I was asked recently if I was religious. I replied that I wasn’t, but in hindsight maybe I should have explained that that doesn’t stop me from being spiritual. I believe for example that people deliberately come into your lives for a reason, even if for just the most fleeting of periods, and it is not only for us to enjoy these encounters but to understand their significance.
Maybe a recent such happy collision of different worlds was meant to make myself believe in the concept of photography again; in its ability to capture beautiful, powerful moments on this incredible planet and freeze them forever so that they achieve a permanent significance. I like to think that good pictures are a form of poetry – after all photography officially translates as ‘writing with words’. The photographer’s role is not only to choose the settings and to press the shutter button; firstly he or she has to recognise these moments – to have the photographer’s eye.
I feel spiritual when I photograph a scene like the one pictured because I am filled with love for these people – strangers whose names I will never know. I’ll never feel the touch of their skin, hear the sounds of their laughter or know the brightness of their smiles; but they have become a little part of me and for that they have my affection. Maybe that is why photography is so addictive – it is less about sharing your work but of connecting with the subjects. Which is why I’m sometimes a bit reticent about processing or posting photos. I feel my job has already been done the moment the shutter fell and that connection was made. But if people believe in my work I guess I should believe in myself enough to take it to the next step and to keep publishing and exhibiting my work. And through that process to keep growing as a photographer.
Musing over. Normal, more regular, postings will now resume. That is my pact to myself.