I’ve never really considered myself an artist until recently…coming from a family heritage of writers, painters, sculptors, singer/songwriters/musicians, dancers, and builders…I’ve never quite met the mark. I can draw slightly better than a stick figure, play a few chords on a ukulele, and throw together a birdhouse with some basic tools, but I’m not choreographing dozens of dancers, sculpting lifesize/lifelike animals, fluently playing multiple instruments, or handcrafting my own furniture as many of my closest relatives do with skill and ease.
Even my earliest memories of photography started as a hobby after watching my dad turn his hat sort of backwards to get the brim out of frame while he squatted awkwardly to get the angles just right with his old film camera – the same camera which sparked my quirky interest in creating photos.
But I was still taking pictures for the sake of capturing moments – ones I could privately reflect upon later or post to social media in that look-what-I-did-today fashion. That wasn’t art…not in my mind. But I wasn’t trying to be an artist…just some dude who took decent photos to show my folks what I did while living overseas.
Then something clicked – photography became my outlet. My stress reliever. My art. Gone were the days of bringing my camera along to maybe take out of the bottom of the bag if I saw something nice to snap a frame or two of. Now, my trips are based upon photography. My cameras, lenses, and tripod are the contents of my bag. Timelines, angles, seasons, locations, landmarks…I love the hours – or sometimes days and weeks – that go into planning a photography trip. Sometimes a single good photo requires all that preparation plus a lot of luck. With moments often passing in the blink of an eye, my goal as an artist is to preserve forever a scene which will never again be same. If I can do that while inspiring others to truly be present and immersed in their own moments, I’ve accomplished my art.
As I close, I’m going to head next door to my neighbors’ house where they’ve graciously given me walls to display some of my art. Tonight will be my first solo open house where they’re hosting me (and Japhy!) to show my work and give a photo presentation. Thanks in advance to those of you who are stopping by. I know the promise of home-brewed beer helped sway your decision. To those of you who can’t make it, no worries! I appreciate your support either way.
Photography gallery open house with Japhy The Adventure Pup!