As a child I looked forward to perusing Life, Look, and National Geographic magazines. They were the gateway to view the world and experience the events unfolding around me. The photographs brought you into story making it possible to live vicariously threw them. Photo journalism and print media were at their height while television (as we know it today) was in its infancy and very few people had one in their home.
During this time the Vietnam War was raging while race riots where erupting across our country. Civil protests were the norm. President Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther-King and Senator Robert Kennedy were assassinated. Man went to the Moon. The still photographs were at the forefront of how we experienced the world.
Its amazing how well a photograph could convey complicated information, a feeling, tell a story, relive the past, or manipulate how we think. Advertisers rely on its power to create extreme desire and compel the viewer (consumer) to take action. Visual content in advertisements shifted away from illustration to the photograph. It’s a challenging task to create such a photograph. It’s my challenge when hired to create such photography.
I’d like to share with you two quotes that eloquently explain how I relate to photography:
“Photography is a medium of formidable contradictions. It is both ridiculously easy and almost impossibly difficult. It is easy because its technical rudiments can readily be mastered by anyone with a few simple instructions. It is difficult because, while the artist working in any other medium begins with a blank surface and gradually brings his conception into being, the photographer is the only imagemaker who begins with the picture completed. His emotions, his knowledge, and his native talent are brought into focus and fixed beyond recall the moment the shutter of his camera has closed.” – Edward Steichen
“The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.” – Elliott Erwitt