There are many types of artists in this life, all with their own uniqueness and style. There a few artists that have affected me in the boldest of ways as well as in a more subtle way. I am aware of it when I am affected by an image and then it translates into my own work. The age old expression “steal like an artist” I think it often misinterpreted in that you can let art influence your own work. Within photography marketed towards consumers I keep seeing lines like: “Let us capture your moment,” or “I capture life.” This is wonderful because as humans I believe we have this urge to document life and tell stories and portray them into the world for others to join in. But as an artist I like to stay away from capturing moments. Often the images that I love are the ones that the artist created. There is novelty in images that are captured. But I see great pride in finding images that were created out of what was given. It is this that keeps me so enthralled with live music photography. It is often an environment with tremendous distraction from a photographer on a mission to create. The crowd is usually unruly. The performers sometimes stray away from the energy or a bad venue. The bouncers are wary of others movements and sobriety while not others on occasion. There are people there with their cellphones taking a million pictures of themselves and the performance with bright unflattering flash. There may be a few goons with a new camera they have been carrying around all night eager to try out the hobby of photography. Easiest and most expensive hobby to get into haha. And then theres me. Scrawny kid with a face that the bouncers don’t remember, trying to slink my way through the packed venue in search of the best position before the main act goes on. A checklist goes through my mind every time I enter a venue. What house lights are they going to be using? What position of the stage is the performers going to be on? Is this crowd warmed up enough to give these artists a good show? Where to put the off camera lighting? And always the question of how can I create a moment through a single frame that will convey the story I want to tell? To be successful in the photography realm, the best advice I ever got was to always try to make photos that you would want to see. When I set out to take pictures for myself I am always seeing what I can create through a moment that will present itself. I don’t hunt down photos.
I can relate my journey in photography to the teachings I have interpreted from my farther in relation to hunting deer. He told me when we set out to the woods to hunt deer we are not tracking down and killing an animal, but searching and praying for a spirit to present itself to us. Giving it’s life source of meat to our family so that we can continue to live. To bring home meat to our people and to share the blessing. The task of searching for this spirit involves skill and an clear mind just like photography. But when the spirit is presented to us, we do not simply take this but accept the blessing that has been put before us. With creating images it has become apparent to me more and more when an image is presented to me and what I can create out of it. It also apparent when things just don't go together and you can move on. Moving on is just as important as waiting. When you move on you open the door to new images.
CRITIQUE // OPENING THE DOOR TO PROGRESSION
I am one of my biggest critics. In the past six years that I’ve been involved with this picture taking thing I have maybe made four photographs that I am proud of and believe work out how they should. Self criticism is a great thing for all artists to have but moving past making everything perfect and missing the point of creating art starts with actually getting up and creating something. Many photos that I take are not at all perfect or many paintings that I paint are close to finished or stunning. But at the center the physical act of setting out and creating is sometimes the most important thing. An act in itself can be a work of art. This is reason photojournalism is an interest of mine due to you have to force yourself out there and get past the nit picky way of creating a situation. Now I still approach the moment with anticipation and thought before just snapping away. But finding that moment and being ready to go is just an important part of the process as setting up for it.This photo was taken downtown Albuquerque in the tension storm that has been swirling over the controversy of recent police brutality accusations. The lady on the ground was not going to leave when the majority of the protestors had began to disburse after a lengthy stand off had ensued. The two figures beside her are urging her to leave while a man in the left hand corner is in the faces of the riot ready squad in the background. The kid on the bicycle is what attracted me to the scene the most because it was his circling around the trio in the street I found most interesting. Why was this kid out here in all this mess? Where were his parents? The bicycle itself being a symbol of youth. I remember riding my bike as a lad and having it be a vehicle of freedom that no one could catch me. The child looked my way and then back at the trio when I snapped the shutter. The moment is there for me. But so many things with this photo are unpleasing. The focus is way off. Neither on the kid or completely on the riot squad. The wheel is cropped at an awkward place.I wish the perspective was a little lower. All this could have stopped my from showing this. I chose to show it though because a moment is sometimes more important than the the technical attribute of an image.
PROGRESSION // HATING LEADS TO CREATING
My progression in this medium has not come out of more gear, workshops from
"professionals" or pure luck. It has mainly come out of time and dedication but I can thank most of it to the haters. The people who have put me down and continue to cut me down are the ones that have made me better at my craft. The ones who say they have supported my cause but have not followed up with actions. The ones who try to get the most out of me without giving. So keep it coming! The more you spend your time criticizing my actions, photos, decisions, words, the more time I'm taking that energy and putting it back into my work. I have never strived to be average. But I have pushed myself to make work that matters by pushing a button on top of a black box. I try day in day out to create images of worth to the people who stand in front of my lens. I'm taking the good with the bad. I'm standing still and calm in the storm that swirls. So peace to the doubters and static makers. I'm still here and you're not going to see me fade into the shadows anytime soon.
I'll find you in the light,