My journey as an amateur photographer (emphasis on the amateur part) has made me acutely aware of my aesthetic preferences. As a student of contemporary art, it has long been obvious to me what types of pieces attract my eye when I visit a museum or gallery. As an observer of art, I tend to gravitate toward images that contain cultural elements, have striking (unexpected, anachronistically juxtaposed) compositional elements and that make me think about my existence or life practices in a different way. I like art to be challenging. I like to feel like I’ve stretched and absorbed after experiencing it.
Now that I am the one capturing my own photographic images, I am noticing these same tendencies in where I end up pointing my lens. As the photos load into my computer after a day of shooting, I see a (albeit rough) “collection” of cultural elements at play. I have not yet taken my new found passion for photography on a trip (though I am eagerly awaiting the chance to capture images of Los Angelino culture in a few weeks), so the photos I have taken up until this point have been of family/friend gatherings or objects/scenes/vignettes I stumble upon during my weekly photo walks.
As I skimmed through some of my photos this morning, I realized the images I have chosen to capture (well, “chosen” is a strong word…there’s been a lot of luck involved) give me new insights into the people, objects, events and practices that have comprised my culture(s) for years (at times unbeknownst to me).