“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” – Ansel Adams
You may think photography gets in the way. That a camera creates a wall between you and the person you are interacting with. You may say interrupting the natural flow of a conversation by sticking a camera in someone’s face just destroys the moment. Well you are right, but I also disagree. Sounds a little contradicting, doesn’t it? There are always two sides of every coin. It takes experience, an eye for detail and a people oriented individual to keep the balance of capturing a moment without taking away from it.
So how do you do it? How do you take a photograph without taking something way from the subject and the environment? Why is it called TAKING a photo? As if you are literately taking something away from that person, or moment you are photographing?
Ask yourself the purpose for which you are photographing. Ask yourself what is the outcome you are envisioning as a result of taking a photograph. Sometimes is may be as simple as, “I find this aesthetically pleasing and I like it; so I want to look at it again.” Other times you want a visual representation of an event, a time, or memory to cherish for years to come. The purpose could be to illuminate a certain emotion or to provide a voice for the abused and silenced. Whatever your reason is you should always ask yourself: am I taking away from this person, situation, or environment? Or am I giving something. Am I blessing this person by showing them how beautiful they really are? Am I creating a beautiful art piece to be marveled at for years to come? Am I using my camera as a bridge to approach people and to build relationships?
With all my images I hope to give something positive. I hope to bless those I am photographing, as well as those who may view my work later on. I don’t want to take anything away. I want to give. I want to create a photograph; instead of taking a photograph.