People often talk about making photographs. They intentionally use the verb ‘make’ as though they mean building and constructing, shaping and moulding, tactile senses, dirty hands.
But that sentence, I make photographs, in reference to my own work, well it has never sat easily in my mouth.
I don’t mean this as a criticism. Absolutely, there are artists who make photographs, artists who manipulate scenes digitally, or with with light, direction, and style; artists who create images where they didn’t exist before.
I kind of want to say ‘make’, too. Because constructing something is an act inherently loaded with value. But, I don’t think that I work like that. I don’t think I make photographs.
I was thinking about this picture, and how it’s all light and movement. How it’s just a fraction of a second caught, reflected though a lens, burned into celluloid. I didn’t make this. I looked for it, waiting for my girl to swim by me. I tracked this moment. And then, with a click, I caught it.
That’s the way I think I work best. I want to look, to study, to see something. I want to capture what is there, what already exists: be it a particular quality of light; a sense of momentum; a emotion; a feeling. I want to catch something that is real and true, that is weighted with emotion. I want to net a butterfly and pin it down. I want to make still and solid something that is otherwise fugitive, ephemeral, barely perceptible.
I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t make photographs. I wait for them, I stalk them, I hunt them.