My favorite style of photography is street photography and, though some would argue they are different, documentary style photography, or photojournalism. But, are these styles really art?
I ask that because art is an expression of oneself through whatever medium the artist is using. Though a painter may paint a tree, he or she is expressing a thought or emotion in his head. A sculptor may make a statue of a man, and they are taking care to put all of their emotion into it, to show how they feel about this man.
Street photography is different though. Street photography is more about documenting the human condition. Often this involves taking photographs of complete strangers in order to show how they look, what they eat, how they dress, how they live, and so on. Therein lies the difference between the art that I do and the art that a painter does. I am not expressing any of my own thoughts or emotions, instead I am capturing the nuances of others.
I do not think that is entirely accurate though. While it is true that I am making images of others, and not myself, I do put a bit of my own emotion into each image.
One thing I find myself doing often is trying to find couples as subjects. I am not trying to be "creepy" or intrusive but couples often make good subjects. It is nice to see people caring for each other and sharing their lives with one another. I enjoy seeing two people coming together to share in a human emotion that comes so natural to us all.
But more than that, I am expressing a void that I feel in my own life. If you have read my last blog post, you would understand what I mean. I am drawn to these couples as subjects because it is something that I have been searching for.
Love is something I care a lot about and when an artist has strong emotions about something, it shows itself in their work. It is the same with me. Yes, I am documenting the lives of others, but the photograph itself, and the specific reason I am drawn to these two subjects is because of a void I am trying to fill within myself.
So this is how I express what means the most to me at the time. My medium is one that does not always lend itself well to personal expression, but I find that this is the easiest way for me to do just that at times.
I did not notice that I have been drawn to couples as subjects until today actually. It is very much a subconscious thing but I realized, after writing that last blog post, how much I actually do it and started thinking about why. Photography is the only way to express myself sometimes.
And this blog.