As I have started my first photojournalism class, my professor Mr. Rees has provided me a new way to look at photography. He always says “making pictures” rather than “taking them”, and this weekend gave me some insight as to why that is the correct phrase to use.
I love planning out shoots. I love seeing a location and coming up with an idea, posing my model, and capturing something unique and creatively designed. But sometimes the best photographs come out of moments that spontaneously arise. Our hair was messy and we were wearing no pre-planned make up or fancy clothes, we were just driving around on winding back roads and enjoying our beautiful Saturday. We sang loud enough to disturb the grazing cows and went to bed feeling lucky to have found each other by the strongest stroke of luck.
When I photograph something, I am not trying to take it from the world. I am trying to capture a brief moment of time and make my audience to feel what was happening, whether it is my friends, my mom, or a stranger. Life unfolds before you without warning, and when it gives you a moment full of sunshine and laughs, you want to make sure you can savor that memory long after it has passed. You make a picture because your audience views the pain, the pleasure, the struggle and the strength through you. It is a photographers responsibility to be eyes for someone else and allow them to experience the sides of humanity that they witness. They have to make the most of the emotion that is occurring in that moment so it can be conveyed to and understood by others.
I can only hope that these pictures can accurately portray the joy that these women bring into my life. We can be total idiots together and I have never been more grateful to have such accepting and fun people by my side. I hope everyone gets to experience the happiness and security in their lives that I feel now because of the people Mizzou has brought into my life. And that desire to make others experience what I am lucky enough to see is the essence of photography, the desire to see the world and let others see the world through you.