People often ask, “What sort of photographer are you? A ‘Portrait Photographer’? A ‘Wildlife Photographer’? A ‘Street Photographer’?” But my range of photographic interests cannot be so easily squeezed into a single box.
I always carry my Contax G2 with me ready to capture the moments that life brings to me. I have often described myself as a ‘Walkout photographer with a snapshot style’ but that in a sense describes what I do and how I do it and a not my particular specialist photographic genre.
To me it matters not what the genre, whether it is scenics or places or nature for example. It is all about what presents itself then seeing the opportunity, framing the picture and exposing the film to capture the shot.
Then there is film. I prefer to use film as it provides me with a more real, tactile photographic experience. It is also full of small ‘organic’ imperfections that add their own charm to my photographs. So you might thus be tempted to say that I am a “Film Photographer’ or in modern speak an ‘Analogue Photographer’ but that is way too wide a generalisation to be helpful.
Then there is being open to adventure. I am always happy to try different styles of photography, remain on the look out for new places to photograph and love trying out new film types. So maybe you could call me the ‘Constantly Learning Photographer’?
So in the end I sat down and thought about the essence of what I do and that is to wander about photographing the things life presents to me. In other words you could possibly call me a ‘Life Photographer’, maybe? Not to be confused mind you with a ‘Lifestyle Photographer’!
So if you must put me and my photography into a box then I could thus be tempted to let you call me a ‘Life Photographer’. Let me try that out; I go to places, walk around with my camera and photograph whatever life brings to me, hence I am a ‘Life Photographer’. Hmm! It doesn’t sound quite right does it? In reality I photograph opportunities, that is moments that life presents to me, but you can’t call yourself a ‘Moments Photographer’ nor an ‘Opportunities Photographer’. The former sounds daft and the latter could easily be misconstrued as something quite sinister.
Strangely perhaps, I am after all much more comfortable being described by what I do rather than being constrained by being defined by any particular photographic genre I may focus upon (there would be too many anyway). So ‘Walkabout Photographer’ it remains even if it means I have to explain it to everyone who asks.”
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