more interesting people and situation) in order to become the new Henry Cartier-Bresson and they have never shot a single photograph of the most interesting people in the neighborhood. Actually, most of them have never shot anyone in the neighborhood. Don’t misunderstand me: if you go to New York and fully live your time there, enjoying the moment and shooting great pictures, that’s great. What would be wrong is thinking that going to New York will solve your lack of inspiration for photography; it won’t. If you go there with that purpose, you’ll probably fail, as I failed in spending so many nights looking for some wonderful pictures to be taken. Life comes first, good photography comes after. Enjoy your life, live the present moment in a complete and full way and just use photography as a way to tell this story. If you’re reading The Life Photography Blog here, you’re probably already a very good photographer. You have a bunch of good photography skills: use them to share with the world (in photography) what you fully lived. This way your photography will become an instrument to tell stories and to live your life with more fulfillment. One way to achieve this goal is to bring your camera always with you. I’m one thing with my mirrorless. I bring her (yes, “her“, not “it“) literally everywhere I go: job, recreation time, events, cinema, the pub with friends, to my mother’s house when I go there for a dinner and even when I sit in a coffee shop. She’s always with me. Many times I return home without having shot not even a photograph. That’s ok. I’m not looking for good photographs. I’m living. I try to enjoy my life, my loves, the people around me that care about me and I care about them. Photography comes after. If something will grab my attention and I’ll be in the mood, I’ll shoot some pictures. Try to mirror your life in your photography.
That will be interesting, ’cause nobody is going to live your life. Nobody will see what you see from your point of view. Your life is a unique event. It’s a whole story and you, as a photographer, are both the author, the illustrator and the protagonist.
That’s why I agree most with Robert Adams:
“No place is boring if you’ve had a good night’s sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film.”
No place is boring!
- mirror your life in your photography.
- connect with the people, the places and the situations around you
- don’t look for from you: your best photography could be shot two steps out of your door.
- life comes first, good photographs come after.
- enjoy your life and use photography to tell YOUR story.
- use your photography skills to document your life.
- use photography as a way to have more fulfillment in living your life.
- bring your camera always with you.
- nobody is gonna live (and photograph) your life.
Enjoy your life.