I admit it: I am a bad photographer – the worst person to ask questions about photography equipment, techniques and editing tips.
My work attracts a lot of attention because so much of it feels like a magic trick. People always ask me what camera model and editing software I use, hoping the answer would help them maybe reproduce that kind of magic in their own photography. I’ve given a couple presentations and even taught two classes at the University, but I shy away from those kinds of probing questions because so much of what I do cannot be taught, only learned.
I don’t have a definition of jazz… You’re just supposed to know it when you hear it. -Thelonious Monk
Although my photos always start out as concept sketches, I always equate my process of making photos to playing freestyle jazz. So much of what I do comes from a feeling that the lighting is right, or a feeling that the composition is perfect rather than a pre-meditated thought. I would be a lot more stressed if things needed to run like clockwork to be a success. Besides, I love the organic quality of this approach.
In regards to equipment, I am the worst person to ask. I shoot with the simplest and cheapest DSLR (The Canon Rebel XSi) because I try to make my work look like old film, which is void of bells & whistles.
So if you’re a budding photographer, don’t come to me for photography advice. If, however, you’re an artist and want to discuss the philosophy of film, the logic of lenses or the sentimentality of sunlight, then order a drink and prepare to stay a while.
I may be a bad photographer, but I’m an excellent storyteller.