The Indians say to draw someone’s portrait is to steal their soul. I take photographs, does it mean that I am just borrowing them? Though photography is like stealing – you rob someone of a moment that exposes something essential about their character, their soul if you like. To photograph people is to violate them, by seeing them as they never see themselves, by having knowledge of them that they can never have; it turns people into objects that can be symbolically possessed. The terrifying thought that everyone, friend or foe, can get so close to you, look you straight in the eye and judge you without having any control over it or being able to respond. A part of them has become the property of the photographer. All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s, or thing’s, mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt. Between photographer and subject, there has to be distance. The camera doesn’t rape, though it may presume, intrude, trespass, distort, and at the farthest reach of metaphor, assassinate – all activities that can be conducted from a distance, and with some detachment -- still, there is something predatory in the act of taking a picture.
Look at children. Of course they may quarrel, but generally speaking, they do not harbor ill feelings as much or as long as adults do. Most adults have the advantage of education over children, but what is the use of an education if they show a big smile while hiding negative feelings deep inside. Children don’t act in such a manner. If they feel angry with someone, they express it, and then it is finished. They can still play with that person the following day. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. If we throw blankets over our children's dreams, we darken their world and extinguish their desire to live. I'd rather my kid die with a wild fire in its heart than with a malfunctioning or drained out fuse. Always allow your kids to keep humming with dreams and ideas that fuel their passions. Never tell them something is impossible. If you have a really strong determined kid, they'll go out there killing themselves trying to do the unachievable just to prove you wrong. And if you have a weak kid, they'll give up on life and settle for bagging Cokes and potato chips at your local grocery store.
Great artists make the roads; but there ain’t no free rides, baby. No hitchhiking. And if you want to strike out in any new direction – you go alone. With a machete in your hand and the fear of God in your heart. I’m a photographer, less an artist. As the word ‘art’ might scare people off. Creative vision? Sorry, this is gallery nomenclature. I take a photograph because it’s there, and I’m there and because I can do it. It’s a passion. A life’s journey seen through the lens, for all to see and feel as they each will, personally. In my opinion, a camera is a mirror of a photographer’s soul, reflected in the work done. The 'click' of the camera signs the work. My work is signed with a heartprint -- without heart, photographs would be mere images.
I see it all through the lens of my camera – the flurry of movement, the venue girl staff in short dresses, giving orders to their heads. As I take it all in, my mind weighs the texture, the composition, the possibility of each changing scene, and I struggle to hold back, to keep my finger from pressing too soon. Click, click. With the Daguerreotype everyone was able to have their portrait taken, formerly it was only the prominent, and at the same time everything is being done to make us all look exactly the same, so we shall only need one portrait. It is a cruel, ironical art. The dragging of captured moments into the future; moments that should have been allowed to evaporate into the past; should exist only in memories, glimpsed through the fog of events that came after. Photographs force us to see people before their future weighed them down. It is all about secrets. The secrets we all have and will never tell. A photograph is a secret about a secret -- the more it tells you, the less you know.
I am a soul snapper. A soul catcher. A soul maker. I want the essential, nothing more. Remember, I am young and I know nothing. I am on the road to find out what moves me in life. Life is so much funnier behind these lenses. Come on, I am not looking for the sense of life. It’s all about having fun, knowing new places, smelling, tasting, feeling it with all all my senses, my lenses. I came so far. I left nothing behind. Life is a journey brother, and photography is the shepherd. Photography is the best way where you can save your sweet past. Take lots of photos, because you will forget most of what you see when you are traveling through life. But keep in mind: a ‘still photograph still is a photograph’ and bloody Photoshop can go stuff it. A picture should be honest, even if the subject is contrived on the ground -- not dolled up for advertising punch or sex appeal.
The human dream is by no means a requiem for a dream where one has to be asleep to believe it, but rather a dream where you have to be on alert and creative to bring it to full bloom. As Miss Liberty addresses the consumer culture in the American dreams: the ‘Dream of Abundance’ offering a cornucopia of material goods to all Americans, making them proud to be the richest society on earth. Then the ‘Dream of a Democracy of Goods’ whereby everyone has access to the same products regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or class, thereby challenging the aristocratic norms of the rest of the world, whereby only the rich or well-connected are granted access to luxury. Next, the ‘Dream of Freedom of Choice’ with its ever expanding variety of goods allows people to fashion their own particular lifestyle and finally the ‘Dream of Novelty’. ~ Shadia Alem
It's never too late to have a happy childhood bit it is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it; but the young know they are wretched for they are full of the truthless ideal which has been instilled into them, and each time they come in contact with the real, they are bruised and wounded. It looks as if they were victims of a conspiracy; for the books they read, ideal by the necessity of selection, and the conversation of their elders, who look back upon the past through a rosy haze of forgetfulness, prepare them for an unreal life. They must discover for themselves that all they have read and all they have been told are lies, lies, lies -- and each discovery is another nail driven into the body on the cross of life. Youth is wasted on the young. It was good that God kept the truths of life from the young as they were starting out or else they'd have no heart to start at all.
Hey, you who are sitting there on the hill with that little photographic jar box in your hands, when you look at me what do you see? So few people take the time anymore. Do you see how I am shackled to this shoreline fated to dream of the ocean but never swim in it? My antennae feel its pulse, I gauge its flow and current. I'm steadfast in my consistency unaffected by storm or condition and did you know that my design was created when Jesus was a boy? My arms may be old, my skill obsolete but don't write me off just yet. Old is anyone who stops learning and tired doesn't mean lazy. My every goodbye isn't yet gone, so take my picture, because I heard somewhere that photographs give an appearance of participation. Let me tell you, aging doesn't need any fairy tales. ~ Kalahari