There is kind of a lot to talk about here, so try and stay with me — I promise it all comes together. . . sort of.
I tend to prefer nature photography, especially landscapes, over trying to shoot people. Part of it is the solitude. It isn’t that I’m anti-social, just that sometimes I like to be alone. It gives me time to contemplate and to just be out in the natural world; to enjoy the splendour of tree and leaf. In my MA at Brock and as an editor for ALECC I have spent a lot of time reading and writing about nature. Unfortunately, in doing so, I have also had fewer and fewer opportunities to actually go outside. Photographing nature provides me the chance to get out and explore, and, truth be told, a polite reason to do so alone. I think it is important to make time to be alone. William Deresiewicz suggests that all the possibilities for connecting with people in this modern age may be having an unexpected result — we may be losing our capacity for solitude. I am not sure if I completely agree with, or even understand the full implications of his argument, but I have to say I know a lot of people who have a hard time with solitude. Me, I like to be alone, but I also like to follow solitude that with quality time with loved ones.
However, there is another reason I don’t gravitate to shooting people. I am shy about it. I am not really sure why, but I feel awkward pointing a camera at people (which, I imagine, makes them feel even more awkward). So I tend to avoid it — which is not really what I want for myself as a photographer. I want to grow, not to shrink into myself, and with that in mind I decided to listen to my wife (that’s good advice for anyone by the way), and try to capture some shots of people. Before I go any further let me say this little exercise has given me some profound respect for talents of my friends Wayne and Naomi. They have the ability capture people in a way that conveys so much emotion and intimacy. Their work is truly something special.
But here I am with some other great friends who were good enough to tolerate me snapping photos of them with their beautiful kids all weekend. Jay and Kelly have the most adorable daughter. At 15 months she is developing such a warm and bright personality. Her smile is almost constant and brings out the best feelings in everyone around her. Kevin and Stephanie meanwhile have a 6 week old son, who is the spitting image of his Dad. He is the sweetest little soul, and looks to develop into the same sort of kind-hearted people that his parents are. I do not yet have the talent to capture just how much happiness these little ones have brought into our circle of friends, but I hope that these offerings are a good start into deeper explorations of the people I know and love.