I’ve been doing a lot of traveling these days, quick one or two-day stays in cities all around the US. But that’s not the kind of traveling I do when I’m on a destination shoot where get totally absorbed in a city because I’m there to tell that city’s story through my images.
These days a lot of my travels are quick trips in and out of cities all around the country, giving seminars for AMSP to still photographers who are thinking about getting into video. So I rarely have time to see the “sights” of the cities and really get my bearings on where I am.
One thing I do try to do while I’m on the road is walk because that is what I do when I’m home and it helps me get clarity on the day. This morning I went out for a walk in the area just outside my hotel. As I walked by various chain restaurants and stores, I almost forgot where I was, because it could have been just about anywhere in America. And that kind of made me sad – that in the US, our towns and cities have lost their unique attributes.
When I got back to my hotel, I saw a posting from a friend on Facebook on how photography introduces you to people whose lives and stories humble you. His words really hit home because I became a photographer for this very reason – to allow me the privilege of meeting people and hearing their stories. For me, photography and my camera have always been a “means to an end”.
Then I realized, that a place isn’t really defined or not defined by its stores and restaurants but by its people. And that even though I may only be in a place for a quick overnight – I always try to connect with the people. Whether that may be a chat with a taxi driver or a waitress or with some of the wonderful people I meet when I do a seminar.
Such is my life, enjoying and being humbled by all the people and their stories as I continue my travels. How lucky I am – to be able to combine my career in photography with my passions.