I was inspired by Viola Davis’ acceptance speech at the Oscars on Monday, February 26, 2017. Viola Davis won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, in the movie, Fences
“People ask me all the time — what kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola? And I say, exhume those bodies! Exhume those stories — the stories of the people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams to fruition, people who fell in love and lost.”
Photography is the art where I like to ‘exhume those stories.’ It is a responsibility that I take very seriously.
I believe that my best photographs tell stories. In those photographs, you get to meet real people! Not movie stars. Not politicians. People I’d like to know.
How do I tell a story in a photograph?
I look for conversations on the street.
I Make Street photography
When I make street photography, I have silent conversations with my subjects. I don’t usually stop and talk to them, but they tell me their stories anyway. A light in his eye. A smile she shares with a street performer. A look of intense concentration while listening to a friend.
“Street photography is a type of photography that features subjects in candid situations within public places. Street photographs are mirror images of society, displaying ‘unmanipulated’ scenes, with usually unaware subjects.” (Urban Street Photography)
From all over the world. In my hometown. I learn stories wherever I take my camera. When I develop my photos, I spend many hours with my street people. Those people I found on the street. I remember their faces many years later.
It can be scary to take photos of people I don’t know. I often will smile at my subjects as I move on. Just to be sure they are all right with my taking a drive by photo.
I like to take photos of people interacting with one another. Even reacting to each other.
I never make fun of my subjects. I try to choose photos where people look honest and real, but still beautifully human. I feel that it is disrespectful to display people any other way. I do not know what the trials and their sorrows of these people may have been. I like my subjects. I owe it them to treat them with care. I try not to portray anyone in a negative light. Unless, there is no other light to see them.