So, being on maternity break and without a job to immediately go back to, a strong desire has taken hold of me: I just had to start the long process of sorting through 86GB of digital photos for the beginnings of a portfolio. The destination is still unknown to me. I don’t have a vision for it. So I am relying on instinct, and a powerful drive to just do it, hoping it yields something good.
Browsing through these photographs has made me realize how consistent a presence in my life photography has been. In fact, taking photographs has consistently lifted my spirits in the last 20 + years. One of my first “significant expense” as a 20- something when I started earning a living was a Nikkon FM2 bought second hand near Bastille in Paris. I went with my piano teacher, who was also an amateur photographer on a carefully planned excursion. It was important to me. And the practice has indeed sustained me through the years, as have playing piano or speaking Italian. Many years ago I also noticed that when left alone with some time on my hands I generally would hang out in galleries and museums. Or art schools. That may sound quite normal to many of you, but for someone who pushed economics studies all the way to getting a PhD degree from Harvard, and has been earning a living as a Strategy and Data executive, i.e., applying lots of quantitative analysis and structured thinking to business problems, that discovery leaves me with as many questions as answers. Have I missed my life’s calling? I’ve been fairly happy with my jobs though, finding a lot of satisfaction in them despite the nagging feeling that they have both energized me in some ways, and drained me in others.
Reflecting back now, to me, the practice of photography is akin to meditation. It’s about connecting deeply with a place, or a person, understanding what touches me in it, then rendering that in a photograph for others to see. But is that enough? Or does one need a deeper purpose? Showing the world we are creating back to us all as a society of humans. Its beauty and uglyness. Its beautiful productions and its waste. With meditation comes self-awareness and a subtle sense of purpose starts to be instilled in everything you do. You question your ultimate goals. Still need to elaborate that, but I’m interested in trying to answer this question of “why?” and “what for?”. What does photography represent to me that draws me in such a strong way? I’d love to get other people’s thoughts on that. What does photography represent to you that draws you in so strongly?
And yes, I do want to take the plunge and display photos as I go through this process. Not sure how yet, but I am going to post a few series here to start with.
Here is a first sample – patterns in nature in Argentina…