On Thursday night I attended a panel chat on Personal Projects presented by the AIPP. It was truly inspiring to hear these professional photographers talk about their passion for their projects.
Peter Coulson "In My Pants"
Sarah Louise Jackson "Creatures"
Craig Wetjen "Men's Sheds"
These photographers were truly inspiring, even bringing a tear to my eye, yes Craig, I'm looking firmly at you here. They have taken their skills and talent and are using them to create something moving that helps to raise funds for extremely worthwhile causes.
It made me think about what my personal project should be. I raced home full of enthusiasm, thinking I had found the right project. I jumped onto the Mac to continue preparing photo's for the exhibition on the 11th, after an hour and a half of editing I realised, this is my personal project.
I suppose not working as a commercial photographer means I photograph what I want, I have that liberty. Running a business that is not related to photography frees me from the constraints that commercial photographers face. Yes it is also restrictive, I can't go out and shoot when I want to, I have to work, but when I do go walking, I can photograph anything, no one is telling me what to shoot.
Street photography is a passion for me. Capturing the moments, wether sad, joyous, nonsensical or seemingly mundane, this is what drives me. Documenting the lives of everyday people. And it is an intimate process as odd as that may sound. Most people I photograph are not aware that I am shooting them, so how can it be intimate? It just is. I am seeing a moment in their lives, one that is mostly missed by other people who are busily caught in their own concerns to notice anyone else. I notice the moment, the look on their face, their body language, sometimes it's a comment they are making. I am in that moment, I am with them, sharing it, living it, and for the briefest of moments, I am tied to them.
This may seem like I've gone over the edge, but in looking through over 2,500 edited photos dating back to September 2013, 99.99% of which are of complete strangers. I remember things, I remember where I was when I took it. I remember the title or story that goes with the final photo. I remember details I have discovered about the people, like the guy from Perth talking to the barista at Pellegrini's back in July 2014. Or the lady I saw in September 2013 in the bakery in Notting Hill dressed in 50's gear that seemed uncomfortable in crowds yet walked with an elegance and grace. The couple in Paris kissing goodbye after their lunchtime rendezvous, or the gentleman reading a paper as he waits for his lunch at the Wesley Anne in Northcote. These moments are real, these are moments I have participated in, been honoured to have captured.
These moments are personal. It's all personal.